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Sensational sources

Case study 2: What does it say? - Source 2

Simplified transcript

[Extra explanations in square brackets.]

To the King’s most Excellent Majesty

This humble request of John Ruffey, a sad poor prisoner in your Majesty’s jail of White Lion in Southwark,

most humbly shows

that Ruffey was convicted by order of your Majesty’s laws, at this court held in Southwark for the county of Surrey, for stealing 3 horses. He, upon begging to your Majesty, was spared from execution and the death he deserved by Your Highness’s kindness. For this he has been careful to praise God and pray for Your Gracious Majesty.

He (very sorry for his awful crime, which was the first serious crime that he ever committed) does most humbly (with bended knee at your Majesty’s feet) beg your most sacred Majesty to grant your gracious pardon to him for his crime. And let him be sent to serve in your Majesty’s war. He is ready and willing to expose his worthless life, lost [sentenced to death] and then restored to him [spared from execution], in the most dangerous service for your Royal Majesty and his country.

And he with his poor wife and children shall always pray for your gracious Highness’s long and successful reign etc

At this court at Whitehall, 26 March 1639, Mr Attorney Grath is ordered to prepare a pardon for this man.

Francis Windbanke