SRS Annual Welsh Lecture: Lloyd Bowen

Event Date: 
11 Oct 2018

Appeals of Memory: Petitions & Partisan Welfare during and after the British Civil War

Drinks reception 5–6, Lecture 6–7.30 pm

John Percival Room 2.01, Cardiff University



This lecture discusses politicised welfare during and after the British civil wars of the 1640s and 1650s. During this period systems were established, first by the parliamentarians and, after the Restoration by the royalists, to support and maintain partisans who had fought for their respective sides. Individuals wounded in military service could claim funds through a system of specialised poor relief, while widows and orphans were also able to obtain support. Those requesting relief came largely from the lower social orders and they had to petition local or central authorities narrating their cases for support. These petitions are remarkable documents that raise questions about genre, subjectivity and reliability. They are also concerned with telling compelling stories about the recent past: of making political memory. This lecture explores these documents and the bureaucracy that produced such petitions and helps introduce the AHRC-funded project ‘Welfare, Conflict and Memory’, which brings this dispersed archive of petitions together as digital documents on a free searchable website.


Lloyd Bowen is Reader in Early Modern History at Cardiff University and Co-I on the AHRC-funded project ‘Welfare, Conflict and Memory’. He is currently writing a monograph on a duel fought between a Welshman and an Englishman in 1610 entitled Anatomy of a Duel: Gentry Honour, Family Politics and the Law in Jacobean England. The Welshman won.



Enquiries to Derek Dunne (