Lecture 51 – Civil Wars, Interregnum and Protectorate

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20 Mar 2012
Lecture 50 Civil Wars, Interregnum, Protectorate
I) First Civil War: 1642-1646
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
o Son of Charles’ sister, Elizabeth
o 23 years old, uncle, Charles, very fond of him
Young, dashing
o Had a poodle that went into battle with him, killed at Battle of
Marston Moor
Battle of Edgehill
o First major engagement
o Usually configuration was to have infantry in the centre and cavalry
on the flanks
o Draw: Edgehill checked the royal forces, didn’t stop them entirely
Suggested Rupert should have pressed on towards London
o Winter was approaching, Charles withdraws
Sets up headquarters in Oxford, becomes the hub of royalist
o Some argue that the civil war ended here because they couldn’t get
London back
Had to get taxes from shires under his control
No access to palaces, Westminster, etc.
Royalists or Cavaliers vs. Parliamentarians or Roundheads
o Parliament invents new taxes
Excise: customs duty
Assessment: on neighbourhoods, way to gain more resources
o Pym maintains control of the House of Commons
o Lowland zones support parliament, highland zones support the
royalist side
o If the king had been isolated, there would not have been civil war
o Royalists
2 sections:
Ultra-Keen Royalists:
o E.g. Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles; Rupert of
the Rhine
o E.g. Edward Hyde
o Some uneasy about the powers of the king
o But if you don’t go with the king, leftwing ideas
might come up
o People don’t remember their place; still wanted
a king or queen at the head of government
“Old Constitution”
Constitution of the Tudor period
Looked back on as a Golden Age
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o Parliamentarians
Many moderate members joined the royalists, wanted to
Become quite fragmented into a number of groups
Pym and his supporters believed in the Long Parliament
Wanted dismantling of the hierarchy of the church, executive
people had to be submitted to parliamentary control
Pym: Solemn League and Covenant, 1643
o Pym dies in 1643
o No one of his caliber to succeeded to his position
o Was looking for Scottish support
o Solemn League and Covenant
Scots want Presbyterianism to be a more influential religion in
o Religious divisions intensifying
Many not keen on introduction of Presbyterianism in England
Presbyterianism instituted, episcopy abolished
Makes negotiating with the king difficult, Charles was very
fond of and devoted to the Church of England
More Extreme Groups, e.g. Independents, Fifth Monarchy
o Independents:
Religious position: believed in minimum form of government
control of the church
Wanted local control by congregations
Not one coherent group politically
Most come from the lower echelons of society
Lowest end were the “Levelers”, wanted leveling of society;
mainly in East Anglia
Led by John Willburn
Have radical ideals:
o Total religious toleration
o Abolition of the House of Lords
o Universal manhood suffrage
o Annual parliaments
o MPs should be paid
o Suggestions by some that leveling should occur
in the economic sphere as well: forerunners of
Marxist ideas
Frighten the gentry
o 5th Monarchy Men
Group of extremists, looking for the second coming of Christ
which they believed was soon
An English Revolution? Comparisons
o 1645: Foundation of New Model Army
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