My DPhil thesis focuses on petitioning in late Elizabethan and Jacobean England (1590-1625). I focus especially on petitions for and against the contentious issue of monopolies sent to the Crown and certain councillors, especially by London companies and guilds. I analyse the rhetoric of these petitions, including how they used notions of the commonwealth and the liberties of subjects in order to construct persuasive arguments against patents of monopoly. I also focus on the reaction of the state to these petitioning campaigns, and the development of the issue within parliament. Throughout, my main focus is on the role of petitions as an important and sophisticated form of communication with authority.