Hertfordshire and The Civil War
Problems at Home
Read by Ian Fisher
While the troops were serving away, back in Hertfordshire the demands placed on the county and its inhabitants, together with the loss of labour to work the land, soon became a matter of serious concern as the following letter shows.
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Draft Petition of the Grand Jury to Quarter Sessions
To the right worshipfull the Justices of Peace for the County of Hertford at the general quarter sessions now holden for the sayd county. The humble peticon of the Grand Inquest for the said county on behalf of themselves and the rest of the inhabitants thereof.
Presenting to your serious consideracions the many vast disbursements by the inhabitants of this county to the much exhausting of theire estates in which we will nott descend to particulars, butt onely in what is beyond the proportion of the rest of the Association; as the many extraordinary taxes and payments imposed on the sayd county, by virtue of the ordinance for the new militia, which was propounded, solicited and procured without our consent, or knowledge or any publick notice thereof given to the country; as alsoe the heavy pressure of free quarter, butt that which wee desire may bee immediately looked on as most destructive to our estates is the drawing outt of our country all our forces which, besides the unsupportable charge of maintaining them abroade, the very want of theire labour and assistance for the gathering in the fruites of the ground this hay time and harvest will utterly disable us for any further contributions, and indeed of subsistence , having in many of our townes where great store of corne is growing nott the fifth parte of the men that will be requisite for the inning thereof, and in many places the plough standing still for want of men and many poore men abroad whose wives and children ly upon the charge of the parish in theire absence and by the loss of theire work in the time of harvest will bee disabled to mainetaine them all the yeare after.
Wee therefore humbly pray that by your assistance some effectual meanes may bee used for the speedy calling home of our men. And that you would bee pleased the knights and burgesses which serve for this county (of whose faithfull endeavours for the good of the county wee are most assured) that they would present these, our greavances, to the house of Parliament and Committee of Both Kingdoms. And wee shall ever pray etc.
HALS: QSR6 1643/4 f262
8 Jul 1644