John Ramscar is a wargamer and military history enthusiast of many years standing. he has spent a number of years compiling a detailed chronology of the English Civil Wars. When I saw it I was impressed, and thought you might be and so here is part one. John would like to hear from anyone with additional information that may be used to expend the chronology. Just mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHRONOLOGY OF THE CIVIL WARS
January 1 (Saturday) The House of Commons goes into committee at the Guildhall, fearing a royalist plot. John Pym rejects Charles' offer of the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Rumours reach the Court of a plan to impeach the Queen. Meanwhile, in response to news of further atrocities from Ireland, Charles issues a proclamation denouncing as traitors the Irish Catholic rebels.
January 2 (Sunday) Sir John Culpeper is sworn in as Chancellor, and Lord Falkland as Secretary of State.
January 3 (Monday) The lodgings of John Pym and Denzil Holles are searched. In the House of Lords, Sir Edward Herbert makes an accusation of treason against Lord Mandeville and five members of the House of Commons: John Pym, John Hampden, Sir Arthur Haselrig, Denzil Holles and William Strode. The House of Commons claim a breach of privilege. The King publishes the articles of treason against the accused, and furthermore, forbids Lord Mayor Gurney to raise the Trained Bands in defence of Parliament, and calls on gentlemen volunteers to defend the kingdom.
January 4 (Tuesday) Provoking the King to act, Pym has the House of Commons sit at Westminster. Messages counteracting the King's instructions of the previous day are sent to Lord Mayor Gurney. As expected, Charles enters Parliament to seize the accused members, only to find that the "birds are flown". The five members have escaped downriver to the City. Meanwhile, in the City itself, newly elected members of the Common Council outvote the loyal Lord Mayor.
January 5 (Wednesday) The House sits at the Guildhall in the City. Members denounce the King's attempt to seize the five members, and proclaim those who assisted him to be public enemies. The Common Council drafts a petition against Catholics at Court and against Sir John Byron's command of the Tower. Blockades are built across the streets, and the Trained Bands are mustered.
January 8 (Saturday) The House of Commons and the Common Council of the City of London, combined as the Joint Committee of Public Safety, bestow the freedom of the city on Philip Skippon, commander of the Artillery Company.
January 10 (Monday) The Common Council give Skippon command of the Trained Bands, overruling Lord Mayor Gurney and the King. Bands of mariners and lightermen enter the City in support of Parliament whilst the Earl of Warwick and Sir Henry Vane, Treasurer of the Navy, organize fleets of boats on the river. During the night the Royal family flee from Whitehall to Hampton Court, never to return to London.
January 11 (Tuesday) The five members return in triumph to Westminster. In Ireland, Sir Phleim O'Neill leads the Catholic insurgents in a failed attempt to storm besieged Drogheda. The fifth session of Charles' Second Irish Parliament opens (and sits until 9 February).
Mid-January The King moves to Windsor. A thousand supporters of John Hampden ride into London from Buckinghamshire. Parliament instructs the governors of Hull and Portsmouth to reject overtures from the King. The Surrey Trained Bands are raised; they disperse loyalists under George, Lord Digby at Kingston-upon-Thames, seize the local magazine for Parliament, and set guard on the Portsmouth road. The King attempts to temporize with Parliament by offering eight cannon with ammunition to the City. In Ireland, the Catholic insurgents are routed at Swords, on the outskirts of Dublin, by government troops under Sir Charles Coote. However, the Catholic uprising spreads into Counties Antrim, Limerick, and Clare.
January 20 (Thursday) The King writes to Parliament, saying he will make all efforts to come to an agreement with them.
January 21 (Friday) Large crowds of Londoners gather to watch the execution of two Catholic priests.
Mid - late January The King appeals for help to the Marquis of Argyll and Loudoun in Edinburgh. The House of Commons votes Sir John Byron out of command at the Tower, but he defies them. The Tower is then besieged by the Trained Bands, and blockaded on the river.
January 26 (Wednesday) Pym summarizes the vast number of petitions received from all over the country as "the voice ... of all England".
Late January Parliament demands the abolition of episcopacy, and control of the armed forces and the Tower.
January 31 (Monday) Sir John Hotham secures Hull, by direction of Parliament.
February 1 - 3 In Ireland the loyal forces under James Butler, 12th Earl of Ormonde burn Newcastle and take Naas in County Kildare.
February 7 (Monday) The King refuses to hand over any royal strongholds, but agrees to pardon Pym and the other five members. He also announces his intention to send the Queen and Princess to safety in the Low Countries.
February 9 (Wednesday) The fifth session of the Second Irish Parliament ends in Dublin.
February 12 (Saturday) Lord Lambert defeats the Catholic insurgents in Wicklow, thus defeating the threat to Dublin.
Early - mid February The King and Court arrive at Dover. The Scots respond to the King's appeal for support, but their reply is evasive, offering only that the Marquis of Argyll should wait on the King with advice. At the Tower of London, Sir John Byron is running short of supplies. The King orders him to relinquish control to Parliament.
February 14 (Monday) The King passes the Bishops' Exclusion Act, excluding the bishops from the House of Lords and abolishing their temporal power.
