Your favourite documents: Interregnum insults

As part of our 75th anniversary celebrations this year, we recently asked you, our users, to nominate your favourite ERO documents. Thank you very much to those of you who have sent in nominations so far – today we bring you the next in a series of your favourites.

Today’s nomination comes from Stansted Local History Society (if there are any other societies that want to make joint nominations, do let us know!). Their Committee chose a Quarter Sessions document dating from 23 April 1655 (Q/SBa 2/91), and this is what they had to say about it:

Our preferred choice is  Q/SBa 2/91, a single page Quarter Session document in which, on 23 April 1655, Richard Hubbert gave evidence that John Milton, a blacksmith of Stansted Mountfitchet, who seems to have had his forge on the main road between London and Newmarket, used ‘divers wicked, seditious, and scandalous words and language to the disgrace of the Lord Protector [Cromwell] and present government, and to the promoting of new insurrections and rebellion, viz. that about Christmas last past, or a little before – between Michaelmas and Christmas – seeing divers in company passing upon the road, some in a coach and some on horse back, the said Milton used these words: “These are Parliament rogues and I am faine to work hard to get money with ye sweat of my browse to maintain such Parliam[en]t rogues”.  Cromwell’s Protectorate, established in 1653, soon lost whatever popularity it had by imposing heavy taxes, four times as heavy as under Charles I, and, worse still, by being unusually effective in collecting them.

If you would like to nominate your own favourite ERO document, we would love to hear from you. Simply download this form, and return it to the Searchroom desk or by e-mail to hannahjane.salisbury[at]essex.gov.uk. There are also paper copies available at the Searchroom desk. Nominated documents may be featured on this blog or in displays at our open day on Saturday 14 September 2013.

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