All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651


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Cromwell divided his forces, leaving part in Scotland to complete the conquest there, then led the rest south in pursuit of Charles. The Royalist army failed to gather much support from English Royalists as it moved south into England; so, instead of heading directly towards London and certain defeat, Charles aimed for Worcester in hopes that Wales and the West and Midlands of England would rise against the Commonwealth.

It was the last and most decisive battle in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Having defeated all organized opposition, the Grandees of the Parliamentary New Model Army and their civilian supporters dominated the politics of all three nations for the next nine years see Interregnum — As for England, the Rump Parliament had already decreed it was a republic and a Commonwealth ; but Ireland and Scotland were now ruled by military governors, even as constituent representatives from both nations were seated in the Rump Parliament of the Protectorate —all which were dominated by Oliver Cromwell , the Lord Protector.

Ten Minute English and British History #20 - The English Civil War

When Cromwell died in , control of the Commonwealth became unstable, until in early , General George Monck , commanding English occupation forces in Scotland, ordered his troops from the Coldstream barracks, marched them south into England, and seized control of London by February The Wars of the Three Kingdoms pre-figured many of the changes that ultimately would shape modern Britain, but in the short term, the conflicts actually resolved little for the kingdoms and peoples of the times. The English Commonwealth did achieve a notable compromise between monarchy and a republic, even one that survived destabilizing issues for nearly the next two hundred years.

In practice, Oliver Cromwell exercised political power through his control over Parliament's military forces, but his legal position—and provisions for his succession—remained unclear, even after he became Lord Protector. None of the several constitutions proposed during this period were realized. Thus the Commonwealth and Protectorate of the Parliamentarians—the wars' victors—left no significant new forms of government in place after their time.

Still, in the long term, two abiding legacies of British democracy were established during this period:. English Protestants experienced religious freedom during the Interregnum , but there was none for English Roman Catholics. During the term of their control, the Presbyterian partisans abolished the Church of England and the House of Lords. Cromwell denounced the Rump Parliament and dissolved it by force, [16] but he failed to establish an acceptable alternative.

Nor did he and his supporters move in the direction of popular democracy, as the more radical Parliamentarians the Levellers wanted. In Ireland, the new government confiscated almost all lands belonging to Irish Catholics as punishment for the rebellion of ; harsh Penal Laws also restricted this community. Thousands of Parliamentarian soldiers settled in Ireland on confiscated lands. The Commonwealth abolished the Parliaments of Ireland and Scotland. In theory, these countries had representation in the English Parliament, but as this body never held real powers, representation was ineffective.

When Cromwell died in the Commonwealth fell apart—but without major violence. Historians record that adroit politicians of the time, especially George Monck , [17] prevailed over the looming crisis; Monck in particular was deemed the victor sine sanguine, i. Under the English Restoration the political system returned to the constitutional position of before the wars. Royalists dug up Cromwell's corpse and performed a posthumous execution. Those religious and political radicals held responsible for the wars suffered harsh repression.

Scotland and Ireland regained their Parliaments and some Irish retrieved confiscated lands; the New Model Army was disbanded. Only after this later time did the larger features of modern Britain foreshadowed in the civil wars emerge permanently, namely: a Protestant constitutional monarchy , and with a strong standing army under civilian control.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Civil wars in England, Ireland, and Scotland This article is about the British Isles. For other uses, see Three Kingdoms disambiguation. Marquis of Argyll David Leslie. Earl of Inchiquin Duke of Ormonde. Wars of the Three Kingdoms. See also: Bishops' Wars. Retrieved 4 October Encyclopedia Britannica.

Retrieved 19 June Archived from the original on 25 July Retrieved 24 July Cambridge University Press. London: A. The writings and speeches of Oliver Cromwell. Clarendon Press. Gardiner, Samuel Rawson, ed. The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution — Oxford: Clarendon.

An page pamphlet. The History of Parliament: the House of Commons — Boydell and Brewer.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Retrieved 19 June — via History of Parliament Online. Putnam's Sons etc, pp. The Diary of Samuel Pepys — via Wikisource. Little, Brown. Royle, Trevor Worden, Blair , Stuart England illustrated ed. Kingdom of England. Politics Law. English language English people list. Kingdom of Scotland. Scots language Scottish Gaelic Scottish people list. Kingdom of Ireland.

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BBC - History - British History in depth: Oliver Cromwell

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Views Read Edit View history. Parliament ordered the Earl executed in May, To prevent the King from ruling without calling a Parliament again, members passed a Triennial Act requiring him to convene Parliament every three years. They also forbade the King from collecting ship money. These actions undoubtedly displeased the King. The Long Parliament continued during much of Late in the summer, a rebellion broke out in Ireland a separate kingdom claimed by England. Parliament and the King came into conflict again over the control of the army sent to suppress the Irish revolt. Parliament drew up a list of grievances called "the Grand Remonstrance" in November.

It outlined several proposed reforms. King Charles I apparently decided Parliament had overstepped its authority.

Early in , the King tried to repeat a strategy he had used successfully years earlier. He ordered the arrest of several Members of Parliament.


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  • All the King's Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651.
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However, these individuals fled before the King's officers could locate them. Fearing a revolt, the King himself departed from London in January, He sent his wife and eldest daughter to safety overseas, where the Queen sought to obtain money for her husband. She returned to England in Meanwhile, the King worked to form an army. Across England, people during the spring of began choosing sides. They aligned themselves with either the King or Parliament. Many Protestants but not all of them chose to support Parliament. People frequently found themselves in conflict with their neighbors.

Participants in the English Civil War sometimes switched sides. When the English Civil War began, the King enjoyed the strongest backing from northern and western areas and the Midlands. Parliament drew most support from London and the eastern and southern regions of England. A Scottish Civil War occurred in Scotland during this same time period. Historians sometimes refer to the opponents of the King in Scotland as "Covenanters". Soldiers in England in the early s typically did not belong to full time armies.

Men would leave their shops and farms for several weeks or months at a time and join neighbors to form regiments of foot soldiers called "infantry" or riders called "cavalry" if they fought on horseback and "dragoons" if they dismounted to fight. Purchasing suitable horses and weapons involved considerable expense.


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  • English Civil War.

Educated gentlemen during this period received training in horseback riding and, usually, fighting. Armies required support from local people wherever they traveled. Convoys of wagons and carts carrying supplies trailed behind the marching soldiers. Called "supply trains" or "baggage trains", they sometimes carried valuable goods seized by the troops. When armies marched through a community, the commanders usually compelled the population to provide food and other supplies.

Warfare imposed great hardship.

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Soldiers in armies during this period possessed primitive guns called "muskets. Muskets required a long time to load and re-load. Sometimes the barrels exploded instead of firing correctly. Other common weapons included swords, knives and heavy wooden staffs. Since the cavalry posed a serious threat to anyone fighting on foot, most armies included units of foot soldiers carrying long pikes.

A pike somewhat resembled the poles used by modern athletes. Members of the infantry used their pikes to protect musketeers against cavalry soldiers wielding swords. If they could afford it, soldiers wore metal armored chest plates and helmets as added protection during battles. King Charles I traveled to York. He then headed south to Nottingham in the Midlands and began actively recruiting a royal army during August, He received important support from some leading English and Scottish landowners. Soldiers who fought for the Crown became known as "Cavaliers".

All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651 All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651
All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651 All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651
All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651 All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651
All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651 All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651
All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651 All the Kings Armies: A Military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651

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