Though outwardly tranquil, Britain under
the Stuarts James I and his son Charles I was full of pride and mutiny and
discontent. The price of corn was very high and the growing sense of
insecurity in the coountry sent people into the-towns. Thousands were
sailing away to America. Writers and preachers of Puritan thought were
persecuted without mercy. Men such as Prynne the lawyer, Burton the
cleric and Bastwick the physician, who had composed and secretly put into
circulation violent attacks on the Bishops, were condemned by the Star Chamber
(1637), fined enormous sums, flogged through the streets, their ears cut
off, their flesh burned with the branding-iron to enforce conformity.1
'Freeborn John' Lilburne, for refusing to take oath to the same Chamber,
was whipped at the cart's tail from the Fleet to Palace Yard. pilloried,
gagged, and deliberately starved almost to death in prison. These were
no doubt the normal inhumanities of the time - the pillory the whipping-cart
and the branding iron -to be practised by Puritans in their day as well as
by the bishops but the Laudian regimen went farther for though torture had
some time before been declared illegal, John Archer, the London tradesman,
was put to the rack and his limbs torn before he was executed.
Revolt was inevitable when tyranny was given divine licence and the infallibility of the Monarch became a religious dogma. Yet the revolt against the absolute monarchy of the Stuarts was due only partly to rigious factors. The growing idea of the rule of law was another large incentive, Since the King was the government he claimed to override the law.2 Juries were threatened and the faults of the system caused bishops and judges alike to conspire to magnify the King's power and authority. Again the religious exactions alone would have caused no revolution if they had not run concurrently with Charles's tinancial exactions - levies of Ship money - and if both had not been part of the said religious dogma, which preached from many a pulpit, asserted the political notion that the King was endowed by God's licence to do as he liked regardless of Acts of Parliament, of the Constitution, and of his own pledges.
Most burdensome was the sale of monopolies. By an Act of 1624 (James
I) monopolies could no longer be given to private persons, so Charles sold
them to corporations. They spread to every department of life - to
salt, soap, coal, starch, liquor, shipping and many other things. To
the merchant they were a vexatious restraint of trade, and to the consumer
they meant an enormous rise in prices. In the late thirties there came
a serious economic depression. The general result was that, in deep
revulsion, moderate Protestants were driven into the hands of the Puritans,
and moderate conservatives into the tents of the radicals.
In the face of mounting opposition to his exactions and oppressive proceedings, as typified by the Petition of Right, Charles I had dissolved Parliament in 1629 and ruled without one for eleven years, the longest period in English history during which Parliament has not met 3 Among the champion's of Parliamentary liberty were Sir John Eliot, John Hampden and John Pym. Eliot died in prison in 1632, a martyr to the cause of Parliamentary Privilege. Apart from the drain of Royal extravagance the King was in constant need of money to maintain his personal rule, and John Hampden suddenly came to the fore-front of national life in his resistance to Charles I's writs for Ship money. He was liable for a twenty shillings tax, a negligible sum to him but on this trivial sum was fought one of the most famous State trials. As Burke was to say a century later in a speech on American taxation
"Would twenty shillings have ruined Mr Hampden? No, but the payment of half that sum, on the principle it was demanded, would have made him a slave".
The final pronouncement of judgment in favour of the Crown was given in the Exchequer Court on 12th June, 1638, and though Hampden had lost his case in the Courts, he had achieved his purpose with the nation. He had brought all men's eyes to see the constitutional issue. The King, unless restrained by Parliament, had unrestricted power to do what he liked with the whole of men's possessions - 'and so no man was, in conclusion, worth anything'. Actually five of the twelve judges had been for John Hampden and of the seven against him the verdict of one was conditional, but the Chief Justice Finch had roundly declared that any Act of Parliament which restrained the King from commanding his subjects, their persons, their goods and their money, was void - "No Acts of Parliament make any difference".
