English Civil War

English Civil War

Overview
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

 (Roundhead
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

s) and Royalists
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 (Cavalier
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

s). The first
First English Civil War
The First English Civil War began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War . "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War and...

 (1642–46) and second
Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War was the second of three wars known as the English Civil War which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and also include the First English Civil War and the...

 (1648–49) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 against the supporters of the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

, while the third war
Third English Civil War
The Third English Civil War was the last of the English Civil Wars , a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists....

 (1649–51) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 and supporters of the Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

 on 3 September 1651.

The Civil War led to the trial and execution of Charles I, the exile of his son, Charles II, and replacement of English monarchy with first, the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 (1649–53), and then with a Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 (1653–59), under Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

's personal rule.
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Timeline

1642   King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war.

1642   Charles I calls the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil War begins.

1643   English Civil War: attle of Roundway Down

1643   English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire.

1644   English Civil War: Battle of Marston Moor.

1644   Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1645   English Civil War: attle of Naseby

1645   English Civil War: The Battle of Langport takes place.

1646   Battle of Great Torrington, Devon – the last major battle of the first English Civil War.

1648   England's Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.

 
Encyclopedia
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

 (Roundhead
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

s) and Royalists
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 (Cavalier
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

s). The first
First English Civil War
The First English Civil War began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War . "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War and...

 (1642–46) and second
Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War was the second of three wars known as the English Civil War which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and also include the First English Civil War and the...

 (1648–49) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 against the supporters of the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

, while the third war
Third English Civil War
The Third English Civil War was the last of the English Civil Wars , a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists....

 (1649–51) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 and supporters of the Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

 on 3 September 1651.

The Civil War led to the trial and execution of Charles I, the exile of his son, Charles II, and replacement of English monarchy with first, the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 (1649–53), and then with a Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 (1653–59), under Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

's personal rule. The monopoly of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy
Protestant Ascendancy
The Protestant Ascendancy, usually known in Ireland simply as the Ascendancy, is a phrase used when referring to the political, economic, and social domination of Ireland by a minority of great landowners, Protestant clergy, and professionals, all members of the Established Church during the 17th...

 in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although this concept was legally established only with the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 later in the century.

Terminology


The term English Civil War appears most commonly in the singular form, although historians often divide the conflict into two or three separate wars. Although the term describes events as impinging on England, from the outset the conflicts involved wars with and civil wars within both Scotland and Ireland; see Wars of the Three Kingdoms
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
The Wars of the Three Kingdoms formed an intertwined series of conflicts that took place in England, Ireland, and Scotland between 1639 and 1651 after these three countries had come under the "Personal Rule" of the same monarch...

 for an overview.

Unlike other civil wars in England, which focused on who ruled, this war also concerned itself with the manner of governing the three kingdoms of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica called the series of wars the Great Rebellion, while some historians, especially Marxists such as Christopher Hill
Christopher Hill (historian)
John Edward Christopher Hill , usually known simply as Christopher Hill, was an English Marxist historian and author of textbooks....

 (1912–2003), have long favoured the term English Revolution
English Revolution
"English Revolution" has been used to describe two different events in English history. The first to be so called—by Whig historians—was the Glorious Revolution of 1688, whereby James II was replaced by William III and Mary II as monarch and a constitutional monarchy was established.In the...

.

The King's Rule


War broke out less than forty years after the death of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 in 1603. At the accession of Charles I in 1625, England and Scotland had both experienced relative peace, both internally and in their relations with each other, for as long as anyone could remember. Charles hoped to unite the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland into a new single kingdom, fulfilling the dream of his father, James VI of Scotland and I of England. Many English Parliamentarians had suspicions regarding such a move, because they feared that setting up a new kingdom might destroy the old English traditions which had bound the English monarchy. As Charles shared his father's position on the power of the crown (James had described kings as "little Gods on Earth", chosen by God to rule in accordance with the doctrine of the "Divine Right of Kings
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

"), the suspicions of the Parliamentarians had some justification.


Parliament in the English constitutional framework


Before the fighting, the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 did not have a large permanent role in the English system of government, functioning as a temporary advisory committee, summoned by the monarch whenever the Crown required additional tax revenue, and subject to dissolution by the monarch at any time. Because responsibility for collecting taxes lay in the hands of the gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

, the English kings needed the help of that stratum of society in order to ensure the smooth collection of that revenue. If the gentry refused to collect the King's taxes, the Crown would lack any practical means with which to compel them. Parliaments allowed representatives of the gentry to meet, confer and send policy-proposals to the monarch in the form of Bills. These representatives did not, however, have any means of forcing their will upon the king—except by withholding the financial means required to execute his plans.

Parliamentary concerns and the Petition of Right



One of the first events to raise concerns over Charles's reign was his marriage to a French Roman Catholic princess, Henrietta-Marie de Bourbon, in 1625, directly after ascending to the throne. Charles's marriage raised the possibility that his children, including the heir to the throne, might grow up Catholic, an alarming prospect to officially Protestant England, where the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 is led by the Supreme Governor, investing the Head of Church in the same person as the Head of State, in this instance the King.

Charles set his sights on taking part in the conflicts which Europe was undergoing in the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 (1618–1648). Foreign wars necessitated heavy expenditures, and the Crown could raise taxes only through Parliamentary consent (described above). Charles experienced further financial difficulty when his first Parliament refused to assign him the traditional right to collect customs duties for his entire reign, deciding instead to grant it only on a provisional basis.

Charles, meanwhile, pressed ahead with his European wars, deciding to send an expeditionary force to relieve the French Huguenots whom Royal French forces held besieged in La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

. Military support for Protestants on the Continent was, in itself, popular both in Parliament and with the Protestant majority in general, and it had the potential to alleviate concerns brought about by the King's Catholic marriage. However, Charles's insistence on having his unpopular royal favourite George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England. Despite a very patchy political and military record, he remained at the height of royal favour for the first two years of the reign of Charles I, until he was assassinated...

 assume command of the English force undermined that support. Unfortunately for Charles and Buckingham, the relief expedition proved a fiasco (1627), and Parliament, already hostile to Buckingham for his monopoly on royal patronage
Patronage
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings or popes have provided to musicians, painters, and sculptors...

, opened impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

 proceedings against him. Charles responded by dissolving Parliament. This move, while saving Buckingham, reinforced the impression that Charles wanted to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny of his ministers.

Having dissolved Parliament and unable to raise money without it, the king assembled a new one in 1628. (The elected members included Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

.) The new Parliament drew up the Petition of Right
Petition of right
In English law, a petition of right was a remedy available to subjects to recover property from the Crown.Before the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, the British Crown could not be sued in contract...

, and Charles accepted it as a concession in order to obtain his subsidy. Amongst other things, the Petition referred to Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

.

Personal rule


Charles I avoided calling a Parliament for the next decade, a period known as the "Eleven Years' Tyranny" or "Charles' Personal Rule". During this period, Charles' lack of money determined policies. First and foremost, to avoid Parliament the King needed to avoid war. Charles made peace with France and Spain, effectively ending England's involvement in the Thirty Years' War, however that in itself was far from enough to balance the Crown's finances.