February 17 (Thursday) Prince Rupert, the King's nephew, presents himself to the Court at Dover, and volunteers to assist the Queen to obtain arms and recruits in Holland.
Mid February The Commons presses the King to pass the Militia Bill, which will give control of the armed forces to Parliament. In Ireland, the rebellion spreads to County Kerry.
February 20 (Sunday) Colonel George Monck and Sir Richard Grenville arrive in Dublin with a force of 1500 foot and 400 horse.
February 23 (Wednesday) The Queen sets sail for Holland on board Lion, accompanied by Prince Rupert. She takes the Crown Jewels with her, intending to use them to raise money for troops and supplies.
Mid - late February The King approves the Commons' scheme to give confiscated land to those who contribute money for the Irish War. In Ireland Viscount Muskerry and the County Cork Catholics join the uprising; but a further assault by the insurgents on Drogheda fails.
February 27 (Sunday) The King rejects the Militia Bill, and is angrily denounced in Parliament.
Models by the Ilkley Lads
Late February Lord Mayor Gurney organizes a petition against the appointment of Skippon. Two of the King's supporters are impeached: the Attorney General for drawing up the charges against the "five members", and George, Lord Digby, on the evidence of intercepted letters from Holland, for "waging war on the nation". The House of Lords joins the Commons to declare those who advised the King to petition Parliament and reject the Militia Bill to be enemies of the state.
March 1 (Tuesday) The King once again rejects the Militia Bill - this time couching the language of the rejection with hostility.
March 2 (Wednesday) The King sets out to raise support in the north and midlands, despite the protests of Parliament. Both Houses resolve that the "kingdom should be put in a posture of defence".
March 5 (Saturday) The Commons pass the Militia Ordinance without the King's consent. It allows them to appoint Lords Lieutenants as commanders of the militia in the counties, with authority to raise troops and collect funds for their support.
Early March Charles travels to the Midlands via Royston and Newmarket. Parliament issues a declaration listing their reasons for ignoring royal authority. Charles rejects the declaration, emphasizing the rift with Parliament.
March 11 (Friday) In Ireland, the siege of Drogheda is ended by a government relief force under the Earl of Ormonde and Sir Henry Tichbourne.
March 13 (Sunday) In Scotland, the three standing regiments of Covenanter troops are embarked for Ulster, under the command of Sir Robert Monro. However, they are detained at Aran for three weeks by contrary winds.
March 15 (Tuesday) Parliament attempts to appoint the Puritan Earl of Warwick as commander of the navy, in place of the ineffective Earl of Northumberland.
March 16 (Wednesday) The Lords Justices of Ireland report the Irish rebels to have killed some 154,000 Protestants to date. The true figure is likely to have been considerably lower.
Mid-March Charles travels north via Huntingdon, Cambridge and Stamford, warning his subjects not to obey the Militia Ordinance issued by Parliament. At the same time, in response to the Irish situation, he proclaims strict enforcement of laws against Roman Catholics.
March 19 (Saturday) Charles enters York, where he will remain until July, gathering supporters and preparing for war. Parliament passes the "Adventurers Act" pledging land to those who raise money to suppress the Irish uprising. In Ireland itself, the town of Galway declares for the insurgents but comes to an arrangement with the Earl of Clanricard who retains control of the castle for the Crown.
Mid - late March Charles issues an answer to the parliamentary proposals, a less aggressive response drafted by Edward Hyde (the future Earl of Clarendon). This attempt at conciliation encourages wavering royalists to view the King in a more favourable light, and to see Pym as the aggressor. Parliament receives a petition from Lancashire rejecting the appointment of the Puritan Lord Wharton to the Lord Lieutenancy, in favour of the royalist Lord Strange. At York, Charles is joined by his younger son, James Duke of York, and by William Seymour, 1st Marquis of Hertford. Hertford is one of the most influential landowners of the West of England.
March 22 (Tuesday) A synod of the Catholic clergy of the province of Armagh meets at Kells, and calls for unity amongst the scattered Catholic rebels.
Late March In Ireland Sir Henry Tichbourne retakes Ardee and Dundalk from the Catholic insurgents.
April 2 (Saturday) The Earl of Ormonde relieves the towns of Borris, Birr, and Knockmenease in County Kildare.
April 3 (Sunday) The three Scots regiments under Sir Robert Monro land at Carrickfergus in support of the Protestants.
April The Catholic siege of the Earl of Clanricard in Galway fort begins (and lasts until June 1643).
April 15 (Friday) The Earl of Ormonde defeats the Irish rebels of Kildare at the battle of Kilrush. Shortly afterwards, Randal MacDonnell, Marquis of Antrim, flees to his rebellious clan in Ulster.
April 22 (Friday) The King sends the eight-year-old Duke of York, with a party that includes the Elector Palatinate (Rupert's brother Charles Louis), to visit to the governor of Hull.
April 23 (Saturday) Charles arrives at Hull, with a troop of Horse, hoping to gain admission in the wake of his son. Sir John Hotham refuses to let him in. He is forced to withdraw back to York, where the Duke of York and Charles Louis later join him.
