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Britain First Civil War 1642-6

Terms in this set (21)

Mark of start of war - Charles setting up his standard at Nottingham August 1642

Battle of edge hill- first full military engagement, Charles aim to recapture London (key to victory), earl of Essex aim to prevent him, forces equal in number
Prince Rupert's cavalry swept the parliamentarians away
Parliamentarians recovered and put royalist guns out of action
Both sides claimed victory
Royalists missed opportunity of London being lay open

Royalists believed that parliament may ask for a truce soon

13th Nov- before royal army reached outskirts of London (and trained bands had been given time to prepare a defence)

Retreated to spend winter at Oxford (now headquarters)

Jan 1643- further chance to end the war, houses sent commissioners to Oxford to negotiate
wanted Charles to disband army, accept the Triennial Act, agree to abolition of episcopacy, settle the gov of the Church and control the militia according to parliamentary advice and to pardon the five members

Charles said- he would only disband his army if he was given back his revenue, forts and ships
he declined and didn't agree to terms

Charles plan- three pronged attack on London, initially successful

West Country left in royalist hands, York controlled by Newcastle in June (after defeating Fairfax)

Charles planning to advance from Oxford, first rapidly captured Bristol in July, should have opened way to London but Charles with overreaching thought he could tale Gloucester with relative ease, but it was fiercely defended

Parliamentarians got back to capital

Tide began to turn against royalists- Newcastle reluctant to advance to hull until it had been captured (fear of attack from rear)

Both sides used outside help to break stalemate

Herietta Maria returned to England early in 1643 with funds and supplies (no realistic help)

Charles' better prospect in Ireland- royal forces in Ireland led by Duke of Ormon (struggled to defend plan from rebels), and Scots sent troops there where the formation of confederation catholics of Ireland was, controlling most of Ireland
Charles was making peace with them and to release troops to serve in England

Poor decision
Bad propaganda (proof of kings readiness to come to terms with catholics, underlined fears that catholic army was about to make revenge
Then, the troops were prone to desert to the other side

end 1643- Charles withdrew to Oxford, position looked strong on paper but the war lengthening would stretch his resources disastrously
Not able to think through possible outcomes of actions
Parliament from the outset controlled the more wealthy areas of the country
*Possession of London meant they could raise loans from the city with future revenue from taxation as security
*Could levy the assessment from beginning of war, heavy burden and by early 1643 was a monthly tax
*Local committee in Suffolk complained they were paying £90,000 for the year (1644) compared with £8000 (for ship money in 1639)

*March 1643- Committee for Sequestration set up to take over the estates of catholics and royalists (5000 in all)
- attack on property rights horrified traditionalist parliamentarians
- later, those not active in war could regain lands at a price

*July 1643 excise duty (on essentials like beer, meat and salt)
- raised far more money than Charles had at disposal
- were resented, irony of party fighting against tyranny

*Country committees (ran localities) given power to seize property and imprison without trial
- justified by the emergency of civil war

*Parliamentarians ready to use new methods and meant to bring victory- using not the normal gentry to control the localities

*Areas loyal to royalists were not consistent
*Finate resources, i.e Oxford colleges help pay for troops
*could only tax the areas he has (reluctant to be too pressing)
*Conservatism is financing his war was a drawback
- meant troops were often unpaid and living off the land, greater unpopularity
*Followed enemies in use of land tax and excise and sequestration, found it hard to resist local pressure to spend money locally on defence, when needed elsewhere
When war broke out, most common reaction (among Kings subjects) was to consider how far it would be possible to keep out of war all together

Instances in Cheshire and Staffordshire of gentry agreeing to disband their troops and demilitarising their counties (22 with evidence of pacts)
Motives to avoid devastation

Other counties neither militia ordinance or commissions of array were put into operation (until troops came from either side to control the area)

First years of war, numerous petitions for peace drawn up
Fear of law and order, traditional elites feared position

Greater pressure for settlement after failing of Charles march on London, peace petitions pouring into parliament and neutrality pacts being common

Less account of neutralism after 1643
thrust of war favouring king

Fear of outright royalist victory then king would return to power and constitutional gains (1640-1) would be lost
Polarisation of opinion for and against king (neutralism harder to maintain)

Formation of peace party- advocating war policy and agreement of settlement as soon as possible

against this was those wanting to defeat king totally

and then there was Pym and St John who aimed to defeat king and then impose settlement

Rise of clubmen (example of neutralism)
Groups of local villagers and townspeople, exasperated by outrages from suffering at hands of occupying troops (royalists mostly living off the land)

Movement of them spread, hoping to bring combatants to negotiating table, justified actions by claiming to uphold traditional rights of the subject against 'power of the sword'
Some influence in localities and drew up programmes for peace, but also targeted by both sides as disruptive influences

Clear reminder that many people wanted the restoration of peace and their old laws and customs