- Third English Civil War
The Preston campaign of the Second Civil War was undertaken under the direction of the Scots Parliament, not the Kirk, 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. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 50. Cromwell in Ireland]
Marquess of Montrose, under the direction of Charles II, made a last attempt to rally the Scottish Royalists early in
1650. But Charles II merely used Montrose as a threat to obtain better conditions for himself from the Covenanters. When the noblest of all the Royalists was defeated at the Battle of Carbisdaleon April 27, delivered up to his pursuers on May 4, and executed on May 21 1650, Charles II 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 Scotlandto impose Presbyterianismon England, and dismissed all the faithful Cavaliers who had followed him to exile.
Cromwell in Ireland
Irelandhad 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. The joint Royalist and Confederate forces under Ormonde attempted to eliminate the Parliamentary army holding Dublin, but were routed at the battle of Rathminesby a Parliamentary army commanded by Colonel Michael Jones. As the former Member of Parliament Admiral Robert Blakeblockaded Prince Rupert of the Rhine's fleet in Kinsale, Oliver Cromwell was able to land at Dublinon August 15, 1649with the army to quell Royalist alliance in Ireland. The alliance, which was a compromise that gave command of the Irish Confederate forces to the English Royalists, was very shaky from the start, with many Confederates unhappy with the leadership of Ormonde. Indeed the Confederates had fought a mini civil war among themselves in 1648 over this alliance, with Owen Roe O'Neill's Ulsterarmy leaving the Confederation and only re-joining it after Cromwell had actually landed in Ireland.
Partly as a result of this disunity, the Irish/Royalist coalition was driven from eastern Ireland by Cromwell, who beat down all resistance by his skill, and even more by his ruthless severity, in a brief campaign of nine months (storming of Drogheda,
September 11, and of Wexford, October 11, by Cromwell; capture of the Irish Confederate capital Kilkenny, March 28, 1650, and of Clonmel, May 10).
Cromwell returned to England, on the urgings of the Parliament, at the end of May 1650 in order to lead an army to Scotland, where the
Covenantershad proclaimed Charles II as king. On June 26Fairfax, who had been anxious and uneasy since the execution of the king, resigned the command-in-chief of the army to his lieutenant-general. The pretext, rather than the reason, of Fairfax's resignation was his unwillingness to lead an English army to reduce Scotland.
Cromwell turned over his command in Ireland to
Henry Ireton. It took two more years of prolonged siege and guerrilla warfare, before the last major Irish resistance was ended, after the fall of Galway in late 1652. The last Confederate Catholic troops surrendered in mid 1653.
English invasion of Scotland
This important step had been resolved upon as soon as it was clear that Charles II would come to terms with the
Covenanters. From this point the Third Civil War became a war of Englandagainst Scotland. Here at least the English Independentscarried the whole of England with them. Few Englishman cared to accept a settlement at the hands of a victorious foreign army, and on June 28 1650, five days after Charles II had sworn to the Covenant, the newly appointed Lord-General Oliver Cromwellwas on his way to the Border to take command of the English army. About the same time a new militia act was passed that was destined to give full and decisive effect to the national spirit of England in the great final campaign of the war. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 51. The Invasion of Scotland]
Meanwhile the motto "frappez fort, frappez vite" was carried out at once by the regular forces. On
July 19, Cromwell made the final arrangements at Berwick-on-Tweed. Major-General Thomas Harrison, a gallant soldier and an extreme English Independent, a Fifth Monarchist, was to command the regular and auxiliary forces left in England, and to secure the Commonwealth against Royalists and Presbyterians. Cromwell took with him Lieutenant-General Charles Fleetwoodand Major-General John Lambert, and his forces numbered about 10,000 foot and 5,000 horse. His opponent David Leslie (his comrade of Marston Moor) had a much larger force, but its degree of training was inferior, it was more than tainted by the political dissensions of the people at large, and it was, in great part at any rate, raised by forced enlistment. On July 22, Cromwell crossed the river Tweed. He marched on Edinburghby the sea coast, through Dunbar, Haddingtonand Musselburgh, living almost entirely on supplies landed by the fleet which accompanied him, for the country itself was incapable of supporting even a small army, and on the July 29, he found Leslie's army drawn up and entrenched in a position extending from Leithto Edinburgh.
