- The Thirty Years War - The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) was a series of wars principally fought in Central Europe, involving most of the countries of Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history. In 1625, Charles I wanted to intervene on the Protestant side of the war, but foreign wars necessitated heavy expenditures, and the Crown could raise taxes only through Parliamentary consent.
- Charles I's marriage to Henrietta Maria - One event to raise concerns over Charles's reign was his marriage to a Roman Catholic, French princess Henrietta Maria, in 1625, directly after ascending the throne. Charles's marriage raised the possibility that his children, including an heir to the throne, might grow up Catholic, an alarming prospect for officially Protestant England.
- The Removal of Parliament - Charles's insistence on having his unpopular royal favourite George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham assume command of an English expeditionary force undermined public support. Unfortunately for Charles and Buckingham, the relief expedition proved a fiasco, and Parliament, already hostile to Buckingham for his monopoly on royal patronage, opened impeachment proceedings against him. Charles responded by dissolving Parliament. Unfortunately, this reinforced the impression that Charles wanted to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny of his ministers.
- The Bishops' Wars - The Bishops' Wars were conflicts, both political and military, which occurred in 1639 and 1640 centred around Charles I trying to introduce a uniform Church throughout Britain. In the spring of 1639, King Charles I accompanied his forces to the Scottish border to end rebellion against this change. After a a poor military campaign, he accepted the offered Scottish truce. The truce proved temporary and a second war followed in summer of 1640. This time, a Scots army defeated Charles' forces in the north. Charles eventually agreed not to interfere with Scotland's religion.
- The Formation of the Long Parliament - Charles had insufficient funds to quell the Bishops' Wars in Scotland, so formed a new parliament in 1640, with John Pym and John Hampden at its head. The new Parliament proved even more hostile to Charles than its predecessor. It immediately began to discuss grievances against Charles and his Government, and took the opportunity presented by the King's troubles to force various reforming measures upon him. The legislators passed a law which stated that a new Parliament should convene at least once every three years. Other laws passed by the Parliament made it illegal for the king to impose taxes without Parliamentary consent, and later, gave Parliament control over the king's ministers. Finally, the Parliament passed a law forbidding the King to dissolve it without its consent, even if the three years were up.
- The Wars of the Three Kingdoms - The Wars of the Three Kingdoms formed an intertwined series of conflicts that took place in England, Ireland, and Scotland between 1639 and 1651 after these three countries had come under the "Personal Rule" of King Charles I of England. These conflicts included the Irish Confederate Wars, the Scottish Civil War, and the three English Civil Wars.
- The Irish Rebellion and Confederate Wars - The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule. However, the coup failed and the rebellion developed into an ethnic conflict between native Irish Catholics on one side, and English and Scottish Protestant settlers on the other. This developed into the Irish Confederate Wars– fought over who would govern Ireland, whether it would be governed from England, which ethnic and religious group would own most of the land and which religion would predominate in the country–that ended in 1653.
- The Scottish Civil War - In Scotland itself, from 1644–45 a Scottish civil war was fought between Scottish Royalists under James Graham, and the Covenanters, who had controlled Scotland since 1639 and allied with the English Parliament. The Scottish Royalists, aided by Irish troops, had a rapid series of victories in 1644–45, but were eventually defeated by the Covenanters. However, the Covenanters then found themselves at odds with the English Parliament and backed the claims of Charles II to the thrones of England and Scotland. This led to the Third English Civil War, when Scotland was invaded and occupied by the Parliamentarian New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell.
|The First English Civil War
The first of three wars collectively titled the English Civil War, the First English Civil War was fought from 1642–1646 between the Royalist 'Cavaliers' of Charles I of England and the Parliamentarian 'Roundheads' of Oliver Cromwell. Charles was eventually handed over to the English Parliament by the Scots and was imprisoned, marking the end of the First English Civil War in May 1646. Players could be present at some of the many battles of the First English Civil War, such as:
- The Battle of Powick Bridge - Fought on 23 September 1642, this was the first major cavalry engagement of the English Civil War. It was a Royalist victory. The "battle" was closer to a skirmish, but nonetheless important. It started almost farcically, the two opposing cavalry units having set up camp in almost adjacent fields. Casualties were minimal on both sides. The result of the fight was the immediate overthrow of the Parliamentary cavalry, and this gave the Royalist troopers a confidence in themselves and in their brilliant leader, which was not shaken until they met Oliver Cromwell's Ironsides.
- The Battle of Edgehill - The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642. All attempts at constitutional compromise between King Charles and Parliament broke down early in 1642. Both King and Parliament raised large armies to gain their way by force of arms. Late on 22 October, both armies unexpectedly found the enemy to be close by. The next day, the Royalist army descended from Edge Hill to force battle. After the Parliamentary artillery opened a cannonade, the Royalists attacked. Many men from both sides fled or fell out to loot enemy baggage, and neither army was able to gain a decisive advantage.