Mid - late April Prince Rupert and the Duke of York are elected Knights of the Garter. The protestant Charles Louis, disturbed by the thought that he may have been used as a pawn in the attempt on Hull, abandons the King's cause and returns to Europe. Parliament refuses the King's attempt to bring a charge of treason against Sir John Hotham. The Irish rebels seize Waterford. Parliament rejects a protestation from Kent loyalists led by Sir Richard Lovelace.
April 27 (Wednesday) In Ireland, Monro open his campaign in Armagh, Newry and Down. Newry is seized from the Catholics soon afterwards.
April 29 (Friday) Monro's Scots skirmish with Phelim O'Neill's Catholic insurgents at Kilwarlin Wood, near Lisburn, County Down.
Late April The Siege of Cork is raised. Muskerry besieges Limerick Castle. Coote relieves Castlegeasal of Castlejordan, and captures Philipstown and Trim. The Irish rebels burn Armagh.
Early May In Ireland, Tichbourne takes Carlingford for the government. The Marquis of Argyll raids Rathlin island and massacres the Protestant inhabitants.
May 7 (Saturday) The Irish insurgents fail in an attempt to recapture Trim, but Sir Charles Coote is killed in the action.
May 8 (Sunday) Parliamentary commissioners arrive at York to discuss the incident at Hull. Charles, suspecting them of attempting to interfere with recruiting, orders them to leave. They refuse.
May 10 (Tuesday) The London Trained Bands parade in Finsbury Fields, and the troops are reviewed by Philip Skippon and the leading members of Parliament. In Ireland, an assembly of Catholic clergy and laymen convenes at Kilkenny, with the laity also invited to attend.
May 12 (Thursday) The King issues a warrant summoning the Yorkshire gentry to attend him in arms on 3 June. The parliamentary commissioners lodge a protest. In Ireland, Monro's campaign in Armagh, Newry and Down reaches a conclusion.
May 13 (Friday) The meeting of the Irish Catholic clergy at Kilkenny ends. They resolve to draft an Oath of Association and choose a Supreme Council of nine members to act as a provisional government, bringing the insurgents together as the Catholic confederates.
Mid May Charles orders removal of the law courts to the North. Parliament orders the despatch of reinforcements to Munster.
May 17 (Tuesday) Parliament declare the attempt to remove the law courts to the north illegal, with the initial approval of Littleton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. However, Littleton, the senior law officer in the kingdom, later flees to the King with the Great Seal, which poses a serious challenge to Parliament's legal position.
May 24 (Tuesday) Monro leads the Scots Covenanter forces on raids through Bannside and the Glens of Antrim.
May 27 (Friday) Parliament declare the King to be "seduced by evil counsellors", and intent on making war on his own people. They insist, "henceforward, the lawful authority for preserving the peace and governing the kingdom must rest with the two Houses of Parliament, and the King's subjects must accept no laws except those made by Parliament".
May 28 (Saturday) In Ireland, the Lord Justices prohibit all communication with Catholics.
End May The government's campaign in Ireland grinds to a halt for want of victuals and supplies. However, reinforcements arrive in in Munster in the form of two English regiments.
June 1 (Wednesday) Parliament issues the Nineteen Propositions, as a final ultimatum to the King. These demand control of all high military and civil offices, control of all fortresses, the prosecution of laws against Catholics, church reform, support for the protestant cause in Europe, and the clearing of all charges against the five members.
June 2 (Thursday) The Nineteen Propositions are sent to the King.
June 3 (Wednesday) The King meets with a great gathering of the Yorkshire gentry on Heworth Moor, outside York, with the aim of securing their support and recruiting troops. The peers are supportive of the King but there is opposition from some; Sir Thomas Fairfax presents a petition to the King, urging him to come to terms with Parliament and return to London.
June 5 (Sunday) The peers of the realm publicly declare loyalty to the King at York.
June 6 (Monday) The King begins to issue Commissions of Array to county authorities, with the aim raising bodies of armed loyalists. Officers of the state will be forced to decide whether to obey the King's Commissions or Parliament's Ordinance. The first Commission is issued to the county of Warwickshire. In Ireland, Monro's expedition through Bannside and Glens of Antrim comes to an end.
Early June Ireland: the Confederate Oath of Association is drawn up and a provisional Supreme Council nominated. The Scots army marches on Lisnagarvey, Newry and Armagh. The Catholic confederates besiege Limerick. There is an alleged massacre of Protestants at Kilmore.
June 9 (Thursday) Parliament passes an ordinance appealing for plate, money and horses.
June 10 (Friday) The first meeting of the presbytery of Monro's Scottish army takes place at Carrickfergus.
Mid June The Lord Mayor of London has the Commission of Array read in the City. He is deprived of office and clapped in the Tower. Charles orders the replacement of the Lord High Admiral, the Earl of Northumberland, with the royalist Sir John Pennington who has instructions to bring the fleet to Bridlington.
June 17 (Friday) It is reported that the peers at York are ready to go down to the counties with the King's Commissions of Array, and thus make a general call to arms.