Unable to raise revenue through Parliament – and unwilling to convene it – Charles resorted to other means. For example, not observing often long-outdated conventions became, in some cases, a finable offence (for example, a failure to attend and to receive knighthood at Charles' coronation), with the fine paid to the Crown. The King also tried to raise revenue through the ship money
Ship money
Ship money refers to a tax that Charles I of England tried to levy without the consent of Parliament. This tax, which was only applied to coastal towns during a time of war, was intended to offset the cost of defending that part of the coast, and could be paid in actual ships or the equivalent value...

 tax, by exploiting a naval war-scare in 1635, demanding that the inland English counties pay the tax for the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. Established law supported this policy, but authorities had ignored it for centuries,and many regarded it as yet another extra-Parliamentary (and therefore illegal) tax. Some prominent men refused to pay ship money arguing that the tax was illegal, but they lost in court and the fines imposed on them for refusing to pay ship money (and for standing against the tax's legality) aroused widespread indignation.

During the "Personal Rule," Charles aroused most antagonism through his religious measures: he believed in High Anglicanism, a sacramental version of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, theologically based upon Arminianism
Arminianism
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

, a creed shared with his main political advisor, Archbishop William Laud
William Laud
William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645. One of the High Church Caroline divines, he opposed radical forms of Puritanism...

. In 1633, Charles appointed Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 and started making the Church more ceremonial, replacing the wooden communion tables with stone altars. Puritans accused Laud of reintroducing Catholicism; when they complained, he had them arrested. In 1637 John Bastwick
John Bastwick
John Bastwick was an English Puritan physician and controversial writer.-Life:He was born at Writtle, Essex. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on 19 May 1614, but remained there only a very short time, and left the university without a degree. He travelled and served for a time as a soldier,...

, Henry Burton
Henry Burton (Puritan)
Henry Burton , was an English puritan. Along with John Bastwick and William Prynne, Burton's ears were cut off in 1637 for writing pamphlets attacking the views of Archbishop Laud.-Early life:...

, and William Prynne
William Prynne
William Prynne was an English lawyer, author, polemicist, and political figure. He was a prominent Puritan opponent of the church policy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud. Although his views on church polity were presbyterian, he became known in the 1640s as an Erastian, arguing for...

 had their ears cut off for writing pamphlets attacking Laud's views—a rare penalty for gentlemen
Gentleman
The term gentleman , in its original and strict signification, denoted a well-educated man of good family and distinction, analogous to the Latin generosus...

, and one that aroused anger. Moreover, the Church authorities revived the statutes passed in the time of Elizabeth I about church attendance, and fined Puritans for not attending Anglican church services.

Rebellion in Scotland



The end of Charles' independent governance came when he attempted to apply the same religious policies in Scotland. The Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

, reluctantly Episcopal in structure, had independent traditions. Charles, however, wanted one, uniform Church throughout Britain, and introduced a new, High Anglican, version of the English Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 to Scotland in summer of 1637. This was violently resisted; a riot broke out in Edinburgh, which may have been started in a church by Jenny Geddes
Jenny Geddes
Jenny Geddes was a Scottish market-trader in Edinburgh, who is alleged to have thrown her stool at the head of the minister in St Giles' Cathedral in objection to the first public use of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in Scotland.The act is reputed to have sparked the riot which led to the...

; and, in February of 1638, the Scots formulated their objections to royal policy in the National Covenant. This document took the form of a "loyal protest", rejecting all innovations not first having been tested by free parliaments and General Assemblies of the Church.

In spring of 1639, King Charles I accompanied his forces to the Scottish border, to end the rebellion known as the Bishops' War, but, after an inconclusive military campaign, he accepted the offered Scottish truce – the Pacification of Berwick. The truce proved temporary; a second war followed in summer of 1640. This time, a Scots army defeated Charles' forces in the north, then captured Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

. Charles eventually agreed not to interfere with Scotland's religion, and paid the Scots' war-expenses.

Recall of the English Parliament


Charles needed to suppress the rebellion in Scotland. He had insufficient funds, however, and needed to seek money from a newly elected English Parliament
Short Parliament
The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England, so called because it lasted only three weeks....

 in 1640. The majority faction in the new Parliament, led by John Pym
John Pym
John Pym was an English parliamentarian, leader of the Long Parliament and a prominent critic of James I and then Charles I.- Early life and education :...

, took this appeal for money as an opportunity to discuss grievances against the Crown, and opposed the idea of an English invasion of Scotland. Charles took exception to this lèse-majesté (offence against the ruler) and dissolved the Parliament after only a few weeks; hence the name "the Short Parliament
Short Parliament
The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England, so called because it lasted only three weeks....

".

Without Parliament's support, Charles attacked Scotland again, breaking the truce at Berwick, and suffered a comprehensive defeat. The Scots then seized the opportunity and invaded England, occupying Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 and Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. Meanwhile, another of Charles' chief advisors, Thomas Wentworth, 1st Viscount Wentworth
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. He served in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I. From 1632 to 1639 he instituted a harsh rule as Lord Deputy of Ireland...

, had risen to the role of Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1632 and brought in much-needed revenue for Charles by persuading the Irish Catholic gentry to pay new taxes in return for promised religious concessions.

In 1639 Charles recalled Wentworth to England, and in 1640 made him Earl of Strafford, attempting to have him work his magic again in Scotland. This time he proved less successful, and the English forces fled the field in their second encounter with the Scots in 1640. Almost the entirety of Northern England was occupied, and Charles was forced to pay £850 per day to keep the Scots from advancing. If he did not, they would "take" the money by pillaging and burning the cities and towns of Northern England.

All this put Charles in a desperate financial position. As King of Scots, he had to find money to pay the Scottish army in England; as King of England, to find money to pay and equip an English army to defend England. His means of raising English revenue without an English Parliament fell critically short of achieving this. Against this backdrop, and according to advice from the Magnum Concilium
Magnum Concilium
In the kingdom of England, the Magnum Concilium, or Great Council, was an assembly convened at certain times of the year when church leaders and wealthy landowners were invited to discuss the affairs of the country with the king. It was established in the reign of the Normans, and was called for...

 (the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, but without the Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

, so not a Parliament), Charles finally bowed to pressure and summoned another English Parliament in November 1640.

The Long Parliament




The new Parliament proved even more hostile to Charles than its predecessor. It immediately began to discuss grievances against Charles and his Government, and with Pym and Hampden
John Hampden
John Hampden was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643)...

 (of ship money
Ship money
Ship money refers to a tax that Charles I of England tried to levy without the consent of Parliament. This tax, which was only applied to coastal towns during a time of war, was intended to offset the cost of defending that part of the coast, and could be paid in actual ships or the equivalent value...

 fame) in the lead, took the opportunity presented by the King's troubles to force various reforming measures—including many with strong 'anti-Papist' themes—upon him. The legislators passed a law which stated that a new Parliament should convene at least once every three years—without the King's summons, if necessary. Other laws passed by the Parliament made it illegal for the king to impose taxes without Parliamentary consent, and later, gave Parliament control over the king's ministers. Finally, the Parliament passed a law forbidding the King to dissolve it without its consent, even if the three years were up. Ever since, this Parliament has been known as the "Long Parliament". However, Parliament did attempt to avert conflict by requiring all adults to sign The Protestation, an oath of allegiance to Charles.

In early 1641 Parliament had Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. He served in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I. From 1632 to 1639 he instituted a harsh rule as Lord Deputy of Ireland...

, arrested and sent to the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 on a charge of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

. John Pym claimed that Wentworth's statements of readiness to campaign against "the kingdom" were aimed in fact at England itself. Unable to prove the case in court, the House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

, led by Pym and Henry Vane
Henry Vane the Elder
Sir Henry Vane, the elder was an English politician and secretary of state.-Origins and education:Vane was born on 18 February 1589, the eldest son of Henry Vane or Fane of Hadlow, Kent, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Roger Twysden of East Peckham, Kent...

, resorted to a Bill of Attainder
Bill of attainder
A bill of attainder is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a judicial trial.-English law:...

