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Peter John, Sarah Cotterill, Alice Moseley, Liz Richardson, Graham Smith, Gerry Stoker, and Corinne Wales

Why study petitioning? The last chapter reviewed some traditional ways of mobilizing citizens through a door-to-door knock or a telephone call. Even though traditional methods remain important, as the prominence of social media in the 2017 General Election campaign shows, digital forms of communication are now dominant as the ways of carrying out a whole range of personal and group activities linked to community action, and are a natural route for people to get involved in politics. Mobilization through the internet is powerful because of its

in Nudge, nudge, think, think (second edition)
Subscriptional activity during the civil wars
Edward Vallance

… all these petitions for a translation, both of Church and State, with so little fear of the Halter, that they would thinke themselves neglected, if they had not thanks for their care for the Re-publicke; only he that desires the ratification of an old Law, or of a long setled Eccelsiastick Government, looked as if the Halter were his share. 1 This Royalist commentary on the Parliamentarian petitioning of 1640–2 in support of first ‘Root and Branch’ reform

in Loyalty, memory and public opinion in England, 1658–​1727
Coleman A. Dennehy

THEORY AND PRACTICE A great deal of parliamentary time was spent dealing with petitions, both from its own members and also from individuals or groups of non-members. 1 For instance, in the period between the outbreak of the rebellion in autumn 1641 and the effective dissolution of parliament in summer 1648 just one piece of legislation passed, and the representative nature of parliament was severely reduced by the fact that most of the territory of the island of Ireland was in the hands of rebels of varying religious or political outlooks. 2 During such

in The Irish Parliament, 1613–89
Richard Cust and Peter Lake

6 Petitioning and the search for settlement T he Long Parliament opened with the ‘Patriots’ of the Booth–Wilbraham group who had supported Brereton and Venables in the parliamentary election for the shire re-established as the dominant group in county affairs. That situation did not last long, however, disappearing in a process of ideological and political polarisation that took place simultaneously at Westminster and in the county itself. Religion was the catalyst, in particular, radical puritan plans for further reformation and the reaction to those plans

in Gentry culture and the politics of religion
Steve Poole

2 The Crown and the secular magic of petition Historiographical interest in ‘loyalism’, whether radical or conservative, has tended to reduce the problem of agency to a debate over whether patriotism was organic or imposed from above. Because the mentalités of the loyal have not been rediscovered beyond this point, little notice has been taken of the sheer forwardness and self-assertiveness of many subjects in their dealings with the throne. What was it, for example, that permitted even lower-class women to address the monarch with a confidence they might never

in The politics of regicide in England, 1760–1850
Susan Nash

This article explores the process of female self-fashioning in two previously neglected petitions dated 1786-87 by using signatures to analyse their texts and construct their contexts. In them, Helen Timberlake revises the account of frontier and Cherokee life her husband, Henry Timberlake, had published in his Memoirs (1765). Her intense maternal voice, focused on loss, entangles her history with that of the Cherokee chief Ostenaco, providing a grounded but often untrue narrative of shared family life and a persona tailored to evoke a history intertwined with that of George III. This article explores the mystery of Helen Timberlakes origins, while connecting the rhetoric of her petitions to the gendered emergence of sentimentalism, narratives of Indian captivity, and the historiography of ‘the Atlantic’.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
G. A. Wainwright
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Jonathan Chatwin

redress with their local magistrate, travel to Beijing’s centre to petition the court bureaucracy directly; some persistent souls even managed to carry their petitions to the Emperor himself. A version of this system exists still, though those who pursue petitions in today’s China rarely secure justice, becoming locked instead into a Kafkaesque proceeding which often seems to demand and encourage a sort of monomania. As in imperial times, petitioners will often arrive in Beijing from hundreds or thousands of miles away, having been frustrated by local, official channels

in Long Peace Street
Troublesome subjects
Author: Steve Poole

This book considers the shifting boundaries of royal space as the flexible arena in which petitioning took place. It begins with the creation of a myth of accessibility and 'ordinariness' around the monarchy of George III in the 1780s. Historiographical interest in the monarchy is limited in its conceptual scope. Most studies focus on the enduring popularity and survival of the Crown, either with reference to its mythologies and 'invented traditions' or to the institutional conservatism of plebeian English patriotism. Petitioning is seen as increasingly inclusive and popular, facilitated by a developing public sphere and the mass platform, and associated with collectivity rather than individuality. Petitions of right are often overlooked and little distinction is noted between petitions to Parliament and petitions to the Crown. Historiographical approaches to troublesome subjects like Margaret Nicholson commonly accommodate eighteenth-century agendas of unquestioning madness, or else deploy twentieth-century terminologies like 'terrorism'. Franklin L. Ford has charted the classical roots of 'legitimate' tyrannicide from the ancient Greeks to the Red Army Faction, but has difficulty in accommodating the apparent ineptitude of English would-be assassins like Nicholson. Frank Prochaska's detailed account of the role of the Crown in welfare provision conjures unbroken lines of charitable royal largesse from George III to Elizabeth II. The book contains apocryphal tales of kindness to the poor from one monarch or another and is generally disapproving of contemporary radical critiques of royal idleness and narcissism.

Cheshire on the eve of civil war
Authors: Richard Cust and Peter Lake

This book aims to revisit the county study as a way into understanding the dynamics of the English civil war during the 1640s. It explores gentry culture and the extent to which early Stuart Cheshire could be said to be a ‘county community’. It investigates the responses of the county’s governing elite and puritan religious establishment to highly polarising interventions by the central government and Laudian ecclesiastical authorities during Charles I’s Personal Rule. The second half of the book provides a rich and detailed analysis of the petitioning movements and side-taking in Cheshire during 1641-42. This important contribution to understanding the local origins and outbreak of civil war in England will be of interest to all students and scholars studying the English Revolution.