Previous posts in this series have covered sequestration (Parliament confiscating the estates of its enemies during the civil wars) and compounding (getting sequestered estates back by paying a fine). Sequestration led to lots of court cases, because although it was authorized by ordinances of Parliament, it was still technically illegal according to the Common Law. Parliament suppressed the law courts during the First Civil War, but they began to sit again when the war was over, creating opportunities to contest property rights, allegiance, and the legitimacy of the Long Parliament’s governing without the King. Many soldiers and officials were prosecuted for things they had done with the authority of Parliament. This led to the Indemnity Ordinance, which was implemented by the Indemnity Committee (I’ve written a brief guide to the committee and its records, now held by the UK National Archives). Ordinary civilians could also benefit from this if they were prosecuted for obeying Parliament. The majority of the petitions received by the committee were from tenants and debtors of sequestered delinquents who had paid the money they owed to the state and were sued for it by the original owner. This month’s document is one of these petitions. It adds an extra twist because it also involves the law of coverture. This denied married women the right to own property: with a few exceptions, any property a woman brought into a marriage was owned and controlled by her husband for the duration of the marriage. Mary Robinson from last month’s post owned an estate in her own right because she was a widow.
Last month’s post was about sequestration (Parliament confiscating the estates of its enemies). Later in the First Civil War, Parliament developed a new system called compounding, which allowed sequestered delinquents to get their estates back if they paid a fine and swore an oath that they wouldn’t help the King. This process was managed by the Committee for Compounding. I’ve written a brief guide to the committee and its records which is available under CC-BY just like the other content on this blog.
This month’s documents are from the compounding case of Mary Robinson, a widow from Branston in Lincolnshire (no relation as far as I know – my Robinson ancestors were coal miners in Yorkshire, and didn’t move to Lincolnshire until the early 20th century). As usual, the quoted text is all in Crown Copyright and released under Open Government Licence. Click the thumbnails to see page images on Flickr (non-commercial use only).
This post is part of a series of letters from parliamentary soldier Nehemiah Wharton during the English Civil War, which will be posted on the anniversary of the day they were written. For more information see the introduction. To find the rest of the series, use the “wharton letters” tag. The original of this letter is held by the UK National Archives, reference SP 16/491/138, ff. 345-6. The text of the letter is out of copyright. Images are available for non-commercial use only at Flickr (click on folio numbers for individual page images).
This time, more pillaging and deer poaching, now with added misogyny. Wharton also meets a former servant of the Willingham family.
More filler this week as I’m too busy to write anything intellectual. As it’s Remembrance Sunday, here’s a selection of WW1 pictures from my random ebay acquisitions. Click the thumbnails to see full size versions at Flickr. First of all I bought another photo of the frisky horse that I posted here. Not much need for an epic Errol Morris style investigation as I think it’s pretty obvious what order they go in.
London Division horse show, Overath, Germany, 1919. Even during the war divisions and corps often held horse shows to encourage the men to look after their horses as well as possible. This was important because infantry and artillery depended very heavily on draught horses throughout the war. This one’s really worth viewing at full size as there’s so much detail.
This looks like two women in the uniform of the Scottish Horse. It apparently wasn’t unusual for women to dress up in men’s uniforms to have their photos taken.
A mounted artillery driver, photographed in Edinburgh. Photos like this cause lots of confusion because people get the idea that their ancestors were in the cavalry and then go off looking in the wrong places and asking the wrong questions.
Girls on ponies watching a Royal Artillery column. Not strictly WW1 as it looks like it was taken in the 1920s or 1930s. The Royal Field Artillery wasn’t fully mechanized until 1939. This photo captures the period when horses were making the transition from useful work in the army and economy to a hobby seen as mostly for girls.