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From spring 1647, representatives of New Model Army regiments and rank and file, prominent in many of the debates, discussions and agitation involving the army in 1647-9. They generally took a more radical line than the senior army officers, who were sometimes slightly disparagingly referred to as ‘the Grandees’.
A proposed constitutional settlement drawn up in autumn 1647 and presented to and discussed at the Putney Debates. Reflecting the influence and input of the agitators and Levellerism, it was more radical than the Heads of the Proposals which was being supported by senior army officers, sometimes rather sneeringly dubbed ‘the Grandees’. The same title was used for several later reissues, though with heavily modified texts and revised contents, in late 1648 and during 1649.
A set of religious reformist beliefs and its supporters, challenging the established church and faith but also seen as fomenting radical political and socio-economic change, which emerged in parts of Continental Europe in the sixteenth century. Often used as a term of abuse in seventeenth-century England to smear (more moderate) religious reformers and those outside the established church.
A set of religious doctrines and its supporters, springing from the ideas of the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius, who downplayed predestination and stressed that God’s grace and salvation were available to all, thus in some elements appearing to be closer to Catholicism than to Protestant beliefs. Favoured by Charles I and William Laud, the term is often applied to the wider programme of high church and more sacramental and ceremonial practices which the king and his archbishop sought to advance within the Church of England from the start of the reign but especially during the Personal Rule.
Two alleged attempts in spring and in summer 1641 by the king or other prominent royalists to employ military units, especially the remnant of the English and Welsh army which had been raised the previous year to fight the Second Scots’ War and perhaps too some parts of the Scottish army then occupying the far north of England, to move on London, thus bolstering the position of the king and intimidating the Long Parliament. Neither plot resulted in any clear military action, but both played into the hands of the king’s critics in parliament, who theatrically announced and perhaps exaggerated the nature and details of these abortive plots in order to maintain pressure on the king’s position.
See Westminster Assembly.
The regular direct tax on land, property and income which parliament imposed on the areas of England and Wales under its control from early 1643; a little later the king imposed a broadly similar tax on the areas under his control, often labelled the ‘Contribution’. It became a more uniform and national tax, collected weekly, fortnightly or monthly, throughout the whole country after parliament won the war and it was retained by the various parliamentarian regimes until the Restoration.
A legal process, developed in the medieval period and used repeatedly by late medieval and early Tudor monarchs, in which parliament passed a bill, then given royal assent, condemning a member of the social or political elite of a serious crime, leading to deprivation of property and title and usually execution. Acts of Attainder were passed to condemn and execute the Earl of Strafford in 1641 and William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1644-5.
A set of religious doctrines and its supporters, marked by a rejection of infant Baptism as worthless and a belief instead in adolescent or adult Baptism in confirmation of a conscious decision to follow these beliefs. Baptism probably existed in shadowy forms and among clandestine groups outside the Church of England, in London and elsewhere, in the pre-war decades, but the collapse of the Church of England in the early 1640s and the de facto toleration for almost all Protestant groups from then until the Restoration, allowed it to flourish, within the parliamentarian armies and across the country more widely. In the process, an earlier division between Particular Baptists, who held firm to the Calvinistic idea of predestination, and General Baptists, who held that God’s grace was available to all, became even more marked as Baptism spread.
See Nominated Assembly.
The group of discontented Puritan peers and gentry centred around the earls of Bedford and Warwick during the 1630s and early 1640s. Members of the group included those such as Viscount Saye and Sele, Lord Mandeville, Lord Brooke, Oliver St John and John Pym who were alienated from the court and the King’s counsels. Members of the group were strongly opposed to Charles’s secular and religious policies and the Laudian innovations. Undercover meetings led to their collusion with the Scottish Covenanters in 1638–40 and the Petition of the Twelve Peers calling upon Charles to summon a parliament. During the Long Parliament members of this group became known as the Junto, who under the leadership of Bedford and Pym steered parliamentary opposition in the House of Lords and House of Commons.
The practice of compelling civilian households to provide soldiers (and sailors, while on shore) with bed and board, including meals, in their homes. Always unpopular, it was criticised in the Petition of Right and became a major source of complaints during the civil war, when it was widely practised by both sides, often in return for the uncertain promise of future reimbursement of costs, sometimes explicitly without payment (so-called ‘free-quartering’) to punish uncooperative or hostile communities.
See Scots’ Wars.
This was a vow and promise devised in 1584 by William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and Sir Francis Walsingham in the aftermath of assassination attempts against Elizabeth I. All those who signed were obliged to hunt down anyone that made any further attempts on the Queen’s life. It was signed by the Privy Council at Hampton Court in October 1584, and became a model which helped to shape the thinking behind The Protestation in 1641.
Royal documents, periodically issued, drawing to the attention of local officials, especially the county magistrates (JPs), existing laws, provisions and procedures which they should be implementing, often in respect of a particular problem or issue which had arisen. They were notably issued by Charles I early in the Personal Rule in response to what turned out to be a fairly short-lived subsistence crisis resulting from harvest failure.
Royal documents, periodically revised and issued, setting out the rates of customs duties and impositions to be levied on a range of goods.
Royal documents, issued by both James I in the 1610s and Charles I during the Personal Rule, stressing that, having attended a church service, subjects were free, indeed encouraged, to participate in various recreations, exercises and secular pastimes on Sundays. Thus they offended the puritans and others who believed in Sabbatarianism and the reservation of Sundays exclusively for religious and pious activities.
A pro-royalist rising in Cheshire in August 1659, led by Sir George Booth, a prominent Cheshire gentleman. Designed to coincide with other risings elsewhere, most of which were abortive or cancelled, Booth and his supporters were heavily defeated by loyal parliamentarian troops outside Northwich on 20 August.
Letters from and declarations of – A series of statements issued in spring 1660 by Charles Stuart, Prince of Wales, already styling himself Charles II, from the Dutch town of Breda, his then base in exile, which were intended to provide reassurance and to smooth his return and Restoration. The most significant of these, the Declaration of Breda of early April, expressed his preference for a general pardon and for broad religious liberty, while pledging that he would accept parliament’s recommendations about who was to be excepted from the former and the terms of the latter, and also indicating that he would leave it to parliament to resolve disputes about ownership of land and property.
Treaty between the future Charles II and the Scottish Covenanter government, whereby the Scots agreed to assist Charles in gaining the throne provided he signed the Oath of the Covenant and imposed Presbyterianism throughout his kingdoms. Negotiations began on 25 March 1560 and the treaty was signed on 1 May. Charles took the Covenant on 23 June 1650.
A modern term used by historians to highlight the tensions caused when, from 1603 onwards, three different and hitherto often separate or independent kingdoms, England, Ireland and Scotland, were united under a single monarch. The differences between the individual histories, heritages, cultures, populations, religions and preferred policies of the three kingdoms could lead to suspicion and antagonism, especially if a largely absentee monarch tried to effect change in hope of pulling his kingdoms closer together and achieving greater congruity. In the 1990s historians often focused on the British Problem as at the root of the series of wars and rebellions within and between the three British kingdoms in the mid seventeenth century, seeing it as a or the key cause of the civil wars in England, though that interpretation has faded a little over the past twenty years.
A modern term used by historians, especially those privileging the British Problem as the common root cause of the wars and rebellions within and between the three British kingdoms in the mid seventeenth century, to emphasise the perceived linkage between those conflicts. Thus, they argue, the English civil war(s) are better seen as just one element of these wider British (or British and Irish) wars of the period.
A set of reformed Protestant religious doctrines and its supporters, springing from the beliefs and writings of John Calvin of Geneva, and emphasising the primacy of scripture, justification by faith and predestination. Calvin’s teaching was supported and followed by many prominent figures of the English Reformation and, from the re-establishment of Protestantism at the beginning of Elizabeth I’s reign, Calvinism was central to the theology of the Church of England, though with predestination sometimes downplayed. Although the post-Reformation Scottish church was organised very differently from the English, it too was grounded in Calvinism.
Church laws, reissued, periodically revised and extended, including early in the reign of James I, though the Canons issued by Charles I and Archbishop Laud in 1640 were particularly controversial, viewed as incorporating and reflecting the Arminian or Laudian innovations favoured by the king and his archbishop and also because under them the clergy were required to swear an oath to abide by the government of the church by ‘archbishops, bishops, deans and archdeacons, etcetera…’. This open-ended ‘etcetera oath’, as it was dubbed, was viewed with suspicion, especially by those who felt that attempts were underway to move the Church of England closer to Catholicism and to restore papal power.
Lucius Cary, second Viscount Falkland (1609/10–1643) was a soldier and scholar who fought for the royalists during the First Civil War. During the Personal Rule Falkland lived at his home, Great Tew in Buckinghamshire, where he hosted poets, playwrights and scholars, a group known as the Great Tew Circle. Falkland sat as MP for Newport during the Short and Long Parliaments where he was an eloquent spokesman for the rule of law and the pruning back of the Arminian church, although he defended Episcopacy. Falkland opposed Strafford, believed that he deserved to die and supported the Bill of Attainder. Towards the end of 1641, as opposition to the King became more threatening, Falkland swung towards royalism. Charles appointed him a privy councillor and secretary of state. Falkland joined the King at York in 1642 and was created lord privy seal in April 1643. Desiring peace, and brought low by the miseries of war, Falkland fell into depression during 1643. He exposed himself to enemy fire at the Battle of Newbury on 20 September and died from a bullet wound to the lower abdomen. He was buried at Great Tew.
Drawn up in early autumn 1647 and reflecting the influence and input of the agitators and Levellerism, it proposed a series of constitutional changes more radical than those found in the Heads of the Proposals which was being supported by senior army officers. It was edited and repackaged to form a sharper and more coherent blueprint for a constitutional settlement, the Agreement of the People.
A set of religious doctrines and its supporters, holding true to the old, pre-Reformation faith, outlawed and illegal in England and Wales since the Reformation. Despite widespread fears of Catholicism, and occasional Catholic-inspired or pro-Catholic plots, by the early seventeenth century Roman Catholics in England and Wales were few in number – perhaps under 40,000 in total – and in the main politically loyal to crown and state. In Scotland, Catholicism remained a strong presence in parts of the Highlands and islands, and it was the faith of the majority of people living in Ireland.
The first parliament to be held after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. It restored bishops to the House of Lords, absent since 1641. Its acts included the Corporation Act (1660), the Act of Uniformity (1662) and the Conventicle Act (1664). It was called the ‘Cavalier Parliament’ because of its association with the royalists who fought for the King during the Civil Wars: of the 617 men who sat in the Commons between 1661 and 1667, 300 had supported either Charles I or his son. A further 56 had served on the parliamentarian side. The Cavalier Parliament was dissolved in 1679.
The truce concluded between Charles I and the leaders of the Irish Rebellion in September 1643 which ended hostilities by ceding control of most of the island to the Irish Catholics, who in turn agreed to end their attacks upon remaining Protestant towns and enclaves. As a result, the king hoped to bring back from Ireland those English and Welsh troops who had been sent there earlier in the 1640s to resist the Irish Rebellion, plus perhaps further recruits from amongst the Irish Protestant communities, thus reinforcing his armies waging civil war in England and Wales. It was utterly condemned by the parliamentarians, and even many of the king’s supporters had serious misgivings about doing a deal with Catholic rebels who had so recently killed large numbers of Protestants.
The official state Church of England and Wales, effectively refounded at the start of Elizabeth I’s reign by the Elizabethan church settlement. It was under royal control, the monarch being head of the church and supreme governor, and was episcopalian in structure, with power vested in two archbishops (Canterbury and York, the former having precedence) and diocesan bishops, all of whom were appointed by the crown. In theology and liturgy it was Calvinist and many of its practices, its forms of service and so forth were set out in its Prayer Book. By law, everyone in England and Wales was required to conform to it and attend its services. Repeated or long-term absenteeism was illegal, as was practising any other form of religion, including other brands of Protestantism and Catholicism. Its power and authority collapsed even before the civil war began, not least because the Archbishop of Canterbury was imprisoned from late 1640 and remained so until his execution in 1645, after which the office was vacant until the Restoration.
The main civil war in England and Wales, formally beginning on 22 August 1642 when Charles I raised his standard in Nottingham – though small-scale fighting, sporadic violence and some fatalities had occurred in parts of England before that date – and ending in early summer 1646 with parliament’s complete and unconditional military victory.
Term often applied to the intermittent fighting which broke out in parts of England and Wales during 1648, comprising home-grown risings, some overtly pro-royalist, others more ambiguously anti-parliamentarian, together with the planned invasion of a Scottish-royalist army, which in the end advanced no further than Lancashire and was destroyed in battle around and south of Preston during August.
Term sometimes applied to the renewed fighting of 1649-51, comprising the most active and decisive phase of the reconquest of Ireland by English republican forces and renewed hostilities in Scotland, both internal and, from summer 1650, between a pro-royalist Scottish army and part of the New Model Army sent north into Scotland. That Scottish campaign culminated in summer 1651 with an attempted invasion of England by the main Scottish-royalist army, leading to its utter defeat at Worcester on 3 September.