. Unlike a guilty finding in a court case, attainder did not require a legal burden of proof, but it did require the king's approval
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

. Charles, still incensed over the Commons' handling of Buckingham, refused. Wentworth himself, hoping to head off the war he saw looming, wrote to the king and asked him to reconsider. Wentworth's execution took place in May, 1641.

Instead of saving the country from war, Wentworth's sacrifice in fact doomed it to one. Within months, the Irish Catholics, fearing a resurgence of Protestant power, struck first
Irish Rebellion of 1641
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule...

, and all Ireland soon descended into chaos. Rumours circulated that the King supported the Irish, and Puritan members of the Commons soon started murmuring that this exemplified the fate that Charles had in store for them all.

In early January 1643, accompanied by 400 soldiers, Charles attempted to arrest five members of the House of Commons on a charge of treason. This attempt failed. When the troops marched into Parliament, Charles enquired of William Lenthall
William Lenthall
William Lenthall was an English politician of the Civil War period. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons.-Early life:...

, the Speaker, as to the whereabouts of the five. Lenthall replied "May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here." In other words, the Speaker proclaimed himself a servant of Parliament, rather than of the King.

Local grievances


In the summer of 1642 these national troubles helped to polarise opinion, ending indecision about which side to support or what action to take. Opposition to Charles also arose owing to many local grievances. For example, the imposition of drainage-schemes in The Fens
The Fens
The Fens, also known as the , are a naturally marshy region in eastern England. Most of the fens were drained several centuries ago, resulting in a flat, damp, low-lying agricultural region....

 negatively affected the livelihood of thousands of people after the King awarded a number of drainage-contracts. Many regarded the King as worse than insensitive, and this played a role in bringing a large part of eastern England into Parliament’s camp. This sentiment brought with it people such as the Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester KG, KB, FRS was an important commander of Parliamentary forces in the First English Civil War, and for a time Oliver Cromwell's superior.-Life:...

 and Oliver Cromwell, each a notable wartime adversary of the King. Conversely, one of the leading drainage contractors, the Earl of Lindsey
Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey
Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey was an English peer, soldier and courtier.-Early life:...

, was to die fighting for the King at the Battle of Edgehill
Battle of Edgehill
The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642....

.

The First English Civil War




In early January 1642, a few days after his failure to capture five members of the House of Commons, fearing for his own personal safety and for that of his family and retinue, Charles left the London area. Further negotiations by frequent correspondence between the King and the Long Parliament through to early summer proved fruitless. As the summer progressed, cities and towns declared their sympathies for one faction or the other: for example, the garrison of Portsmouth under the command of Sir George Goring
George Goring, Lord Goring
George Goring, Lord Goring was an English Royalist soldier. He was known by the courtesy title Lord Goring as the eldest son of the 1st Earl of Norwich.- The Goring family :...

 declared for the King, but when Charles tried to acquire arms for his cause from Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull , usually referred to as Hull, is a city and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It stands on the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles inland from the North Sea. Hull has a resident population of...

, the depository for the weapons used in the previous Scottish campaigns, Sir John Hotham
John Hotham
Sir John Hotham, 1st Baronet, of Scorborough , English parliamentarian, belonged to a Yorkshire family, and fought on the continent of Europe during the early part of the Thirty Years' War....

, the military governor appointed by Parliament in January, initially refused to let Charles enter Hull, and when Charles returned with more men, drove them off
Siege of Hull (1642)
The Siege of Hull in 1642 was the first major action of the English Civil War.As both sides moved towards war, Parliament had access to more military materiel, due to its possession of all major cities including the large arsenal in London...

. Charles issued a warrant for Hotham to be arrested as a traitor but was powerless to enforce it. Throughout the summer months, tensions rose and there was brawling in a number of places, with the first death of the conflict taking place in Manchester.

At the outset of the conflict, much of the country remained neutral, though the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and most English cities favoured Parliament, while the King found considerable support in rural communities. Historians estimate that between them, both sides had only about 15,000 men. However, the war quickly spread and eventually involved every level of society. Many areas attempted to remain neutral, some formed bands of Clubmen
Clubmen
Clubmen were bands of vigilantes during the English Civil War who tried to protect their localities against the worst excesses of the respective armies of both sides in the war...

 to protect their localities against the worst excesses of the armies of both sides, but most found it impossible to withstand both the King and Parliament. On one side, the King and his supporters thought that they fought for traditional government in Church and state. On the other, most supporters of the Parliamentary cause initially took up arms to defend what they thought of as the traditional balance of government in Church and state, which the bad advice the King had received from his advisers had undermined before and during the "Eleven Years' Tyranny". The views of the Members of Parliament ranged from unquestioning support of the King – at one point during the First Civil War, more members of the Commons and Lords gathered in the King's Oxford Parliament
Oxford Parliament (1644)
The Oxford Parliament was the Parliament assembled by King Charles I for the first time 22 January 1644 and adjourned for the last time on 10 March 1645, with the purpose of instrumenting the Royalist war campaign.Charles was advised by Edward Hyde and others not to dissolve the Long Parliament as...

 than at Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 – through to radicals, who wanted major reforms in favour of religious independence
Nonconformism
Nonconformity is the refusal to "conform" to, or follow, the governance and usages of the Church of England by the Protestant Christians of England and Wales.- Origins and use:...

 and the redistribution of power at the national level. However, even the most radical supporters of the Parliamentarian cause still favoured the retention of Charles on the throne.

After the debacle at Hull, Charles moved on to Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

, where on 22 August 1642, he raised the royal standard
Royal Standard of England
The Royal Standards of England were narrow, tapering swallow-tailed heraldic flags, of considerable length, used mainly for mustering troops in battle, in pageants and at funerals, by the monarchs of England. In high favour during the Tudor period, the Royal English Standard was a flag that was of...

. When he raised his standard, Charles had with him about 2,000 cavalry and a small number of Yorkshire infantry-men, and using the archaic system of a Commission of Array
Commission of Array
A Commission of Array was a commission given by English royalty to officers or gentry in a given territory to muster and array the inhabitants and to see them in a condition for war, or to put soldiers of a country in a condition for military service...

, Charles' supporters started to build a larger army around the standard. Charles moved in a south-westerly direction, first to Stafford
Stafford
Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. It lies approximately north of Wolverhampton and south of Stoke-on-Trent, adjacent to the M6 motorway Junction 13 to Junction 14...

, and then on to Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

, because the support for his cause seemed particularly strong in the Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

 valley area and in North Wales
North Wales
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England...

. While passing through Wellington
Wellington, Shropshire
Wellington is a town in the unitary authority of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England and now forms part of the new town of Telford. The population of the parish of Wellington was recorded as 20,430 in the 2001 census, making it the third largest town in Shropshire if...

, in what became known as the "Wellington Declaration
Wellington Declaration
The "Wellington Declaration" was a manifesto by King Charles I near the start of the English Civil War...

", he declared that he would uphold the "Protestant religion, the laws of England, and the liberty of Parliament".

The Parliamentarians who opposed the King had not remained passive during this pre-war period. As in the case of Kingston upon Hull they had taken measures to secure strategic towns and cities, by appointing men sympathetic to their cause, and on 9 June they had voted to raise an army of 10,000 volunteers, appointing Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex was an English Parliamentarian and soldier during the first half of the seventeenth century. With the start of the English Civil War in 1642 he became the first Captain-General and Chief Commander of the Parliamentarian army, also known as the Roundheads...

 commander three days later. He received orders "to rescue His Majesty's person, and the persons of the Prince [of Wales
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

] and the Duke of York
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 out of the hands of those desperate persons who were about them". The Lords Lieutenant
Lord Lieutenant
The title Lord Lieutenant is given to the British monarch's personal representatives in the United Kingdom, usually in a county or similar circumscription, with varying tasks throughout history. Usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person is given the post...

