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Napoleon Bonaparte famously said “Soldiers generally win battles, generals get credit for them”. This is certainly true of many of the histories of the British Civil Wars. Whilst much is written about famous military figures such as Oliver Cromwell and Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the hundreds of thousands of ordinary men they led – ... Read more…
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1647 was the first year of peace after Parliament’s victory in the First Civil War. Rather than a return to pre-war normality, the year brought more instability as the lives of the British and Irish peoples were turned upside down. The year began when the defeated King was ‘sold’ to the Westminster Parliament by his ... Read more…
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Between 1660 and 1689, Quakerism in England underwent substantial trials and transformations. This was a time of great political and religious instability which posed formidable challenges for early Quakers who had survived the civil wars. Following the Restoration of the monarchy, Quakers faced intensified persecution under the so-called Clarendon…
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Quakerism emerged in England in the social and religious tumult of the Civil Wars. It was in these years that Quakers tapped into the widespread feeling of uncertainty in a world turned upside down, zealously spreading their messages in print and through a travelling ministry. This brought them into direct confrontation with the authorities who ...…
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The landmark 1641 Depositions Project at Trinity College Dublin, has digitised and analysed more than 8,000 witness statements made during the Rebellion which swept through Ireland in 1641 and 1642. These testimonies mainly by Protestants, but also by some Catholics, from all social backgrounds, concern their experiences. They document the loss of …
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Events in Scotland and Ireland in the late 1630s and early 1640s directly contributed to and amplified, the worsening political crisis which in 1642 would explode into Civil War in England and Wales. By 1641 there was instability across the Three Kingdoms. In Ireland, the deteriorating condition of the so-called “deserving Catholics” who held prope…
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This is the incredible but true story of John Poyer of Pembroke. Poyer’s early years are obscure but he rose from poverty to become mayor of the isolated and poor town of Pembroke in the farthest reaches south west Wales. When civil war broke out in 1642 Poyer seized the town and castle for Parliament ... Read more…
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Between 1643 and 1645, Basing House in Hampshire – which once rivalled Hampton Court in size and opulence – was besieged by Parliament’s forces. The house was a Royalist bastion and its owner, the Marquess of Winchester, who repeatedly refused to surrender, had the motto “Love Loyalty” etched into the window. The house finally fell ... Read more…
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Some historians refer to the British Civil Wars as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. As a result it is easy to forget the Welsh experience and imply that it was unexceptional. But Dr Lloyd Bowen, Reader in Early Modern and Welsh History at Cardiff University says this ignores the important ... Read more…
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On the 23rd of October 1641 – about a year before the outbreak of civil wars in England and Wales – a bloody Rebellion swept across Ireland. Lead by a small group of Catholic gentry and military officers, many of whom were Gaelic Irish, the rebels’ goal was to oust the hated English administration and ... Read more…
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In January 1644, the Scottish army was sent into England to directly intervene in the Civil War in Parliament’s favour. The Scots became aligned with the Presbyterians at Westminster, where they generated the political ideas which shaped much of Parliament’s war effort.Από τον The World Turned Upside Down
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From 1637 popular opposition to Charles I in Scotland ignited a crisis which first spread to Ireland in 1641 and then to England and Wales in 1642. It was here in Scotland that the king initially made the concessions which publicly exposed his weakness and his inability to sustain his Divine right to rule. Once ... Read more…
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Historians now recognise that the civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century must be viewed in a British and Irish context and not exclusively from an English perspective. Events in both Scotland and Ireland are fundamentally important if we are to gain an understanding of the causes of the conflict and the events which occurred throughout ... Read …
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John Pym was one of the most influential Parliamentary leaders of the Opposition to the arbitrary rule of Charles the First in the years preceding the outbreak of civil war in 1642. And after the conflict began, he was an influential and widely respected figure in the development of the strategy developed by the Parliamentarians, ... Read more…
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John Pym, who was born in 1584 and died in December 1643, was one of the most important Parliamentary figures in the years leading up to the outbreak of the Civil Wars. He earned a reputation as a parliamentary revolutionary, leading opposition to the arbitrary rule of Charles I. Throughout this time, Pym’s leadership in ... Read more…
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In this occasional series, distinguished academic historians of the 17th century are invited to discuss some of the controversial questions which regularly arise in lectures, publications and exams. Oliver Cromwell’s actions, decisions and response to the world in which he had to operate had consequences which shaped the history of Britain and the …