Four acts passed by the Cavalier Parliament re-establishing the Church of England after the Restoration. Named after Charles II’s chief minister, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, they comprised the Corporation Act (1661), the Act of Uniformity (1662), the Conventicle Act (1664) and the Five Mile Act (1665). The acts promoted the supremacy of the Anglican church while limiting the actions of Catholics, dissenting ministers and non-conformists.
Passed early in 1642 and one of the last bills to which Charles I gave his royal assent, it prevented those in holy orders from holding political and many other secular offices. One of its effects was to remove bishops and archbishops from the House of Lords.
Although the term was used quite widely during the civil war and the seventeenth century more generally to apply to often crudely-armed participants in mainly rural risings, it is often applied more specifically to participants in a series of somewhat more organised armed protests against the continuing civil war and military presence in some parts of England and Wales which took place between late 1644 and early 1646. Exactly what triggered these risings and why they occurred in some areas but not others – in South Wales but not in Mid or North Wales, in the central Marches but not the northern or southern Marches, in parts of central southern and south-western England but only in a very limited way in the Midlands – remains unclear.
Issued from time to time by the crown in the late medieval period to raise an army, they were revived by Charles I in 1642 and issued on a county basis by him from early summer onwards to appoint in each county under his control a body of supporters who were empowered both to call out the county militia to fight for him and to raise further volunteers to serve as soldiers. The bodies thus created in 1642 generally evolved into the royalist county committees of the war years.
The Sequestration Committee was established by the Long Parliament in March 1643 to seize the estates of those they termed ‘delinquents’. These comprised royalists, Roman Catholics and sometimes even anyone they suspected of not obeying Parliament’s orders. The idea was to make the enemy pay for Parliament’s war effort. Lands that had been sequestered by the committee had their rental incomes diverted into Parliament’s war effort, and the owners had to pay a fine and ‘compound’ with Parliament to recover them. The Sequestration Committee was merged with the Committee for Compounding in January 1650. The royalists attempted to administer a similar process of confiscating the property and rental incomes of their perceived enemies in the territories that they controlled.
The name for the Long Parliament’s main war-time executive body, before then sometimes known as the Committee of Safety, from early 1644, once it had been expanded to include some Scottish members added in the wake of the Solemn League and Covenant. Scottish involvement dwindled after the main war and it shrank back into an English and Welsh body early in 1648, after the Scots had concluded a separate deal with the king, whereupon it was sometimes again referred to as the Committee of Safety. The committee usually met at Derby House in London and hence is sometimes referred to as the Derby House Committee.
Informal name for the Long Parliament’s main war-time executive body, set up during the first year of the war, before it expanded with the addition of Scottish representatives to become the Committee of Both Kingdoms, reverting to that name in the late 1640s once Scottish participation ceased.
The short-lived, military-dominated supreme governing body set up in London by the leading New Model Army generals in autumn 1659, after the army had ejected the Rump for the second time. Such naked military rule divided the army, with some units in England and Wales and many stationed in Ireland and Scotland opposing the move, as did much of the navy, such that the regime quickly imploded and the Committee of Safety resigned before the end of the year.
A broad term, with several contemporary uses and meanings, but often referring to the English republican system, state and regimes of 1649-53, created by the removal of the king and the abolition of monarchy and the House of Lords, and ending with the advent of the Protectorate; sometimes also used to refer to the republican forms which returned in 1659-60. The allied term ‘Commonwealthsmen’ was used, especially during the Protectorate, to refer to those who favoured a pure republican system and who therefore criticised or opposed the Protectorate for moving away from it.
The process by which active royalists and others who were deemed to have opposed parliament during the civil war could recover part or all of their estates by paying a fine calculated according to the value of those estates. The process was overseen centrally by a powerful committee, established by the Long Parliament in 1644, and which generally sat at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London and so is often referred to as the Goldsmiths’ Hall Committee.
The process by which royalists could reclaim their confiscated estates, which usually involved paying a fine to Parliament, taking the Solemn League and Covenant and swearing the negative oath (promising not to bear arms against Parliament again).
The body established in 1642, once the Irish Rebellion was well underway and was assuming control of much of Ireland, with a general council both to oversee the government and administration of now Irish-Catholic-controlled areas and also to coordinate the continuing military effort.
The process of compelling civilians to become soldiers and fight. Although in 1642-3 the armies on both sides were made up of volunteers, by late 1643 both king and parliament had begun to conscript men to serve in the war and thereafter Conscription played a major role in keeping armies up to strength and raising new forces. On paper at least, both sides adopted rules about who could or could not be conscripted – typically able-bodied men, aged between 16 and 60, but not clergymen and not gentlemen or their sons.
The body, a parliament in all but name, summoned by the Long Parliament when it finally dissolved itself in mid-March 1660. Meeting from late April and comprising an elected House of Commons and a returned House of Lords, it oversaw the Restoration and was kept in place by Charles II until the end of the year.
The first part of the Clarendon Code. The Act disqualified anyone from legal election to a post governing a city or corporation who refused to swear the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Supremacy or who would not take Holy Communion at a Church of England service. By restricting these posts to Anglicans, Catholics and Protestant non-conformists were debarred from office. As well as the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, new and existing officers were also required to swear further oaths stating that they would not take up arms against the King and that they were not under obligation from the Solemn League and Covenant.
Term applied to the series of executive bodies which acted in tandem with the Rump in 1649-53, the Nominated Assembly during 1653 and the restored Rump in 1659 and early 1660. Most held power for up to a year, when they were replaced with a new Council, comprised up to 41 members, most of whom were MPs, and exercised extensive executive powers.
A royal administrative body, established by the Tudors, generally sitting in York, to reinforce the crown’s conciliar and judicial powers in northern England. It was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641.
A royal administrative body, re-established by the Tudors, generally sitting in Ludlow, to reinforce the crown’s conciliar and judicial powers in Wales and along the English-Welsh border. It was effectively abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641-2, though it was briefly reinstated after the Restoration.
Although the Privy Council continued to meet and advise the king during the war years, it was largely superseded by this more select and military-orientated body, which generally met in the king’s war-time capital of Oxford and comprised a few trusted administrators and political advisers and his leading generals. However, the dearth of surviving sources makes it very difficult to reconstruct a full picture of the operation and influence of the Council.
See Protectoral Council.
During the main civil war, both sides attempted to group neighbouring counties into larger military and administrative units, in order to pool resources, to form more effective regional armies and to boost their war efforts, though such attempts frequently encountered resistance at county level and these associations often failed to gel or contribute much. This is true of three of parliament’s main associations, the West Midlands Association, the East Midlands Association and the South-Eastern Association, though its Eastern Association, comprising East Anglia and parts of the East Midlands, did operate far more successfully in 1643 and 1644 and its army, the Eastern Association Army, proved quite dynamic and successful until much of it was absorbed into the New Model Army in spring 1645.
During the main civil war, both sides ran the territories under their control through county committees, bodies of a few dozen men, generally a mixture of established local magistrates (JPs), newly-appointed civilian supporters and a few military men. Largely superseding the normal peace-time county government, the committee had wide powers to oversee justice and administration within the county, but more importantly was required to maintain the war effort by drawing off resources and materiel in the form of food, fodder, horses, conscripts and above all money.
A Scottish national Covenant, drawn up in February 1638 by the leaders of protests against and resistance to Charles I’s religious policies in Scotland, in response to threats from the king. Although carefully worded to avoid direct criticism of or opposition to the king, its signatories pledged to support each other in resisting innovation in religion. It attracted widespread support across most of lowland and parts of highland Scotland and thereafter served as a rallying point, its supporters and those acting broadly in its name – who increasingly took control of the government and administration of the country from 1639 onwards – dubbed the ‘Covenanters’.
In a civil war context, a heavily-armed mounted soldier, typically wearing full body armour, almost like a medieval knight. Although a few Cuirassier units were raised and employed in the civil war, especially in its early stages, the difficulty and expense of equipping a cavalryman in this way, together with the fact that by this stage even plate armour did not give full protection from musket balls, meant that from the outset the much more lightly-armoured Harquebusier was favoured and they, rather than cuirassiers, always formed the great majority of mounted soldiers in a civil war army.
John, first Baron Culpepper (variants Culpeper, Colepeper) (c. 1600–1660) fought for the royalists. He sat as MP for Rye, Sussex, in the Short Parliament and for Kent in the Long Parliament. Initially, Culpepper spoke out against the policies of the Personal Rule, and he supported Strafford’s execution. But as an ardent supporter of Episcopacy he spoke out against the Root and Branch Petition, and the rising tide of violence during 1641 drove him closer to the King. He was admitted to the Privy Council in January 1642 and appointed chancellor of the exchequer. He joined the King at York and fought alongside Prince Rupert at Edgehill. In January 1643 the King appointed him master of the rolls. He was one of the King’s commissioners at the Treaty of Uxbridge. In 1646 he fled to Jersey with Prince Charles and accompanied him into France. Initially, as one of the ‘Louvre group’, he was an influential figure in the exiled prince’s councils. But his influence faded, perhaps because of ongoing disagreements with Hyde, which persisted until the late 1650s. Nevertheless, he was appointed chancellor of the exchequer to the restored Charles II in June 1660. He died a month later, on 11 July, and was buried at Hollingbourne in Kent.
Often still referred to at this time as tonnage and poundage, Customs duties had developed during the medieval period into one of the largest potential sources of income for the English crown. However, the crown’s right to collect them had come to depend upon parliamentary approval and although, from the fifteenth century, it had been usual for the first parliament of a new reign to grant the incoming monarch the right to collect them for life, no such grant had been made at the beginning of Charles I’s reign – his parliament of 1625 had granted that right for a year only. The king’s continued collection of Customs duties through both the later 1620s, despite his acceptance of the Petition of Right, and the Personal Rule became a source of grievance and in 1641 the Long Parliament legislated to make clear that they could be collected only with parliament’s approval.
A document drawn up and issued by the New Model Army in mid-June 1647, around the time it had taken control of the king and had firmly refused to obey the Long Parliament’s orders to disband, proclaiming that it was not a mere mercenary army but instead represented the liberties of the people, calling for the present parliament to set a date for its dissolution and for the election of a new parliament with seats in the House of Commons redistributed, to sit no longer than a set, fixed duration.
See Committee of Both Kingdoms.
Sir Edward Dering (1598–1644) sided with the royalists at the outbreak of the First Civil War, but changed sides and was granted a pardon by Parliament in 1644. Failing to obtain a seat for the Short Parliament, Dering was elected as member for Kent during the Long Parliament, but his speeches in favour of modified Episcopacy and against the Grand Remonstrance caused offence. He was expelled from the Commons in February 1642 and imprisoned, and his speeches were ordered to be burnt. He was released upon petition, but his involvement in the Kentish Petition of March 1642 for the preservation of Episcopacy pushed him onto the King’s side and he was placed on the King’s Commission of Array for Kent. Dering was always a wavering royalist, and short-lived military action in 1643, when he raised a regiment for the King, was followed by his defection in early 1644. He died in the same year and was buried at Pluckley in Kent.
The third Earl of Essex (1591–1646), parliamentarian, was a professional soldier who had served in the Protestant armies in Germany and the Low Countries. A critic of the government during the 1620s, Essex refused the Forced Loan and supported the Petition of Right. Despite his military experience, Essex was granted only a subordinate post as lieutenant-general in the First Bishops’ War, and in the Second Bishops’ War he was replaced by Strafford. At the outbreak of war Essex was appointed captain-general of Parliament’s armies, but apart from moderate success at Gloucester and Newark in 1643, his military leadership was unremarkable. A devastating defeat at Lostwithiel in 1644 ended Essex’s military career and in 1645 he resigned his commission. Essex’s inflated sense of honour impeded clear thinking and effectiveness, and he was an efficient rather than a dynamic military commander. He died in 1646 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
A radical group and its members, also sometimes called the True Levellers, emerging and active in the late 1640s, who saw the land as a God-given common treasury for all and who established a series of agricultural communities, living on and working the land, the biggest and best documented on St George’s Hill in Surrey. Numbers were always limited and it proved to be a very short-lived movement, as all the Digger communities – clustered in southern England and the south Midlands – were soon violently expelled or dispersed.
The new service book, drawn up by the Westminster Assembly and endorsed and adopted by the Long Parliament in 1645-6, intended to replace the old Church of England Prayer Book and to realign religion and religious services in England and Wales along more Presbyterian lines.
Broadly, a term for Protestant beliefs and worshippers outside the Church of England. In a completely different context and far more specifically, the means by which MPs could, in the aftermath of Pride’s Purge of December 1648, pledge that they disagreed with – thus ‘dissented’ from – the vote of the House of Commons of 5 December to conclude a negotiated settlement with Charles I, doing so in order to take or retake their seats.