Operations around Edinburgh
The same day a sharp but indecisive fight took place on the lower slopes of Arthur's Seat, after which Cromwell, having felt the strength of Leslie's line, drew back to Musselburgh. Leslie's horse followed him up sharply, and another action was fought, after which the Scots assaulted Musselburgh without success. Militarily Leslie had the best of it in these affairs, but it was precisely this moment that the Kirk party chose to institute a searching three days' examination of the political and religious sentiments of his army. The result was that the army was "purged" of 80 officers and 3000 soldiers as it lay within musket shot of the enemy. Cromwell was more concerned, however, with the supply question than with the distracted army of the Scots. On
August 6, he had to fall back as far as Dunbar to enable the fleet to land supplies in safety, the port of Musselburgh being unsafe in the violent and stormy weather which prevailed. He soon returned to Musselburgh and prepared to force Leslie to battle. In preparation for an extended manoeuvre three days' rations were served out. Tents were also issued, perhaps for the first time in the civil wars, for it was a regular professional army, which had to be cared for, made comfortable and economized, that was now carrying on the work of the volunteers of the first war. [The tents were evidently issued for regular marches, not for cross-country manoeuvres against the enemy. These manoeuvres, as we have seen, often took several days. The "bon general ordinaire" of the 17th and 18th centuries framed his manoeuvres on a smaller scale so as not to expose his expensive and highly trained soldiers to discomfort and the consequent temptation to desert.] Even after Cromwell started on his manoeuvre, the Scottish army was still in the midst of its political troubles, and, certain though he was that nothing but victory in the field would give an assured peace, he was obliged to intervene in the confused negotiations of the various Scottish parties. At last, however, Charles II. made a show of agreeing to the demands of his strange supporters, and Leslie was free to move. Cromwell had now entered the hill country, with a view to occupying South Queensferryand thus blocking up Edinburgh. Leslie had the shorter road and barred the way at Corstorphine Hill( August 21). Cromwell, though now far from his base, manoeuvred again to his right, Leslie meeting him once more at Gogar( August 27). The Scottish lines at that point were strong enough to dismay even Cromwell, and the manoeuvre on Queensferry was at last given up. It had cost the English army severe losses in sick, and much suffering in the autumn nights on the bleak hillsides. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 52. Operations around Edinburgh]
August 28, Cromwell fell back on Musselburgh, and on August 31, after embarking his non-effective men, to Dunbar. Leslie followed him up, and wished to fight a battle at Dunbar on Sunday, the 1st of September. But again the kirk intervened, this time to forbid Leslie to break the Sabbath, and the unfortunate Scottish commander could only establish himself on Doon Hill, near Dunbar, and send a force to Cockburnspathto bar the Berwick road. He had now 23,000 men to Cromwell's 11,000, and proposed, "faute de mieux", to starve Cromwell into surrender. But the English army was composed of "ragged soldiers with bright muskets," and had a great captain of undisputed authority at their head. Leslie's, on the other hand, had lost such discipline as it had ever possessed, and was now, under outside influences, thoroughly disintegrated. Cromwell wrote home, indeed, that he was "upon an engagement very difficult," but, desperate as his position seemed, he felt the pulse of his opponent and steadily refused to take his army away by sea. He had not to wait long. It was now the turn of Leslie's men on the hillside to endure patiently privation and exposure, and after one night's bivouac, Leslie, too readily inferring that the enemy was about to escape by sea, came down to fight. The Battle of Dunbar opened in the early morning of September 3. It was the most brilliant of all Oliver's victories. Before the sun was high in the heavens the Scottish army had ceased to exist. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 53. Dunbar]
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 Stirlingan attempt which was frustrated by the badness of the roads and the violence of the weather. The rest of the early winter of 1650was 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. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 54. Royalism in Scotland]
About this time there occurred in England two events which had a most important bearing on the campaign. The first was the detection of a widespread Royalist-Presbyterian conspiracy how widespread no one knew, for those of its promoters who were captured and executed certainly formed but a small fraction of the whole number. Major-General Harrison was ordered to