June 18 (Saturday) Charles denounces and rejects the Nineteen Propositions, and has the peers sign a protestation confirming his peaceable intentions.
June 21 (Tuesday) The Irish Parliament at Dublin resolves that all persons refusing the oath of supremacy should be debarred, and expels forty-one members as traitors. It is now an entirely Protestant body.
July 2 (Saturday) The Earl of Northumberland appoints the Earl of Warwick as his deputy as the Lord Admiral. The fleet in the Downs declares for Parliament. The few ships that refuse obedience are overpowered.
July 4 (Tuesday) Pym creates the Committee of Safety with responsibility for the immediate conduct of the war. The Committee consists of the Earls of Essex, Northumberland, Pembroke, and Holland; Viscount Saye and Sele; and ten MPs led by Pym, Hampden and Holles.
July 5 (Wednesday) With Parliament's approval, Lord Brooke transfers the county magazine of Warwickshire to his castle at Warwick.
July 9 (Saturday) Parliament votes to raise an army of 10,000 volunteers.
July 11(Tuesday) Oxford University sends money and plate to the King.
July 12 (Wednesday) Robert Devereaux, 3rd Earl of Essex, is appointed Lord-General of the army by Parliament.
Early - mid July Lord Digby persuades the vacillating Sir John Hotham to yield Hull to the King on condition that the royalists make sufficient display of strength. Charles receives parliamentary commissioners led by the Earl of Holland, who for the final time ask him to return in peace to London. In return, Charles asks that they give up Hull, which they refuse.
July 15 (Friday) In Yorkshire, the King appears before Hull and begins the construction of siege lines. In Lancashire, the royalist Lord Strange attempts to seize the magazine at Manchester. He is driven out of the town, but during the skirmish Richard Perceval, a linen weaver, becomes the first casualty of the Civil War in England. The Royalists blockade Manchester. At The Hague, the Queen gives Prince Rupert his commission as General of the Horse.
Mid - late July Charles appoints the Earl of Cumberland as his Lieutenant of the North. In Scotland, the Assembly of the Church appoints Lord Maitland to head a commission to consider reform of the Church throughout Great Britain. This forges a link between the Scots covenanters and the English Parliament, and threatens the King's hope of Scottish support. In Ulster, the number of Scots covenanter troops under Monro reaches 10,000. They take the Castle of Dunluce and capture the Earl of Antrim, who claims to be acting in the King's interest, with the promise of becoming general of all loyal Catholic forces in Ulster. The Scots' campaign continues with a march on Charlemont and raid on Creaghts from Newry. Meanwhile, Lord Forbes' expedition (financed by the Merchant Adventurers bill) lands in Munster, and conducts a campaign of arbitrary destruction through the south and west of Ireland. The future confederate leader Owen Roe O'Neill, accompanied by veterans from Flanders, lands at Doe Castle, County Donegal.
July 27 (Wednesday) The Royalists raise the siege of Hull, and retire to York. Charles declares the Earl of Essex to be a traitor.
July 29 (Friday) A convoy of guns and ammunition, sent by Parliament to support Lord Brooke at Warwick, arrives at Banbury, held for Parliament by Lord Saye and Sele's son John Fiennes.
July 30 (Saturday) Stand-off in the Midlands: Lord Brooke, attempting to transfer the convoy of guns from Banbury to Warwick, finds his way blocked by the Earl of Northampton. After much posturing on both sides, Brooke retires with the convoy to Banbury.
July 31 (Sunday) In Ireland, the Catholic confederates request the Earl of Ormonde to forward their petition to the King. Ormonde places it in the hands of the Lords Justices, who suppress it.
August 1 (Monday) Parliament issues an ordinance requesting payment of the taxes outlined in the Tonnage and Poundage Bill, even though the King has refused to ratify it.
August 2 (Tuesday) Colonel George Goring, Governor of Portsmouth, declares for the King.
Early August Prince Rupert and his brother Maurice sail from Holland with a staff of professional soldiers. They out-sail Parliamentary pursuers and land at Tynemouth. In Ireland Owen Roe O'Neill takes command of the Confederate Army of Ulster. His rival Thomas Preston lands at Wexford, and assumes command of the Confederate Army of Leinster.
August 4 (Thursday) The Royalists win an action at Marshall's Elm in Somerset.
August 8 (Monday) Five ships under the Earl of Warwick arrive to blockade Goring in Portsmouth. In the Midlands, the magazine at Banbury is surrendered to the Royalist Earl of Northampton.
August 9 (Tuesday) The Earl of Northampton besieges Warwick Castle with the guns captured at Banbury.
August 10 (Wednesday) At Cambridge, Oliver Cromwell defeats an attempt by the King's supporters to remove the plate of the colleges.
August 13 (Saturday) Ormonde advises the King that the loyalty of the Council in Dublin is suspect. At Oxford, there is a review of the scholars under arms, who express their loyalty to the King.
Mid August The King moves south from York, marching on Nottingham and Leicester.
August 15 (Monday) At Cambridge, the magazine is seized by Cromwell. Parliament authorizes an expedition under Lord Brooke and John Hampden to ride to the relief of Warwick Castle. The Earl of Northampton meets the King at Nottingham, urging him to assist his siege of Warwick Castle.