One of the old feudal dues revived by Charles I during his Personal Rule, under which in theory any landowners with property worth above a set amount were required to present themselves at a new monarch’s coronation to be knighted. This did not occur at Charles’s coronation, but starting in the later 1620s and pursued more rigorously in the early and mid-1630s, by the end of the Personal Rule over 9,000 landowners had been fined for their failure to come forward. The practice was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641.
A belief, shared by most early-modern monarchs, including James I and Charles I, that monarchs were appointed by God and ultimately answerable only to God.
Soldiers who were mounted, generally on rather second-rate horses, enabling them to move forward fairly quickly at the start of an Engagement and occupy important advanced positions, but who then dismounted to fight, often with volleys of musket fire into enemy units as they moved forward. Most larger armies in the civil war contained units of Dragoons, often initially stationed at the ends of the battle line when the army drew up for a major Engagement, but then one of the first units to move forward.
The war at sea between England and Dutch Republic, 1652-4. Long-simmering naval and commercial rivalries between England and the Dutch became more intense after the passing of the Rump’s Navigation Act in autumn 1651, there were clashes at sea during spring 1652 and both sides declared war in the summer. The ensuing conflict, fought at sea and not on land, saw a string of English victories but no knock-out blow, enthusiasm dwindled on both sides during 1653 and the war, overall effectively a draw or a narrow English win, was ended by the Treaty of Westminster in spring 1654.
A nickname for the commissioners appointed in each county under an ordinance of the protector and Protectoral Council of 1654, empowered to eject any parish minister found to be scandalous, ignorant or insufficient, terms which could be applied to former royalists and royalist sympathisers and to those still following Arminian or Laudian practices.
The deal signed between Charles I and the Scots at Christmas 1647, under which the Scots agreed to restore the king to full power south of the border, thus entailing a Scottish-royalist invasion and military campaign, in return for Charles’s pledge to establish Presbyterianism in England and Wales for a three-year period. Those who supported this deal were therefore dubbed ‘Engagers’.
An oath of loyalty imposed by the Rump, initially only on selected senior officials, then more broadly on holders of public office and eventually on all adult males, requiring acceptance of the authority and legitimacy of the republican regime. Often controversial or resisted, it was abolished by the incoming Protectorate regime.
A system in which the church is governed by or via bishops (and archbishops), as seen in the Church of England but not in the Presbyterian Scottish church or Kirk.
A system in which the state has authority over and runs or at least oversees the church. It is often applied particularly to the running of parochial religion in England and Wales during the Protectorate, which passed ordinances to regulate the appointment to vacant livings (see Triers) and to remove incumbent parochial ministers deemed unworthy or insufficient (see Ejectors).
See Canons.
Duties imposed on a range of goods, both staples and luxuries, initially by the Long Parliament from 1643 to help fund its war effort, but also adopted on the royalist side. Although the collection of Excise duties was difficult and probably very patchy during the war years, after parliament’s victory they were imposed nationally and more effectively and, despite their unpopularity, were maintained as a significant source of state income until the Restoration.
A tax on moveable property, already outdated by the time the civil war began, and quickly replaced by other, newer, more effective taxes needed to raise the huge sums both sides required to fund their war efforts.
A set of politico-religious beliefs and its supporters, springing from millenarianism and envisaging an interim government by radical reformers to pave the way for the second coming and rule of Christ. Emerging in the early 1650s, its proponents urged sweeping reform of the law, the ministry and much of the existing political and governmental systems, and in consequence they increasingly came to be seen as dangerous or subversive, especially during the Protectorate, which they opposed but during which they found themselves marginalised and harassed, reduced to mounting occasional, violent but unsuccessful uprisings.
A legal case brought by five prominent gentlemen, all knights, whose refusal to pay the Forced Loan had led to their imprisonment, challenging the king’s right to detain them. Heard before the judges of the King’s Bench, the king successfully avoided the case turning on the legality or otherwise of the Forced Loan, instead arguing that on grounds of national security he had the right and prerogative power to order the arrest and detention of any of his subjects, a principle that the judges supported in finding for the king. The resulting grievances found expression in the Petition of Right.
– Five MPs and one peer, all prominent critics of the royal government, against whom in January 1642 Charles I brought charges of high treason on a variety of grounds, some perhaps spurious or vague, though others – including alleged collusion with the Scots while England was waging the Scot’s Wars – probably true. When the Commons proved uncooperative, the king, accompanied by some soldiers, attended the Palace of Westminster, Charles entering the Commons chamber itself, only to discover that the five MPs had been forewarned and had fled. Charles’s failed attempt to enforce the arrest was seen as a humiliation and a gross breach of parliamentary privilege, he was similarly rebuffed the following day when he sought the assistance of the City of London and by February he had backtracked and was viewing his actions as a mistake. The episode marked a key staging post in the collapse of mutual trust and the growing divisions between king and parliament.
A compulsory levy on all those liable for a parliamentary subsidy, initiated by Charles I in autumn 1626 in an attempt to cover his spiralling costs, especially his war with Spain, and to seek a non-parliamentary source of income. Aimed at raising the equivalent of five subsidies or around £275,000, although termed a loan, there was no expectation that the money would be repaid. While financially successful, in that by late 1627 most of the money had been paid, it provoked some limited but persistent opposition – leading to the Five Knights’ Case – and was more widely perceived as an abuse – as expressed in the Petition of Right.
During the Personal Rule Charles I revived the medieval Forest Laws, which had been designed to protect and preserve the crown’s hunting grounds, in order to fine those who had encroached upon those old and hitherto long-abandoned royal rights. Although providing the king with a further useful source of income during the 1630s, the revival of Forest Laws was perceived as grievous and in 1641 the Long Parliament legislated to restrict the boundaries of the royal forests and severely to limit the enforcement of the medieval Forest Laws.
During autumn 1647 the Long Parliament repackaged its terms for a broad constitutional settlement with the king, based mainly on its Newcastle Propositions of the previous year but modified in some respects, into Four Bills, to be presented to Charles. He rejected them in December, instead reaching a different deal, the Engagement, with the Scots.
The right to vote.
The governing body of the Scottish Presbyterian church.
The theory that between the early seventeenth century and the closing decades of that century, Europe went through some sort of continent-wide crisis, causing an unusual number and concentration of wars, civil wars, rebellions and other violent outbreaks during this period. Thus historians who took this line argued that the origins of all the wars which took place in Britain and Ireland in the mid-seventeenth century are to be found in these wider causes, though the proponents of the theory differed in what they saw as those broad root causes – some stressed climatic downturn or demographic trends fuelling a broad socio-economic crisis, others common political developments fuelling a broad political crisis. At its height in the 1950s and 1960s, the theory only ever attracted a minority of historians and it is no longer usually seen as explaining the origins and causes of the civil war.
As Puritan was a term of insult originating in the 1560s, hotter Protestants often preferred to call themselves 'the Godly'. The term was often applied to parliamentarian supporters during the Civil Wars, and Protestant nonconformists after 1662.
A parliamentary document running to more than 200 clauses and narrowly passed by the House of Commons in late November 1641, it listed perceived grievances and misgovernment, most occurring since 1625, some of them already resolved by legislation passed in the opening year of the Long Parliament, many others still outstanding. Although both the contents of the document and its subsequent wider circulation outraged some moderates, the king’s formal response in December was measured, urging parliament to draw up bills dealing with further desired reforms and to present clear evidence and specific charges against any of his councillors and advisers suspected of crimes, suggesting some sort of synod to consider religious reforms, but rebuffing suggestions for more extensive reductions in his royal power and prerogative.
During the English Civil War, senior military officers from the landed gentry serving in the New Model Army, opposing the Levellers, came to be informally termed Grandees. After the defeat of King Charles I in the civil war, there was a series of debates and confrontations between the radical elected representatives of the New Model Army soldiers, known as Agitators, and the Army Grandees such as Sir Thomas Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell, and Henry Ireton, who opposed the Agitators' more radical proposals. The disagreements were aired publicly at the Putney Debates, which started in late October 1647 and lasted for several weeks.
Set up by the Rump at the beginning of 1652 under the chairmanship of Sir Matthew Hale, it was to enquire into problems with the laws and the judicial system and to recommend changes. The committee reported back in the summer with plenty of proposals, some of which were debated in the Rump, but none became law before the Rump was ejected in spring 1653, though a few served as the basis for later changes made by the Nominated Assembly and during the Protectorate.
John Hampden (1595–1643), a landed gentleman from Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, sat in every parliament from 1621 until his death in 1643. According to Clarendon, he was ‘a man of … cunning, and … the most discerning spirit’. Hampden opposed the Forced Loan in 1637 and was famously the protagonist in a test case against Ship Money in 1637–8. He was part of the Bedford Circle, helping to draft the Petition of the Twelve Peers, and became one of the leading members of the Junto in the Long Parliament. He fought for Parliament in the Civil War, raising his own regiment of foot in Buckinghamshire. He saw action at Edgehill but was wounded at Chalgrove Field on 18 June 1643. He died six days later at Thame, Oxfordshire.
A legal case heard before the Exchequer Court in 1637-8 as a result of the refusal of John Hampden, a widely-respected former MP and Buckinghamshire gentleman, to pay his Ship Money. In what was designed as a test case, by a majority decision the judges supported the obligation to pay Ship Money and found against Hampden, though the case and its verdict probably served to sharpen antipathy towards Ship Money and the other non-parliamentary financial innovations of the Personal Rule.
In a civil war context, a lightly-equipped mounted soldier, armed with a broad sword and a pair of pistols but wearing only limited body armour, usually a metal breast (and sometimes back) plate, an open-fronted metal helmet and pieces of armour protecting one or both arms; additionally or alternatively, they generally wore a thick leather coat, which afforded some protection for the main body and torso. Troops equipped in this way formed the majority of the Cavalry in civil war armies. See also Cuirassier.
James Harrington (c. 1607–1680) fought for Parliament at the battle of Newbury in 1643, where he was a major-general in command of five regiments of citizen soldiers from London and Westminster. He was elected as MP for Rutland in 1646 and was one of the commissioners for Charles I’s journey from Newcastle to Holdenby. He opposed peace talks with the King in late 1646, but although he attended the court of justice in January 1649, he did not support Charles’s execution. Harrington was appointed to the first Commonwealth Council of State and played a prominent role during the Rump Parliament. He was a councillor of state five times, and president of that body in September 1652. After the fall of the Rump he had no part in politics until 1659, when he was elected as president of the new Council of State. Despite his lack of support for the Regicide, Harrington suffered at the Restoration: his estates were confiscated, he was stripped of his titles, and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also sentenced to the indignity of a sledging. Harrington went into hiding to evade this fate, finally going into exile on the continent. He died in April 1680.
Thomas Harrison, of Staffordshire, was an Army officer, Fifth Monarchist, MP, and Regicide. He sided with Parliament, serving first under Essex, then in Manchester’s Eastern Association. Harrison was elected to the Commons in 1646 and was a member of the committee that drew up the Engagement in 1647. An implacable opponent of the king, Harrison was intent on Charles’s destruction. He personally conducting Charles from Hurst Castle to London to stand trial and was a member of the High Court of Justice. He signed Charles’s death warrant, and supervised the King’s funeral. Harrison enjoyed high military command during the Commonwealth while retaining his seat in the Commons. However, he disliked the minutiae of business and lacked political acumen. His commitment was to God rather than to politics. A zealous Puritan, millenarian, and leading Fifth Monarchist, Harrison distanced himself from the government. His opposition to the first Protectorate parliament led to his political exile, arrest and imprisonment. At the Restoration, Harrison was one of the seven men excluded from Charles II’s Act of Indemnity. He was the first of the regicides to be brought to trial, where he was condemned to death. He was hung, drawn and quartered on 13 October 1660.
Lucy Hay, Countess of Carlisle (1599–1660) was a prominent courtier known for her beauty and wit, and a secret agent during the Civil Wars. She was an associate of Strafford, her legal advisor in the 1630s, but following his execution she cultivated the attentions of leading parliamentarians, including Pym, to whom it was believed she leaked word of the arrest of the Five Members. Lucy was adept at courting both sides. While her affiliations were with the parliamentarians, Lucy was also welcomed by the royalists at Oxford. During the war Lucy associated herself with men such as the earls of Essex and Holland, and Denzil Holles who favoured a negotiated peace. In the late 1640s, Lucy was implicated in plots to secure the King’s escape from custody. Following the Regicide the Council of State committed her to the Tower, and she remained under restraint until 1652. Lucy died in November 1660 and was buried at Petworth, Sussex.
Document drawn up and supported by the senior officers of the New Model Army in July 1647, setting out a possible political, religious and constitutional settlement with the king. Probably the most moderate set of terms presented to the king in 1646-7 – indeed, they proved too moderate for some more radical elements inside and outside the army, who drew up alternative terms (see Agreement of the People) – Charles nonetheless prevaricated and did not commit himself to them.
