On January 21, 1727, several communes in the Nordbrookmerland region of East Frisia, a small principality located on the North Sea coast of Germany and hard by the Dutch border, were granted what amounted to immunity from prosecution for acts of rebellion. How and why this happened is a story that has a great deal to tell about the influence ordinary people could exert, through petitioning, on the practice of state power in early modern Europe. In the months and years before 1727, the prince of East Frisia, Georg Albrecht, had become embroiled in an increasingly hostile confrontation with the Estates of his province for control over the administration of taxes in the land. In their efforts to gain the upper hand, both the prince and the Estates had tried to forge alliances among the rural population and mobilized these networks against each other. The Nordbrookmerlanders tended to ally with the prince, but felt increasingly isolated and endangered. Throughout the autumn of 1726, they had been petitioning the chancellor, Enno R. Brenneysen, for protection against attacks perpetrated by the Estates' allies on their “wives and children, houses and farms.” In light of the chancellor's inability to preserve them from further destruction, the village elders asked that they be allowed to obey the Estates' commands until order was restored. Doing this, they pointed out, would force them to commit several “rebellious” acts, such as signing manifestos, supplying recruits for the rebels' militia, and paying an extraordinary war tax that had been levied by the Estates, the so-called Wochengeld.