August 16 (Tuesday) Isaac Pennington is chosen as Lord Mayor, securing Parliament's hold over the City of London.
August 17 (Wednesday) The Cornish Cavaliers muster on Bodmin racecourse.
August 18 (Thursday) Parliament declares the King's supporters to be "traitors". In the Midlands, the King's forces enter Warwickshire.
August 20 (Saturday) The King fails in an attempt to attack a weak detachment of enemy troops outside Coventry, and falls back on Leicester.
August 21 (Sunday) Dover Castle is seized by Parliament. There are disturbances throughout Kent. The King falls back on Leicester, where he is joined by Prince Rupert and his brother Prince Maurice.
August 22 (Monday) The King withdraws to Nottingham and raises the Royal Standard, proclaiming the Commons and their soldiers to be traitors. King and Parliament are now officially at war. In Colchester, Puritan rioters seize royalist property. In the Midlands, the Royalists abandon the siege of Warwick Castle on hearing news of the approach of the parliamentary relief force.
August 23 (Tuesday) In a skirmish at Southam, Royalists retreating from Warwick defeat the relief force sent by Parliament.
Mid - late August Bristol and Plymouth declare for Parliament. Ireland: Alexander Leslie, Lord Leven takes Duncannon (County Tyrone), and campaigns with the Covenanter army in Newry and Down.
August 25 (Thursday) The King sends commissioners to offer peace proposals to Parliament in London. In Ireland Murrough O'Brien, Lord Inchiquin, wins a victory for the government forces at the battle of Liscarroll, County Cork.
August 27 (Saturday) The King's peace proposals are rejected at Westminster.
August 28 (Sunday) Sir John Byron is driven out of Brackley. He arrives in Oxford and attempts to fortify the city with the aid of the University staff.
August 30 (Tuesday) Charles raises Ormonde to the rank of Marquis.
September 1 (Thursday) Parliamentary forces in the Midlands, now in considerable disarray, move to regroup around Northampton and await the arrival of the Earl of Essex.
September 2 (Friday) In Dorset, the Earl of Bedford and Denzil Holles attempt to seize Sherborne Castle for Parliament, but their inexperienced force disintegrates under fire. They settle down to besiege the castle. Parliament passes an ordinance banning stage-plays for the duration of the war (the theatres actually stay closed until 1660).
September 4 (Sunday) Sir William Waller storms weakly-defended Southsea Castle near Portsmouth after a mutiny of the royalist garrison.
September 5 (Monday) The King despatches Viscount Falkland to the House of Commons with a second peace overture, this time offering more concessions.
September 6 (Tuesday) The King's second peace offer is rejected out of hand by Parliament , mistrustful of the King's motives. Furthermore, they makes a declaration of intent to seize the property of delinquents to repay loans made by those loyal to Parliament. This further divides the country into two camps and increases support for the King. Meanwhile, at Leicester, Prince Rupert demands £2000 from the citizens of the town to guarantee their immunity from plunder. They pay £500 but complain to the King. In Dorset, the Roundheads pull back from Sherborne Castle and march on Yeovil.
September 7 (Wednesday) Parliament assures the Scots that episcopacy will be abolished. Goring surrenders Portsmouth castle to Waller and escapes to join the Queen in Holland. A detachment of the Marquis of Hertford's Royalist army are defeated by the Roundheads at Babylon Hill near Yeovil. The Parliamentary force falls back on Dorchester.
September 8 (Thursday) The King disavows Rupert's demand for money from the citizens of Leicester.
September 9 (Friday) The Earl of Essex leaves London to join the army. He is given a rapturous citizens' send-off.
September 10 (Saturday) Essex joins the army, 20,000 strong, camped about Northampton. He aims to march on the King at Nottingham. Byron abandons Oxford and heads for Worcester, taking with him volunteers, a valuable consignment of money, and the college silver.
September 12 (Monday) Parliamentary troops under Lord Saye and Sele occupy Oxford and muster the city's Trained Bands. Most are happy to fight for Parliament. However, the students of the University are largely royalist supporters, and they are neither disarmed nor interned.
September 13 (Tuesday) The King, threatened by Essex' superior force, disbands the hostile Trained Bands in Nottingham, seizes their weapons, and heads towards Derby. His aim is to march to Shropshire and the Welsh Marches gathering recruits en-route.
September 14 (Wednesday) The Earl of Essex reviews the Parliamentary Army at Northampton. The unpaid troops are unruly.
September 15 (Thursday) Essex appeals to the House for a loan to pay the troops to impose some sort of order.
September 16 (Friday) Byron arrives at Worcester, pursued by a parliamentary force under Nathaniel Fiennes. Fiennes is hoping to affect a link-up with the Earl of Essex.
September 17 (Saturday) Parliament demands contributions to the war fund from the City of London.
September 18 (Sunday) The King is at Stafford.
