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Sonia Tycko – “Coercion and Consent in Early Modern English Military Impressment”
23 March, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
The Thursday lunchtime programme coordinated jointly by the postgraduate-run Early Modern Discussion Group and SCEMS, welcomes Sonia Tycko, PhD candidate at Harvard University and visiting student at Cambridge University.
The drama of selecting men to be common soldiers for late Elizabethan and early Stuart armies played out inside village and town communities. Constables and tythingmen faced off with potential soldiers and their families. Under close observation by neighbors, these officers, and the deputy lieutenants to whom they answered, followed a flexible and widely-known legal procedure. The purpose of the procedure was to obtain the pressed men’s consent to serve. Nevertheless, there is abundant evidence that most men agreed to go only under severe social pressure, if not duress. Based on depositions produced during a parliamentary investigation into alleged abuses by the deputy lieutenants for Gloucestershire in 1640, the paper demonstrates how eligible men could accept, negotiate, or refuse impressment, and considers what the press procedure tells us about coercion and consent in early modern service.
This event is kindly sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Post Graduate Forum.
From February to May, the interdisciplinary Forum meets in the Humanities Research Institute at 1.05pm. More details to follow.