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. 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 – A year of tumultuous and unstable ‘peace’

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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‘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. 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 Code, which sought to suppress dissenting religious ... Read more
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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 and commanded the all-conquering New Model Army during the civil wars and the most likely answer will be “Oliver Cromwell”. But in fact, it was Sir Thomas Fairfax – known to his enemies as “Black Tom” – who emerged as the most successful military commander of the ... Read more
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‘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. It was in these years that Quakers tapped into the widespread feeling 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 believed ... Read more
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1641 Depositions Project – Lessons for todays divided world

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 goods, military activity, ... Read more
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