, whom Parliament appointed, used the Militia Ordinance
Militia Ordinance
The Militia Ordinance was a piece of legislation passed by the Long Parliament of England in March 1642, which was a major step towards the Civil War between the King and Parliament of England. Previously the King had the sole right to appoint the Lord Lieutenants, who were in charge of the county...

 to order the militia to join Essex's army.

Two weeks after the King had raised his standard at Nottingham, Essex led his army north towards Northampton
Northampton
Northampton is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about north-west of London and around south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire. The demonym of Northampton is...

, picking up support along the way (including a detachment of Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

 cavalry raised and commanded by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

). By the middle of September Essex's forces had grown to 21,000 infantry and 4200 cavalry and dragoons. On 14 September he moved his army to Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

 and then to the north of the Cotswolds
Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England, sometimes called the Heart of England, an area across and long. The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...

, a strategy which placed his army between the Royalists and London. With the size of both armies now in the tens of thousands, and only Worcestershire between them, it was inevitable that cavalry reconnaissance units would sooner or later meet. This happened in the first major skirmish of the Civil War, when a cavalry troop of about 1,000 Royalists commanded by Prince Rupert, a German nephew of the King and one of the outstanding cavalry commanders of the war, defeated a Parliamentary cavalry detachment under the command of Colonel John Brown in the Battle of Powick Bridge
Battle of Powick Bridge
The Battle of Powick Bridge, fought on 23 September 1642, was the first major cavalry engagement of the English Civil War and it was a victory for the Royalists who overthrew the Parliamentary cavalry. According to Hugh Peters it was "where England's sorrows began".-Prelude:King Charles I of...

, at a bridge across the River Teme
River Teme
The River Teme rises in Mid Wales, south of Newtown in Powys, and flows through Knighton where it crosses the border into England down to Ludlow in Shropshire, then to the north of Tenbury Wells on the Shropshire/Worcestershire border there, on its way to join the River Severn south of Worcester...

 close to Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

.


Rupert withdrew to Shrewsbury, where a council-of-war discussed two courses of action: whether to advance towards Essex's new position near Worcester, or to march along the now opened road towards London. The Council decided to take the London route, but not to avoid a battle, for the Royalist generals wanted to fight Essex before he grew too strong, and the temper of both sides made it impossible to postpone the decision. In the Earl of Clarendon's
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon was an English historian and statesman, and grandfather of two English monarchs, Mary II and Queen Anne.-Early life:...

 words: "it was considered more counsellable to march towards London, it being morally sure that Essex would put himself in their way". Accordingly, the army left Shrewsbury on 12 October, gaining two days' start on the enemy, and moved south-east. This had the desired effect, as it forced Essex to move to intercept them.

The first pitched battle
Pitched battle
A pitched battle is a battle where both sides choose to fight at a chosen location and time and where either side has the option to disengage either before the battle starts, or shortly after the first armed exchanges....

 of the war, fought at Edgehill
Battle of Edgehill
The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642....

 on 23 October 1642, proved inconclusive, and both the Royalists and Parliamentarians claimed it as a victory. The second field action of the war, the stand-off at Turnham Green
Turnham Green (Battle)
The Battle of Turnham Green occurred 13 November 1642 near the village of Turnham Green, at the end of the first campaigning season of the First English Civil War. On the battlefield, the engagement resulted in a standoff between the forces of King Charles I and the much larger Parliamentarian...

, saw Charles forced to withdraw to Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

. This city would serve as his base for the remainder of the war.

In 1643 the Royalist forces won at Adwalton Moor
Battle of Adwalton Moor
-The Battlefield:The site of the battle is high ground in Adwalton near Bradford, which is now in an area of rural-urban fringe, . Parts of the site are protected as "green belt" or other types of open space...

, and gained control of most of Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

. In the Midlands, a Parliamentary force under Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet
Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet
Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet was a Parliamentarian politician and military figure in the English Civil War.-Background:...

 besieged and captured the cathedral city of Lichfield
Lichfield
Lichfield is a cathedral city, civil parish and district in Staffordshire, England. One of eight civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield is situated roughly north of Birmingham...

, after the death of the original commander, Lord Brooke. This group subsequently joined forces with Sir John Brereton to fight the inconclusive Battle of Hopton Heath
Battle of Hopton Heath
The Battle of Hopton Heath, in Staffordshire, was a battle of the First English Civil War, fought on Sunday 19 March 1643 between Parliamentarian forces led by Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet and Sir William Brereton and a Royalist force under Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton...

 (19 March 1643), where the Royalist commander, the Earl of Northampton
Earl of Northampton
Earl of Northampton is a title that has been created five times.-Earls in for the Honour of Huntingdon, first Creation :*Waltheof *Maud, Countess of Huntingdon** m. Simon I de Senlis** m...

, was killed. Subsequent battles in the west of England at Lansdowne
Battle of Lansdowne
The English Civil War battle of Lansdowne was fought on 5 July 1643, near Bath, southwest England. Although the Royalists under Lord Hopton forced the Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller to retreat from their hilltop position, they suffered so many casualties themselves and were left so...

 and at Roundway Down
Battle of Roundway Down
The Battle of Roundway Down was fought on 13 July 1643, during the First English Civil War. A Royalist cavalry force under Lord Wilmot won a crushing victory over the Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller who were besieging Devizes in central Wiltshire, which was defended by Lord Hopton...

 also went to the Royalists. Prince Rupert could then take Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

. In the same year, Oliver Cromwell formed his troop of "Ironsides
Ironside (cavalry)
The Ironsides were troopers in the Parliamentarian cavalry formed by English political leader Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century, during the English Civil War. The name came from "Old Ironsides", one of Cromwell's nicknames...

", a disciplined unit that demonstrated his military leadership ability. With their assistance, he won a victory at the Battle of Gainsborough
Battle of Gainsborough
The Battle of Gainsborough was a battle in the English Civil War, fought on 28 July 1643.-Prelude:When the English Civil War was declared, Gainsborough in Lincolnshire lay in an area which supported Parliament, but the town itself had Royalist sympathies...

 in July.

In general, the early part of the war went well for the Royalists. The turning point came in the late summer and early autumn of 1643, when the Earl of Essex's army forced the king to raise the siege of Gloucester
Siege of Gloucester
The Siege of Gloucester was an engagement in the First English Civil War. It took place between August 3 and September 5, 1643, between the defending Parliamentarian garrison of Gloucester and the besieging army of King Charles I. The siege ended with the arrival of a relieving Parliamentarian army...

 and then brushed the Royalist army aside at the First Battle of Newbury
First Battle of Newbury
The First Battle of Newbury was a battle of the First English Civil War that was fought on 20 September 1643 between a Royalist army, under the personal command of King Charles, and a Parliamentarian force led by the Earl of Essex...

 (20 September 1643), in order to return triumphantly to London. Other Parliamentarian forces won the Battle of Winceby
Battle of Winceby
The Battle of Winceby took place on 11 October 1643 during the English Civil War near the village of Winceby, Lincolnshire about 4 miles east of Horncastle.-Prelude:...

, giving them control of Lincoln. Political manoeuvering to gain an advantage in numbers led Charles to negotiate a ceasefire in Ireland, freeing up English troops to fight on the Royalist side in England, while Parliament offered concessions to the Scots in return for aid and assistance.

