University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars > The People, the State, and the Power of Local Petitioning in Early Modern England

The People, the State, and the Power of Local Petitioning in Early Modern England

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The county and city magistrates of early modern England received numerous ‘petitions’ every year from local communities and individuals. These requests and complaints often focused on responsibility for poor relief and other ‘public’ social and economic issues, drawing on a rhetoric of justice and statutory rights for legitimacy. This paper examines a large corpus of these local petitions to better understand how ‘the will of the people’ shaped governance on the ground.

This talk is part of the Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars series.

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