Showing posts from May, 2023

An Irish Confederate Army

I suppose it was inevitable. Parliamentarian Army ✓, Royalist Army ✓, Army of the Solemn League and Covenant ✓, Montrose's Royalist Army ✓, all completed. Irish Confederate is missing. The Wars of the Three Kingdoms is a catch all term that covers a whole host of conflicts that took place (mostly) in the area of the geographical British Isles in the 1640s and 50s. The Irish component was the Eleven Years War, or the Irish Confederacy War. Not a great deal is known about the Confederate Army (in comparison to say the Royalist and Parliamentarian armies, and let's be brutally honest here and admit that there are massive gaps in our knowledge about those armies) so a fair bit of conjecture will need to be applied. WargamerFact™ would have you believe that the Irish were unskilled raw men from bottom to top. However, many of the Confederate officers had learnt pike and shot tactics fighting for the Spanish in the 30YW, they demonstrated these skills soundly beating the Covenanter a

Conferences, Lectures, and Podcasts

Despite having a career that dabbles in and out of the shallows of academia, I was put off from attending 'Civil War' lectures because I don't own a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches or a beard that has bits of last night's dinner lurking in it. But enough of this inappropriate, and frankly mean caricaturing. I was invited to attend Helion's Century of the Soldier Conference held in Worcester in April 2023, thank you Charles for the invite. Must confess that I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for. This year's theme was 'Novelty and Change' and included a number of influential researchers and writers. I was particularly interested in hearing Dr Padraig Lenihan's "Countermarches, Caracoles and Charges: Firearms Against Shock in Ireland 1641-3", most probably because I have an Irish Confederate army in the planning stage.  I was very wrong in the slight apprehension I felt about attending. Wow. What a brilliant day. I

Rockingham Castle

  Arnescote Rockingham Castle needs no introduction to fans of By The Sword Divided. Ancestral home of the Lacey  Watson family and their descendants. Rockingham's very familiar gatehouse  Rockingham was garrisoned for the King when war broke out, but was taken by Lord Grey of Groby in 1643.  Its outer walls and keep being sleighted in 1646.  You can understand why the castle was built on this outcrop The Castle's owner, Royalist supporter Sir Lewis Watson was tried in Oxford in 1644, being accused of inviting Parliament's men into the castle. He would eventually clear his name and be made the 1st Lord Rockingham. Arnescote/Rockingham must surely be on every Civil War aficionado's 'to visit list'. Open to the public, this private residence can be visited on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday afternoons during the summer months (check their website for details before setting off as the castle is also a wedding venue and can be closed on days when it 'should'

Charles II in Exile: Brugge

And now, to steal a phrase from Monty Python, for something completely different... Portrait of Henry, Duke of Gloucester at Royal Guild of Saint-Sebastian It is spring 1656, Charles II along with his brothers Henry, Duke of Gloucester and James, Duke of York arrive in Brugge. Charles had fled England in 1651 after his defeat at Worcester, he originally lived near Paris, then moved to Cologne, before ending up in Brugge. The time that Charles spent in Brugge recently hit the headlines when Belgian fishermen tested the right to fish in British waters post Brexit: Charles had granted 50 Flemish fishermen from Brugge “eternal rights” to English fishing waters, as a way of thanking the city for its hospitality. the time keeping apparatus on top of Huis Bouchoute Charles was originally housed in Huis Bouchoute , which is now more famous for its role in the standardisation of Belgian timekeeping. Grand Hotel Casselbergh is more widely known as Charles's residence whilst in Brugge. This u


The somewhat inappropriately titled #ECWtravelogue ventured across the Irish Sea in search of a decent pint of Guinness. Or rather #3 son did, I have visited all these places before - long before the ECWtravelogue existed. Any mention of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and Ireland, is going to have to tread very carefully. Cromwell's actions, and the actions of the New Model Army, understandably raise strong emotions. The Irish component of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms is known as either the 11 Years War, the Irish Confederate Wars or the Irish Uprising. Ireland had risen against English rule in 1641, and Charles sent a force to quash the rebellion. The advent of Civil War in England meant that those troops sent to Ireland were withdrawn to England, supposedly to support the Crown. A combination of the King's attention switching, and the withdrawal of the majority of English forces meant that the Irish Confederacy pretty much took control of the island of Ireland. Fast forwar