Supplicants and Guardians: the petitions of Royalist widows during the Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1642–1660
journal contributionposted on 06.04.2016, 13:48 by Hannah Worthen
During the Civil Wars and Interregnum Parliament sought to fund its war effort by confiscating Royalist estates. The widows of Royalist landowners were left without a husband and without the prospect of any means of support unless they could regain those lands. These women petitioned Parliament alongside Royalist men in the interests of themselves and their families. They used emotive language of distress, sophisticated knowledge of their entitlement to inherited lands as well as accounts of their husband's actions and their own assertions of loyalty. The petitions of Royalist widows remind us that women throughout history had the capacity to respond to the realities and aftermath of war with tenacity and resilience.