Posts

Latest

Colchester

Image
Summer 1648, the War reignites with a number of small uprisings across the country, and a Scottish Engager army cross the border. Charles is a prisoner at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. Colchester, and the county of Essex, which had been firmly in the grip of Parliament during the First Civil War, was slowly falling to Royalist rebels: nearby Chelmsford was in the hands of Sir Charles Lucas. Meanwhile, a failed uprising in Kent saw Kentish men flee across the Thames to join Lucas at Chelmsford. Things took a turn for the worse in Chelmsford, with some of the Essex Trained Bands declaring for the King, and Lucas was joined by Sir George Lisle and Lord Capel. Lucas's men, now numbering over 4000, marched on Colchester via Braintree.  Sir Thomas Fairfax and the New Model Army were dispatched to deal with the rebels. Lucas entered Colchester and reinforced its formidable defences. Fairfax's initial assault was repulsed, and he withdrew after losing between 500-1000 men. B

Clubmen

Image
When we think of the British Civil Wars we think of everyone belonging to one of the warring camps - there was another group of people who wanted no part in the war, wanting instead to live a peaceful life. When the war visited them, or more precisely soldiers foraging or looting, they rose up and banded together to protect their homes and property. "Peace and truth" Clubmen risings took place in Shropshire, Worcester, and most notably in Dorsetshire. In Bradford citizens rose up and sided with Fairfax, at Adwalton Moor, in defence of their home. The most significant clubmen rising was in Dorsetshire: for a fuller history of the Dorsetshire clubmen might I suggest the following article at Fontmell Magna village , and of course the Clubmen 1645  website and blog. For those of you who like physical reading material might I suggest that you get a copy of this? Written by @Clubmen1645, Haydn is a long time supporter of KeepYourPowderDry, and the author of the Clubmen 164

London, Part Nine: Addenda

Image
As the world slowly starts to learns to live with the Covid 19 virus, the UK is opening up again. The #ECWtravelogue visited the 'smoke' to tick off a few things that had been overlooked, or weren't on view when original entries were written. The National Gallery has already graced these pages , so why does it feature again? Van Dyck's stunning equestrian portrait of Charles I has undergone a lengthy restoration and is now on display in room 21. The Soanes Museum  is one of London's 'off-the-beaten-track' museums. They have in their collection the Naseby jewel, which is believed to have belonged to Charles I, who lost the jewel as he was spirited away to safety from the battlefield. Rarely on display sadly, more details and picture here . Just around the corner from The Soanes is Chancery Lane , where John Thurloe lived at 24 Old Buildings, the back of which backs onto Chancery Lane (opposite Cursitor Street). Thurloe is buried in the crypt of Lincoln's

Battle of Winnington Bridge, 19th August 1659

Image
Sir George Booth Battle of Winnington Bridge, I hear you ask?  'Twas the battle that spelled the end for Booth's Rebellion and the Royalist plans of 1659. Richard Cromwell has resigned as Lord Protector due to pressure from the Grandees of the New Model Army. The Rump Parliament has been reinstated. Meanwhile John Mordaunt, and the Sealed Knot have been trying to incite Royalist rebellions.  The planned uprisings were all pretty much nipped in the bud thanks to a combination of incompetence and lack of coordination (on the Royalist side), and the good fortune of intercepting the plans (on the Parliamentarian side). Only one such rebellion gained any real traction. Sir George Booth of Dunham Massey , former Parliamentarian commander of Nantwich garrison, and brother-in-law of Lord Grey of Groby, was to lead the Cheshire rising. Booth appears to have considered cancelling the whole thing at the eleventh hour, but as the planned day of rising fell on a Sunday, many Presbyterian cl

Houses of Interest: Cambridgeshire

Image
The first Cambridgeshire entry for the  Houses of Interest series isn't a house, it involves a church, a statue and a castle. I'm sure Trading Standards will be wanting a word... See also Cromwell's House  and the Cromwell Museum  and the entry for Cambridge itself. St Andrews Church, Northborough is where Cromwell's widow, Elizabeth Cromwell is buried. Her memorial stone is all but worn away, little more than 'ell' remaining visible. A plaque dedicated to her by the Cromwell Association is on the wall nearby. St Ives market place  boasts a very fetching statue of Cromwell. Wisbech Castle was once a motte and bailey castle that morphed over time into a bishop's palace, a prison, then into the building that now stands upon the site. The castle has recently been taken over by Wisbech Castle Project who hope to restore the much neglected building back to the community. It is possible to visit the Castle's cafe; for hire as a wedding venue; and guided to