[Milton-L] Levellers

Alice Crawford Berghof aberghof at uci.edu
Mon Mar 5 17:49:07 EST 2007

Dear all,
I am in the early stages of research on the language of public safety 
in Leveller petitions to Parliament and the replies to these petitions. 
  I am focusing on the 1640's, up to and including 1648, although some 
1649 documents are useful.  I am wondering if anyone can answer either 
of the following questions, or offer references to chapters of books or 
articles that might not be easily accessed with title word searches on 
library search engines or collections of scanned manuscripts such as 
Early English Books Online.  Both of my questions have to do, 
initially, with attribution of authorship of petitions to Parliament.  
For example, on a 1648 petition to the House of Commons for which I 
have a House of Lords reply, someone has written in script, "Levellers 
petition".  To the extent that Levellers frequently resented the title, 
I am wondering whether anyone on this list has information as to the 
attribution of Leveller authorship of pamphlets and petitions, other 
than the petitioners' request for opening existing enclosures, 
abolishing the practice of enclosures, or similar requests.  My second 
question is broader and relates to women's authorship of petitions to 
Parliament in the mid-1640's.  Although my research is focusing on 
Lilburne, I am wondering about the possibility of male-authored 
petitions that were given the title of "women petitioning Parliament", 
etc.  My two questions are related to the extent that present-day 
collections of manuscript titles reveal 1. that many women signed 
Leveller petitions and were perhaps well-represented even in those 
Leveller petitions authored by men, and 2. that in the case of smaller 
groups of female authors, there is no way to verify female authorship.

Hope I haven't taxed the patience of the members of the list.  My 
apologies for failing to take into account the possibility of 
non-dissenting Presbyterians.  Regarding that issue, I am wondering 
about the timing of casting bishops out of the House of Lords in 
relation to Milton's prose work, in general.

Thank you in advance,
Alice Crawford Berghof, Ph.D.
Lecturer in the Humanities
University of California, Irvine

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