Lancashirein April to watch the north Welsh, earl of Derby on the Isle of Manand Border Royalists, and military precautions were taken in various parts of England. The second was the revival of the militia. Since 1644 there had been no general employment of local forces, the quarrel having fallen into the hands of the regular armies by force of circumstances. The New Model, though a national army, resembled Wellington's British Peninsular army more than the soldiers of the levée en masseof the French Revolution and the American Civil War. It was now engaged in prosecuting a war of aggression against the hereditary foe over the border strictly the task of a professional army with a national basis. The militia was indeed raw and untrained. Some of the Essex men "fell flat on their faces on the sound of a cannon." In the north of England Harrison complained to Cromwell of the "badness" of his men, and the lord general sympathized, having "had much such stuff" sent him to make good the losses in trained men. Even he for a moment lost touch with the spirit of the people. His recruits were unwilling drafts for foreign service, but in England the new levies were trusted to defend their homes, and the militia was soon triumphantly to justify its existence on the day of Worcester. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 55. The English Militia]
While David Leslie organized and drilled the king's new army beyond the Forth, Cromwell was, slowly and with frequent relapses, recovering from his illness. The English army marched to
Glasgowin April, then returned to Edinburgh. The motives of the march and that of the return are alike obscure, but it may be conjectured that, the forces in England under Harrison having now assembled in Lancashire, the Edinburgh-Newcastle- Yorkroad had to be covered by the main army. Be this as it may, Cromwell's health again broke down and his life was despaired of. Only late in June were operations actively resumed between Stirling and Linlithgow. At first Cromwell sought without success to bring Leslie to battle, but he stormed Callendar Housenear Falkirkon July 13, and on July 16, he began the execution of a brilliant and successful manoeuvre. A force from Queensferry, covered by the English fleet, was thrown across the Firth of Forthto North Ferry. Lambert followed with reinforcements, and defeated a detachment of Leslie's army at the Battle of Inverkeithingon the July 20. Leslie drew back at once, but managed to find a fresh strong position in front of Stirling, whence he defied Cromwell again. At this juncture Cromwell prepared to pass his whole army across the Firth. His contemplated manoeuvre of course gave up to the enemy all the roads into England, and before undertaking it the lord general held a consultation with Harrison, as the result of which that officer took over the direct defence of the whole Border. But his mind was made up even before this, for on the day he met Harrison at Linlithgowthree-quarters of his whole army had already crossed into Fife. Burntisland, surrendered to Lambert on July 29, gave Cromwell a good harbour upon which to base his subsequent movements. On July 30, the English marched upon Perth, and the investment of this place, the key to Leslie's supply area, forced the crisis at once. Whether Leslie would have preferred to manoeuvre Cromwell from his vantage-ground or not is immaterial; the young king and the now predominant Royalist element at headquarters seized the long-awaited opportunity at once, and on the July 31, leaving Cromwell to his own devices, the Royal army marched southward to raise the Royal standard in England. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 56. Inverkeithing]
Third Scottish invasion of England
Then began the last campaign of the English Civil War. Charles II expected complete success. In Scotland, "vis-a-vis" the extreme Covenanters, he was a king on conditions, and he was glad enough to find himself in England with some thirty solidly organized regiments under Royalist officers and with no regular army in front of him. He hoped, too, to rally not merely the old faithful Royalists, but also the overwhelming numerical strength of the English Presbyterians to his standard. His army was kept well in hand, no excesses were allowed, and in a week the Royalists covered 150 miles in marked contrast to the duke of Hamilton's ill-fated expedition of
1648. On August 8, the troops were given a well-earned rest between Penrith and Kendal. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 57. The Third Scottish Invasion of England]
But the Royalists were mistaken in supposing that the enemy was taken aback by their new move. Everything had been foreseen both by Cromwell and by the Council of State in
Westminster. The latter had called out the greater part of the militia on August 7. Lieutenant-General Fleetwood began to draw together the midland contingents at Banbury, the London trained bands turned out for field service no fewer than 14,000 strong. Every suspected Royalist was closely watched, and the magazines of arms in the country-houses of the gentry were for the most part removed into the strong places. On his part Cromwell had quietly made his preparations. Perth passed into his hands on August 2, and he brought back his army to Leithby August 5. Thence he dispatched Lambert with a cavalry corps to harass the invaders. Harrison was already at Newcastle picking the best of the county mounted-troops to add to his own regulars. On August 9, Charles was at Kendal, Lambert hovering in his rear, and Harrison marching swiftly to bar his way at the Mersey. Thomas Fairfaxemerged for a moment from his retirement to organize the Yorkshirelevies, and the best of these as well as of the Lancashire, Cheshireand Staffordshiremilitias were directed upon Warrington, which point Harrison reached on the August 15, a few hours in front of Charles's advanced guard. Lambert too, slipping round the left flank of the enemy, joined Harrison, and the English fell back ( August 16), slowly and without letting themselves be drawn into a fight, along the London road.
