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1599: Thomas Hobson supports a petition for a license to beg


On 18 December 1599, Thomas Hobson was among the signatories to a certificate in support of the petition for poor relief of one Geoffrey Colpottes. 

By the late sixteenth century, the Vice-Chancellor and his officers had come to be closely involved in the relief of poverty in Cambridge, together with control of over-crowding and prevention of fires, the avoidance of plague and the maintenance of roads. 

Presented to the Vice-Chancellor's Court, the petition and certificate resulted in the issue of a license to beg. Two years later, Colpottes was working as a carrier, probably employed by Hobson1.

For an outline of the jurisdiction and procedure of the University courts, and the methodology employed in presenting records online, see the introduction to this CUDL collection.


1 See biography of Hobson by Nigel Grimshaw on website of St Bene’t’s church at