Who Do You Think You Are?
This petition is available as a transcript in Petitions to the Derbyshire Quarter Sessions, 1632–1770 (ed. Brodie Waddell) at British History Online (british-history.ac.uk/petitions/derbyshire/1710s). The original document is held by Derbyshire Record Office
This petition is addressed “To the Worshipful … Justices of the Peace … at Chesterfield”, the site of the Derbyshire quarter sessions.
It is the “humble Petition of Joseph Jackson of Langston… Labourer”, allowing us to pin down his parish and his occupation.
3WEALTH OF DETAIL
The petition describes Joseph as “a Lame Man of about ffifty yeare of Age and has a Wife and ffour small Children and nothing to Live upon Save three Acres of land and what he gets by selling of Earthen Potts”.
He complains that he has been ordered to pay towards the poor rates even though he “is a very poore man himselfe”.
5PROMISE TO PRAY
As was common, the petition closes with a promise to “Ever pray” for the “Longe Lives and happynesse” of the magistrates.
6LACK OF SIGNATURE
The lack of a signature at the bottom, the tidy handwriting and the very carefully spaced layout suggest that this petition was written by a clerk or scribe.