Cromwell meanwhile, leaving
George Monckwith the least efficient regiments to carry on the war in Scotland, had reached the river Tynein seven days, and thence, marching 20 miles a day in extreme heat with the country people carrying their arms and equipment the regulars entered Ferrybridgeon the August 19, at which date Lambert, Harrison and the north-western militia were about Congleton. It seemed probable that a great battle would take place between Lichfieldand Coventryon or just after August 25, and that Cromwell, Harrison, Lambert and Fleetwood would all take part in it. But the scene and the date of the denouement were changed by the enemy's movements. Shortly after leaving Warrington the young king had resolved to abandon the direct march on London and to make for the Severnvalley, where his father had found the most constant and the most numerous adherents in the first war, and which had been the centre of gravity of the English Royalist movement of 1648. Sir Edward Massey, formerly the Parliamentary governor of Gloucester, was now with Charles, and it was hoped that he would induce his fellow Presbyterians to take arms. The military quality of the Welsh border Royalists was well proved, that of the GloucestershirePresbyterians not less so, and, based on Gloucester and Worcester as his father had been based on Oxford, Charles II. hoped, not unnaturally, to deal with an Independent minority more effectually than Charles I. had done with a Parliamentary majority of the people of England. But even the pure Royalism which now ruled in the invading army could not alter the fact that it was a Scottish army, and it was not an Independent faction but all England that took arms against it. Charles arrived at Worcester on August 22, and spent five days in resting the troops, preparing for further operations, and gathering and arming the few recruits who came in. It is unnecessary to argue that the delay was fatal; it was a necessity of the case foreseen and accepted when the march to Worcester had been decided upon, and had the other course, that of marching on London via Lichfield, been taken the battle would have been fought three days earlier with the same result. Cromwell, the lord general, had during his march south thrown out successively two flying columns under Colonel Robert Lilburne to deal with the Lancashire Royalists under the earl of Derby. Lilburne entirely routed the enemy at the Battle of Wigan Laneon August 25and as affairs turned out Cromwell merely shifted the area of his concentration two marches to the south-west, to Evesham. Early on the August 28, Lambert surprised the passage of the Severn at Upton, 6 miles below Worcester, and in the action which followed Massey was severely wounded. Fleetwood followed Lambert. The enemy was now only 16,000 strong and disheartened by the apathy with which they had been received in districts formerly all their own. Cromwell, for the first and last time in his military career, had a two-to-one numerical superiority. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 58. Campaign of Worcester]
Battle of Worcester
Cromwell took his measures deliberately. Colonel
Robert Lilburnefrom Lancashire and Major Mercerwith the Worcestershire horse were to secure Bewdley Bridgeon the enemy's line of retreat. Lambert and Fleetwood were to force their way across the Teme (a little river on which Prince Rupert of the Rhinehad won his first victory in 1642) and attack St John's, the western suburb of Worcester. Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Editionarticle GREAT REBELLION 59. The Crowning Mercy]
Cromwell himself and the main army were to attack the town itself. On
September 3, the anniversary of Dunbar, the programme was carried out exactly. Fleetwood forced the passage of the Teme, and the bridging train (which had been carefully organized for the purpose) bridged both the Teme and the Severn. Then Cromwell on the left bank and Fleetwood on the right swept in a semicircle 4 miles long up to Worcester. Every hedgerow was contested by the stubborn Royalists, but Fleetwood's men would not be denied, and Cromwell's extreme right on the eastern side of the town repelled, after three hours of hard fighting, the last desperate attempt of the Royalists to break out.