- The Battle of Gainsborough - In 1643, Oliver Cromwell formed his troop of "Ironsides", a disciplined unit that demonstrated his military leadership ability. With their assistance, he won the first Roundhead victory at the Battle of Gainsborough in July.
- The Battle of Langport - The Battle of Langport was a Parliamentarian victory late in the English Civil War which destroyed the last Royalist field army and gave Parliament control of the West of England, which had hitherto been a major source of manpower, raw materials and imports for the Royalists. The battle took place on 10 July 1645 near the small town of Langport, which lies south of Bristol.
|The Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War (1648–1649) was the second of the three English Civil Wars. The end of the First Civil War, in 1646, left a partial power vacuum in which any combination of the three English factions, Royalists, Independents of Cromwell's Army, and Presbyterians of the English Parliament, as well as the Scottish Parliament allied with the Scottish Presbyterians (the Kirk), could prove strong enough to dominate the rest. From 1646 to 1648 the breach between Army and Parliament widened day by day until finally the Presbyterian party, combined with the Scots and the remaining Royalists, felt itself strong enough to begin a Second Civil War. Players could be present at many events during the Second English Civil War, such as:
- The Revolt in Wales - In February 1648 Colonel John Poyer, the Parliamentary Governor of Pembroke Castle, refused to hand over his command to one of Fairfax's officers, and he was soon joined by some hundreds of officers and men, who mutinied. At the end of March, encouraged by minor successes, Poyer openly declared for the King. Disbanded soldiers continued to join him in April, all South Wales revolted, and eventually he was joined by Major-General Rowland Laugharne, his district commander, and Colonel Rice Powell. In April also news came that the Scots were arming and that Berwick and Carlisle had been seized by the English Royalists. Oliver Cromwell was at once sent off at the head of a strong detachment to deal with Laugharne and Poyer. But before he arrived Laugharne had been severely defeated at the Battle of St. Fagans.
- The Revolt in Kent - A precursor to Kent's Second Civil War had come on Wednesday, 22 December 1647, when Canterbury's town crier had proclaimed the county committee's order for the suppression of Christmas Day and its treatment as any other working day. However, a large crowd gathered 3 days later to demand a church service. This crowd then descended into violence and riot, with the city under the rioters' control for several weeks until forced to surrender in early January. On 21 May 1648, Kent rose in revolt in the King's name, and a few days later a most serious blow to the Independents was struck by the defection of the Navy as being a Presbyterian. Thomas Fairfax moved quickly into Kent, storming Maidstone by open force, before retaking Walmer and moving on to Deal and Sandown castles. On 28 July, Royalist warships arrived, landing 800 soldiers and sailors under cover of darkness. A Royalist deserter alerted the besiegers in time to defeat the Royalists, with less than a hundred of them managing to get back to the ships. Another attempt at landing soon afterwards also failed and most Royalist hope was lost. 2 days later Deal's garrison surrendered, followed by Sandown on 5 September. This finally ended the Kentish rebellion.
- The Campaign of Preston - The Battle of Preston (17 August – 19 August 1648), fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory by the New Model Army under the command of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton. The Parliamentarian victory presaged the end of the Second English Civil War.
- The Execution of King Charles I - Charles Stuart was beheaded on Tuesday, 30 January 1649. It was reported that before the execution he wore warmer clothing to prevent the cold weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have mistaken for fear or weakness. The execution took place at Whitehall on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House. Charles put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke. His last words were, "I shall go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be."
|The Third English Civil War
Taking place from 1649-1651, the Third English Civil War was the last of the English Civil Wars. It revolved around Charles II, in exile after his father's execution, trying to regain his place on the throne. Players could be present at such events as:
- The English Invasion of Scotland - Towards the end of May 1850, under many conditions, Scottish Royalists, who called themselves the Covenanters, proclaimed Charles Stuart II as King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. This led to Oliver Cromwell and his 'New Model Army' invading Scotland to quell the Covenanters and ensure that Great Britain was a republic.
- The Third Scottish Invasion of England - In August 1651, Charles II planned a surprise march on the north of England. However, Cromwell was expecting this, moving to battle over contested lands. This resulted in the Battle of Worcester, which led to the end of the English Civil Wars.
- The Battle of Worcester - On 3rd September 1651, Parliamentarian forces surrounded Worcester. This forced the defeat of Royalist forces, and signalled the end of the English Civil Wars.
- The Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland - The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–53) refers to the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell, after the Second English Civil War. Since the Irish Rebellion of 1641, most of Ireland had been under the control of the Irish Catholic Confederation. In early 1649 the Confederates allied with the English Royalists, who had been defeated by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. By May 1652, Cromwell's Parliamentarian army had defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country—bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars.