Source 4b: nurses

The back of a letter often gave the address details of the recipient as people did not use envelopes in this period. Instead, letters were folded and sealed.


The author of the letter was written on the back when it was filed: ‘Parliament Joan’, another name for Elizabeth Alkin. As well as being a nurse, she carried out more secret duties for Parliament.


For the right worshipful Mr Blackbourne

Secretary to the Comissioners of the Navie at Whitehall

there deliver


[Bottom of letter, upside down]

2 July 1653

Parliament Joanes


« Return to Women and the English Civil Wars

This is the reverse of source 4a. A note saying ‘Parliament Joan’s Letter’ was added when it was filed.

  1. Can you see the lines where the letter would have been folded?