Claiming English citizenship, 1482

Being able to prove one's nationality mattered as much in medieval and early modern times as it does now - especially during periods of domestic or international crisis. In 1482, when England and Scotland were on the brink of war, John Fortescue apparently took advantage of the conflict to pursue a personal grudge against Richard Whele, alias Pierson, on the grounds that he was Scottish. Whele vehemently denied being of Scottish origin and was able to demonstrate that he was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. Fortunately for Whele, the Royal Council upheld his claim and ordered Fortescue to stop victimising him.
Catalogue reference: E 28/92/20 (1482)



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