Title: They themselves will be the Judges what commands are lawfull': Legal pamphlets and political mobilisation in the early 1640s.
Period: 1500-1800 / Post 1800
Funded by: University of Sheffield Studentship
Start year: 2012
The thesis will focus on the development of the case for Parliament in the early 1640s, specifically looking at how legal argument was deployed in pamphlets in order to obtain popular support. The law permeated every aspect of life in early modern England and it was held in very high regard. However, during this period works discussing competing legal theories were aimed not just at the legally trained elite, but also at those with no formal legal training. This revealed to the growing political public the complex nature of English law and gave them an significantly more sophisticated insight into the workings of the law than their previous idealised understandings had allowed. Arguments were also tailored for their audience - and in short, legal theory was revealed to, and judged by, the political public.
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