(There were 124
lay peers when the Long Parliament first sat).
In the Spring and Summer of 1642, Charles based
himself first at York and then at Oxford. He began to raise an army
and was joined by many members of the House of Commons and most of
Absent at House of Lords' roll call
9 February 1642: 67
15 April 1642: 82
dominated the North and West of England, Parliament the South and
(A number of towns in Royalist areas supported Parliament; and some
gentlemen in Parliamentary areas - particularly Kent - sympathized
with the King).
Throughout the country there were "neutralists" who wanted to prevent
conflict in their own neighborhoods (NIMBY).
The King had a
number of extremely wealthy supporters:
William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle (who was rewarded by being
made a Marquess in 1643 and a Duke in 1665) spent about £700,000 in
the King's service. The army of "Whitecoats" he financed held the
North for Charles.
Henry Somerset, 5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Worcester spent
about £900,000 on the Royalist cause. (His home, Raglan Castle, one of
the great medieval castles of Wales was finally taken after a
great advantage lay in its control of London and South-East England -
by far the country's richest region.
were initially better led. His nephew,
Prince Rupert of the Rhine brought the experience of soldiering in
the Thirty Years war to the English theatre.
Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, was the first leader of
He had commanded a regiment in the
Netherlands but he proved a lackluster commander.
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick (another
Company shareholder) took decisive action to seize for Parliament
control of the navy that Charles had so well-equipped on the proceeds
from Ship Money.
included hardliners, who simply wanted to defeat their enemies,
especially, George, Lord Digby on the Royalist side.
Sir Henry Vane, Sir Henry
Marten, Oliver Cromwell, and Lord Saye and Sele
were the most outspoken on the parliamentarian
There were also many moderates, eager to reach some
compromise: Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount
Falkland and Edward Hyde led the Royalist moderates. Denzil Holles,
supported by Bulstrode Whitelock, John Maynard and John Glynne
headed the "peace party" in the House of Commons.
In Parliament, a "middle group" under
Oliver St. John and
John Pym maintained a balance of
sorts, but after Pym's death in December 1643, it became more
difficult to paper over Parliament's internal divisions.
Battle of Edgehill had left the road
to London open, but Charles procrastinated and by the time he marched
on the City, its defences had been completed.|
Charles never had another opportunity to seize the capitol.
||Sir Ralph Hopton (1598-1652) like Prince
Rupert had military experience in the Thirty Years War. He
commanded Charles' forces in the West of England, and in 1643
defeated the parliamentarians at Bradock Down (19 January) and
Stratton (16 May), Cornwall.
In 1643, Prince
Rupert gained two important victories in the Battle of
Roundway Down (July 10-13) and in seizing
Bristol (July 15-26).
under the Earl of Newcastle defeated Thomas Fairfax's Parliamentarians
Adwalton Moor (30 June 1643) and so gained control of all the
North of England except for Hull.
in the North and West enabled Charles to plan for an attack on London,
but before he could go ahead, the Royalists had to ensure the safety
of Oxford by
defeating the small Parliamentary force in Gloucester.
10 August 1643, Charles laid
siege to Gloucester. Parliament decided that it could not
afford to loose this town and sent an army from London to relieve the
The Royalist army
intercepted the relievers under Essex at the
First Battle of Newbury (20 September 1643) and forced them
The Parliamentarian forces inflicted heavy casualties on the Royalists,
who ran out of ammunition, and Essex was able to retreat to London.
Parliament saw this as their first real victory.
have taken advantage of his stronger position in 1643 to negotiate a
favorable peace, but he still hoped to defeat the rebellion entirely.
|"That we shall
sincerely, really and constantly, through the grace of God,
endeavor in our several places and callings, the preservation of
the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine,
worship, discipline and government, against our common enemies;
the reformation of religion in the kingdoms of England and
Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government,
according to the Word of God, and the example of the best
reformed Churches; …"
The Solemn League and Covenant.
3. The Eastern Association
The counties of
Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire joined their
military resources together in the Eastern Association.|
||The commander of the Eastern Association army
was Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester (1602-71).
A friend of Charles in his youth, he was the only peer that
Charles tried to arrest along with the
Montagu had fought at Edgehill and was a competent organizer and
Association's most inspiring leader was Manchester's deputy, Oliver
Cromwell (1599-1658). As Member of Parliament for Huntingdon,
Cromwell firmly adhered to those who wanted to curb Charles I's powers
strictly. He was a committed puritan in religion, and promoted men on
the basis of their commitment to the cause of defeating King and
attempted to counter Parliament's Scottish alliance, by himself making
peace with Irish. This allowed him to transfer forces from Ireland to
England, but it thoroughly alarmed the many moderates who feared the
invasion forced Newcastle's army to halt at York, and protect its
rear. Simultaneously, the Eastern Association army marched north in
Yorkshire. They met at the
Battle of Marston Moor (2 July 1644).
The Royalists under Prince Rupert and the Marquess of Newcastle were
completely defeated by combined armies of Scotland and Parliament.
York surrendered, 16 July 1644, and all of the North fell under
over the King was prevented by the Earl of Manchester's irresolute
inactivity and by Royalist successes against Essex in the South-West.|
beat the king ninety-nine times he is king still, and so will
his posterity be after him; but if the king beat us once, we
shall be all hanged, and our posterity be made slaves."
At the Battle of Naseby, 14 June 1645 , the New Model Army crushed
the outnumbered and outmaneuvered Royalist army.
Even after the
defeat at Naseby, Charles I hoped to recover his position.
||The king placed his hopes in James Graham, 5th Earl of Montrose
(1612-50). Montrose had first fought with the covenanters against
Charles, but then changed sides and was created 1st Marquess of
Montrose in 1644 and made lieutenant general of Charles' forces in
Scotland - mostly highlanders, with some Irish auxiliaries.
Initially, Montrose was victorious in a series of battles
against the covenanters. But when he marched on the Lowlands, hoping
they would rise in favor of the king, most of the highlanders deserted
Montrose, with a small force of Irish at
Philiphaugh (13 September
1645) was attacked by Leslie, whose forces outnumbered them three to
one. Montrose fled and the Irish surrendered on promise of their
lives. This promise Leslie (egged on by Presbyterian ministers)
soon broke - killing not only most of the Irish soldiers, but many of
their camp followers, women and children.
Parliament's armies mopped up the remaining Royalist strongholds.
Sherborne Castle in Dorset was captured, 14 August 1645.
Prince Rupert surrendered Bristol, 10 September 1645.
Cromwell took Devizes ,Winchester, and finally
Basing House, 14
Charles I marched
his army North, but so many soldiers deserted that by the time he
reached Newark, it was apparent that his cause was lost.
5 May 1646, Charles surrendered to the Scots, hoping that he
could negotiate a better deal with them than with Parliament.