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In this occasional series, distinguished academic historians of the 17th century are invited to discuss some of the controversial questions which regularly arise in lectures, publications and exams. Oliver Cromwell’s actions, decisions and response to the world in which he had to operate had consequences which shaped the history of Britain and the …
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There is no more iconic or controversial figure in Britain during the first half of the 17th Century than Oliver Cromwell. So, with the help of distinguished academic historians, we are seeking answers to some critically important questions surrounding Oliver Cromwell – the man, his motivations and the consequences of his actions and decisions. To …
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By New Year’s Day 1660, the Republican experiment in Britain was almost at an end and the country appeared to be drifting towards anarchy. But on that day, General George Monck led a Parliamentary army across the border from Scotland into England at the village of Coldstream en route to London where he arrived on ... Read more…
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1642 was a tempestuous year beginning on 4th January with the unsuccessful attempt by the King to arrest Five Members of Parliament (John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Arthur Haselrig and William Strode), in the Commons Chamber, followed by the exclusion of the Bishops from the House of Lords and on 25th February, with the departure ... Read mo…
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Many controversies swirl around the legacy of Oliver Cromwell and over the centuries it has become increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. Consequently at this time of the year, one of the most popular searches on Google is “Did Oliver Cromwell really ban Christmas?”. To help us get to an authoritative response, publisher, Mike ... Re…
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“No man is born a slave…we are all by birth equally free.” Edward Sexby, a comrade-in-arms of Oliver Cromwell who became his implacable enemy, was the among the spokesmen for the radical Leveller faction who vehemently denounced the monarchy and accused Oliver Cromwell and Henry Ireton of betraying the ideals of the New Model Army ... Read more…
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Oliver Cromwell, who chaired most of the Putney Debates, took a different approach to that of his son in law, Henry Ireton, who confronted the radicals head-on and tried to undermines their arguments. In contrast, Cromwell was more placatory and sought to preserve the unity of the army rather than simply win the argument. However, ... Read more…
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Henry Ireton was the eloquent spokesperson for the Grandees of the New Model Army who sided with his father-in-law Oliver Cromwell. At Putney they were pitted against the Republicans and the Levellers, who believed that the King had blood on his hands having fought against and killed his own people. But the radicals feared that ... Read more…
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“the poorest hee … in England hath a life to live, as the greatest hee.” Thomas Rainborowe was the romantic rallying point of the radicals during the debates. The de facto leader of the radical group of New Model Army officers. he argued vehemently in favour of The Agreement of the Peopledrawn up by the ... Read more…
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John Wildman was one of most active members of the group of radical Levellers who argued for democratic, republican government in the Putney Debates of 1647. He was one of the most enigmatic and fasinating figure whose life spanned two revolutions and a bewildering range of political alliances. At Putney much of the debate centred ... Read more…
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By the summer of 1647, Parliament had won the First Civil War. At the battles of Naseby and Langport, the New Model Army had crushed the Royalist field armies and the King himself was now their prisoner. But all was not well on the parliamentary side. There was disquiet and dissatisfaction in the New Model’s ... Read more…
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Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, Parliament began a search for religious uniformity and the final completion of the Reformation begun by Henry VIII. Their aims were defined in the Grand Remonstrance which insisted that religious conformity was vital to England’s future and insisted that the whole church should be reformed. For many ...…
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In the eyes of many Protestants, the religious Reformation begun by Henry VIII after 1534 was unfinished. It resulted in a Protestant Church of England, with a level of ritual and teachings which left the doors open to the reinstatement of Catholic practices. Against this backdrop, the actions of Charles I after his accession in ... Read more…
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The Tudor Reformation resulted in widespread dissatisfaction. Many Protestants considered the Reformation unfinished as the established Church of England retained some of the rights and practices of Catholic worship. Meanwhile, Catholics were oppressed and marginalised. Scotland was similarly divided between strict Protestants, (Calvinists) and sta…
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While Christian belief was universal throughout the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland there were fundamental and deeply held differences in worship. The Tudor Reformation of the 16th century had never been completed. Within England these discontented groups of Catholics in 1605 had come close to destroying King and Parliament in the G…
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While the setting, processes and personnel of the trial of Charles I may appear less important than the interchanges between the king and the President of the Court, John Bradshaw, they are critical to revealing the wider purpose of Charles’ trial which was to establish the Commons as the supreme authority in England, as the ... Read more…