With the help of the Scots, Parliament won at Marston Moor
Battle of Marston Moor
The Battle of Marston Moor was fought on 2 July 1644, during the First English Civil War of 1642–1646. The combined forces of the Scottish Covenanters under the Earl of Leven and the English Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Manchester defeated the Royalists commanded by Prince...

 (2 July 1644), gaining York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

 and the north of England. Cromwell's conduct in this battle proved decisive, and demonstrated his potential as both a political and an important military leader. The defeat at the Battle of Lostwithiel
Battle of Lostwithiel
The Battles of Lostwithiel or Lostwithiel Campaign, took place near Lostwithiel and Fowey during the First English Civil War in 1644.After defeating the Army of Sir William Waller at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, King Charles marched west in pursuit of the Parliamentarian army of the Earl of...

 in Cornwall, however, marked a serious reverse for Parliament in the south-west of England. Subsequent fighting around Newbury
Second Battle of Newbury
The Second Battle of Newbury was a battle of the English Civil War fought on 27 October, 1644, in Speen, adjoining Newbury in Berkshire. The battle was fought close to the site of the First Battle of Newbury, which took place in late September the previous year.The combined armies of Parliament...

 (27 October 1644), though tactically indecisive, strategically gave another check to Parliament.

In 1645 Parliament reaffirmed its determination to fight the war to a finish. It passed the Self-denying Ordinance
Self-denying Ordinance
The first Self-denying Ordinance was a bill moved on 9 December 1644 to deprive members of the Parliament of England from holding command in the army or the navy during the English Civil War. It failed to pass the House of Lords. A second Self-denying Ordinance was agreed to on 3 April 1645,...

, by which all members of either House of Parliament laid down their commands, and re-organized its main forces into the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 ("Army"), under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, with Cromwell as his second-in-command and Lieutenant-General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 of Horse. In two decisive engagements—the Battle of Naseby
Battle of Naseby
The Battle of Naseby was the key battle of the first English Civil War. On 14 June 1645, the main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Parliamentarian New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.-The Campaign:...

 on 14 June and the Battle of Langport
Battle of Langport
The Battle of Langport was a Parliamentarian victory late in the English Civil War which destroyed the last Royalist field army and gave Parliament control of the West of England, which had hitherto been a major source of manpower, raw materials and imports for the Royalists...

 on 10 July—the Parliamentarians effectively destroyed Charles' armies.

In the remains of his English realm Charles attempted to recover a stable base of support by consolidating the Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

. He began to form an axis between Oxford and Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire. Those towns had become fortresses and showed more reliable loyalty to him than to others. He took Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

, which lies between them, but found his resources exhausted. Having little opportunity to replenish them, in May 1646 he sought shelter with a Presbyterian Scottish army at Southwell
Southwell, Nottinghamshire
Southwell is a town in Nottinghamshire, England, best known as the site of Southwell Minster, the seat of the Church of England diocese that covers Nottinghamshire...

 in Nottinghamshire. Charles was eventually handed over to the English Parliament by the Scots and was imprisoned. This marked the end of the First English Civil War.

The Second English Civil War




Charles I took advantage of the deflection of attention away from himself to negotiate a secret treaty with the Scots, again promising church reform, on 28 December 1647. Under the agreement, called the "Engagement
Engagers
The Engagers were a faction of the Scottish Covenanters, who made "The Engagement" with King Charles I in December 1647 while he was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle by the English Parliamenterians after his defeat in the First Civil War....

", the Scots undertook to invade England on Charles' behalf and restore him to the throne on condition of the establishment of Presbyterianism for three years.

A series of Royalist uprisings throughout England and a Scottish invasion occurred in the summer of 1648. Forces loyal to Parliament put down most of the uprisings in England after little more than skirmishes, but uprisings in Kent, Essex and Cumberland, the rebellion in Wales, and the Scottish invasion involved the fighting of pitched battles and prolonged sieges.

In the spring of 1648 unpaid Parliamentarian troops in Wales changed sides. Colonel Thomas Horton defeated the Royalist rebels at the Battle of St Fagans (8 May) and the rebel leaders surrendered to Cromwell on 11 July after the protracted two-month siege of Pembroke
Siege of Pembroke
The Siege of Pembroke took place in 1648 during the Second English Civil War.- Background :In April 1648, Parliamentarian troops in Wales, who had not been paid for a long time, staged a Royalist rebellion under the command of the Colonel John Poyer, the Parliamentarian Governor of Pembroke Castle...

. Sir Thomas Fairfax defeated a Royalist uprising in Kent at the Battle of Maidstone
Battle of Maidstone
The Battle of Maidstone was fought in the Second English Civil War and was a victory for the attacking parliamentarian troops over the defending Royalist forces.- Background :...

 on 1 June. Fairfax, after his success at Maidstone
Maidstone
Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town linking Maidstone to Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town's trade. Maidstone was the centre of the agricultural...

 and the pacification of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, turned northward to reduce Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, where, under their ardent, experienced and popular leader Sir Charles Lucas
Charles Lucas
Sir Charles Lucas was an English soldier, a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.-Biography:Lucas was the son of Sir Thomas Lucas of Colchester, Essex. As a young man Lucas served in the Netherlands under the command of his brother, and in the "Bishops' Wars" he commanded Cheesea troop of...

, the Royalists had taken up arms in great numbers. Fairfax soon drove the enemy into Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

, but his first attack on the town met with a repulse and he had to settle down to a long siege
Siege of Colchester
The siege of Colchester occurred in the summer of 1648 when the English Civil War reignited in several areas of Britain. Colchester found itself in the thick of the unrest when a Royalist army on its way through East Anglia to raise support for the King, was attacked by Lord-General Thomas Fairfax...

.

In the North of England, Major-General John Lambert
John Lambert (general)
John Lambert was an English Parliamentary general and politician. He fought during the English Civil War and then in Oliver Cromwell's Scottish campaign , becoming thereafter active in civilian politics until his dismissal by Cromwell in 1657...

 fought a very successful campaign against a number of Royalist uprisings—the largest that of Sir Marmaduke Langdale
Marmaduke Langdale
Sir Marmaduke Langdale was a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.He married Lenox , daughter of Sir John Rodes of Barlborough, Derbyshire, and his third wife Catherine, daughter of Marmaduke Constable of Holderness on 12 September 1626, at St Michael-le-Belfry in York...

 in Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

. Thanks to Lambert's successes, the Scottish commander, the Duke of Hamilton, had perforce to take the western route through Carlisle in his pro-Royalist Scottish invasion of England. The Parliamentarians under Cromwell engaged the Scots at the Battle of Preston
Battle of Preston (1648)
The Battle of Preston , fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory by the troops of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton...

 (17 – 19 August). The battle took place largely at Walton-le-Dale
Walton-le-Dale
Walton-le-Dale is a village in the Borough of South Ribble, in Lancashire, England. It lies on south bank of the River Ribble, and the south-side of the city of Preston, adjacent to Bamber Bridge.-Toponymy:...

 near Preston in Lancashire, and resulted in a victory by the troops of Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by Hamilton. This Parliamentarian victory marked the end of the Second English Civil War.

Nearly all the Royalists who had fought in the First Civil War had given their parole not to bear arms against the Parliament, and many honourable Royalists, like Lord Astley
Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading
Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading was a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.-Life:He came from an established Norfolk family, and was born at Melton Constable. His first experiences of war were at the age of 18 when he joined the Islands Voyage expedition in 1597 under the Earl of...