From the very first there were protests from Halifax Parish against the attempts of Charles to raise money without the consent of Parliament. Among certain obsolete medieval laws he revived was the offer of knighthood to every man who had an income of £40 and upwards from the rents of land, hoping thereby to enrich himself by the fees that had to be paid by every new knight. Seventy of the gentry of Halifax Parish declined "the honour of knighthood" and the King drew over £1 ,000 from the payment of fines by them to avoid imprisonment.4 The receipts were signed "Strafford", Charles's principal adviser who was fated to end his days on the scaffold deserted by his master. James Murgatroyd of Warley paid the largest fine (£40) and another fined was Gregory Patchett of the house in Luddenden now known as the Lord Nelson Inn.
On the subject of Ship, money Halifax men made a similar stand. Way back in Elizabeth's reign when the Mayor and Aldermen of Hull wrote to Lord Cecil asking that the rich clothing towns of Halifax, Wakefield and Leeds should contribute £400 towards their ship-of-war, they had objected to paying towards the navy. In those days it was considered to be the duty of the sea-ports to provide the defences of the shores and the shipping, while the inland towns maintained the land forces. So when in 1627 Charles required these towns to be responsible for three men-of-war to take part in his favourite Buckingham's expedition to raise the siege of Rochelle.5 125 Halifax men signed a Petition giving several reasons for being excused. Robert Clay, vicar, was the first to sign and others were Waterhouse, Greenwood, Binns: thirty could not write their names but they made an X or some other mark.
With a foly that is scarcely to be believed, Charles and his Archbishop
Laud had meanwhile attempted to force an Anglican High Church liturgy upon the people of Scotland, most of whom were Calvinist and all of whom were nationalist to the core. The hackles of Scotsmen rose and the National Covenant was put forth. The Covenanters swore to defend the Protestant religion and raised an army. Charles having declared war on Scotland, men from the townships in, Halifax Parish were obliged to join the king's forces.
What transpired may be gathered from the Account HBook of the Sowerby Constable.
At a cost of £65, pikes and guns were repaired and gunpowder, bullets,
knapsacks and bandoliers provided to equip sixteen Sowerby men. These
set off after training, with similar contingents from the other townships
including Midgley doubtlessly for Wakefield and active service in Scotland.
The Scots had raised a better army however and rather than fight Charles
gave way in the Treaty of Berwick, which he had no intention of honouring
for he had at last decided to summon Parliament - the Short Palrliament
to raise money to subdue the Scots as urged by Wentworth. now Earl of Strafford.
The leaders of the Comnions Pym, Hampden and Cromwell saw only too well that Scotland was fighting the battle of Eng]ish liberty and immediately (April. 1640), began an inquiry into the matter of Ship money which Charles had continued to levy since the Hampden verdict. The King thereupon dissolved Parliament after a mere three weeks session and Hampden was arrested. but no evidence against him of treason was found, To stay the advance of the Scots the King again summoned Parliament - the Long Parliament - which met in November. A Bill of Attainder was brought in against Strafford and he was executed in May, 1641 - so much for 'the word of a King' who had promised to protect him.6
The Commons next passed the Grand Remonstrance. Charles endeavoured
to impeach the five leaders, Hampden, Pym, Denzil, Holles, Hazelrig and William
Strode, and, when the Commons refused to give up their members, himself assembled
an armed force and entered the Chamber (old St Stephen's Chapel) to arrest
them,7 The members escaped in the nick of time but Charles
had fatally compromised himself, forgetting his promise a few days ealier
that Members would be secure from violence 'on the word of a King'.
Charles then left London, never to return until he was led back to face the
scaffold and both sides began to muster their forces.
During the bitter and unseemly struggle of the Civil Wars when Englishmen pitted against Englishmen deluged the country with their own best blood the seat of the struggle for Northern England was South Yorkshire. In the West Riding the 'rebel' clothing district population above the steep valleys of Calder and Aire, leavened by refugees from Flanders and Holland, including the three principal trading centres of Bradford, Leeds and Halifax. like Mancester, Rochdale and Bolton in Lancashire, sided with Parliament. Most of the gentry in Yorkshire rose for the King against Parliament, but not all. The command of the Northern Parliamentary forces was given to Lord Fairfax, but it was his son, Sir Thomas Fairfax, who became their inspiration and spearhead, In every point he was a chivalrous gentleman, and he was matched against one who was no less so, the princely Earl of Newcastle who gained initial Royalist successes over Lord Fairfax at Tadcaster, 6th December, 1642, and at Adwalton Moor, 30th June, 1643, near Leeds.
