People, events and ideas of the British Civil Wars explored and explained by leading historians

A unique FREE OPEN ACCESS resource for everyone interested in this time which shaped the Britain we know today


What you will find with each programme ·  Podcasts   ·  Transcripts   ·  Interactive glossary   ·  Timeline   ·  Further reading   ·  Maps

‘Light Risen Out of Darkness’ – The Civil Wars and Early Quakers, 1646-1660

Quakerism emerged in England in the social and religious tumult of the Civil Wars.

The Critical Years

Distinguished historians looking at events and individuals – famous and unknown – in the key years before, during and following the civil wars in Britain and Ireland.

Religion in the Civil Wars explained

Religious divisions between the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were a fundamental cause of the Civil Wars and throughout the Interregnum sectarianism between Protestant factions constantly challenged the republican government and ultimately destroyed it.

Trial of Charles I – What were the real objectives?

The Rump Parliament intended the trial to serve propaganda purposes. However, this aim was subverted by the king’s surprisingly fluent defence in which he recast himself as a defender of the people’s liberty in the face of a new, arbitrary power.

Beyond England’s Borders

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.

History of Parliament

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.

Step-by-step Guide - Understanding the Civil Wars

Step-by-step Guide – Understanding the Civil Wars

An introductory step-by-step guide to the causes, conflicts and consequences of the British Civil Wars. With Professor Peter Gaunt in three 30-minute podcasts.

Charles I – The road to execution

Charles I – The road to execution

How culpable was Charles I in causing the British Civil Wars? Why did his army lose and why was he executed? Answering these questions are two noted historians, Edward Vallance and Andrew Hopper.

English Civil Wars

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‘Black Tom’ – Sir Thomas Fairfax, Creator and Commander of the New Model Army

Ask who was the Parliamentary general who created the New Model Army was and the most likely answer will be “Oliver Cromwell”. But in fact, it was Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Taken for a Soldier – Conscript or Volunteer?

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.

1647 – A year of tumultuous and unstable ‘peace’

1647 was the first year of peace after Parliament’s victory in the First Civil War.

‘Yet One Warning More, to Thee O England’ – Quakers and the Restoration, 1660-1689

Between 1660 and 1689, Quakerism in England underwent substantial trials and transformations.

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