For an explanation of all the terms used here, please see the Glossary.
What resources does Civil War Petitions contain that I can use?
- Transcriptions of petitions and certificates submitted to various authorities by maimed soldiers, war widows and other family dependents who lost relatives (e.g. orphans) during and after the English Civil Wars. The documents were submitted in order to claim monetary payments or other forms of charitable relief, and are now stored in archives and record offices across the UK. The transcriptions are available in both the original and modernised form.
- High resolution images of the original documents.
- Calendarised records of the orders for payments made as a result of the hearing of these claims from the order books of the county Quarter Sessions, the order books of the County Committees established by Parliament to organise their war effort, Borough Corporation minute books and other similar records.
- Calendarised records of the payments made to maimed soldiers, war widows and other family dependents by the County Treasurers, Garrison Treasurers, Borough Chamberlains and similar financial officials.
- A Historical Person page dedicated to every individual mentioned in the petitions, certificates and payments records with all the known personal information e.g. place of residence, family details, occupation and military rank (where applicable). This includes the names of all those who were mentioned in, or endorsed, a claimant’s petition or certificate.
- Details of any injuries or ailments mentioned in the petitions and certificates, categorised by the method by which the injury/ailment was inflicted and the location of the body it affected.
- The names of any battles, sieges, assaults or other military encounters e.g. skirmishes that are referenced in the petitions and certificates.
- A map-view of all the residence locations of every claimant (differentiated by type of claimant and their declared allegiance), which zooms from national to county level.
How can I use it?
- Just curious or have a word of interest? Perform a free-text search from the homepage or the search box in any of the section landing pages (People, Petitions and Certificates, Payments, Injuries and Ailments, Events and Locations) and see what the site holds across the record sets of people, petitions, certificates and payments. Refine your search results based on the metadata associated with the records by using the search facets.
- Looking up an ancestor or particular individual? Go to the People landing page and explore the record set here or enter a name in the search box on this page.
- Interested in military history? Search for a name through the People landing page or browse through the Military Commander explore button there. Take a look at the Events landing page, and use the search box to look for a particular military event or use the map to browse petitions and certificates which mention the different battles, sieges, assaults or other events.
- Interested in medical history? Search for the names of medical practitioners through the People landing page or browse through the Medical Practitioners explore button there. Take a look at the Injuries and Ailments landing page and browse by the mechanisms by which injuries were inflicted or the areas of the body where wounds were located.
- Just want to browse the dataset? Go to the Petitions and Certificates or Payments landing pages and use the explore buttons there to investigate the records further. Refine your results by using the search facets.
- Want to know more about where you live or a particular location? Use the map on the Places landing page to look for petitions, certificates, payments and people from that area. There is also a link to a statistical summary for each county of the numbers and types of claimants, and the monetary amounts they were awarded.
Where does our data come from?
- All of the petitions and certificates, as well as the order books containing payments data, are stored in archives and record offices across the UK. We are very grateful to these archives for collaborating with us on this project.
- Each petition or certificate page will tell you which archive that document is stored in and contains a link to where you can locate that archive.
- All document images are copyright of the holding archive and reproduced by permission under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC licence. They may not be reproduced without the consent of the archive.
What else do I need to know?
The project is still busy carrying out further research and will continue to add more information in regular updates until completion in October 2022. Civil War Petitions has a blog with the current status of the research completed so far and other posts dedicated to helping site visitors understand the dataset and some of the historical issues this raises. Follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook page for updates on our progress.