Immediately after the defeat at Adwalton Moor and before the retreat of
the remnant of the army to Hull, Thomas Stockdale military secretary to Lord
Fairfax, wrote an official despatch from Halifax to William Lenthall, the
Speaker of the House of Commons, reporting on the black outlook for this
corner of the West Riding and appealing for speedy succour.
|"The country is wasted and exhausted, and tired out with the weight of the troubles continually falling upon this part of Yorkshire; the soldiers want pay. and which is worse, arms and powder and other ammunition."|
According to his description of the battle they were outnumbered by five
to one moreover the Royalists had the advantage of the ground. He says significantly
|'The horse were commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax, who
should have led the main battle, if the Lord General could have been persuaded to absent himself"
The Parliamentary forces of 4, 000 included many men, he added, unacquainted
with field service, and club-men, irregular companies of men armed with clubs,
scythes or any other weapons they could obtain. Following up an initial
success they advanced too far in their eagerness and were then obliged to
retreat to avoid being encompassed, finally breaking up in disorder.
Fortunately Sir Thomas with his few troops of horse managed to bring off
most of the main battle, among whom were (originally)
|"500 men from the parts about Halifax and the moors. Cur loss of prisoners taken by the enemy was great".8|
Incidentally the Lancashire contingent went straight home across Blackstone
In the week following Adwalton, the Royalists entered Halifax and Sir Francis Mackworth made the town his headquarters. Before the Cavalier soldiers came to the town most of the Halifax people after burying or hiding their valuables, fled over the border into Lancashire, the eastern towns of which were crowded with refugees from the West Riding. Inevitably there was some pillaging in the Parish until Sir Francis forbade it upon pain of death, but not before Ewood Hall in Midgley Township, for instance, was plundered and Mr Farrar's deeds and papers taken. Though the Royalists had won the Yorkshire "county match" in that year 1643, the Parliamentary army had been victorious in Lancashire, where Manchester was its headquarters.
The Civil War was not without further alarums and excursions in Midgley
township. During the second half of 1643 there was a small campaign in upper
Calderdale. Mackworth appears to have been understandably reluctant
to attempt an invasion of Lancashire. There was no main road along the
Calder valley bottom and his men were strangers to the hilly terrain.
There were plenty of West Riding men in Lancashire, however, who were tired
of being inactive and who knew every inch of the difficult borderland and
Halifax Parish, all the paths across the moors and along the hillsides as
well as the short cuts across Midgley Moor and Luddenden Dean. These
were accordingly organised under Colonel Bradshaw and an attack was planned,
with Heptonstall an ideal base of operations, to dislodge the royalist garrison
at Halifax. The main route from Heptonstall to Halifax, it will be
remembered, ran down Heights road and Old Lane through Midgley. Notices
were sent to some sixteen chapels and churches for a rendezvous at Rochdale
and these West Riding men duly came to Heptonstall on the 19th and 20th October.
The force comprised upwards of 270 musketeers, 50 horse soldiers and 400
The military operations began that week-end with the advance of a flanking force to Sowerby and there were daily skirmishes with the garrison at Halifax. On Monday, 23rd October, Bradshaw marched along Heights Road to Hollins in Warley, where the royalist outpost in James Murgatroyd's old house was taken as well as forty odd prisoners. They had defended themselves in vain by throwing slates off the roof on to the attackers but no one was seriously hurt. A week later Mackworth despatched a force of 400 musketeers and 400 cavalry to take Heptonstall. They chose a bad day and "with a great wind and rain in their faces" failed to scale the heights at Heptonstall, where the defenders drove them back by rolling great rocks down the hillside with some loss of life to the attackers. The retreating royalists were pursued back to Luddenden and forty odd prisoners taken.