September 19 (Monday) Charles' marches to Wellington, giving his manifesto to the troops en-route. Having received news of Byron's occupation of Worcester, the Earl of Essex breaks camp at Northampton and marches into Warwickshire, monitoring the King's progress. In the south-west, Hertford abandons Sherborne Castle and heads for Minehead.
September 20 (Tuesday) The King enters Shrewsbury on the Welsh border where a force of 5000 infantry is mustering.
September 21(Wednesday) Prince Rupert joins Byron at Worcester, and prepares to fortify the city.
September 22 (Thursday) Essex' troops demand an immediate march on Worcester. Realising that the city is indefensible, Byron falls back to join the King, covered by Rupert's cavalry. In the south-west, Hertford reaches Minehead.
September 23 (Friday) Prince Rupert attacks the Parliamentary force under Colonel Fiennes at Powicke Bridge outside Worcester. The speed of the Royalist attack establishes Rupert's reputation and the superiority of the Royalist horse. To the north the King enters Chester, seizing the goods of local Puritans, securing communications with Ireland, and gathering supplies and loyal supporters from Cheshire. In the south-west, Sir Ralph Hopton parts from Hertford at Minehead and makes his way to Cornwall with a small detachment of horse. Hertford and his remaining troops cross the Bristol Channel with the aim of organizing resistance to Parliament in South Wales.
September 24 (Saturday) The Earl of Essex advances cautiously into Worcester, where his troops desecrate the Cathedral. Prince Rupert falls back to join the King in the Marches.
September 25 (Sunday) Hopton joins Sir Bevil Grenville at Stowe in Cornwall.
Late September A force detached by the Earl of Essex occupies Hereford. In Ireland, the Scots now under the command of Lord Leven, conduct a campaign of desolation in Ulster.
September 29 (Thursday) The gentry of Yorkshire, with opinion equally divided between the two sides, elect to hold the county neutral in the struggle.
October 2 (Sunday) Lord Strange (Earl of Derby since his father's death) raises the royalist siege of Manchester.
October 4 (Tuesday) In Yorkshire, Sir John Hotham breaks the truce with the Royalists by seizing Cawood Castle, ten miles south of York, from Archbishop Williams. A ship bearing munitions and soldiers sent by the Queen from Holland is driven into Yarmouth by bad weather, and seized by order of Parliament. Meanwhile, off Tynemouth, the two remaining royalist warships Bonaventure and Swallow are surrendered to Parliament whilst trying to run the blockade. In Cornwall, Hopton reviews the royalist forces.
October 5 (Wednesday) In Ireland Thomas Preston's Confederate forces rout government troops under George Monck near Timahoe (Queen's County).
October 6 (Thursday) The royalists fail in their attempt to raise the Devonshire Militia at Modbury, and are forced to call off their proposed attack on Plymouth.
Early - mid October The King is joined at Shrewsbury by the veteran Patrick Ruthven, Earl of Forth.
October 12 (Wednesday) The King sets out from Shrewsbury to begin his march on London, via Bridgnorth, Wolverhampton and Kenilworth.
October 13 (Thursday) In Cornwall, Hopton confronts the Parliamentary committee at Lostwithiel, and calls out the forces of the county against them.
October 15 (Saturday) The Bill for the Assembly of Divines, expected to reform the church, is read for the first time in the House of Lords. The House of Lords also gives assent to the Commons' resolution that all who refuse to contribute to the charge of the Commonwealth are to be imprisoned and disarmed. The revenues of bishops, deans and chapters, and all delinquents who have taken up arms for the King are to be sequestered for the use of the Commonwealth.
October 16 (Sunday) In London, the 8000-strong City Trained Bands are mobilised; the captains renew their resolution to "live and die with Parliament" in the name of their men.
October 17 (Monday) The great majority of the City Trained Bands declare themselves ready to follow their commanders even beyond the City precincts. At Kings Norton, Prince Rupert skirmishes with parliamentary troops under Lord Willoughby of Parham.
October 18 (Tuesday) The King is it Packington, where the Earl of Essex sends him a conciliatory petition from both Houses of Parliament. The petition asks the King to return to Westminster, where he will be welcome if he comes in peace. Charles refuses to it and refuses safe conduct to its bearers. The Royalist army holds a mass rally at Meriden heath, where its commanders consider it to be ready for battle, and then continues the march on London.
October 19 (Wednesday) The Bill for the Assembly of Divines is given its third reading in the House of Lords. In the Midlands, the Earl of Essex marches from Worcester to intercept the King, who is now at Kenilworth Castle.
October 20 (Thursday) In response to the King's refusal of the petition requesting him to return to Westminster, Pym proposes that a new Covenant should be formed within the House, and that those refusing to take its oath should be thrown out.
October 21 (Friday) The House proposes to raise a new army of 16,000 to act in conjunction with the City Trained Bands, the whole to be commanded by the Earl of Warwick. The King is at Southam, where he addresses the army. In Yorkshire, the truce at an end, Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax is ready to take the field for Parliament.
October 22 (Saturday) The Parliamentarian Army, attempting to intercept the King, reaches Kineton, just south of Warwick. The King is at Edgecote, whilst Rupert with the Royalist advance guard is involved in a skirmish with Parliamentarian cavalry at Wormleighton. With this news of the enemy positions, the King is persuaded to make a night move to the escarpment of Edgehill, imposing the Royalists between Essex' Army and London. In the South, Parliament sends a garrison to occupy Windsor.
