A description of the passage of Thomas, late Earl of Strafford

Activity: be a British Library researcher and create a newspaper exhibition.

Research strategies:

  • Describe what is in the pictures.
  • What do the words of each text say and mean? Look at the transcripts if you find it difficult to read the original manuscript. Try to make out the general sense of each piece. You don't have to translate every word exactly.
  • Try to date the publication of the texts.
  • Research the social, military and political history of the period. What events or movements do the texts describe?
  • What do you think was the attitude of the publishers of the texts to the events being reported and the people involved?

Sources to help you get started in your own research:

  • Websites e.g  http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/index.htm
  • Books – try the history section in your local or school library
  • Your local museum may have information about this period.
  • Discussion with other people in your group – if you are stuck for ideas, get talking!

Present your results

Use your discoveries to write notes for an exhibition of the texts giving further information about the historical background. Write up all your notes and present them, with your translations to your team leader. You can include maps, diagrams or drawings if you think they would help the exhibition. It is important that as well as presenting your exhibition text with your ideas, you should come to a conclusion.

Taken from: A description of the passage of the Thomas, late Earl of Strafford, over the River of Styx.
Author / Creator: unknown
Publisher: unknown
Date: 1641
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: E.156(21)