Sir Edward Herbert (c. 1591–1657) was appointed solicitor general in 1640 and attorney general in 1641. Herbert exhibited the articles against the Five Members in 1642 and read the charge against them in the Lords, drawing upon himself the animosity of the Commons, at whose instigation he was briefly imprisoned in the Fleet prison. Herbert sided with the royalists until 1645, when he incurred Charles’s animosity by declining the office of lord keeper. Parliament sequestered his estates the following year and declared him ‘incapable of pardon’. Herbert fled to the continent. He was reappointed attorney general by the future Charles II, and afterwards allied himself with the Swordsmen. Herbert was appointed lord keeper by Charles in 1653 but his machinations against Hyde, who hated him, brought about his fall. He resigned the great seal in 1654. He died in 1657 in Paris.
The king’s senior church and religious court, it was employed by Charles I and Laud during the Personal Rule to enforce adherence to their new style Church of England and to cower opponents. It was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641, though it was briefly revived by James II later in the century.
Denzil Holles (1598–1680) came to national prominence by opposing the dissolution of the 1629 parliament, when as MP for Dorchester he held the Speaker down in the chair. His resistance continued into the Personal Rule, when he refused to pay Ship Money. He was re-elected as MP for Dorchester in both the Short and Long Parliaments, where he continued to play a prominent role. One of the Five Members, Holles took up arms against the King, but during 1642–43 he emerged as a leading member of the Peace Party and was active in negotiations with Charles I. Continuing to advocate peace, Holles led the Presbyterian faction against the New Model Army. As one of the Eleven Members impeached in 1647, Holles went into exile on the continent, where he remained until 1648. Upon his return he resumed his attempts to restore peace through negotiated treaty. Following Pride’s Purge he once more went into exile. He returned to England in 1654, where he lived quietly until the Restoration. He was a member of the Privy Council under Charles II, whom he served as a diplomat. He died at Dorchester in 1680.
The second written constitution of the Protectorate, in summer 1657 replacing the Instrument of Government, it was a much revised version of a document (the Remonstrance) first presented to the Second Protectorate Parliament in February 1657. Emerging from parliamentary scrutiny, debate and amendment in late March and offered to Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, after lengthy contemplation it was rejected by him in early May, largely on the grounds that it would revive monarchy and make him king. Revised by parliament once more to drop the title king and to retain a lord protector as head of state, it was in this form accepted by Cromwell in early June, and, with further constitutional exemplifications and additions embodied in an Additional (Humble) Petition and Advice, it led onto the second inauguration of the regime in late June. It shifted some power from the Protectoral Council to parliament, established a new, nominated second parliamentary chamber (not the old House of Lords) and required the existing lord protector to nominate his successor. It remained the constitution of the Protectorate until the regime collapsed in spring 1659.
Born in Wiltshire, Hyde had a successful career as a lawyer in the 1630s. He sat as MP for Wootton Bassett in the Short Parliament, and for Saltash in the Long Parliament. He dedicated himself to his role, describing himself as ‘very much in the business of the house … very diligent’. Having begun as a prominent spokesman against Charles I’s policies, he went over to the king in November 1641, along with his friends Falkland and Culpepper. Hyde was a committed episcopalian, and Parliament’s attacks on the church were instrumental in his defection. He joined the king at York in June 1642, and accompanied him to Nottingham and Edgehill. Charles knighted him in February 1643, when he also admitted him to his Privy Council and appointed him chancellor of the exchequer. Hyde forged an early relationship with Prince Charles, accompanying him to the West Country in 1645, and to Jersey in 1646. Created lord chancellor by Charles II in 1658, Hyde was a leading architect of the Restoration. He was created Earl of Clarendon in 1661. Impeached in 1667, Clarendon went into exile in France, where he died. His History of the Rebellion and Life, which remain important eyewitness accounts of the conflict from a Royalist perspective, were written largely while he was in exile, but were not printed until 1703.
Revived in the early seventeenth century after nearly two centuries in abeyance, this was a judicial procedure organised by and conducted within parliament, with the House of Commons generally preparing the charges and the trial itself held in the House of Lords. The process was not always successful, for Charles I’s use of dissolution saved the Duke of Buckingham from the attempt of the 1626 parliament to impeach him, while attempts to impeach the Earl of Strafford in 1641 and William Laud in 1644 faltered and in the end both were condemned and executed by Attainder.
Taxes on imported or exported goods, additional to or separate from customs duties, imposed by, and with the proceeds passing to, the crown. They continued to be imposed and indeed extended in the early Stuart period, bolstered by a test case of 1606 (Bate’s case) which supported the crown’s right to do so, despite their unpopularity and frequent complaints about them in the parliaments of the period.
See Conscription.
Protection from legal action and prosecution, one of the key demands of parliamentarian troops and armies after the main civil war was for parliament to pass legislation fully Indemnifying them from any future prosecutions for their actions during the civil war. Legal exemption from prosecution for acts committed by the soldiers under orders during the Civil Wars. Parliamentarian soldiers were rightly fearful that without a legal Indemnity in place, they could be hanged or imprisoned by civilian authorities once they were disbanded. Historians used to argue that Indemnity, like pay, was a professional rather than a political grievance. This has more recently been challenged by the argument that the soldiers' need for Indemnity had revolutionary consequences.
Legislation of Charles II and his Convention passed in 1660 granting a broad pardon and amnesty for the actions of the previous two decades. In the end, the only people exempted from it were regicides and a handful of others who might be liable to execution and a number of others who, if convicted, would be imprisoned or simply barred from holding public office.
The Act passed on 29 August 1660 pardoning most of those who had fought for Parliament or served the Protectorate government. The Act thereby halted any process of revenge or retribution for crimes and offences perpetrated during the wars by putting them under ‘utter oblivion’. Exceptions included the regicides, those who had been involved in Charles I’s execution, and some former parliamentarians including Sir Arthur Haselrig, Sir Henry Mildmay, Sir James Harrington, Sir Henry Vane and John Lambert. Those who plotted the Irish uprising of 1641 were also excluded.
A set of religious doctrines and its supporters, marked by a radical Protestantism and a belief that individual congregations should be largely independent of any wider church structure and organisation and so able to determine their own affairs. As such, it could serve as an umbrella term and encompass other sects and their followers who held that view.
The label given to a group or faction within the Long Parliament – though also applied more widely to parliamentarians outside parliament who took these views – during the 1640s. This group was marked by their support for the war and seeing it through to a full military victory, for then imposing quite a harsh and restrictive settlement on the defeated king, further reducing royal powers, and for a broad post-war religious settlement guaranteeing religious freedom to most of the brands, groups and sects of Protestants which sprang up in England and Wales during the 1640s, and strongly resisting any attempt to restore a single national church to which everyone would have to conform. In the slightly different context of the 1650s, the term continued to be applied to the more radical and committed parliamentarians.
Proclamations issued by Charles II and James II attempting to effect religious toleration. Charles II issued Declarations of Indulgence in 1662 and 1672. The earlier Declaration announced the King’s intention of honouring promises made in the Declaration of Breda concerning religious practices, and promoting his own freedom to slacken the penal laws against Recusants and dissenters. The bill was defeated in the Lords. A further attempt to soften the penal laws against Recusants and dissenters was defeated in 1672. James II issued two further Declarations in 1687 and 1688, which also attracted fierce Anglican opposition.
The first written constitution of the Protectorate, drawn up in late 1653 by a small group of army officers, under which the new regime was inaugurated on 16 December. It restored a single head of state, a lord protector, naming Oliver Cromwell as the first protector to hold office for life, but giving the protector limited and tightly circumscribed powers and compelling him to work with a permanent and powerful executive council (the Protectoral Council) and an assured succession of parliaments with extensive legislative powers (the Protectorate Parliaments). It also guaranteed broad liberty of conscience for most Protestants and made provision for an army and a navy. It was a British and Irish constitution for a British and Irish government, giving Scotland and Ireland representation in the Protectorate Parliaments. The First Protectorate Parliament sought but failed to revise and rewrite it, and the Instrument served as the written constitution for the regime until superseded by the Humble and Additional Petition and Advice drawn up by the Second Protectorate Parliament and enacted in summer 1657.
In this context, a term for the period of just over eleven years between the execution of Charles I and the abolition of monarchy in England and Wales during the opening weeks of 1649 and the Restoration and effective start of Charles II’s reign in spring 1660.
The armed rising of some of the majority Irish Catholic population against (aspects of) English Protestant rule began in October 1641, quickly gathered pace and won wider support amongst Irish Catholics, such that by 1642 most of the island was under their control. Although the scale and savagery of the killings were greatly exaggerated in the English and Scottish press for propaganda purposes, it is clear that several thousand Protestants in Ireland were killed in the early stages of the Rebellion. The Irish Rebellion and its consequences immediately added to tensions and distrust between the king and his English parliament in autumn 1641, contributing to the breakdown of 1641-2, and exacerbated further when the king concluded a truce with the Irish Catholics in 1643 (the Cessation). After the distractions of the civil war, the long-planned English military campaign to reverse the Irish Rebellion and to restore English, Protestant and by then republican control over Ireland was finally effected by part of the New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell and other commanders between 1649 and 1653.
James, Duke of York (1633–1701), the second son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, reigned as King James II from 1685 to 1688. James spent his early years at Richmond Palace under the governance of the Marquess of Hertford. He was summoned to London in 1642, and was with the King for the raising of the standard in Nottingham. He was also present at Edgehill. During the remainder of the war James lived at Oxford, at his father’s court, where he received his education. After the surrender of Oxford in 1646 James was taken to London by his captors, stripped of his servants, and placed under the governance of the Earl of Northumberland. He escaped in 1648 and fled to the Hague, and thence to Paris, where he enlisted in the French army. He fought various campaigns for the French before enlisting in the service of Spain at his elder brother’s behest in 1657. He remained in the Spanish Netherlands until the Restoration. Charles II appointed his brother Lord High Admiral, in which role he fought in the second Dutch War. James converted to Catholicism in 1669. This did not prevent his succession to the throne in 1685, but he faced Rebellion later the same year following an invasion from Charles II’s illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth. The Rebellion was put down at Sedgemoor in 1685 and Monmouth was executed. In 1688, when James’s second wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to a Catholic heir, a group of Protestant nobles approached William of Orange, wife of James’s sister, Mary. William invaded England in November 1688. James fled into exile, and in March 1689 sailed to Ireland, from where he attempted an invasion of England to retake the throne. He was defeated by William at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. James died in exile at Saint-Germain in France in September 1701.
Local magistrates, appointed by the crown and usually drawn from the larger landowning families, JPs were the workhorse of local (county) government, overseeing the administration and infrastructure of the county and with wide judicial powers to hear and determine all but the most serious criminal cases. County JPs met together four times a year in quarter sessions, but smaller groups of local JPs met more often in petty sessions to conduct local business.
In this context, a term sometime applied to the group of leading critics of Charles I and his government in the Long Parliament during the opening years of that parliament.
The Scottish church which, following the Scottish Reformation of the 1560s, was Protestant and Presbyterian, a ‘bottom up’ type of church, very different from the monarchically-controlled, ‘top down’ Church of England which had emerged from the English Reformation. Both as an adult and active king of Scotland in the later sixteenth-century and largely in absentia after he had inherited the English throne in 1603, James VI and I worked, with some if limited success, both to rebuild greater royal influence over the Scottish church and, late in his reign, to introduce some English elements into it, thus bringing it somewhat closer to the Church of England. Charles I attempted to take that policy further, especially through seeking to introduce a more Anglicised Prayer Book in the later 1630s, with disastrous consequences.
John Lambert (c. 1619–1684), soldier and parliamentarian leader, won recognition during the First Civil War for his military leadership in the Northern Association. He served under Cromwell as his major-general ahead during the Scottish campaigns of 1650–52. Lambert was also active in politics. He drew up the Instrument of Government in 1653 and helped effect the Protectorate. Lambert supported Cromwell’s appointment as Lord Protector, but opposed his assumption of the kingship. The subsequent breach led to Lambert’s resignation of his commands in July 1657. He returned to politics and military action under Richard Cromwell, but orchestrated the removal of the Rump in October 1659. An abortive march against General Monck in late 1659 resulted in his committal to the Tower. He escaped, and attempted an abortive military resistance to the Restoration. Accused of high treason in 1662, Lambert was given the death sentence, but this was commuted to life imprisonment. He was transferred to St Nicholas Island in 1670, where he died in February 1684.
William Laud (1573–1645) was Archbishop of Canterbury between 1633 and 1645. Laud incurred unpopularity, indeed notoriety, during the Personal Rule for his religious policies, in particular his assumed crypto-Catholicism and Arminianism. His attack on Calvinist forms of worship and his innovations in religion, as well as his collaboration with Strafford to bring about their policy of Thorough, brought him into disrepute and resulted in his Impeachment by Parliament in 1641. Laud was committed to the Tower but not tried until March 1644. He was executed in January 1645. His body is interred in the chapel of St John’s College, Oxford.