, refused to break their word by taking any part in the second war. So the victors in the Second Civil War showed little mercy to those who had brought war into the land again. On the evening of the surrender of Colchester, Parliamentarians had Sir Charles Lucas
Charles Lucas
Sir Charles Lucas was an English soldier, a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.-Biography:Lucas was the son of Sir Thomas Lucas of Colchester, Essex. As a young man Lucas served in the Netherlands under the command of his brother, and in the "Bishops' Wars" he commanded Cheesea troop of...

 and Sir George Lisle
George Lisle
Sir George Lisle was a Royalist leader in the English Civil War. Lisle's execution without trial, following the siege of Colchester, came to be regarded as a serious miscarriage of justice and Lisle himself was seen as a martyr to the Royalist cause.The known facts suggest that Lisle came from...

 shot. Parliamentary authorities sentenced the leaders of the Welsh rebels, Major-General Rowland Laugharne
Rowland Laugharne
Major General Rowland Laugharne was a soldier in the English Civil War.His family came from St. Brides House, Pembrokeshire, Wales.Major-General Laugharne, Parliament's commander in south Wales during the First Civil War, sided with the insurgents and took command of the rebel army...

, Colonel John Poyer
John Poyer
John Poyer was a soldier in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War in South Wales. He later rebelled and was executed for treason.- Background :...

 and Colonel Rice Powel to death, but executed Poyer alone (25 April 1649), having selected him by lot. Of five prominent Royalist peers who had fallen into the hands of Parliament, three, the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland
Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland
Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland was an English aristocrat, courtier and soldier.-Life:He was the son of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and of Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, and the younger brother of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick...

, and Lord Capel, one of the Colchester prisoners and a man of high character, were beheaded at Westminster on 9 March.

Trial of Charles I for treason


The betrayal by Charles caused Parliament to debate whether to return the King to power at all. Those who still supported Charles' place on the throne tried once more to negotiate with him. Furious that Parliament continued to countenance Charles as a ruler, the Army marched on Parliament and conducted "Pride's Purge
Pride's Purge
Pride’s Purge is an event in December 1648, during the Second English Civil War, when troops under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the Long Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the Independents...

" (named after the commanding officer of the operation, Thomas Pride
Thomas Pride
Thomas Pride was a parliamentarian general in the English Civil War, and best known as the instigator of "Pride's Purge".-Early Life and Starting Career:...

) in December 1648. Troops arrested 45 Members of Parliament and kept 146 out of the chamber. They allowed only 75 Members in, and then only at the Army's bidding. This Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

 received orders to set up, in the name of the people of England, a High Court of Justice for the trial of Charles I
High Court of Justice for the trial of Charles I
The High Court of Justice is the name given to the court established by the Rump Parliament to try King Charles I of England. This was an ad hoc tribunal created specifically for the purpose of trying the king, although the same name was used again for subsequent courts.Neither the involvement of...

 for treason.

At the end of the trial the 59 Commissioners (judges) found Charles I guilty of high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

, as a "tyrant, traitor, murderer and public enemy". His beheading
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 took place on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House
Banqueting House
In Tudor and Early Stuart English architecture a banqueting house is a separate building reached through pleasure gardens from the main residence, whose use is purely for entertaining. It may be raised for additional air or a vista, and it may be richly decorated, but it contains no bedrooms or...

 of the Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...

 on 30 January 1649. After the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 in 1660, Charles II executed the surviving regicides not living in exile or sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Ireland




Ireland had known continuous war since the rebellion of 1641
Irish Rebellion of 1641
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule...

, with most of the island controlled by the Irish Confederates
Confederate Ireland
Confederate Ireland refers to the period of Irish self-government between the Rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the "Confederation of Kilkenny"...

. Increasingly threatened by the armies of the English Parliament after Charles I's arrest in 1648, the Confederates signed a treaty of alliance with the English Royalists. The joint Royalist and Confederate forces under the Duke of Ormonde
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde PC was an Irish statesman and soldier. He was the second of the Kilcash branch of the family to inherit the earldom. He was the friend of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, who appointeed him commander of the Cavalier forces in Ireland. From 1641 to 1647, he...

 attempted to eliminate the Parliamentary army holding Dublin, but their opponents routed them at the Battle of Rathmines
Battle of Rathmines
The Battle of Rathmines was fought in and around what is now the Dublin suburb of Rathmines in August 1649, during the Irish Confederate Wars, the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 (2 August 1649). As the former Member of Parliament Admiral Robert Blake blockaded Prince Rupert's fleet in Kinsale
Kinsale
Kinsale is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Located some 25 km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and has a population of 2,257 which increases substantially during the summer months when the tourist season is at its peak and...

, Oliver Cromwell could land at Dublin on 15 August 1649 with an army to quell the Royalist alliance in Ireland.

Cromwell's suppression of the Royalists in Ireland during 1649 still has a strong resonance for many Irish people. After the siege of Drogheda
Siege of Drogheda
The siege of Drogheda at the outset of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The town of Drogheda in eastern Ireland was held by a combined English Royalist and Irish Catholic garrison when it was besieged and stormed by English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell...

, the massacre of nearly 3,500 people—comprising around 2,700 Royalist soldiers and 700 others, including civilians, prisoners, and Catholic priests (Cromwell claimed all the men carrying arms)—became one of the historical memories that has driven Irish-English and Catholic-Protestant strife during the last three centuries. However, the massacre has significance mainly as a symbol of the Irish perception of Cromwellian cruelty, as far more people died in the subsequent guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 and scorched-earth fighting in the country than at infamous massacres such as Drogheda and Wexford
Wexford
Wexford is the county town of County Wexford, Ireland. It is situated near the southeastern corner of Ireland, close to Rosslare Europort. The town is connected to Dublin via the M11/N11 National Primary Route, and the national rail network...

. The Parliamentarian
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 conquest of Ireland ground on for another four years until 1653, when the last Irish Confederate
Confederate Ireland
Confederate Ireland refers to the period of Irish self-government between the Rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the "Confederation of Kilkenny"...

 and Royalist troops surrendered. Historians have estimated that around 30% of Ireland's population either died or had gone into exile by the end of the wars. The victors confiscated almost all Irish Catholic-owned land in the wake of the conquest and distributed it to the Parliament's creditors, to the Parliamentary soldiers who served in Ireland, and to English people who had settled there before the war.

Scotland



The execution of Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 altered the dynamics of the Civil War in Scotland, which had raged between Royalists and Covenanter
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

s since 1644. By 1649, the struggle had left the Royalists there in disarray and their erstwhile leader, the Marquess of Montrose
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was a Scottish nobleman and soldier, who initially joined the Covenanters in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but subsequently supported King Charles I as the English Civil War developed...

, had gone into exile. At first, Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 encouraged Montrose to raise a Highland army to fight on the Royalist side. However, when the Scottish Covenanters (who did not agree with the execution of Charles I and who feared for the future of Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 and Scottish independence
Scottish independence
Scottish independence is a political ambition of political parties, advocacy groups and individuals for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom and become an independent sovereign state, separate from England, Wales and Northern Ireland....

 under the new Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

) offered him the crown of Scotland, Charles abandoned Montrose to his enemies. However, Montrose, who had raised a mercenary
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 force in Norway, had already landed and could not abandon the fight. He did not succeed in raising many Highland clans and the Covenanters defeated his army at the Battle of Carbisdale in Ross-shire
Ross-shire
Ross-shire is an area in the Highland Council Area in Scotland. The name is now used as a geographic or cultural term, equivalent to Ross. Until 1889 the term denoted a county of Scotland, also known as the County of Ross...

 on 27 April 1650. The victors captured Montrose shortly afterwards and took him to Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. On 20 May the Scottish Parliament sentenced him to death and had him hanged the next day.


