Chronology

1603 James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England 1625 Death of James I accession of Charles I 1625-29 Rule with parliaments in England War with Spain and France 1629-40 Rule without parliaments in England - The Personal Rule 1631 Sir Thomas Wentworth, later Earl of Strafford, appointed to govern Ireland 1633 William Laud appointed Archbishop of Canterbury 1637 New prayer book for Scotland 1638 Scottish National Covenant 1638-40 Political and ecclesiastical 1639 May-June First Scots' or...

Raising the armies I 642

Although there were men in arms in Ireland in 1642, England and Wales had no standing army and almost no troops in place as king and parliament set about raising armies in spring and summer 1642. Both sides might, however, look to recruit men from the existing militia units, the part-time self-defence forces found in all counties of England and Wales some of the larger towns had their own separate militia units or trained bands. In theory, all able-bodied males between 16 and 60 were liable to...

Publishing

PR PETER GAUNT is Reader in History at Chester College, a College of the University of Liverpool. His writings on the military, political and constitutional history of mid-seventeenth century England, have been widely published and include The British Wars (Routledge, 1997), and a full length biography of Oliver Cromwell (Oliver Cromwell, Blackwell, 1996). Peter Gaunt is Chairman of the The Cromwell Association and editor of the annual journal Cromwelliana. PROFESSOR ROBERT O'NEILL, AO D.PHIL....

Introduction

On the clay after he had led one wing of the parliamentary army to victory in one of the largest, probably the bloodiest and in many ways the most important and decisive battle of the English civil wars, Oliver Cromwell wrote to his brother-in-law, Valentine Walton. Justifiably famous and unquestionably moving, Cromwell's letter conveyed both good news and bad 'It's our duty to sympathise in all mercies that we may praise the Lord together in chastisements or trials, that so we may sorrow...

The causes and origins of the English civil wars

The debate on the causes and origins of the English civil wars is intense and unresolved. Since the emergence in the 19th century of scholarly, source-based interpretations, very different theories have been advanced. At times, something approaching consensus has been achieved, but discordant voices have always challenged the then orthodoxy and produced contrasting theories, and in due course the consensus has collapsed. At other times, no single line has carried much weight and a range of...

Charles I and the descent into war in three kingdoms I 62542

Charles I was a hard-working monarch with sincere convictions. However, some contemporaries and many historians have viewed him as a cold, formal, unattractive figure, unable or unwilling to explain himself, convince doubters or win affection, a man temperamentally and perhaps intellectually unsuited to holding power at a time of so many potential difficulties. From the outset, Charles pursued divisive and sometimes unworkable policies, refused to conciliate or compromise in the face of...

The fighting

Spanish Musketeer Buff Coat

The infantry formed the core of the civil war army and was generally the largest of its three main elements. Foot soldiers were either musketeers or pikemen. Musketeers, who usually wore no body armour, had swords and could use their muskets as clubs in close-quarter combat or when they ran out of ammunition. Thus at Naseby, Fairfax's musketeers attacked an obstinate unit of royalist foot 'with Butt-end of Muskets and so broke them'. However, the musketeer's principal role was to fire 011 the...