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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

The Rise and Rise of Oliver Cromwell
Charles I raised his royal standard in Nottingham and declared war in 1642.

The first major battle of the English Civil War took place on 23rd October 1642 at Edgehill in Warwickshire. It was a draw. In 1643 the war became more general. The ports, towns and manufacturing centre tended to support Parliament, Old England supported Charles. The North and the West supported the King, especially when Henrietta Maria arrived in Yorkshire from Holland.

On 20th September the armies clashed again at Newbury, Berkshire. The king finally withdrew. Things looked hopeful for the King as the Scots invaded England. They demanded the imposition of Presbyterianism throughout England; a share in the government; and the maintenance of the monarchy. Parliament would not accept these terms and the Civil War continued.

On 2nd July 1644 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place at Marston Moor it was a disaster for the Royalists. The two armies met again at Newbury. Cromwell was convinced his army needed reorganizing, his attack on the Earl of Manchester, the army's leader led to Sir Thomas Fairfax taking over with instructions to form the New Model Army.

Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell

  • Elected to the Long Parliament in 1640
  • Became second in command to Thomas Fairfax's New Model Army
  • Engineered victories at Marston Moor and Naseby
  • Superintended Charles's trial and execution in 1649
  • Put down the rebellion in Ireland and then defeated the Scots in 1651
  • From late 1653, he became Lord Protector, this gave him supreme legislative and executive power in association with Parliament and the Council of State
  • Refused the crown as the army were against this
  • Lived in splendour

did you know?
Oliver Cromwell was related to the famous Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's chief minister. His great-grandfather was a nephew of Thomas Cromwell.


  • The Scots and the Roundheads joined forces under Lord Manchester and Cromwell
  • The three combined Puritan armies numbered 20,000 foot and 7000 horse
  • Their outposts were on Marston Moor
  • The united forces of Prince Rupert and the Marquess of Newcastle reached 11,000 foot and 7000 horse
  • On 2nd July they found themselves near the Roundheads' encampments at Marston Moor
  • 4150 Royalists were killed, 1500 taken prisoner
Select historical period

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1625James I dies
Charles I becomes king of England
Charles I marries Henrietta Maria of France
1626Parliament meets, impeaches Buckingham, is dissolved by Charles I
1627Expedition to La Rochelle
1628Buckingham assassinated
1629Charles I dissolves Parliament
Eleven Year Tyranny begins
Peace is made with France
1630Peace is made with Spain
1633Laud becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
1639First Bishops' War ends - Treaty of Berwick
1640Parliament recalled - The Short Parliament
Second Bishops' War ends - Treaty of Ripon
Long Parliament meets (-1653)
Strafford is impeached
1645New Model Army is established
Laud is executed
Use of the prayer book is forbidden
1646Charles I surrenders to the Scots
Receives propositions of Newcastle
1647Scots hand Charles I over to the English
1649Charles I is tried and executed
The monarchy and the House of Lords are abolished
The Commonwealth is declared.

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