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The Third English Civil War

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Third English Civil War The Third English Civil War (1649-1651) was the third of three wars known as the English Civil War (or Wars) which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and include the First English Civil War (1642-1646) and the Second English Civil War (1648-1649). Overview The Preston campaign of the Second Civil War was undertaken under the direction of the Scottish Parliament, not the Church, and it needed the execution of King Charles I to bring about a union of all Scottish parties against the English Independents. Even so, Charles II. in exile had to submit to long negotiations and hard conditions before he was allowed to put himself at the head of the Scottish armies. The Marquess of Huntly was executed for taking up arms for the king on March 22, 1649. Marquess of Montrose, under Charles's directions, made a last attempt to rally the Scottish Royalists early in 1650. But Charles merely used Montrose as a threat to obtain better conditions for himself from the Covenanters, and when the noblest of all the Royalists was defeated at the Battle of Carbisdale (April 27), delivered up to his pursuers (May 4), and executed (May 21, 1650), he was not ashamed to give way to the demands of the Covenanters, and to place himself at the head of Montrose's executioners. His father, whatever his faults, had at least chosen to die for an ideal, the Church of England. Charles II. now proposed to regain the throne by allowing Scotland to impose Presbyterianism on England, and dismissed all the faithful Cavaliers who had followed him to exile. Cromwell in Ireland Ireland had been at war since the rebellion of 1641, with most of the island being controlled by the Irish Confederates. In 1648, in the wake of Charles I's arrest, and the growing threat to them from the armies of the English Parliament, the Confederates signed a treaty of alliance with the English Royalists. ...read more.


Before the sun was high in the heavens the Scottish army had ceased to exist. Royalism in Scotland After Dunbar it was easy for the victorious army to overrun southern Scotland, more especially as the dissensions of the enemy were embittered by the defeat of which they had been the prime cause. The Kirk indeed put Dunbar to the account of its own remissness in not purging their army more thoroughly, but, as Cromwell wrote on September 4, the Kirk had "done its do." "I believe their king will set up on his own score," he continued, and indeed, now that the army of the Kirk was destroyed and they themselves were secure behind the Forth and based on the friendly Highlands, Charles and the Cavaliers were in a position not only to defy Cromwell, but also to force the Scottish national spirit of resistance to the invader into a purely Royalist channel. Cromwell had only received a few drafts and reinforcements from England, and for the present he could but block up Edinburgh Castle (which surrendered on Christmas eve), and try to bring up adequate forces and material for the siege of Stirling an attempt which was frustrated by the badness of the roads and the violence of the weather. The rest of the early winter of 1650 was thus occupied in semi-military, semi-political operations between detachments of the English army and certain armed forces of the Kirk party which still maintained a precarious existence in the western Lowlands, and in police work against the moss-troopers of the Border counties. Early in February 1651, still in the midst of terrible weather, Cromwell made another resolute but futile attempt to reach Stirling. This time he himself fell sick, and his losses had to be made good by drafts of recruits from England, many of whom came most unwillingly to serve in the cold wet bivouacs that the newspapers had graphically reported. ...read more.


escaped during the night were easily captured by Lilburne and Mercer, or by the militia which watched every road in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Even the country people brought in scores of prisoners, for officers and men alike, stunned by the suddenness of the disaster, offered no resistance. Charles escaped after many adventures, but he was one of the few men in his army who regained a place of safety. The Parliamentary militia were sent home within a week. Cromwell, who had ridiculed "such stuff" six months ago, knew them better now. "Your new raised forces," he wrote to the House, "did perform singular good service, for which they deserve a very high estimation and acknowledgment." Worcester resembled Sedan in much more than outward form. Both were fought by "nations in arms," by citizen soldiers who had their hearts in the struggle, and could be trusted not only to fight their hardest but to march their best. Only with such troops would a general dare to place a deep river between the two halves of his army or to send away detachments beforehand to reap the fruits of victory, in certain anticipation of winning the victory with the remainder. The sense of duty, which the raw militia possessed in so high a degree, ensured the arrival and the action of every column at the appointed time and place. The result was, in brief, one of those rare victories in which a pursuit is superfluous a "crowning mercy," as Cromwell called it. There is little of note in the closing operations. General Monck had completed his task of mopped up remnants of Royalist resistance in Scotland by May 1652; and Scotland, which had twice attempted to impose its will on England, found itself reduced to the position of an English province under martial law. Under the terms of the "Tender of Union", the Scots were given 30 seats in a united Parliament in London, with Monck appointed as the military governor of Scotland. By Jennifer Sanders ...read more.

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