Key Events of the English Civil War

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  • Key Events of the English Civil War
    • The Battle of Edgehill- 23rd October 1642
      • Edgehill was the first major battle of the Civil War
      • The Royalists and Parliamentari-ans stumbled across each other when Charles was marching his army to London.
      • There were multiple moments of stalemate during the battle.
      • Both sides lost an estimated 1500 men.
      • Both sides declared a victory although, there was no clear winner.
      • The Cavaliers wanted to fight again the next day but they were too exhausted.
    • The Battle of Marston Moor- 2nd July 1644
      • This battle ended Royalist support in the north of the country.
      • Prince Rupert had easily marched into York and this position gave then an advantage.
      • The Royalist army did not arrive all at once and this was when things started to go wrong for them.
      • The 18,000 Royalists were severely outnumbered by the 28,000 Parliamentari-ans.
      • The Royalists lost the battle.
    • The Battle of Naseby- 14th June 1645
      • After a successful attack on Leicester in the May, Charles was confident that he could take Oxford.
      • Charles and his army started well but soon his commanders became divided.
      • Cromwell's 'New Model Army' were much better trained and disciplined.
      • Charles' supporters arrived late which meant his 8000 men were outnumbered by 13000 Parliamentari-ans.
      • Many see Parliaments victory at Naseby as a turning point in the war.
      • Following the battle, in the September, Prince Rupert surrendered Bristol to Parliament.
      • Charles eventually withdrew his position in the army.
    • The Second English Civil War
      • After the Battle of Naseby, there was a series of smaller defeats for the Royalists but the war was pretty much over.
      • In 1646, Charles gave himself up to the Scots who surrendered him t0 Parliament in January 1647.
      • Charles fled from his imprisonment at Hampton Court Palace in November 1647.
      • Charles sided with the Scots and decided to raise another army to invade England. This began the Second Civil War.
      • There were a number of Royalists uprisings but no battles as large as in the first Civil War and the New Model Army easily defeated them all.
      • The Royalists lacked leadership, money and support and Charles was eventually recaptured in August 1648.
    • The Trial of King Charles I
      • Many MPs did not want the King to stand trial.
      • Cromwell only allowed MPs into Parliament who would agree to trial the King. This was known as the Rump Parliament. However, only 29 of the 46 MPs voted to trial the King.
      • Charles was the first monarch to stand trial. His trial began on 1st January 1649. He was accused of being a 'tyrant, a traitor and a murderer'.
      • Only 68 out of the expected 135 judges turned up to the trial. The chief judge was John Bradshaw.
      • Charles refused to speak until after the judgement was passed. He was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to be executed on 30th January 1649.
      • Cromwell's name can be clearly seen on Charles' death warrant.
    • The Execution of Charles I
      • Charles was executed on a scaffolding put up outside the Banqueting Hall in London.
      • The execution was delayed as the original executioner refused to behead the King. It was hard to find anyone willing to do the job but eventually 2 executioners were paid highly and allowed to wear masks to hide their identity.
      • Charles allegedly wore 2 shirts as it was a cold day and he didn't want to be seen shivering.
      • Spectators dipper their handkerchiefs in Charles' blood as it was believed to have healing powers.


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