The church policies promoted by William Laud during the Personal Rule, notably from 1633 as Archbishop of Canterbury, combining elements of Arminianism with other policies to adorn churches and church services, to beautify and redesign church interiors, especially by replacing movable communion tables with fixed and railed-off east-end altars, to enhance episcopal control, to emphasise the role of ministers as intermediaries between God and the people and generally to promote ceremonial and sacramental elements. Some historians favour this term for Laud’s programme rather than Arminianism, as at times Laud seemed to distance himself from the teachings of Arminius and in some areas he went beyond Arminianism.
These were written legal codes by which both sides tried to govern and control the behaviour of their officers and soldiery. They were published as pamphlets, read out and widely circulated among civil-war armies.
William Lenthall (1591–1662), parliamentarian, was Speaker from the opening of the Long Parliament until the dissolution of the Rump in 1653. Lenthall famously upheld the privileges of the Commons when in 1642 Charles I sought to arrest the Five Members. He was afforded no place in the Nominated Assembly but was returned for Oxfordshire during the first Protectorate parliament, again serving as Speaker. He was similarly elected during the second Protectorate parliament but did not take the chair. He unwilling returned to his place in December 1659 with the return of the Rump, and served until March 1660. Lenthall was appointed master of the rolls in 1643 and retained the post until 1660. He was raised to the new second chamber as Lord Lenthall in 1657. He sided with the Independents against the Presbyterians. He began to turn against the republicans in 1659 and entered an alliance with Monck. His apparent support for the Restoration was to no avail: he was excepted from the Act of Indemnity although not tried for his life. Lenthall served diligently as a speaker but his reputation for avarice and the taking of bribes sullies his reputation. Lenthall died in September 1662 and was buried at Burford, Oxfordshire.
For a time, the most visible and apparently most influential radical group which emerged in the closing stages of and after the main civil war, the Levellers promoted a broad programme of social, economic, legal, political and constitutional reform, much of it grounded in the core belief that sovereignty lay with the people and with representatives who should be directly answerable to them; they wanted the crown and the House of Lords stripped of power or even abolished. They seemed at their height in 1646-8, both in London and among large parts of the New Model Army, but that support proved to be neither deep nor durable, and the Levellers faded rapidly at the end of the decade.
See Nominated Assembly.
The second parliament summoned by Charles I during 1640, it first met in November and set about removing much of the personnel and policies of the Personal Rule, securing its position in 1641 by gaining royal assent to a bill directing that it could not be dissolved without its own consent, as well as guaranteeing future parliaments via a Triennial Act. It continued to sit throughout the 1640s, though its membership was much depleted during the war years as many MPs and peers quit London either to join the king at Oxford or to adopt a neutral stance; those MPs were not allowed to retake their seats after the war and instead during the mid-1640s large numbers of by-elections, usually termed ‘recruiter elections’, were held to fill the seats they were deemed to have vacated. During winter 1648-9 its Composition was changed even more starkly, with the departure of many MPs at Pride’s Purge and the abolition of the House of Lords a few weeks later, so that from early 1649 until its ejection in spring 1653 and from its return in spring 1659 until – with a brief interruption later in 1659 – the opening weeks of 1660, only the purged remnants of the House of Commons took their seats; in that incarnation it is better and more usually known as the Rump or Rump Parliament. With the return of many purged members early in 1660 it more closely resembled the Long Parliament, finally voting to dissolve itself and so make way for fresh elections in March 1660.
A royal appointee - one per county and invariably a member of the peerage - as the monarch’s representative his principal role was to command the county militia, assisted by a number of deputy lieutenants.
A clutch of senior New Model Army officers bearing this rank or title, appointed by the protector and Protectoral Council in late summer 1655, heading a new system of semi-military regional administrations in England and Wales, overlaying but not replacing the existing system of county-based local government. Ten, later eleven, regions were created, with a Major General appointed to each – some of whom operated via or were assisted by one or more deputies – supported by commissioners and by bodies of mounted troops. They were intended to provide enhanced administration, to bolster security and policing and to clamp down on sinful activities. The experiment effectively ended early in 1657, when the Second Protectorate Parliament refused to approve and continue the ten-per-cent or ‘decimation’ tax on former royalists imposed in 1655 to fund the system.
A swifter and harsher form of justice than that administered by the regular civilian courts and judicial system, usually imposed by military courts and designed primarily to maintain discipline within the army and the navy. Its alleged extension to civilians in response to billeting issues during the opening years of Charles I’s reign was one of the complaints made in the Petition of Right.
A school of history seeing socio-economic groupings, their changing fortunes and the struggles between them as the principal drivers and determinants. In terms of the origins, causes and nature of the civil war – or, more broadly, of the ‘English Revolution’ as Marxist historians often termed the events of the mid-seventeenth century – they could be held to lie in the long-term rise of the middle classes or bourgeoisie, comprising a mixture of landowners (the gentry) and mercantile and commercial entrepreneurs on the one hand, attempting to take political power commensurate with their greater socio-economic standing from, on the other, an old feudal aristocracy, its position declining in relative or absolute terms, which was being defended by the crown. It was the dominant interpretation of the civil war during the middle decades of the twentieth century, in that historians working then tended to follow this interpretation or reacted to it, though it faded rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s, as further research demonstrated that just about every socio-economic group, including both the aristocracy and the gentry or middle classes (however defined) divided between active royalists, active parliamentarians and neutrals once war began.
In his book, The Reign of King Pym (1941), the American historian J.H. Hexter introduced the idea that there was a ‘Middle Group’ of MPs in the Long Parliament who were not aligned with the War Party or the Peace Party, and that these men were frequent supporters of John Pym. The most recent research in the House of Commons 1640–1660 volumes of the History of Parliament challenges whether an identifiable Middle Group really actually existed.
The county-based, part-time defence force, sometimes known as the Trained Bands, which, in the absence of a standing or permanent army, served as the main land force in early-modern England and Wales. Restructured in the Tudor period, potentially well over 100,000 men could be called out, most of them infantry, with a much smaller number of Cavalry, under the command of the lords lieutenant. However, the quality of part-time soldiers, who mustered and trained using weapons kept in county magazines on just a handful of days per year, was variable and sometimes clearly poor, despite attempts by both James I and Charles I to improve their training and overall quality; additionally, by tradition members of the Militia were intended to defend their own county, so there were difficulties in bonding them together into a more mobile field army. Nonetheless, both king and parliament made determined efforts to recruit the county militias in 1642.
A bill passed by the Long Parliament in early 1642 which would have given parliament and its appointees control and command over the county militias. The king refused his consent, whereupon parliament issued it anyway as an ordinance, claiming it had full statutory power, something the king strongly disputed in condemning it. Under its terms, parliament appointed in each county under its control a body of supporters who were empowered both to call out the county Militia to fight for it and to raise further volunteers to serve as soldiers. The bodies thus created in 1642 generally evolved into the parliamentarian county committees of the war years.
The belief in the second coming of Christ and the thousand year rule of Christ and the Saints, as foretold by several passages in the Bible. For those who believed that the second coming was approaching or imminent – Fifth Monarchists, some Seekers, some members of the Nominated Assembly, for example – this belief shaped their activities and goals, as they sought to change forms of government, society, the judicial system, moral outlooks and so on, better to smooth the way for Christ’s rule.
George Monck (1608–1670), royalist, parliamentarian and agent of the Restoration, was a veteran of the Thirty Years War who fought against the Scots in the Bishops’ Wars and in Ireland in the early 1640s. Upon his return he sided with the King but was imprisoned following Fairfax’s victory at Nantwich in 1644. Following the royalist defeat Monck changed sides and took an oath of loyalty to Parliament. He returned to Ireland, where he remained during 1647 and 1648. He fought alongside Cromwell in the Scottish campaigns of 1650–51, serving as lieutenant-general of the ordnance. He also fought against the Dutch at sea in 1652–1654 before being made commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth forces in Scotland. Following Cromwell’s death he swore allegiance to Richard Cromwell and the Protectorate. His defeat of Major-General Lambert in 1659 was followed by his march south from Coldstream with a strong army, which occupied London on 3 February 1660. He was instrumental in the dissolution of the Rump and the Restoration of the Long Parliament. But while still professing loyalty to the Commonwealth, Monck entered into secret negotiations for the return of the future Charles II and was the first to greet him when he landed at Dover. Monck received ample reward, including a dukedom. Following the Restoration Monck took little active part in politics. He died in 1670 and was interred in Westminster Abbey.
Grants made by the crown, in return for payment, giving individuals, consortia or companies the exclusive right to manufacture and/or market certain goods. Often resented and viewed as a grievance, despite repeated complaints in the parliaments of the period and some resulting legislation which attempted to restrain or curb Monopolies, in reality both James I and Charles I, notably during his Personal Rule, continued Elizabeth I’s practice of selling Monopolies.
One of the two main type of infantryman who fought in the civil war (the other was the pikeman), he might have a sword but his main weapon was his musket, a handgun which fired one musket ball at a time and then required reloading with a fresh charge of gunpowder and another ball; accordingly, an individual Musketeer could only fire his weapon roughly twice a minute. Moreover, an individual musket was not particularly accurate, so in battle musketeers operated in blocks, each rank or row firing together a volley of shot into a body of enemy troops and then beginning the reloading process, while the next row came forward, presented and fired their volley, and so on. musketeers usually wore little or no body armour, though they had to carry charges of gunpowder and a bag of musket balls.
Passed by the Rump in autumn 1651, it prohibited the importation into England, Wales and Ireland of goods from Africa, Asia or the Americas in anything other than English vessels and of goods from Europe other than in English vessels or those of the country in which those goods originated, as well as adding further conditions on the import of particular items or from specific areas. The Dutch carrying trade was hit particularly hard by this legislation, contribution to deteriorating relations with the Dutch Republic and the Dutch War which broke out the following year.
Created by the Long Parliament in spring 1645 by combining several existing forces and adding fresh conscripts, the result was a large and dynamic new field army, in theory numbering over 22,000 men. Although other parliamentarian armies continued to exist and operate for a time, the New Model went on to play a leading role in defeating the royalists and securing complete victory in the main civil war, achieving victory in the renewed fighting of 1648 and conquering Ireland and Scotland from 1649 onwards. It also had its own goals and wider programme, evident in its clashes with the Long Parliament and resistance to large-scale disbandment in 1647, in its attempts to reach its own deal with the defeated king in the same year, its purging of parliament and promotion of the trial and execution of the king in winter 1648-9 (see Pride’s Purge and Regicide) and its promotion of a wider reform programme during the 1650s (see Reformation, Godly or Moral). It was led by Sir Thomas Fairfax from its inception to the eve of the Scottish campaign in summer 1650, and thereafter by Oliver Cromwell until his death in September 1658.
Terms for a possible religious, political and constitutional settlement drawn up by the Long Parliament and sent to the king at Newcastle in summer 1646. Building upon what parliament had offered in the Oxford Propositions in 1643 and in the Uxbridge Propositions in 1645, they were quite severe and they were not accepted by Charles I, though he did not openly reject them outright.
Terms agreed between representatives of the Long Parliament on the one side and Charles I and his advisers on the other as a result of negotiations conducted at Newport on the Isle of Wight in late summer and autumn 1648. Apparent concessions from the king included granting parliament temporary joint control over the army and the power to appoint officers of state and the establishment of Presbyterianism in England and Wales for an experimental period. After winning the renewed civil war, the leaders of the New Model Army had very different plans for the king’s and the country’s future and viewed the Newport Treaty as a betrayal. Parliament’s vote on 5 December to accept the Newport terms as the grounds of a settlement resulted in a swift reaction from the army in the form of Pride’s Purge.
Sir Edward Nicholas (1593–1669) sided with the royalists. Nicholas was an MP during the 1620s and former servant of the Duke of Buckingham. He held various maritime posts during the 1630s and was appointed clerk-in-ordinary to the Privy Council in 1635. He served as secretary of State to Charles I between 1641 and the end of the First Civil War. His assiduous work on behalf of the King and activity in promoting the war secured his exclusion from Indemnity and pardon by Parliament. It was Nicholas who, in 1645, was sent to Bristol by the King to relieve Prince Rupert of his command following its surrender. In 1646, Nicholas left England to join the Prince of Wales in Jersey. Nicholas was a close friend of Hyde, who helped him to counter the persistent opposition of the Queen. Nicholas remained in exile until the Restoration, continually working for the King’s cause. After his return to England he struggled to return to high place, but was involved in drawing up the trials of the regicides and signed the warrant for the disinterment and hanging of the bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw and Pride. He died in 1669 and was buried at West Horsley in Surrey.
Proposals of the Long Parliament, drawn up in summer 1642, several of which would have required major concessions from the king in terms of his executive, military and prerogative power. It is unlikely that they were seriously viewed as grounds for a settlement at that point and are better seen as part of what some historians have referred to as the ‘phoney war’ or ‘paper war’ in the run-up to the outbreak of the real civil war, with the king’s opponents setting out a platform and war-time goals.