October 23 (Sunday) The battle of Edgehill. After a bloody and disorganized fight, both sides are exhausted and remain on the field at the end of the day.
Charles at Edgehill by Chris Collingwood
October 24 (Monday) After spending all night on the battlefield, the Earl of Essex falls back to Kineton. In Ireland, the General Assembly of the Confederate Catholics convenes at Kilkenny (and meets until 21 November).
October 25 (Tuesday) The Parliamentary army falls back on Warwick, harassed by Rupert's cavalry. Both sides claim victory at Edgehill, but the Royalists have the advantage, as they are now clear to march on London. However, the King chooses against a direct march on the capital.
October 27 (Thursday) The Royalists advance to Banbury, which surrenders without a fight. Many of the garrison switch allegiance.
October 28 (Friday) The King reaches Woodstock.
October 29 (Saturday) The King approaches Oxford, and the students remove the chains from the North Gate to allow him to enter. Entering the city in triumph, Charles receives the plaudits of citizens and scholars, and installs a garrison of Welsh troops. Rupert captures Abingdon and Aylesbury. At Westminster, the Lords propose to reopen peace negotiations with the King.
October 31 (Monday) Waller urges the Commons to concur with the peace negotiations.
Early November In Ireland, Inchiquin wins the battle of Bandonbridge. The Earl of Leven leaves Ulster. At Oxford the royalists muster the remaining Trained Bands in the city. They choose to surrender their arms to the King rather than fight for him.
November 2 (Wednesday) The Commons consent to the opening of peace negotiations with the King.
November 3 (Thursday) The King leaves Oxford to begin the march on London. Parliament despatches Sir Peter Killigrew to the King in order to request a safe conduct for the commissioners appointed to conduct the peace negotiations.
November 4 (Friday) The King occupies Reading. The Earl of Essex reaches Woburn on his way back to London.
November 5 (Saturday) The city of Worcester is abandoned by its Parliamentary garrison.
November 6 (Sunday) After two days of deliberation, Charles declares one of the Parliamentary commissioners (Sir John Evelyn) to be a proclaimed traitor and will not allow him to be admitted to his presence.
November 7 (Monday) Essex enters London, to be hailed as the victor of Edgehill. The House of Lords, angered by Charles' procrastination over the peace negotiations, gives assent to a plan to approach the Scots. Prince Rupert makes an unsuccessful attack on Windsor, raids the Vale of Aylesbury, and then rejoins the King at Egham.
November 8 (Tuesday) The Houses of Parliament appeal to the citizens for money and recruits.
November 11 (Friday) The King receives the Parliamentary commissioners at Colnbrook. The commissioners request a cessation of arms for the duration of the peace negotiations. Meanwhile, the London Trained Bands (under Skippon) and the Parliamentary cavalry (commanded by the Earl of Essex) march forth from the City in the direction of the Royalist army. The Royalists move their advance posts to the outskirts of Brentford, held by Lord Brooke and Denzil Holles for Parliament.
November 12 (Saturday) Rupert attacks the Parliamentary regiments in Brentford; the Roundheads are driven out and the town sacked. Rupert's action wrecks the peace negotiations, causing outrage in the House of Commons, who claim the King to have broken the truce. John Lilburne is amongst the Parliamentary captives taken at Brentford.
November 13 (Sunday) Royalist forces at Syon House sink and destroy ammunition barges sent to the aid of the remaining Parliamentary troops before Brentford. The Royalists continue their advance on London but find their path blocked at Turnham Green by the Earl of Essex and the City Trained Bands, 20,000 strong. Outnumbered two-to-one, the King decides to withdraw rather than engage the Parliamentary forces in battle.
November 15 (Tuesday) The City, opposed to any peace accommodation with the King, offers to maintain an additional force of 4000 horse and dragoons.
November 19 (Saturday) Charles falls back to Reading, where he agrees to renew peace negotiations. He receives an ambassador from the King of Denmark in response to his request for aid.
November 21(Monday) In Ireland the first Confederate General Assembly disperses, having elected a supreme council consisting of twenty-four members (six from each province), and claiming to govern Ireland in the name of the King. Twelve of the supreme council are expected to sit permanently and run the Confederation, in an attempt to establish an alternative government to the Dublin Parliament.
November 22 (Tuesday) After two days debate over Charles' offer to renew negotiations, Parliament again demands that the King return to Westminster. The Earl of Essex is at Windsor with the Parliamentary forces. The Earl of Warwick resigns his command of the London forces to avoid the danger of a split command.
November 24 (Thursday) The King contemptuously rejects the Parliamentary proposals.
November 25 (Friday) The Houses resolve to levy a tax to pay the troops, having found reliance on voluntary contributions to be insufficient.
November 26 (Saturday) The Committee for the Advance of Money is established at Westminster. Letters intercepted from the Queen reveal plans to obtain support for the King from abroad, including a possible invasion by French troops. These letters serve to confirm the ascendancy of the war party in Parliament, and end any immediate attempt to negotiate peace.
