Part 4: 'Your humble servant'
You might have noticed that all of the petitions use a certain kind of language. Why do you think this was?
Can you find the key phrases that are used in all of the petitions?
Taking one petition per group, look for examples of persuasive language.
Each group should think in detail about one of the following questions, before discussing them as a class:
- What does this kind of language tell us about the relationship between petitioners and the charity trustees?
- How do you think people felt about asking for help from the Trustees?
- Does the idea of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor explain the language used in some of the letters?