The governing and legislative assembly set up by the senior army officers in the aftermath of their ejection of the Rump in spring 1653 and which sat from 4 July until it prematurely resigned its powers on 12 December 1653. It was made up of a little over 140 members, chosen by the officers, notionally representing not only the counties of England and Wales but also Scotland and Ireland too, making it on paper at least a British or a British and Irish body. Designed to hold power for eighteen months, until November 1654, divisions between the majority of members who favoured moderate reform and a vociferous and energetic minority who sought much more sweeping and radical change, became increasingly stark by late 1653. The radicals’ success on 10 December in defeating one of the moderate religious proposals contained in a committee report convinced the moderates to end the experiment, precipitating the early and sudden but clearly well–planned resignation two days later.
As the wars dragged on both sides required their supporters to swear oaths of allegiance to bind them firmly to the cause and to lessen the chances of them defecting or changing sides as oaths were taken very seriously in the seventeenth century.
Name given to the laws which the Long Parliament passed without seeking or obtaining the royal assent from March 1642 until January 1649, at which point the Rump claimed full legislative power and began calling its statutes acts once again. The term was also used by the protector and his Protectoral Council for the quite substantial body of non-parliamentary legislation which they issued between December 1653 and the beginning of September 1654, under the terms of the Instrument of Government which gave them temporary power to legislate, a power which lapsed, never to return, at the meeting of the First Protectorate Parliament.
The rival parliament set up by the king at his war-time capital during the civil war. As many members of the House of Commons and House of Lords of the Long Parliament supported the king when it came to war, quit London and joined the king in Oxford, the opportunity arose to convene them there as an alternative royalist parliament. What he called a parliament met intermittently between early 1644 and spring 1645, but it does not seem to have played a particularly dynamic role or contributed much to the royalist war effort. Indeed, its support for a negotiated settlement led to its courteous dismissal, though in private Charles was more outspoken about its shortcomings.
Terms offered in negotiations which took place between representatives of the king and of the Long Parliament at Oxford during the open months of 1643 exploring the possibility of ending the civil war via a negotiated compromise treaty. In reality, the terms put forward and offered by the two sides were so different and far apart that no deal was possible, the negotiations failed and the war continued.
See Nominated Assembly.
This was a group of parliamentarian MPs at Westminster who favoured peace negotiations with Charles I before Parliament had obtained a complete military victory. The growing divisions and political radicalization caused by the war frightened them and they were desperate for a return to pre-war conditions. Some were suspected of planning to change sides and join the royalists. Prominent supporters included Denzil Holles and Sir Philip Stapleton. By late 1644 the group was increasingly associated with Parliament’s Lord General, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.
A pro-royalist rising in Wiltshire in March 1655 led by a group of conspirators, including John Penruddock, it was designed to coincide with a general insurgency, which failed to materialise. Having captured Salisbury and seized some judges there, Penruddock and his armed supporters, perhaps 200 strong, moved west, though they were caught and scattered by pursuing New Model Army cavalry in Devon. Penruddock himself and a few other ringleaders were captured, tried and executed.
The rule of Charles I in England and Wales between the dissolution of his third parliament in 1629 and the summoning or meeting of his fourth (Short) parliament in 1639-40, during which the king relied heavily on his extensive prerogative and executive powers.
A document drawn up and passed by Charles I’s third parliament in 1628, it focused on four alleged abuses – the collection by the crown of levies without parliamentary consent (the recent Forced Loan was uppermost in parliament’s mind, though the king’s continuing collection of customs duties may also have played a part), imprisonment without cause shown and due process of law (a reference to the Five Knights’ Case), plus abuses of martial law and of enforced billeting. In each case, the document stressed that no new rights or laws were being sought, merely the proper observance of existing rights backed up by existing laws, some as far back as Magna Carta. In early June, at its second presentation to him, Charles signified his consent for the Petition in the manner of the royal assent given to a completed bill. In reality, he did not abide by its terms.
One of the two main type of infantryman who fought in the civil war (the other was the musketeer), he might have a sword but his main weapon was his pike, a long wooden stave tipped with a steel point. A Pikeman could achieve little if fighting alone, so in combat pikemen operated in blocks, together lowering their pikes to form a bristling ‘hedgehog’ which could deter or repulse a Cavalry attack or engage an enemy body of pikemen in a confrontation often referred to as ‘push of pike’. Pikemen generally wore an open-fronted, ‘pot’-style helmet and armour protecting their main body and torso.
A series of laws passed during the reign of Elizabeth I by which the deserving poor were to receive support at local, parish level, which might in practice include cash payments, provision of food and clothes, payment of rent or even accommodation in almshouses or poorhouses, all funded from a local levy (the ‘poor rate’) administered by local officials (the ‘overseers of the poor’). The undeserving, able-bodied poor, especially beggars and vagrants, might be whipped and sent on their way, especially if they were not born where they had been apprehended, or set to work in workhouses.
A term deployed from time to time by critics of Charles I’s government, including at times during the Personal Rule and especially in 1641-3, to emphasise the Catholic presence around the royal court – the king’s wife was indeed an active French Catholic and during the 1630s there were a number of open Catholics, closet Catholics or Catholic sympathisers at court, close to the king and queen – and to suggest that they were plotting or were already acting to promote Catholicism within the state, church and government, imperilling Protestantism and parliament’s rights.
The Book of Common Prayer, to give it its full title, set out the liturgy of the Church of England, covering routine weekday and Sunday services and those for particular occasions, including Baptism, marriage and burial, and those to be followed on particular holy days, plus prayers, the catechism and so on. The first version was published in 1549 and it was reissued with some modifications in 1552 and 1559 and again under James I in 1604, the version in use during the reign of Charles I and up to the civil war.
The belief that salvation was not available to all, attained through an individual’s actions in life as a result of his or her free will, but instead that from birth or conception God predestined only select members of humankind (the ‘elect’) for salvation; following on from that, some believed that God also predestined others for damnation (so-called ‘double Predestination’). It formed a central tenet of Calvin’s faith and teachings and thus of Calvinism.
Courts empowered by the monarch’s prerogative powers and via which that prerogative was exercised. In the Stuart period they included High Commission, Star Chamber, the Council of the North and the Council of Wales and the Marches.
The powers, authorities, privileges and immunities inherently possessed by the crown and which it could exercise on its own initiative, without requiring the consent of other individuals or institutions. The precise extent of royal prerogative powers and the circumstances in which they could be used were often poorly defined in the Tudor and Stuart period and might therefore give rise to debate and dispute, especially as there was a broad acceptance that the crown might take on extra powers in times of war or emergency.
A set of religious doctrines and its supporters, theologically Protestant and Calvinist, which stressed the role of individual congregations and their ministers. There was a Presbyterian strand in England after the Reformation, but it was resisted and eclipsed by the Elizabethan Church of England, which was organised and operated on very different lines. In contrast, it thrived in post-Reformation Scotland and formed the basis of the Scottish Protestant church (see Kirk), which had a ‘bottom-up’ form of structure or hierarchy. Power rested with individual congregations and their ministers or pastors; groups of congregations sent representatives to a local presbytery (or classis), groups of presbyteries in turn were represented in regional synods and finally at the highest and national level were meetings of the General Assembly of the Kirk, responsible for the overarching policies of the church. In the pure Presbyterian system there was no role for bishops and initially, in the aftermath of the Scottish Reformation, little role for the Scottish crown in the running of the church.
The label given to a group or faction within the Long Parliament – though also applied more widely to parliamentarians outside parliament who held these views – during the 1640s, marked by their hesitancy about the war and wish to end it at the earliest opportunity through a compromise deal with the king. The advocated for a very mild and moderate deal with the king, largely on the basis of the position reached by 1641-2, and for a post-war religious settlement which would restore a single national church in England and Wales, perhaps on broadly Presbyterian lines – though by no means all of the Political Presbyterians were themselves Presbyterian in their religious outlook. In the slightly different context of the 1650s, the term continued to be applied to the more cautious and conservative parliamentarians.
The military purge of the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648, enforced by Colonel Thomas Pride and his New Model Army troops in the aftermath of parliament’s vote to conclude a deal with the king on the basis of the Newport Treaty. Although only a few dozen MPs were detained (most of them quite briefly), far larger numbers were either turned away by Pride or, seeing what was afoot and what would follow, decided to stay away. In consequence, out of a House of Commons numbering around 500 MPs, only around 70 MPs were able and willing to take their seats over the following weeks. They were the hard men, willing to work with the army and do its bidding in pushing ahead with the trial and execution of the king (see regicide).
Prince Rupert (1619–1682) was born in Prague, the son of Frederick V, elector palatine of the Rhine, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of James I. Rupert was a trained professional soldier who had seen military action in the Thirty Years War. He arrived in England in August 1642 along with his brother Maurice to take up arms on behalf of his uncle Charles I, who appointed him his Cavalry commander and, in November 1644, captain general of all his forces. After the royalist defeat at Naseby, Rupert was sent to hold Bristol for the King, but surrendered it in September 1645. The King was furious and dismissed his nephew. Rupert sought justice from the King at Newark, where a court martial found him guilty of ‘indiscretion’, but cleared him of treason. A gifted and flamboyant military commander, Rupert suffered from the machinations of opposing factions around the King, a situation exacerbated by his own irascibility and unwillingness to compromise. He left England for France in the summer of 1646. He afterwards served as a naval commander preying on parliamentarian shipping. Rupert’s naval career reached its pinnacle after the Restoration, when he fought in the second and third Anglo–Dutch wars. Rupert died in London in 1682.
The crown’s main advisory and executive body, usually comprising the senior officers of state and of the royal households, the two archbishops and other favoured intimates of the monarch. Its size grew significantly in the early Stuart period, such that some business was handled by Council committees. As the king’s executive agent, it played a significant role in supporting Charles I’s Personal Rule.
The power, held and exercised by the crown, temporarily but often for a matter of weeks or months, occasionally for more than a year, to end the sitting of a parliament, thereby generally ending a session of that parliament, though with the ability to recall it and permit it to resume its work. It was thus different from the royal power of dissolution, which completely ended a parliament and, once dissolved, it ceased to exist and could not return.
The permanent and powerful executive body which sat throughout the Protectorate, with a membership of around twenty, which changed little throughout its lifetime. Under the written constitutions it possessed few powers it could exercise alone, and instead its real role lay in working in conjunction with the lord protector, who needed its consent before discharging many key governmental functions. Acting closely together, they possessed and exercised extensive powers, both executive and legislative (see ordinances), especially, though not only, when parliament was not sitting.
The regime established by a written constitution, the Instrument of Government, in mid-December 1653, headed by a lord protector, and which held power as the government of Britain and Ireland for a little under five-and-a-half years, continuing under a revised constitution, the Humble and Additional Petition and Advice, in summer 1657, until removed by a bloodless military coup instigated by the senior officers of the New Model Army in spring 1659. Oliver Cromwell was lord protector from the inception of the regime until his death in September 1658, holding that office alongside his continuing role as lord general and commander-in-chief of the New Model Army; he was succeeded by the elder of his two surviving sons, Richard, who served as lord protector until forced to resign by the army generals in spring 1659.
The three parliaments summoned and meeting during the Protectorate. The first, which sat from September 1654 until January 1655, opened with an outright attack on the regime and its constitution from republican critics (the so-called ‘Commonwealthsmen’ – see Commonwealth), most of whom absented themselves after the lord protector briefly closed the parliament and imposed a new written test on active membership on 12 September; most of the rest of the session was taken up with more moderate but extensive revisions of the Instrument of Government, though that document was incomplete when parliament was dissolved. The second sat from September 1656 until June 1657 in a session which was much more productive, not least because the Protectoral Council excluded roughly 100 MPs as potential trouble-makers from the outset, passing a body of legislation and producing a revised written constitution, the Humble and Additional Petition and Advice; a brief and troubled second session, in January and February 1658, was far less harmonious and led to a swift dissolution. The third, the only parliament of Lord Protector Richard Cromwell, assembled in January 1659; the early weeks of the session were marked by republican attacks on aspects of the regime, all of which were defeated, but when it then turned to attempting to reduce the costs and powers of the New Model Army, it was dissolved by the lord protector in late April, under great pressure from the senior officers to do so.
A member of a Christian church that repudiated the Pope's authority, separating themselves from the Roman Catholic church during the European Reformations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many Protestants tended to prioritize sermons and bible study over ritual and imagery in their worship. Members of the Church of England and the Presbyterian Kirk in Scotland considered themselves Protestants.
A Godly colonizing venture founded in 1629 that established a base on a Caribbean island now off the coast of Nicaragua. Robert Greville, 2nd Lord Brooke was the largest single investor while other supporters included John Pym in the House of Commons and Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, and William Fiennes, Viscount Saye and Sele in the House of Lords. The island and the company both ultimately failed in their intended role as a base for a Godly colony and anti-Spanish naval and privateering activities.
