Social agency of petitioning

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: History


The student will explore three extensive collections of personal petitions from the Hanoverian and early Victorian periods. These documents capture the appeals, tactics, and language of poorer Britons as they interacted with different state authorities. Using a comparative framework for the first time, the student will link the nascent historiographies on personal petitions from (i) the poor, (ii) convicted criminals, their relatives, and the victims of crime, and (iii) sailors, naval employees, and their families.

The resultant doctorate will reveal the negotiation of power relations between Britain's governors and the governed. However, the collaborative nature of this studentship will require the successful applicant to share their research with (i) archivists and curators within the two collaborative institutions, (ii) members of the public using or visiting The National Archives and National Maritime Museum.


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