On the death of the Parliamentary leader Colonel Bradshaw in December, 1643, Major Eden took over the command at Heptonstall. Many who spent that Christmas round the camp fires there had spent the previous one in the defence of Bradford against Sir William Savile. Early in January Major Eden ventured forth and captured forty odd prisoners at Sowerby Bridge - forty seems to have been their lucky number in these local forays. Unfortunately Captain Farrer and his troop rode too far ahead and could not regain the main
body. while leading his men across Halifax Moor and Ovenden Wood
he was forced to fight. The captain and nine men were taken but the
remainder of the troop won safely back to Heptonstall. Mackworth then
obtained considerable reinforcements from Keighley and set out again to drive
his enemy out of the district Eden received timely warning of
their approach and retreated along.
the Long Causeway to Burnley finally joining up with Sir Thomas Fairfax at Manchester. Heptonstall was pillaged and several houses and barns were put to the flames. Sir Francis Mackworth enjoyed only three weeks undisputed sway for on 28th January 1644, the King's army left Halifax, after an occupation of six months, to meet the threat of Lord Leven's Scottish army from the north. Meanwhile Bradford had taken some hammerings but fortunately at the second capture, on Fairfax's retreat, Newcastle rescinded his own order to slay every man, woman and child, and gave instead quarter to all. In these early operations Sir Thomas Fairfax and his chief lieutenant the brilliant young Colonel Lambert9 made rapid blows in the fight for the faithful Yorkshire clothing towns. John Lambert was sent to their rescue against Colonel Bellasis, who was his wife's kinsman, routing him and Sir Charles Lucas outside Bradford.10 He entered the town, garrisoned its weak defences. and repulsed all counter- attacks.
The North was really lost to the King after Marston Moor, 1644,11 when the day was saved for the Parliamentary army, whose leaders Lord Leven and old Fairfax were themselves already flying the field, by Oliver Cromwell's Ironsides. Nevertheless spasmodic fighting continued.12 At the end of 1644, for instance a party of Royalist horse from Skipton; taking advantage of the absence of Colonel Brandling who was in command at Kelghley, fell suddenly upon the Parliamentary quarters there. They surprised the guards, got into Keighley town and took near a hundred prisoners, sixty horses and other booty. Colonel Lambert and his party, who happened to be quartered in the neighbourhood, heard the alarm and lay in wait. He dashed among them 'like a wolf among deer', rescued the prisoners and most of the booty. the Royalist losses being fifteen killed on the spot and some twenty taken prisoner. Their commander Hughes was wounded and the survivors were pursued to the gates of Skipton where on the 31st December, 1644, "Major John Hughes, a most valiant soldier was buried".13 Skipton Castle surrendered at last to the Parliamentary forces in December, 1645, after an intermittent siege of three years, of which unhappily no good records survive.
Earlier that year the King had been finally defeated at Naseby, June, 1645, where Rupert, forgetful of past lessons, drove clean through Ireton's troops on the west wing and carried his charge too far to be of further use in the main battle. The nationalist feeling of Englishmen was more than ever alienated from Charles by the publication of the papers found in his cabinet captured on the battlefield. During his negotiations with Parliament he had even been bargaining for the hire of foreign troops, and Papist soldiery from Ireland, thus providing clearest proof of his duplicity. Charles then fled to the Scots but was surrendered to Parliament on the payment of money due to them. and so ended the First Civil War.
Meanwhile the inhabitants of Halifax Parish had not come to the end of their trials and tribulations. During 1645 the Scottish army was long quartered in the West Riding and a large number of soldiers were billeted in Halifax. The coming of the Scots was probably one of the causes of the plague which afflicted Halifax. The town was overcrowded and the badly drained, narrow streets became filthy. Between August and November inclusive there were over 500 deaths, terrible figures for the small population. In order to escape the infection the Sowerby Constables had a chain.across the road at Sowerby Bridge and kept watch that no suspected person entered their town. There had been plagues earlier that century when 55 people died in Ovenden and were buried near their own houses. Heptonstall had also been visited and 107 were carried off by the plague.
With the cessation of major hostilities the civilian population of the
West Riding, weary of soldiers and fretting to make good the wastage of
war at their looms, their pastures and their flocks, began to mutter rebelliously
at any longer providing free quarters for the soldiers. At the same
time idle soldiers, who could not learn the discipline of inaction under
the smart of political injustices and long unpaid wages, were likewise sullen
and discontented. Lambert, now major-general, by his compelling personality
and his willing sympathy fortunately managed to placate them. Just
as well in the continued unsettled circumstances. Parliament and the
Army were soon at odds and the King's attempts to play off one against the
other, his refusal of the lenient and quite enlightened Proposals of the
Army and his entanglement with the Scots finally led to his undoing.
