Civil War Petitions

Conflict, Welfare and Memory during and after the English Civil Wars, 1642 - 1710

The English Civil Wars were a time of terrible conflict. In England and Wales alone, a greater proportion of the population died in the Civil Wars than in the First World War. For those who survived, thousands suffered from terrible injuries whilst wives, children and other family members faced daily struggles as a result of bereavement.

During and after the Civil Wars, wounded soldiers, war widows and other military family members submitted petitions to the state for financial relief.

Civil War Petitions is a fully-searchable digital edition of over 4,000 petitions for relief from maimed soldiers and war widows. It includes the accompanying certificates from military commanders, medical practitioners and local communities in support of their cases. There are additional details of tens of thousands of names of those who received military welfare for injuries and bereavement sustained during the Civil Wars in all English and Welsh counties.

The material is organised by county with ten counties currently online. Four more will be added every quarter until completion in June 2021.

For updates and to follow our progress, check out our Twitter and Facebook pages, or email us at civilwarpetitions@leicester.ac.uk for all enquiries.

Find out more

Echoes of a Massacre: The Petition of Bridget Rumney

The massacre of the royalist camp-followers in Farndon Field following the battle of Naseby was one of the most notorious…

Prisoners of war: the lowest priority

The plight and place in diplomatic relations of prisoners of war during the Civil Wars was discussed in a previous…

What can I find on Civil War Petitions?

Since the official launch of Civil War Petitions in July, we have been working hard to gather new material. The…

The War Hero, the Eccentric and the Turncoat: the Men Behind Three Signatures

Several of the signatories to the documents in our Civil War Petitions database will be familiar names to anyone interested…

War Widows Past and Present: The Civil War Petitions and War Widows' Stories Projects

As we approach Remembrance Day, our blog considers the plight of all war widows, both past and present. How do…

Charity in the City: Funding the Relief of Maimed Soldiers in Post-Restoration Bristol

Bristol was one of the largest cities in seventeenth-century England and was hotly contested over during the Civil Wars. Unfortunately,…

A Female Combatant: Jane Merricke of Hereford

In the materials at the heart of the ‘War, Conflict and Memory’ project, women appear almost exclusively as widows petitioning…

Sir Thomas Fairfax, the Leeds widow and the soldier of Otley

The cases of claimants to pensions and military welfare were often strengthened by certificates of their service signed by their…

Meet a Magistrate: Richard Hutton of Goldsborough Hall in context

In our first ever blog, we were introduced to a petitioner, one of the more colourful characters amongst our Civil…

How to Win Friends and Influence People: Negotiating Tactics of Civil War Petitioners

In a previous blog, David Appleby demonstrated the determination that was required by some petitioners to successfully secure a pension.…