Charles II landed in Scotland at Garmouth in Morayshire on 23 June 1650 and signed the 1638 National Covenant and the 1643 Solemn League and Covenant
Solemn League and Covenant
The Solemn League and Covenant was an agreement between the Scottish Covenanters and the leaders of the English Parliamentarians. It was agreed to in 1643, during the First English Civil War....

 shortly after coming ashore. With his original Scottish Royalist followers and his new Covenanter allies, King Charles II became the greatest threat facing the new English republic. In response to the threat, Cromwell left some of his lieutenants in Ireland to continue the suppression of the Irish Royalists and returned to England.

He arrived in Scotland on 22 July 1650 and proceeded to lay siege to Edinburgh. By the end of August disease and a shortage of supplies had reduced his army, and he had to order a retreat towards his base at Dunbar
Dunbar
Dunbar is a town in East Lothian on the southeast coast of Scotland, approximately 28 miles east of Edinburgh and 28 miles from the English Border at Berwick-upon-Tweed....

. A Scottish army, assembled under the command of David Leslie, tried to block the retreat, but Cromwell defeated them at the Battle of Dunbar
Battle of Dunbar (1650)
The Battle of Dunbar was a battle of the Third English Civil War. The English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell defeated a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie which was loyal to King Charles II, who had been proclaimed King of Scots on 5 February 1649.-Background:The English...

 on 3 September. Cromwell's army then took Edinburgh, and by the end of the year his army had occupied much of southern Scotland.

In July 1651, Cromwell's forces crossed the Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south...

 into Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

 and defeated the Scots at the Battle of Inverkeithing
Battle of Inverkeithing
The Battle of Inverkeithing was a battle of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It was fought on 20 July 1651 between an English Parliamentarian army under John Lambert and a Scottish Covenanter army acting on behalf of Charles II, led by Sir John Brown of Fordell. Lambert's force was a seaborne...

 (20 July 1651). The New Model Army advanced towards Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

, which allowed Charles, at the head of the Scottish army, to move south into England. Cromwell followed Charles into England, leaving George Monck to finish the campaign in Scotland. Monck took Stirling
Stirling
Stirling is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town beside the River Forth...

 on 14 August and Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

 on 1 September. The next year, 1652, saw the mopping up of the remnants of Royalist resistance, and under the terms of the "Tender of Union
Tender of Union
The Tender of Union was a declaration of the Parliament of England during the Interregnum following the War of the Three Kingdoms stating that Scotland would cease to have an independent parliament and would join England in its emerging Commonwealth republic....

", the Scots received 30 seats in a united Parliament in London, with General Monck appointed as the military governor of Scotland.

England


Although Cromwell's New Model Army had defeated a Scottish army at Dunbar, Cromwell could not prevent Charles II from marching from Scotland deep into England at the head of another Royalist army. The Royalists marched to the west of England because English Royalist sympathies were strongest in that area, but although some English Royalists joined the army, they came in far fewer numbers than Charles and his Scottish supporters had hoped. Cromwell finally engaged and defeated the new king at Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

 on 3 September 1651. Charles II escaped
Escape of Charles II
The Escape of Charles II from England in 1651 is a key episode in his life. Although it took only six weeks, it had a major effect on his attitudes for the rest of his life.-The fugitive king:...

, via safe houses and a famous oak tree, to France, ending the civil wars.

Political control


During the Wars, the Parliamentarians established a number of successive committees to oversee the war-effort. The first of these, the Committee of Safety
English Committee of Safety
The Committee of Safety, established by the Parliamentarians in July 1642, was the first of a number of successive committees set up to oversee the English Civil War against King Charles I, and the Interregnum.-1642–1644:...

, set up in July 1642, comprised 15 Members of Parliament. Following the Anglo
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

-Scottish alliance against the Royalists, the Committee of Both Kingdoms
Committee of Both Kingdoms
The Committee of Both Kingdoms, , was a committee set up during the English Civil War by the Parliamentarian faction in association with representatives from the Scottish Covenanters, to oversee the conduct of the War and Foreign Policy...

 replaced the Committee of Safety between 1644 and 1648. Parliament dissolved the Committee of Both Kingdoms when the alliance ended, but its English members continued to meet and became known as the Derby House Committee. A second Committee of Safety then replaced that committee.

Casualties


As usual in wars of this era, disease caused more deaths than combat. There are no accurate figures for these periods, and it is not possible to give a precise overall figure for those killed in battle, as opposed to those who died from disease, or even from a natural decline in population.

Figures for casualties during this period are unreliable, but some attempt has been made to provide rough estimates.
In England, a conservative estimate is that roughly 100,000 people died from war-related disease during the three civil wars. Historical records count 84,830 dead from the wars themselves. Counting in accidents and the two Bishops' wars, an estimate of 190,000 dead is achieved.

Figures for Scotland are more unreliable and should be treated with greater caution. Casualties include the deaths of prisoners-of-war in conditions that accelerated their deaths, with estimates of 10,000 prisoners not surviving or not returning home (8,000 captured during and immediately after the Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

 were deported to New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

 and the West Indies to work for landowners as indentured labourers). There are no figures to calculate how many died from war-related diseases, but if the same ratio of disease to battle deaths from English figures is applied to the Scottish figures, a not unreasonable estimate of 60,000 people is achieved.

Figures for Ireland are described as "miracles of conjecture". Certainly the devastation inflicted on Ireland was unbelievable, with the best estimate provided by Sir William Petty, the father of English demography. Although Petty's figures are the best available, they are still acknowledged as being tentative. They do not include the estimate of 40,000 driven into exile, some of whom served as soldiers in European continental armies, while others were sold as indentured servants to New England and the West Indies. Many of those sold to landowners in New England eventually prospered, but many of those sold to landowners in the West Indies were worked to death. Petty estimates that 112,000 Protestants were killed through plague
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

, war and famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

, and that 504,000 Catholics were killed, giving an estimated total of 618,000 dead.

These estimates indicate that England suffered a 3.7% loss of population, Scotland a loss of 6%, while Ireland suffered a loss of 41% of its population. Putting these numbers into the context of other catastrophes helps to understand the devastation to Ireland in particular. The Great Hunger of 1845–1852 resulted in a loss of 16% of the population, while during the Second World War the population of the Soviet Union fell by 16%.

Popular gains


Ordinary people took advantage of the dislocation of civil society during the 1640s to derive advantages for themselves. The contemporary guild democracy movement won its greatest successes among London's transport workers, notably the Thames watermen
Watermen
Watermen are river workers who transfer passengers across and along city centre rivers and estuaries in Britain and its colonies. Most notable are those on the River Thames and River Medway, but other rivers such as the River Tyne and River Dee, Wales also had their watermen who formed guilds in...

. Rural communities seized timber and other resources on the sequestrated estates of royalists and Catholics, and on the estates of the royal family and the church hierarchy. Some communities improved their conditions of tenure on such estates. The old status quo began a retrenchment after the end of the main civil war in 1646, and more especially after the restoration of monarchy in 1660. But some gains were long-term. The democratic element introduced in the watermen's company in 1642, for example, survived, with vicissitudes, until 1827.

Aftermath


The wars left England, Scotland, and Ireland among the few countries in Europe without a monarch. In the wake of victory, many of the ideals (and many of the idealists) became sidelined. The republican government of the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 ruled England (and later all of Scotland and Ireland) from 1649 to 1653 and from 1659 to 1660. Between the two periods, and due to in-fighting amongst various factions in Parliament, Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 ruled over the Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 as Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 (effectively a military dictator) until his death in 1658.