The Civil War had undoubtedly been bad for the cloth trade even though some of the Halifax makers carried on 'business as usual:? during the hostilities. It is on record that one Tom Priestley of Soyland travelled to and from London with a string of eight or nine pack-horses. Sometimes he engaged a convoy to guard his horses but on no occasion did he suffer loss. He took £20 worth of cloth on each journey and made £20 clear profit. The horses came back to Halifax laden with wool from Kent or Suffolk, Tom Priestley no doubt thought he was doing well but a hundred years later Sam Hill of Soyland was selling £2,000 worth of worsteds at a time, or a hundredfold advance in trade.
When the Second Civil War broke out in 1648 England was invaded, in terms
of the 'Engagement' with the confined King, by a large Scottish army under
the Duke of Hamilton and leaders from both sides of the Border, who, while
claiming the Presbyterian alliance, scarcely tried to conceal their Cavalier
sympathies. Lambert in a masterly campaign barred their advance through
Yorkshire and confined their southward march to the route that lies between
the Yorkshire Pennine hills and the coast of Lancashire until such time as
Cromwell, who had first to conclude the siege of Pembroke in South Wales,
was able to join him.14 If these Scots were not crushed
before they debouched into the Midland plain their strength would be a nucleus
for local revolt, sufficient to alter the whole character of the war in England.
Gathering his veterans of the Model Army in the Yorkshire valleys, Cromwell marched through Doncaster and Knaresborough to Skipton. Halifax Parish was requisitioned to provide food for Cromwell's men. It is on record that Sowerby, for one township, provided on one occasion "20 hundredth of bread" costing over £20, 2 cows, beans and other provisions. First six pack horses laden with supplies and then another ten horse loads were sent to the army.
With Lambert in attendance, Oliver dropped down from the Aire Gap on the centre of the Royalists' line of march where it straggled southwards through Preston. In a running fight of three days, from 17th to 19th August, he overtook and captured all their infantry as, driven by panic, they splashed along the soaking roads, whilst their horse was scattered north and south in fugitive parties of whom few stole safely back to Scotland.15 The pressed men among the prisoners were sent home and the volunteers shipped across to the Barbados in the West Indies as slaves.
On that stroke at Preston, a great and decisive feat of arms, the invasion of the Scots disintegrated. The "Key of the North", Pontefract Castle, which sustained three important sieges during the Civil War, continued to hold out bravely for the King. Even when news of his execution, on 30th January, 1649, reached the beleaguered garrison they proclaimed his son Charles II, and did not relinquish their hold of the Castle until compelled by the great loss of life, about four-fifths of their men, to capitulate on 24th March, 1649.
The remaining military operations of those times, Cromwell's New Model overwhelming the flower of Scotland at Dunbar, 1650, and the desperate flight of the young Charles at Worcester, 1651, need no detailed mention here. Suffice it to say that the organisation f the New Model marks the birth of the British Army of to-day and the raditional red tunics for thew first time became
uniform. A standing army was provided free from the obligations of local petty committees, available for general service wherever required and paid regularly out of national funds instead of spasmodically out of local funds.16
Commander Admiral Blake who had ably commanded Parliamentary military forces in the West country and not been to sea before the age of fifty, the notion of the ~e-head evolved during his defeats of the Dutch fleets, 1652 - 3, was one of the Commonwealth's prime contributions to the Navy, a typical product of the ~ soldier. for ordered and controlled movement was the very substance of the New Model teaching.17
On Oliver Cromwell's death the Commonwealth regime soon collapsed under his mediocre son Richard. Oliver had died worn out by the incessant administration necessary for effective personal government and his son proved unable to control the army on which his power was based.18 His resignation strengthenened Charles's position -The nation as a whole was tired of Puritan interference and military rule. Monk, who had fought for the King at firstl9 and then Cromwell, now opened negotiations with Charles and a Convention Parliament ~ him the Crown. This Stuart whose thick lips, raven hair, sensuous face ~mbent eyes presaged a return to ways and manners long dead,20 landed at Dover on 26th May, 1660.