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Bringing the British Civil Wars to the classroom through highly interactive programmes including films, slides, 3D scans of museum objects, audio clips and more. Four modules focussing on: Soldiers Sieges Spies Survivors Created with classroom teachers and academic historians for KS2 learners.Από τον The World Turned Upside Down
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The battle of Naseby finally destroyed the field army of the King and in two hours changed the history not only of Britain, but every modern democracy. We know that about 1000 Royalists were killed and a further 5000 were marched off to captivity. However, like most battles prior to the modern era, the fate of ... Read more…
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At first sight the quiet green fields around the small Northamptonshire village of Naseby seem unexceptional. But look more closely and you find clues that a momentous event occurred here which was to shape the history not only of Britain but every modern democracy. Because it was here, in just two hours on the morning ... Read more…
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It is often said that there was nothing ‘civil’ about the British Civil Wars. This was not the story of dashing Cavaliers and God-fearing Roundheads fighting battles in fields far from the civilian population. In reality, this was a bloody and brutal, all-encompassing conflict which left no community or family untouched and which left an ... Read m…
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“Turncoat!” The word creates immediate images of traitors, renegades and defectors… here is a person who places self-interest above the well-being or safety of comrades-in-arms, and so switches sides irrespective of the resulting harm it does to the Cause. Betrayed comrades react with contempt and demand harsh sanctions, even a gruesome traitor’s d…
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The Civil Wars changed the lives of families all across the British Isles, and inevitably children became involved not only as passive bystanders, but also as child soldiers fighting in both the Royalist and Parliamentary armies. Civil War historian, Dr Ismini Pells, a Departmental Lecturer in Local and Social History at the University of Oxford, .…
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The British Civil Wars touched every man, woman and child in Britain and its effects were felt for decades after the conflict ended in 1652. During the conflict, thousands of men were left maimed, women widowed and children orphaned. They were desperate for help from successive Republican regimes, the Protectorate that followed and subsequently fro…
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Charles I was executed on 30 January 1649 on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House, Whitehall. In this talk Professor Edward Vallance asks whether his condemnation and death were the pre-determined outcome of his trial or was the king’s death the result of demands for justice from the Parliamentarian army and its civilian supporters. He ... Read …
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This podcast discusses the range of factors which caused the defeat of the royalists in England and Wales during the First Civil War of 1642-1646. Its themes range from royalist structural weaknesses, their shortages of manpower and resources, to defeat in battle and the withdrawal of civilian support from the royalist cause. The decisive role of .…
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While many potential causes of the British Civil Wars have been identified, from social and economic pressures to religious division, in this talk Professor Edward Vallance focuses on the degree to which the king himself was responsible for the conflict. Few historians think that Charles I was a highly competent monarch. However, the main differenc…
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By the 1640s, Parliament was at the very centre of British history. The accession of Charles the First to the throne in 1625 began a bitter rivalry for dominance with a King whose political and religious views brought him into head-to-head conflict with an increasingly assertive Parliament. For two decades, Civil War, Regicide, a Republic ... Read …
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Professor Peter Gaunt describes the changing historiography from contemporary historians of the seventeenth century to the discussions of modern academics. He suggests that there probably was no single cause of the conflict, but an intertwining of multiple factors, made more compatible by socioeconomics and religious attitudes, a constitution which…
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As Professor Peter Gaunt describes, short-lived regimes rapidly followed each other as different political and religious factions struggled for supremacy. Meanwhile the Army was engaged in the bloody and costly conquest of Ireland and a bitter war in Scotland, which supported King Charles II. Finally in December 1653, the Army’s leadership – the Gr…
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Professor Peter Gaunt goes beyond the major set-piece battles such as Marston Moor and Naseby to explain that for most communities in England and Wales, this was a local or regional conflict of skirmishes and sieges which ebbed and flowed across the landscape. By July 1646 Parliament had completed its victory in the First Civil ... Read more…
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There is no simple, single answer but as Professor Peter Gaunt explains, deep religious differences and increasing religious extremism divided the communities and countries and made the monarch’s goal of a united church a dangerous dream. Social and economic pressures, constitutional uncertainty and a King whose character rejected compromise were a…
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The World Turned Upside Down is a new unique resource telling the stories of the people, events and ideas of the British Civil Wars, which are explored by leading historians. These programmes include fortnightly audio podcasts, in which – with the help of professional actors – explain how these turbulent times shaped the Britain we ... Read more…
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