Understanding the Importance of Scotland, Ireland and Wales

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 the wars, which had consequences for all three kingdoms.

These programmes emphasise this interrelationship and look beyond the Anglo-centric view.

The series is introduced by Laura Stewart, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of York.


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The World Turned Upside Down
The World Turned Upside Down - The British Civil Wars 1638-1651
Understanding the Importance of Scotland, Ireland and Wales
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Laura Stewart

Professor in Early Modern History

Laura A.M. Stewart is Professor in Early Modern History & Head of Department. Before joining the Department of History at York in 2016, she taught for ten…

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Further reading

Lloyd Bowen, Early Modern Wales: c.1536–1689: Ambiguous Nationhood (Cardiff, 2022).
Lloyd Bowen, John Poyer, The Civil Wars in Pembrokeshire and the British Revolution (Cardiff, 2020).
Lloyd Bowen, The Politics of the Principality: Wales, c.1603–1642 (Cardiff, 2007).
Lloyd Bowen, ‘Rediscovering difference?: nations, peoples and politics in the British Civil Wars’, History Compass, 4:5 (2006), pp. 836–51.
David Como, ‘Secret printing, the crisis of 1640, and the origins of civil war radicalism’, Past & Present, 196 (2007).
Peter Donald, An Uncounselled King: Charles I and the Scottish Troubles, 1637–1641 (Cambridge, 1990).
Edward Furgol, ‘The Civil Wars in Scotland’, in John Kenyon and Jane Ohlmeyer (eds), The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638–1660 (Oxford, 1998), pp. 41–72.
Ann Hughes, The Causes of the English Civil Wars (Basingstoke, 1991; 1998).
John Kenyon and Jane Ohlmeyer, ‘The background to understanding the wars of the Three Kingdoms’, in John Kenyon and Jane Ohlmeyer (eds), The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638–1660 (Oxford, 1998), pp. 3–40.
Allan I. Macinnes and Jane H. Ohlmeyer (eds), The Stuart Kingdoms in the Seventeenth Century: Awkward Neighbours (Dublin, 2002).
John Morrill, ‘The English Revolution in British and Irish Context’, in Michael J. Braddick (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution (Oxford, 2015), pp. 555–576.
John Morrill and Brendan Bradshaw (eds), The British Problem, c.1534–1707: State Formation in the Atlantic Archipelago (Basingstoke, 1996).
Jane Ohlmeyer, Making Empire: Ireland, Imperialism and the Early Modern World (Oxford, 2023).
Jane Ohlmeyer, Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven, 2012).
Jane Ohlmeyer, ‘The Civil Wars in Ireland’, in John Kenyon and Jane Ohlmeyer (eds), The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638–1660 (Oxford, 1998), pp. 73–102.
Conrad Russell, The Fall of the British Monarchies, 1637–1642 (Oxford, 1991).
Laura A.M. Stewart, Rethinking the Scottish Revolution: Covenanted Scotland, 1637–1651 (Oxford, 2016; pbk edn, 2018).
David Stevenson, The Scottish Revolution, 1637–1644: The Triumph of the Covenanters (Edinburgh, pbk edn, 2003).
Mark Stoyle, West Britons: Cornish Identities and the Early Modern British State (Exeter, 2002).
Mark Stoyle, ‘English "nationalism", Celtic particularism, and the English Civil War’, Historical Journal, 43:4 (2000), pp. 1113–28.
John R. Young, Celtic Dimensions of the British Civil Wars (Edinburgh, 1997).
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The letters and journals of Robert Baillie Robert Baillie (1602-1662) was a Glasgow minister who supported the Covenant, despite initial reservations about attacking the episcopal office, and soon became one of the Kirk’s foremost polemicists during the 1640s. He was a commissioner to the Westminster Assembly of Divines and well-connected in London presbyterian circles. His letters and journals are both quotable and oft-quoted, but the full collection of printed and manuscript material produced by Baillie, of which the published volumes are only a part, remain understudied. They are a vital source for understanding Anglo-Scottish relations in this period. The volume available here covers the First English Civil War (1642-46).
Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie: Volume 3, 1642-1647 (Edinburgh, Bannatyne Club, 1841).
The quarrel between the earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell Edward Montagu, 2nd earl of Manchester, was a puritan parliamentarian who took command of the Easter Association army in 1643. By the summer of 1644, he appears to have become convinced that the war should be prosecuted only insofar as it would bring about the opening of negotiations with the king. This brought him into conflict with Oliver Cromwell, his lieutenant-general of horse, who believed peace would come about only once Charles’s forces had been defeated entirely. This collection of papers shows how the intervention of the Scottish Covenanters exacerbated the growing divisions amongst the parliamentary alliance over the conduct of the war, the terms to be offered to the king, and the future of the church.
The Quarrel Between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell: An Episode of the English Civil War, ed. John Bruce and David Masson (London, Camden Society, 1875).