The Great Civil War is indeed the decisive event in English history and it is entitled to the foregoing treatment on a more detailed plane. The defeat of Charles I's armies alone allowed Presbyterianism and Puritanism to survive in England and Parliamentary institutions to triumph. Since the last of the fighting Barons had perished no subject who happened to disagree with his ~ had the right of free speech, either in theory or by custom. Liberty of speech within the walls of Parliament, unknown in other countries and violated in the reign of Charles I, was the limit of an Engh'shman's right to talk against his rulers. Fortunately for the progress of the world, popular feeling sufficiently snowballed against the high-handed abuses of the Stuarts, James his son Charles I, in both religious and political-spheres.
True, Stuart despotism raised its head again under the second Charles and the second James, but the country was spared the recurrence of strife on any comparable scale. Indeed the net results were great gains for liberty of the subject. In the closing years of the reign of Charles II, it was the times that were again growing tragic, the great measure of the Habeas Corpus Act was passed - by a count of votes that provided the best joke ever made in England.21 Like Charles II, James II wished to re-establish Roman Catholicism and abolish the Test Act of 1673.22 He wished to rule absolutely so he increased the standing army to 10,000. Unlike Charles he failed to perceive the strength of the national opposition to his policies and in the end had to flee the country. Parliament then offered the Crown to William of Orange and Mary their acceptance of the Declaration of Rights, the third great charter of British liberty, which became law on 25th October, 1689.23
The two attempts in the 18th century to restore the Stuart dynasty and the Jacobite invasions of 1715 and 1745 had but the slightest effect upon the ~ work of the West Riding, and merit only a passing reference in this narrative. The first penetrated southwards into Lancashire, "You will take
Preston" said Marlborough, putting his finger on the map at Preston, "there", at Preston, place of ill omen for the Stuart arms, they were taken.24
The second invasion by the Scots southward to Carlisle, after surviving General Wade at Newcastle, and on through Lancashire, naturally led to some alarm among Yorkshire people. The deputy lieutenants proposed that the local forces should mobilise at Leeds.25 The Scots entered Manchester by a skilful feint got past the Duke of Cumberland's army lying in Stafford between Newcastle-under Lyme and Tamworth (whose castle was the residence of the old kings of Mercia). They reached Derby on 4th December, two days later it was decided to retreat, a decision militarily plausible but not absolutely covincing, for, with Wade and Cumberland behind them, a loss meant ruin to the 5,000 followers of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
The news of the arrival of the Scots at Derby reached London, which was protected only by the camp of the guards and the trained bands at Finchley, on December 6, and the ensuing panic added the name of Black Friday to our calendar. The Bank was reduced to paying in sixpences. It was also a Black Friday in the calendar of the White Rose, for, while London was a prey to consternation, the Cameron pibrochs were already sounding not the advance on Finchley but retreat. From Derby to Culloden is a record of a forlorn hope. Wade's first order was to cross the Pennines and march through Halifax into Lancashire, but the Young Pretender moved back too rapidly and so Halifax missed seeing the King's army. It is said that on the retreat the Prince and a small party crossed a "fine, barbarous country known as Haworth Moor", not far from Midgley, and were involved in a skirmish there.
NOTES CHAPTER 8
The Court of Star Chamber, the first restriction of the free press of England, was unknown either to the English Constitution or to English laws, though it had been given a definitely legal status by Parliament's disapproval of the King Henry VII's Council1487. This creation of Tudor despotism, designed to control the powerful baronage, has been the instrument of the worsdt instances in the blackest days of English history. It sat without a jury and decided both the law and the facts.Without restraint of honour, law or conscience, it has imprisoned, pilloried and mutilated with sadistic fury, until there came a day when England rose in rebellion against the Stuarts.
2. How the rule of law is being encroached upon by the rule of government to-day is noticeable, particularly in our Republic with peculiar conditions.
3.G.M. Trevalyn's England under the Stuarts [Methuen] is a recognised reference book. In 1628 the Petition of Right by the acceptance, became a Statute of the realm, prohibiting arbitrary Acts of Billeting, Martial Law, Taxation and imprisonment. Charles hardened his heart soon afterwards.