The belief, common to Christians, but held particularly intensely by the godly or puritans, that all events on earth were shaped and directed by God for a purpose and according to His divine plan and thus that mortals might better perceive or understand God’s purpose through the unfolding of events in this world.
A set of radical or reformist Protestant beliefs and its supporters, marked by dissatisfaction with the Church of England as it had been re-established at the beginning of Elizabeth I’s reign, seeing it as but half-reformed and in need of further change to strip away what they viewed as remaining Catholic elements and to create a purer and more effective form of religion. Exactly what that might entail could vary, in terms of doctrine and practice, fabric and organisation, but by the eve of civil war it could encompass the complete abolition of episcopacy. A broad and somewhat amorphous term, it can denote both those acting as a pressure group within the Church of England to modify it, as well as those who came to support or form groups outside and separate from the established church; in the Elizabeth and early Stuart period, it was also used in a pejorative way to disparage individuals and groups allegedly seeking those ends. Thus some historians have recently viewed it as a difficult and loaded term, to be employed with care if at all, and have preferred phrases such as ‘the godly’ or ‘the hotter sort of Protestants’.
The feudal right of the crown to ensure that the royal court was kept well supplied through royal agents exercising preferential rights to acquire food, drink and other items in local markets, at prices set by those agents, which were often below those the vendors would have obtained on the open market; the crown also had the right to requisition horses and vehicles for royal use. Long viewed as a grievance, the Long Parliament legislated to restrict it in 1642 and the Second Protectorate Parliament to abolish it altogether in 1657.
A series of debates held by the New Model Army officers, agitators and others, in Putney, then on western outskirts of London, between 28 October and 9 November 1647. The radicals seized the initiative by presenting the Agreement of the People at the outset and much of the ensuing discussion, some of which is well recorded, though much is poorly sourced, seems to have centred on the proposals in that document and on whether and how far the army should pursue them. The senior officers terminated the debates, probably a reflection of their dissatisfaction with them.
John Pym (1584–1643) was one of the great parliamentarians. While he did not contribute militarily to the conflict, Pym’s political insight and leadership in the Commons was fundamental to Parliament’s victory in the First Civil War. Pym sat in every parliament between 1621 and 1629, but came to prominence after his election in 1640 as MP for Tavistock. Closely associated with the Bedford Circle – he was the Earl of Warwick’s ‘man of affairs’ and treasurer of the Providence Island Company – Pym emerged as their leading representative in the Commons during the Short Parliament. He re-established himself as the principal driver of reform during the Long Parliament, leading to his epithet, ‘King Pym’. He was vehemently opposed to Arminianism and believed Charles I was instrumenting a ‘popish plot’ to reintroduce Catholicism, a conviction that was strengthened following the Irish Rebellion in 1641. As the Strafford’s leading opponent in the Commons, and determined upon his death, he orchestrated the Earl’s Impeachment and Bill of Attainder. In 1642, Pym was one of the Five Members. Pym was a gifted money-man, and understanding that good financial management was essential to winning the war in 1643 he encouraged members to impose an excise to fund the war effort. He also advised acceptance of the Solemn League and Covenant to ensure Scottish military support for Parliament. Pym died in December 1643 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
A set of religious doctrines and its supporters, formulated or spread through the activities of the itinerant preacher, George Fox, and his supporters in the early 1650s. They rejected much of the structure of organised religion, including ceremonies and formal ministers, believing that all believers possessed an individual inner light and spirituality, through which God could work and express Himself, giving rise to much greater spiritual and gender equality than found in most other radical religious groups. Their advocacy of social and welfare reforms, that fierce opposition to tithes, the lack of respect they paid to social superiors, including JPs, and their habit of disturbing services conducted by other religious groups together led to them being increasingly harassed and prosecuted by the regimes of the 1650s and by local elites and magistrates.
Apparently a set of religious doctrines and its supporters, marked by a belief that bodily pleasure was a gift from God and heightened spiritual awareness and should therefore be enjoyed through alcohol, tobacco, feasting, dancing and sex with multiple partners, thus starkly rejecting the moral values of the other Protestant sects. The traditional interpretation is that these beliefs and this lifestyle did attract the support of some active Ranter groups in the early 1650s, though they tended to fade during the decade in the face of the horror and disapproval of society and increasing legal harassment. However, some historians have questioned how far there was ever a true Ranter movement, as opposed to the writings and publications of a handful of unhinged fantasists, suggesting that it may have suited the regimes of the early 1650s greatly to exaggerate or even invent the activities of the Ranters, better to justify restricting the freedoms of some other radical groups.
A series of debates held by the New Model Army officers and agitators in Reading, Berkshire, in mid July 1647, shortly after the New Model had taken control of the king and had firmly refused to obey the Long Parliament’s orders to disband. The senior officers successfully resisted calls for the army to march on London and purge or eject the parliament and instead won support for the proposal that the army should draw up its own set of terms for the future settlement of the country and put them to the king.
Broadly a term meaning the failure to attend Church of England services, as required by law from the mid sixteenth century onwards, it came to be applied particularly to Catholics who were absenting themselves because of their faith. They were subject to increasingly heavy fines for non-attendance, as well as more severe punishments under the so-called penal laws.
Term applied to the broad reformist programme supported by the New Model Army and some politicians in the wake of the civil wars and during the 1650s. It included cementing toleration – ‘liberty for tender consciences’ was the common contemporary phrase – for most brands and groups of Protestants, moderating the harshest and most iniquitous aspects of the laws and the judicial system, modest social and welfare reforms, but at the same time clamping down on sins and sinful activities, including blasphemy, heresy, adultery and other sexual incontinence, swearing, drunkenness, gaming and so forth.
Broadly the act of killing a king, in the civil war context it refers to the trial and execution of Charles I in January 1649. As applied to individuals, it was and is not entirely clear who should be deemed regicides. Many of the men named to sit on the high court to try the king never or rarely took their seats or only attended some of the preliminary sessions; some who attended and participated in the trial itself, during the closing week of January, when the king was intermittently present and was condemned, did not sign the death warrant. At the Restoration, a handful of other figures who had played a significant role during the trial and execution were deemed regicides, even though that had not been members of the high court.
A document drawn up and issued by the New Model Army in November 1648, condemning Charles I and the attempt by the Long Parliament to reach a settlement with him via the Newport Treaty. Instead, it expressed a determination to seek just retribution, as well as setting out wider constitutional proposals, including that a date be set for the dissolution of the present parliament and for future biennial parliaments to be elected on a reformed franchise and to respect the basic rights and liberties of the people.
The process by which Charles II returned to England in spring 1660, at the invitation of the Convention, which voted that government should return to its traditional form of king, Lords and Commons. Charles was proclaimed king on 8 May, landed at Dover on 25 May and entered London in triumph four days later, on his thirtieth birthday.
Broadly and reflecting changing historical fashions, how historians advance new interpretations reacting against and challenging the then orthodoxy. More specifically and relating to the debate on the origins and causes of the civil war, a term applied to the interpretation of a new generation of historians in the 1970s, who reacted against what remained of the Whig line (see Whig history), ascribing the civil war to long-term divisions in politics, government and the constitution, and who turned them on their head to suggest that the early Stuart period was instead marked by a large degree of harmony, consensus and cooperation between king and parliament, thus suggesting that the civil war resulted from predominantly short-term causes. The so-called ‘revisionists’ dominated the field for around a decade, but with increasing strength and conviction their line was in turn challenged and its shortcoming exposed by historians (‘anti-‘ or ‘post-Revisionists’, as they were sometimes dubbed) during the 1980s and 1990s.
Petition received by the Long Parliament in December 1640 from the people of London and signed by over 15,000 people, urging the thorough reform of the church, especially the complete uprooting and abolition of episcopacy. It gave rise to a wider ‘root and branch movement’ as well as to one or more bills debated in the House of Commons during 1641 to abolish the episcopal system, though that proposal proved very divisive and the measures made little progress at that point.
The contemporary name for the purged remnant of the House of Commons of the Long Parliament left after Pride’s Purge, sitting alone once the House of Lords had been abolished a few weeks later, until its ejection by the New Model Army in April 1653. The army became disenchanted with the Rump for its failure both to undertake reforms and to set a clear date for its dissolution, though ironically the catalyst for the army’s action of April 1653 may have been the Rump’s plan to make way for traditional and unrestricted elections, which – the generals came to realise – would probably have produced a moderate and conservative parliament, even less sympathetic to reform and to the army’s agenda. The Rump was recalled in May 1659, after the removal of the Protectorate, and sat until it was ejected by the army once more in October, only to return for its third spell shortly after Christmas 1659, until in February 1660 Pride’s Purge was effectively reversed and the secluded members were invited to retake their seats.
A belief, commonly held by the stricter Protestants and by puritans, that Sunday should be set aside exclusively for the practice of religion and for other spiritual matters, and that most forms of work and all sports, entertainments and recreations should not take place on that day.
Two wars fought between Charles I, who was seeking to regain full royal control over Scotland and impose his favoured religious changes there, and the Scottish Covenanters, in summer 1639 and summer 1640. In both, the king sought to deploy the military resources of England, Wales and Ireland to attack Scotland on land and by sea, though in reality the amphibious element was ineffective and he was unable to raise and deploy troops from Ireland in time. He did raise an English and Welsh army, which gathered in northern England, but in both wars it performed very poorly; in 1639 part of the army advanced as far as Kelso but then fell back when approached by what it took to be a larger Covenanter army and the king quickly made a truce with the Scots, and in 1640 it fell back with limited and ineffectual resistance in the face of a Scottish advance into England, the Scots crossing the Tyne at Newburn, swiftly occupying much of the far north of England and capturing Newcastle, forcing the king to make another humiliating truce. In the wake of that, the king, heavily in debt, was left with hugely reduced political power and standing both north and south of the border.
A clandestine royalist group in England during the 1650s, plotting to restore the Stuart monarchy via armed action, though in reality its activities were often detected by the intelligence networks run by the parliamentarian regimes and it achieved very little.
A broad term applied to members of the various Protestant sects which emerged in the 1640s after the collapse of the Church of England and the establishment of de facto religious liberty.
One of the smaller and more amorphous religious radical groups which emerged during the 1640s and 1650s, they had strong millenarian beliefs and, like Quakers, an emphasis on the inner light of followers.
Legislation passed by the Long Parliament in spring 1645, designed to shake up the officer corps and invigorate parliament’s war effort, under which members of either House were required to resign their military commands, making way for the promotion and appointment of more dynamic military leaders. Often liked with the creation of the New Model Army around the same time, in practice the two initiatives did seem to galvanise the war effort.
The process of seizing part or all of the property and income of royalists, Catholics and neutrals, as authorised by legislation of the Long Parliament of spring 1643, though later modified to allow them to pay a fine through the process of Compounding.
A royal appointee, one per county, usually drawn from the middling or larger landowning families, who served for a year. By the seventeenth century the Sheriff’s main roles included ensuring the collection within his county of taxes and other financial dues – in which capacity during the Personal Rule sheriffs had responsibility for the collection of Ship Money – and conducting elections if a parliament was called during his term of office.
The well-established and often non-controversial right of the crown, in times of war, to require coastal areas, especially towns and ports, to provide it with ships or money to buy ships. It was revived by Charles I as a levy on coastal counties in 1634, and then from 1635 as an annual tax imposed on all the counties of England and Wales, even those not on the coast and even though the kingdom was not at war. Although financially it was a success, raising around £200,000 per year at its height before returns fell away at the end of the 1630s, and the judges supported the king’s right to collect it, it became the focus of grievances about the various feudal and non-parliamentary levies imposed during the Personal Rule and it was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641.
Called by Charles I at the end of 1639, in the wake of his failure in the First Scots’ War, it met in mid-April 1640, thus ending the Personal Rule. The king sought speedy and fulsome political and financial support for renewed war against the Scots, urging that wider discussion and consideration of grievances be put off until a possible second session later in the year; his vociferous critics were unwilling to delay the consideration and resolution of their grievances. The impasse led to a fruitless parliament and its dissolution in early May, barely three weeks after it had begun.
An alliance between the English Long Parliament and the Covenanter government of Scotland under which the Scots would dispatch an army into England to fight alongside parliament’s forces against Charles I, in return for parliament’s agreement to cover the Scots’ costs and, once victory had been achieved, to establish a Scottish-style Presbyterian church in England and Wales. The military aid proved very helpful, at least at first, in 1644, in turning the tide of war in parliament’s favour in northern England, but the religious quid pro quo was problematic and divisive.