Battle of Worcesterwas indeed, as a German critic has pointed out, the prototype of Sedan. Everywhere the defences were stormed as darkness came on, regulars and militia fighting with equal gallantry, and the few thousands of the Royalists who escaped during the night were easily captured by Lilburne and Mercer, or by the military 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 II 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 and on
26 May1652 the last Royalist stronghold anywhere on the eastern side of Scotland, Dunnottar Castlenear Stonehaven, surrendered after an eight month siege. [ [http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usfeatures/timeline/to1660.html Timeline: 1640 to 1660] , [http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/contact.html Undiscovered Scotland] ] So 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. [Staff, Scotland and the Commonwealth: 1651-1660 [http://www.archontology.org/nations/scotland/01_laws.php Military Occupation and Early Attempts of Unification] , [http://www.archontology.org/ archontology.org] ] [David Plant, [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/glossary/settlement-scotland.htm The Settlement of Scotland, 1651-60] , [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/ The British Civil Wars & Commonwealth website] ] [Stephen C. Manganiello. "The Concise Encyclopedia of the Revolutions and Wars of England, Scotland and Ireland 1639-1660", Scarecrow Press, 2004, ISBN 0810851008. pp.9,10]
English Civil War timeline
* [http://www.electricscotland.com/history/genhist/hist49.html General History of the Highlands 1650 - 1660]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
English Civil War — For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). English Civil War An allegory of the English Civil War by Wi … Wikipedia
English Civil War timeline — This is a timeline of events leading up to, culminating in, and resulting from the English Civil Wars.Events prior to the English Civil War:main|English Civil War *1625 Charles I of England accedes to the English throne, and shortly after marries … Wikipedia
English Civil War (disambiguation) — The English Civil War was fought between the Royalists (Cavaliers) and Parliamentarians (Roundheads) between 1642 and 1651. For other meanings see: * Wars of the Three Kingdoms for an overview of this war. * List of English civil wars for other… … Wikipedia
First English Civil War — The First English Civil War (1642–1646) was the first of three wars known as the English Civil War (or Wars ). The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and… … Wikipedia
Second English Civil War — Infobox Military Conflict conflict= Second English Civil War partof= the English Civil War date= February, 1648 – 30 January, 1649 place= England and Wales casus= Failure of First English Civil War to provide a satisfactory long term settlement.… … Wikipedia
Worcestershire in the English Civil War — This is a timeline for the English Civil War in Worcestershire Usually, the Battle of Worcester has been taken as synonymous with the Civil War in the County, but it was quite an isolated incident, that did not occur until five years after the… … Wikipedia
Third Anglo-Dutch War — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Third Anglo Dutch War partof=Franco Dutch War caption= The Battle of Texel, 11 ndash;21 August 1673 by Willem van de Velde, the younger, painted 1683, depicts a battle of the Third Anglo Dutch War date=1672 1674 … Wikipedia
English Civil Wars — (1642–51) Armed conflict in the British Isles between Parliamentarians and supporters of the monarchy (Royalists). Tension between Charles I and the House of Commons had been building for some time, and after his unsuccessful attempt to arrest… … Universalium
Civil war in Chad (2005–present) — Infobox Military Conflict caption=Major flashpoints of the conflict conflict=War in Chad date=December 18 2005 ongoing place=Chad status=Ongoing combatant1=United Front for Democratic Change (FUC) (2005 2006) United Forces for Development and… … Wikipedia
Civil war era in Norway — Norwegian longship The Civil war era of Norwegian history (Norwegian borgerkrigstida) is a term used for the period in the history of Norway between 1130 and 1240. During this time, a series of civil wars were fought between rival kings and… … Wikipedia