4. Seven of the seventy lived in Halifax township. One was Nathaniel Waterhouse who died without issue in 1645 and left history and money for the benefit of the town.. He built ther workhouse on a charter from the King in order to relieve the poor.
5.The Duke was stabbed to death at Portsmouth 23.8.1628 while waiting for a favourable wind for France in another attempt to relieve La Rochelle. THere was public rejoicing in England. The cause of this shameless approval of murder was that he had been saddled on the country.
6.Laud was carried to the Tower and executed four years later in Jan. 1645. Finch fled to avoid impeachment 1640.
7. St. Stephen's Chapel was used from 1547 to 1834 as a meetting place for the House of Commons. P. Stryker's 'For the Defence', a life of Thomas Erskine, includes an interesting description page 103 and of the last appearance there of the Great Commoner the Elder Pitt, p.45.
8. T.W. Hanson, pp.145
9. Lambert was born in Craven country near Skipton at Calton Hall in 1619. He could claim with some confidence a lineage as far back as Sir Thomas Lambert in the days of Henry III. For Lambert's career see Cromwell's Captains by C.J. Lucas Phillip.
10. The Royalist soldiers made a real mess of the town carrying away everything that was worth selling. In their search for treasure, these soldiers emptied all the beddings and mealbags and the streets were full of chaff, feathers and meal.
11. Rupert never won a single major action and showed himself incapable of controlling the combined operations of a whole army. He forgot all but his own mad cavalry charge - from Edgehill onwards. Cromwell then properly recruited cuirassiers.
12. John Hodgson, a Halifax man, served in the Parliamentary forces in
the West Riding fighting and in all Cromwell's battles and wrote an interesting
account of his adventures. He rose to the rank of Captain and served for
eighteen years, part of the time at sea under Admiral Blake against the Dutch.
T.W. Hanson, Chapter XI, describes the Civil War in the West Riding. The local accounts thatr survive of the fighting were written mainly by men of the Parliamentary side and the large majority of Halifax folk were so minded. Some of the Royalist persuasion included Langdale Sunderland, brother-in-law to Sir Marmaduke Langdale one of the King's generals. hew was heavily fined for fighting against Parliament and had to sell his estates to Coley Hall and High Sunderland nearby., where the family had lived for 400 years.. Nathan Drake of Godly in Rishworth was one of the garrison that held Pomfret Castle so long for the King and wrote a diary of the seige. Richard Gledhill of Barkisland Hall was knighted by the Earl of Newcastle and later killed at Marston Moor. Matthew Broadley of Lane Ends, Hipperholme, was Purveyor and Paymaster to the King's forces. He was a very rich man and lent money to King Charles.
Cromwell was pronounced Crumbwell, whence the Royalist toast 'God send this crumb well down'.
13. Extract from the Centenary number of Keighley Parish Church, p.41. The parish itself has been in existence over 800 years
14. We spent the first week of July, 1968 in S. Wales and visited Pembroke Castle and St. David's Cathedral.
15. Baillie with remaining Scots infantry surrendered at Warrington after
his crushing defeat at Winwick nearby.
On Saturday 29th June 1968, we left the West Riding via the Aire Gap into Lancashire, passing therough Preston on our return to Worcestershire.
16. At the Restoration Monk's Coldstream Guards and the King's Horse Guards, about 5,000 men in all, were retained as a legal establishment.
17. Blake is second only to Nelson in England's maritime story. He was the true founder of the Navy, turning a congregation of ships into a Service with a corporate spirit. Formerly the strength of a fleet had been dissipated by individual captains breaking away to conduct separate actions on their own account, and tradition had been built on plunder and prize money.
18. There is no doubt that the death of John Pym in 1643 and of John Hampden at Chalgrove Field earlier that year proved a great loss to Parliament's cause for they were moderates and not extremists.
19. Colonel George Monk was taken prisoner by Col. Bright at Nantwich in January, 1644.
20. Note the Secret Treaty of Dover, 1670, and the second Stuart despotism. Charles was the son of Henrietta, the sister of Louis XIII of France. The Merry Monarch who was compared to his lusty stallion 'Old Rowley' was no man's fool. He was determined not to go on his travels again.