The dispatch by the Protectorate of an amphibious expedition to attack Spanish territories in the Caribbean and the subsequent actions of this so-called Western Design, initially and unsuccessfully its assault on Spanish-held Hispaniola in April 1655 and then its capture of Spanish-held Jamaica the following month, provoked war. The Protectorate formally declared war on Spain in October 1655. The ensuing conflict was mainly naval, with attacks upon Spanish shipping and fleets and on Spanish ports, though from 1657-8 and in alliance with France New Model Army troops fought with considerable success alongside the French army against Spanish forces and attacking Spanish-held towns in Flanders and the southern Low Countries. English participation fizzled out in 1659.
One of the crown’s most powerful prerogative courts, it was in effect the Privy Council sitting as a court of law. Used by Charles I to enforce aspects of his Personal Rule and to deal harshly with his opponents during the 1630s, it was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641.
One of the central law courts and a so-called ‘prerogative court’ – that is, the king exercising his prerogative to provide justice to his subjects. Star Chamber was originally a room (camera stellata) rather than a court, but from 1519 cases were heard there every Wednesday and Friday, giving rise to its name ‘Star Chamber’. The bulk of Star Chamber business was criminal cases such as riot and disorder, forcible entry, assault, fraud, corruption and perjury. Under the Tudors it became a means of controlling over-powerful subjects. This lent it some popularity among litigants prior to the reign of Charles I, but it achieved notoriety in the 1630s as the King increasingly used it to crush libel and sedition, with harsh penalties, although it never imposed the death sentence. Nevertheless, Star Chamber was associated with despotic government and abuse of the prerogative, and was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641. A few cases such as that of the Leveller John Lilburne, who in 1637 was sentenced to be flogged through the streets of London before being pilloried and imprisoned for writing against bishops, gave the court its evil reputation. However, the wider extent of Star Chamber’s abuses (or otherwise) are largely unknown, as the decrees of the court and its order books were lost after the Civil War and have never been recovered.
A tax on landed income and property, it was granted to the crown by an act of parliament. However, because of both inefficiencies and increasingly chronic under-Assessment, the value of a Subsidy fell substantially in the later Tudor and early Stuart period and by Charles I’s reign each Subsidy brought the crown less than £60,000.
Proposals of the Long Parliament, drawn up in summer 1641, some of which would have required major concessions from the king in terms of his executive and prerogative powers. It is unlikely that they were seriously viewed as grounds for a settlement at that point and more probably were designed by Charles I’s critics to set out a platform and to test the water regarding future initiatives.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords both subscribed to The Protestation in May 1641. It was not an oath, but its subscribers did ‘promise, vow and protest’ to protect the king’s person, maintain the privileges of Parliament and defend the Protestant Church of England against ‘popish innovations’. In January 1642, after Charles I’s attempt to arrest the ‘Five Members’, The Protestation was extended to adult males in their parish churches after divine worship throughout England and Wales. It was intended to consolidate popular support for Parliament in the event of armed conflict. More people subscribed to this document than were ever invited to vote in parliamentary elections; approximately two-thirds wrote marks instead of signatures, providing a very rough gauge of literacy levels. It was signed or subscribed to by thousands of women as well. The promise to defend ‘the true reformed Protestant religion, expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England’, commanded wide support, but left the divisive issues of religious ceremonies and enforcement of discipline open and unsettled. Roman Catholics could not in good conscience subscribe to The Protestation, and in some parishes lists of refusers were drawn up to marginalise and expose them further. The Protestation was a crucial step in the politicization and mobilization of the mass population in the prelude to Civil War.
A Godly colonizing venture fronted up by the Puritan noblemen William Fiennes, Viscount Saye and Sele, and Robert Greville, 2nd Lord Brooke, a combination of whose names provided its title. The company founded a settlement in Connecticut in the 1630s, and by 1635 Saye and Brooke were both considering emigration there.
Three resolutions hastily and in chaotic scenes passed in the House of Commons in early March 1629. Since Charles I’s third parliament had reconvened for it second session in January 1629, MPs criticised the king’s government, both for its Arminian or Laudian religious innovations and for continuing to collect customs duties, in their eyes in contravention of the crown’s acceptance of the Petition of Right the previous year. When, on 2 March, the Commons received the king’s orders to adjourn, the Speaker was held in his chair while resolutions were quickly passed condemning the collection of customs duties, their voluntary payment and innovations in religion. The House then adjourned and never met again, the parliament being dissolved a few days later, leading on to the Personal Rule.
The long-established system by which parochial clergy were supported by a compulsory contribution from parishioners in cash or kind, equivalent to ten per cent of their landed income, profits or produce. Increasingly during the early modern period Tithes were bought up or acquired by individual or groups of laymen and institutions, under a process known as ‘impropriation’. They received the Tithes and paid the minister out of them, so gaining influence over or determining the appointment of ministers; indeed, during the early years of Charles I’s reign a new consortium was formed to buy up impropriated Tithes in the hope of using them to appoint radical Protestants or puritans to parish livings and as religious lecturers, thereby earning the ire of Charles I and Laud, who during the Personal Rule blocked the project. Tithes remained controversial, especially when during the 1640s and 1650s many people were members of Protestant sects outside the parochial system, but the hopes of the Rump, the Nominated Assembly and Oliver Cromwell during the Protectorate to abolish them faltered when it proved impossible to find an alternative workable means to fund a parish ministry.
See Militia.
Passed by the Long Parliament in early 1641, it laid down that no more than three years could elapse between the dissolution of one parliament and the summoning of the next and it made provision for elections to be triggered and a parliament to meet if the monarch failed to call one within the required time; it also specified the minimum lifespan of a parliament, during which it could not be dissolved by the crown.
A nickname for the members of the central committee appointed under an ordinance of the protector and Protectoral Council of 1654, empowered to examine the qualities and qualifications of, and to approve or reject, ministers who had been nominated to fill vacant parish livings.
A term of abuse first used in Elizabethan England for someone who changed his principles, religion or party, and that came to be applied to thousands of side-changers during the Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century.
An Act passed by the Cavalier Parliament in May 1662 authorising the reintroduction and compulsory use of a revised version of the Book of Common Prayer. On a set day, 24 August 1662, St Bartholemew’s Day, all churchmen were required to read out the prayers as set down in the Book and ‘publicly swear’ before the congregations their ‘unfeigned assent and consent’ to the Prayer Book. Those who refused were removed and their livings could be offered to others.
Terms offered in negotiations which took place between representatives of the king and of the Long Parliament at Uxbridge in Middlesex during the open weeks of 1645, exploring the possibility of ending the civil war via a negotiated compromise treaty. In reality, the terms put forward and offered by the two sides were so different and far apart that no deal was possible, the negotiations failed and the war continued.
Sir Henry Vane (c. 1613–1662), parliamentarian, emerged as one of the leading opponents of the King during the Long Parliament. A friend of John Pym, and according to Clarendon of ‘very profound dissimulation … very ready, sharp, and weighty expression’, Vane opposed the Laudian regime and was prominent in bringing about the trial and execution of Strafford. He was a leading figure in the War Party in the Commons and was instrumental in negotiating the Solemn League and Covenant. Vane disassociated himself from the Regicide, but was elected to the Commonwealth’s first Council of State in 1649. He remained prominent in politics until 1653, when disagreements with Cromwell led him to retire from government. Vane was active again in the third Protectorate parliament, but sought to depose Richard Cromwell and restore the Rump. He was re-elected to the Rump’s Council of State and made a commissioner of the Navy. Following Lambert’s forceful dissolution of the Rump in 1659, Vane was trusted by the military junta, but this association led to his expulsion from office following the reinstatement of the Rump in December 1959. After the Restoration, Vane was excluded from the Act of Indemnity. He was tried and found guilty of high treason in June 1662. He was executed on Tower Hill.
Thomas Venner (c. 1609–1661) was an ardent Fifth Monarchist who led rebellions against the Protectorate and the Restoration. Having established himself successively as a cooper in Massechusetts in the 1630s, Venner returned to England in 1651 and led a militant Fifth Monarchist congregation at Swan Alley in London. His involvement in an assassination plot against Cromwell’s saw him arrested in 1655. After his release he once more conspired to destroy the Protectorate. He gathered with his supporters at Mile End on 9 April 1657, but government intelligence infiltrated the plot and Venner was again imprisoned. Upon his release in 1659 Venner rallied his supporters against the future Charles II. Venner’s doomed uprising began on 6 January 1661. After its collapse he was tried at the Old Bailey where he pleaded not guilty, still proclaiming his Fifth Monarchist beliefs. He was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered and met his death on 19 January 1661.
Decision of both Houses of the Long Parliament in January 1648 to break off all negotiations with the king in the light of his rejection of their Four Bills and his deal (the Engagement) with the Scots and condemning any further unauthorised contacts with him as treason. The decision was abandoned and reversed later in 1648, when parliament pursued the Newport Treaty with the king.
This was a group of parliamentarian MPs at Westminster who emerged in 1643 that sought to prosecute the war against Charles I with the utmost vigour. For them, negotiations could only follow a complete military victory for Parliament. Prominent supporters included Oliver Cromwell and Sir Henry Vane.
An alternative term used by historians for, and see, the British Wars.
A feudal right of the crown to take temporary control of large estates upon the death of the owner if the heir was a minor or if the rightful inheritance was unclear or disputed, with the monarch administering the estate and drawing revenue from it via a Court of Wards. Unlike some medieval feudal rights revived by Charles I during the Personal Rule after a period of partial or full abeyance, Wardship had been actively maintained, enforced and exploited by the Tudor monarchs and by James I. Often resented and open to abuse, the Court of Wards was largely suspended by the Long Parliament in 1646 and was abolished after the Restoration.
Wentworth was prominent in the Commons in the 1620s as a supporter of constitutional rule and a critic of Charles I’s government. He refused to pay the Forced Loan of 1626–7 and was imprisoned in the Marshalsea. But his creation as Baron Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse and then Viscount Wentworth in 1628, and his moderation over the Petition of Right in the same year, opened the way to a place in the King’s counsels. He was appointed lord president of the North in 1628 and lord deputy of Ireland in 1633. He became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1640. His despotic and highly unpopular manner of governing won Wentworth many enemies in England and Ireland, but he retained the King’s trust, and during the Personal Rule he worked closely with Archbishop Laud to promote their policy of ‘thorough’. Wentworth was created Earl of Strafford in January 1640, at which time the king swore to protect him against his enemies. But under the leadership of John Pym Strafford was impeached on 10 November 1641. His defence was strong enough for his opponents to fear his acquittal, so they proceeded against him by Bill of Attainder. Charles I signed Strafford’s death warrant under intense pressure and the earl was executed on 12 May 1641 on Tower Hill.
A body of over 150 ministers, MPs and peers and Scottish representatives, appointed by the Long Parliament in 1643 to make recommendations on the future of religion and religious practice in England and Wales. It was set up in tandem with the Solemn League and Covenant to work out how its religious clauses, in which parliament appeared to commit itself to establishing a Presbyterian-style church in England and Wales, could be realised. In early 1645 it recommended that the old Prayer Book be replaced by the new Directory of Worship it had drafted. It continued to meet and work on other issues and documents, some of which gave rise to significant divisions within the Assembly, until the late 1640s; indeed, it still met intermittently during the Rump and seems not to have ended until the Rump’s ejection in spring 1653.
A school of history stressing long-term developments, improvements and evolution, in an English or British context charting the route via which a liberal, parliamentary democracy, a constitutional monarchy and personal and religious freedoms had apparently been secured by the Victorian and Edwardian era, the heyday of Whig history. In terms of the origins, causes and nature of the civil war, it saw the conflict resulting from a long-standing contest between a reactionary crown on the one hand and parliament, especially the House of Commons, on the other, which was seeking to promote the rights and freedoms of the people; the contest was exacerbated by the linked struggle, often also promoted in the House of Commons, to secure religious reforms and liberties. That interpretation faded after the First World War, as Marxist history and its proponents not so much refuted the Whig line as simply ignored it as wrong-headed and irrelevant, and it was turned on its head and hotly disputed by revisionism in the 1970s. However, more recently some elements of the old Whig interpretation have been accorded greater credence.
A conspiracy orchestrated by the Levellers John Wildman and Edward Sexby to assassinate Oliver Cromwell. Wildman was arrested in February 1655 and imprisoned. Following Wildman’s release in 1656 he plotted again with Sexby to burn Whitehall Palace and kill Cromwell as precursors to an uprising and the Restoration of the exiled future King Charles II. During 1657 and 1658 Wildman was plotting Charles’s invasion of England with royalists, Baptists, Levellers and Spaniards. The plot fizzled into nothing following the ousting of Richard Cromwell by the Army in 1659.
A reportedly intense and often emotional series of meetings of New Model Army officers at Windsor, Berkshire, between 28 April and 1 May 1648, in which they sought God’s guidance and support in the renewed fighting and campaigning of 1648 which was just beginning (see Civil War, Second). According to a later report, in the course of the meeting the officers came to believe that God was giving them a message – that He did not support their attempts to reach a settlement with the king – which in turn encouraged them to express their intention to take a much harsher line against Charles I should they win the renewed war.