The experience of war widows in mid seventeenth-century England, with special reference to Kent and Sussex
thesisposted on 07.11.2017, 09:18 by Hannah Worthen
This thesis investigates the experience of war widows in mid seventeenth-century England by examining the county pension and sequestration schemes during the Civil Wars. It focuses on how these processes impacted the lives of women who lost their husbands in war, and how they negotiated their financial subsistence by presenting petitions. In order to demonstrate how the lives of ordinary women were changed by the wars it presents a local history of these processes, with special reference to Kent and Sussex. Additionally, the thesis considers the contemporary representations of widows in Civil-War print material and examines how this shaped the ways in which they fashioned themselves. In doing so, it underlines the importance of county studies and local history to Civil War research. It broadens historians’ understanding of the experience of women in the Civil Wars by illuminating how they lived through, and survived, the wars. Furthermore, it specifically analyses the significant role of widows in early modern society.. Finally, this thesis demonstrates the impact of the petition as a tool of the needy in early modern society. It emphasises how the presentation of supplications to higher authorities, in the form of a written petition, became an essential tool of subsistence for war widows in this period.