Upon his death, Oliver Cromwell's son Richard
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

 became Lord Protector, but the Army had little confidence in him. After seven months the Army removed Richard, and in May 1659 it re-installed the Rump. However, since the Rump Parliament acted as though nothing had changed since 1653 and as though it could treat the Army as it liked, military force shortly afterwards dissolved this, as well. After the second dissolution of the Rump, in October 1659, the prospect of a total descent into anarchy loomed as the Army's pretence of unity finally dissolved into factions.

Into this atmosphere General George Monck
George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle
George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, KG was an English soldier and politician and a key figure in the restoration of Charles II.-Early life and career:...

, Governor of Scotland under the Cromwells, marched south with his army from Scotland. On 4 April 1660, in the Declaration of Breda
Declaration of Breda
The Declaration of Breda was a proclamation by Charles II of England in which he promised a general pardon for crimes committed during the English Civil War and the Interregnum for all those who recognised Charles as the lawful king; the retention by the current owners of property purchased during...

, Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 made known the conditions of his acceptance of the Crown of England. Monck organised the Convention Parliament, which met for the first time on 25 April 1660. On 8 May 1660, it declared that King Charles II had reigned as the lawful monarch since the execution of Charles I in January 1649. Charles returned from exile on 23 May 1660. On 29 May 1660, the populace in London acclaimed him as king. His coronation took place at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 23 April 1661. These events became known as the Restoration.

Although the monarchy was restored, it was still only with the consent of Parliament; therefore, the civil wars effectively set England and Scotland on course to adopt a parliamentary monarchy form of government. This system would result in the outcome that the future Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

, formed in 1707 under the Acts of Union, would manage to forestall the kind of often-bloody revolution, typical of European republican movements that followed the Jacobin
Jacobin (politics)
A Jacobin , in the context of the French Revolution, was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary far-left political movement. The Jacobin Club was the most famous political club of the French Revolution. So called from the Dominican convent where they originally met, in the Rue St. Jacques ,...

 revolution in 18th century France and the later success of Napoleon, which generally resulted in the total abolition of monarchy. It was no coincidence that the United Kingdom was spared the wave of revolutions that occurred in Europe in the 1840s. Specifically, future monarchs became wary of pushing Parliament too hard, and Parliament effectively chose the line of royal succession in 1688 with the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 and in the 1701 Act of Settlement
Act of Settlement 1701
The Act of Settlement is an act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English throne on the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant heirs. The act was later extended to Scotland, as a result of the Treaty of Union , enacted in the Acts of Union...

. After the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, Parliament's factions became political parties (later becoming the Tories
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 and Whigs) with competing views and varying abilities to influence the decisions of their monarchs.

Historiography and explanations of the English Civil War


In the early decades of the 20th century the Whig school
Whig history
Whig history is the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians stress the rise of constitutional government,...

 was the dominant theoretical view. They explained the Civil War as resulting from a centuries-long struggle between Parliament (especially the House of Commons) and the Monarchy, with Parliament defending the traditional rights of Englishmen, while the Stuart monarchy continually attempted to expand its right to arbitrarily dictate law. The most important Whig historian, S.R. Gardiner
Samuel Rawson Gardiner
Samuel Rawson Gardiner was an English historian.The son of Rawson Boddam Gardiner, he was born near Alresford, Hampshire. He was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained a first class in literae humaniores. He was subsequently elected to fellowships at All Souls ...

, popularised the English Civil War as a 'Puritan Revolution': challenging the repressive Stuart Church, and preparing the way for religious toleration
Religious toleration
Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

 in the Restoration. Thus, Puritanism was the natural ally of a people preserving their traditional rights against arbitrary monarchical power.

The Whig view was challenged and largely superseded by the Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 school, which became popular in the 1940s, and which interpreted the English Civil War as a bourgeois revolution. According to Marxist historian Christopher Hill
Christopher Hill (historian)
John Edward Christopher Hill , usually known simply as Christopher Hill, was an English Marxist historian and author of textbooks....

:
In the 1970s, a new generation of historians, who would become known as Revisionists
Historical revisionism
In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event...

 challenged both the Whig and the Marxist theories. In 1973, a group of revisionist historians published the anthology The Origins of the English Civil War (Conrad Russell ed.). These historians disliked both Whig and Marxist explanations of the Civil War as long-term socio-economic trends in English society, producing work focused on the minutiae of the years immediately preceding the civil war, thereby returning to the contingency-based historiography of Clarendon's
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon was an English historian and statesman, and grandfather of two English monarchs, Mary II and Queen Anne.-Early life:...

 famous contemporary history History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England. This, it was claimed, demonstrated that factional war-allegiance patterns did not fit either Whig or Marxist history. Puritans, for example, did not necessarily ally themselves with Parliamentarians. Many members of the bourgeoisie fought for the King, while many landed aristocrats supported Parliament. Thus, revisionist historians have discredited some Whig and Marxist interpretations of the English Civil War .

Jane Ohlmeyer discarded and replaced the historical title "English Civil War" with the titles the "Wars of the Three" and the "British Civil Wars", positing that the civil war in England cannot be understood isolated from events in other parts of Great Britain and Ireland; King Charles I remains crucial, not just as King of England, but also because of his relationship with the peoples of his other realms. For example, the wars began when King Charles I tried imposing an Anglican Prayer Book upon Scotland, and when this was met with resistance from the Covenanter
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

s, he needed an army to impose his will. However, this forced him to call an English Parliament to raise new taxes to pay for the army. The English Parliaments were not willing to grant Charles the revenue he needed to pay for the Scottish expeditionary army unless he addressed their grievances. By the early 1640s, Charles was left in a state of near permanent crisis management; often he was not willing to concede enough ground to any one faction to neutralise the threat, and in some circumstances to do so would only antagonise another faction. For example, Charles finally agreed upon terms with the Covenanters in August 1641, but although this might have weakened the position of the English Parliament, the Irish Rebellion of 1641
Irish Rebellion of 1641
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule...

 broke out in October 1641, largely negating the political advantage he had obtained by relieving himself of the cost of the Scottish invasion.

Re-enactments



Two large historical societies exist, The Sealed Knot
The Sealed Knot (reenactment)
The Sealed Knot is a British historical association and charity, dedicated to costumed reenactment of battles and events surrounding the English Civil War.-About:...

 and The English Civil War Society
The English Civil War Society
The English Civil War Society was founded in 1980 and is the umbrella organization for the King's Army and the Roundhead Association. The purpose of the Society is to raise awareness of the conflict between King Charles I of England and his supporters and their opponents in Parliament and Scotland...

, which regularly re-enact events and battles of the Civil War in full period costume.

See also

  • English Civil War timeline
    English Civil War timeline
    This is a timeline of events leading up to, culminating in, and resulting from the English Civil Wars.-Events prior to the English Civil War:*1625 - Charles I of England accedes to the English throne, and shortly after marries a French, Bourbon, Roman Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria*1626 -...

     of events leading up to, culminating in, and resulting from the English Civil Wars.
  • English Dissenters
    English Dissenters
    English Dissenters were Christians who separated from the Church of England in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.They originally agitated for a wide reaching Protestant Reformation of the Established Church, and triumphed briefly under Oliver Cromwell....

  • William Hiseland, the last Royalist veteran of the Civil War
  • The Thirty Years' War
    Thirty Years' War
    The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

     for a defining event in European history during the reign of Charles I.
  • The Levellers
    Levellers
    The Levellers were a political movement during the English Civil Wars which emphasised popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law, and religious tolerance, all of which were expressed in the manifesto "Agreement of the People". They came to prominence at the end of the First...

    , a movement for power reform.

External links