Battles involving England - English Civil War

England has had many civil wars, such as the Stephen and Maud Wars, the First Barons' War, the Second Barons' War and the War of the Roses. Still, what is known as The English Civil War was fought from 1641 to 1651, between Parliamentarians and Royalists. There were battles in Scotland and Ireland as well.

Charles I believed that he had a divine right to rule because he was king. Charles I wanted taxes to fight wars abroad, and these could only be granted by Parliament. When Parliament refused to do this, Charles I dissolved Parliament and ruled without it. Charles I was Church of England, but he tried to make it more ceremonial, like Catholism. This was unpopular, especially in Scotland, where there was revolt. Charles I needed money to suppress the revolt, and so had to recall Parliament. Parliament demanded various rights. Relationships between them deteriorated, and war broke out.

Battle of Edge Hill 1642 (location)

This was the first pitched battle, fought at Edge Hill, Warwickshire. It was indecisive, and both sides claimed victory.

Battle of Marston Moor 1644 (location)

This battle was fought at Marston Moor, Yorkshire. The English Parliamentarians and the Scottish Covenanters defeated the Royalists. Oliver Cromwell fought at this battle and showed himself an able commander.

Battle of Naseby 1645 (location)

This battle was fought near Naseby, Northamptonshire. The main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Parliamentarian New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.

Battle of Preston 1648 (location)

In 1646, Charles I was captured. However, he then made an alliance with the Scots, promising them religious reform. The Battle of Preston fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory by the troops of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by Duke of Hamilton.

Battle of Naseby, by an unknown artist, 17th century
Battle of Naseby, by an unknown artist, 17th century

Charles I was executed in 1649. His son, Charles II continued fighting for awhile with a Scottish army (even the Scottish Coventers distrusted the English Parliamentarians), but eventually Charles II had to escape to France. Meawhile Oliver Cromwell savagely subdued Ireland, including massacres at Drogheda and Wexford (locations).

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