21. The tellers in jest had counted a fat Lord as ten, and had failed to rectify their figures - G.M. Trevelyan.
22. The Test Act provided that all persons holding any civil or military office should take the sacrament according to the rites of the Anglican Church. The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 did much to remedy the evasions of the right of personal liberty.
23.William was the son of William II of Orange and Mary, daughter of Charles I, his wife Mary was the daughter of James II and a Protestant.
24. Winston Churchill's "Marlborough His Life and Times", Vol II, p.1027. Grant Robertson's England under the Hanoverians p.25.
25. Not a few men joined the army in those days and some were forced to join the Militia. After 1757 each township had to prepare lists of its men between 18 and 45 years of age and the number of men required for the Militia was selected by the ballot. In 1776, Warley found five militiamen. General Guest who gallantly held Edinburgh Castle during the '45 rebellion was born at Hove Edge and nearby at Shibden Hall, Halifax was born William Fawcett who fought at Fontenoy as an ensign with General Wade's army and later became Commander-in-Chief of the British army.
26. The Civil Wars produced our greatest Englishman in Oliver Cromwell.
In this inevitably cursory introduction to English history it is naturally
not possible to enter intto all the complexities of that hectic period. Trevelyan
has the following to say in his excellent essay on Cromwell's statue, which
was rightly placed guarding the entrance of the House of Commons, with Bible
and with sword. Cromwell himself was conscious that his work was mainly negative,
like half the great anmd good things that are done in this world. England's
wars against continental militarist empires for instance. "I am a man standing
in the place I am" he said in 1657. "which placeI undertook not so much out
of hope of doing good, as out of desire to pprevent some chief and evil,
which I did see was imminent on the nation.".
Cromwell was himself of a good county family of moderate estate, allied by kinship or marriage to Hampden St. John and other Parliamentary leaders. He himself was not of the feudal type of squire but a gentleman farmer who belonged to the working rather than the enjoying classes. It must not be forgotten, stresses Trevelyan, in judging Cromwell's character and alleged schemes of personal "ambition", that he tried long and earnestly to bring about an agreement by consent which would have reconciled all parties and all protestant congregations under Charles as a constitutional monarch. Charles rejected the offer of the "heads of proposals" in June 1647, q.v., and when the King and Presbyterians raised a second Civil War against the Army and the Sects, Oliver lost his temper and cut off the King's head. Intolerance was the accepted doctrine not only of priests and presbyters but of politicians. Charles being an Anglican with a Roman Catholic wife was determined to put down all forms of Puritanism.
What they ought to have done with Charles, Trevelyan confesses "I do not know". Men sometimes have the misfortune to be faced by problems actually insoluble. As he would not come to terms with the victors he had to be deposed and that necessarily involved either exile, imprisonment or death. There were grave difficulties and dangers in each of these courses. I think they chose what in the long run proved the worst. But at least they did not degrade our history by assassinating him in prison, as had been done under similar circumstances with Edward II, Richard II and Henry VI". The execution of Charles antagonised the Anglicans and led later to the restoration.
Had Charles won he could have done what he liked with England and a royal despotism would have been set up as was already the fashionable model on the Continent. Even though his institutions did not last through no fault of his own, Cromwell saved the country from that great evil , from Presbyterian tyranny and from chaos and dismemberment. He conquered Ireland and Scotland and held the State together by force. Blake and he raised the prestige of England in the world to a point from which it had declined under James I and Charles I and which it lost again under Charles II and James II, so that half a dozen years after the Protector's body had been gibbeted Samuel Pepys noted "It is stange everybody do nowadays reflect upon Oliver and commend him, what brave things he did and made all neighbour princes fear him". The Revolution of 1688 was rendered permanent by its connection not with a military Dictatorshiop but with a free constitution and agreement oif parties that had not been possible in Oliver's day.
Cromwell firmly believed, see the Book of Joshua I v.9. "Have not I commanded thee" Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" I am reminded of some of my father's prayers in his hunmble walk of life "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".
Chapter 8 Note 14
After a siege by Oliver Cromwell of nearly two months the garrison of Pembroke Castle was starved into surrender 11/7/1648. The only retribution exacted was on its brave commander Colonel Poyer who was shot at Covent Garden on 25th April 1649.
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