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Multiple-clause petitions to the English parliament in the later Middle Ages: instruments of pragmatism or persuasion?

Dodd, G., Phillips, M. and Killick, H. (2014) Multiple-clause petitions to the English parliament in the later Middle Ages: instruments of pragmatism or persuasion? Journal of Medieval History, 40 (2). pp. 176-194. ISSN 0304-4181

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/03044181.2014.883574

Abstract/Summary

This discussion considers how and why some parliamentary private petitions were written as lists of separate requests or complaints between the late thirteenth and mid-fifteenth centuries. These petitions constitute a small, but visually distinctive, sub-group of The National Archives series SC 8 (‘Ancient Petitions’). Although the practicalities of writing complicated requests were often a key factor, the article argues that other more subtle considerations could lead to the adoption of a ‘multiple-clause’ petition: it could be part of a rhetorical strategy; it might have been determined by bureaucratic expediency; or it could indicate co-operation between petitioners with a common cause. Overall, the discussion contributes to our understanding of the mechanics of writing petitions in the late medieval period and it offers new insights into the strategies adopted by petitioners to gain a favourable outcome to their requests.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS)
Henley Business School > ICMA Centre
ID Code:67237
Uncontrolled Keywords:England; petitions; parliament; clerks; administration; persuasion
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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