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Parliament, printed petitions and the political imaginary in seventeenth-century England

Peacey, JT; (2018) Parliament, printed petitions and the political imaginary in seventeenth-century England. Parliaments, Estates and Representation , 38 (3) pp. 350-363. 10.1080/02606755.2018.1532652. Green open access

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Abstract

Building on recent scholarship relating to the emergence of printed petitions in Britain in the seventeenth century, this article concentrates on those printed petitions that were designed for more or less discreet or limited circulation in order to lobby parliament. It draws on two collections of such material gathered by the MPs Bulstrode Whitelocke (in the 1650s) and Sir Michael Wentworth (in the 1680s and 1690s). Because print facilitated novel ways of engaging with parliament – not least as problems went unresolved and cases dragged on – printed petitions provide a useful window into the aspirations and frustrations of supplicants, and indeed into their political thinking, however rudimentary this may have been. In tracing what might be called the ‘political imaginary’ of contemporary petitioners, this study recovers evidence of radicalization, but also suggests that the art of petitioning could involve the deliberate avoidance of ideological issues that nevertheless underpinned specific interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Parliament, printed petitions and the political imaginary in seventeenth-century England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02606755.2018.1532652
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02606755.2018.1532652
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Parliament, petitions, print culture, representation, political ideas
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057987
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