November 27 (Sunday) The peace negotiations are ended.
November 29 (Tuesday) The King withdraws to Oxford to establish his Court and headquarters, where they will remain for the rest of the war. He leaves a garrison at Reading, and establishes defensive ring around Oxford with outposts at Banbury, Brill, Abingdon, Wallingford, Faringdon and Burford. Charles also recalls Lord Leicester to Oxford, to prevent him from taking ship for Ireland where he was to assume the Lord Lieutenancy. In London, Parliament agrees on an ordinance to assess the inhabitants of London and Westminster to levy a 5% tax from those who have not contributed to the war effort.
Late November Hopton, at the head of a small force of Cornish volunteers, crosses into Devon, occupies Tavistock and threatens Plymouth.
December 1 (Thursday) William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle leads his Royalist army across the Tees, defeating the Yorkshire Parliamentarians under Captain John Hotham at Pierce Bridge. The Earl of Cumberland, previously commanding royalist forces in Yorkshire, relinquishes command in favour of Newcastle. In Surrey, Waller takes Farnham Castle for Parliament.
Renegade Figures on display at Marcher 2002
December 3 (Saturday) Newcastle disarms the Parliamentary levies in the North Riding, and relieves York.
Early December The Irish Confederate Assembly presents the King with a new petition requesting a hearing for their grievances, and offering its support for the royalist cause. The King views these new allies as a potential embarrassment, and issues an official rebuff. In Scotland, publication of Parliament's letter accusing the King of planning to employ foreign troops against his own subjects increases the support of the Covenanters for the Parliamentary cause.
December 5 (Monday) Royalist troops under Digby and Lord Henry Wilmot storm and sack Marlborough, aiming to open the lines of communication from Oxford to the south-west.
December 6 (Tuesday) John Lilburne, one of the Parliamentary soldiers captured at Brentford, is found guilty of high treason at Oxford. In Devon, Hopton fails in his attempt to call out the Devonshire Militia, and is forced to abandon plans to assault Plymouth.
December 7 (Wednesday) In Yorkshire, the Earl of Newcastle and Sir Marmaduke Langdale surprise and defeat the Fairfaxes before Tadcaster. The Parliamentarians withdraw to Selby to maintain their communications with Hull, and the royalists invade the West Riding, ending a self-imposed truce in that county. Newcastle follows up his victory by establishing himself at Pontefract, cutting the Parliamentary forces of Yorkshire in two, and despatching a force to seize and hold Newark for the King.
December 8 (Thursday) Parliament passes an ordinance extending the general assessment for taxation to the whole of the country. This requires all men of property to be assessed for compulsory contribution towards the expenses of the war. Four days of disturbances in London result. The King denounces the measure as illegal. In reality, the order is too vaguely worded to take effect.
December 9 (Saturday) The Royalist army settles into winter quarters around Oxford. In Yorkshire, Sir Thomas Fairfax makes unsuccessful attempt to secure Leeds before retreating to Selby.
December 12 (Monday) In London, mobs riot at the Guildhall, demanding peace and protesting against the tax assessment.
December 13 (Tuesday) The House of Lords appoint a committee to draw up propositions for peace. At Winchester a force of Parliamentary dragoons under Waller drive out the occupying royalist forces under Lord Grandison. When the news reaches Parliament, it is celebrated as a much-needed victory.
December 14 (Wednesday) In the West Midlands Parliament's commander, the Earl of Stamford, evacuates his isolated position and falls back on Puritan Gloucester.
December 15 (Thursday) An ordinance is passed forming the Midland Association (including the counties of Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Rutland, Northampton, Buckingham, Bedford and Huntingdon), with Thomas, Lord Grey of Groby (Stamford's son) in command.
December 16 (Friday) Alarmed by Newcastle's' successes in the North, and the Queen's activities abroad, Westminster at once gives out orders that all wealthy or dangerous Catholics should be arrested.
December 17 (Saturday) The officers of the English army in Ireland pass a remonstrance to complain about lack of pay.
December 18 (Sunday) Puritan Bradford resists Sir William Savile's attempts to storm the town, and the Royalists are driven him back in hasty retreat.
December 19 (Monday) The City of London presents a petition to the Lords, opposing taxation and continuation of the war.
December 20 (Tuesday) An ordinance is passed forming the Eastern Association (including the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, and Hertford), headed by Lord Grey of Wark.
Mid December The Earl of Stamford is appointed by Parliament to command the Western army, leaving Edward Massey in charge as deputy governor of Gloucester.
December 22 (Thursday) The peace proposals of the House of Lords are discussed in the Commons, and the peace party win a vote for negotiation.
December 26 (Monday) The Commons accept the proposals to negotiate peace with the King.
December 27 (Tuesday) Waller recovers Chichester for Parliament.
December 30 (Friday) Hopton, his royalist forces over-extended in Devon, fails in his attempt to seize Exeter.
December 31 (Saturday) The Warwickshire and Staffordshire Association are created, under the command of Lord Brooke.
(To be continued)
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