Battle of Worcester Society

I had the pleasure and honour of speaking before the Battle of Worcester Society for their Civil War Night series. The talk happened on September 1st, two days before the 365th anniversary of the Battle of Worcester, the final engagement of the English Civil War. As well, BBC Radio Hereford Worcester interviewed me on the subject of my talk and aired the interview in the evening before the event. The subject of my talk was Captain James Hind, a Royalist Highwayman who fought for King Charles II. Captain Hind managed to escape the battlefield and elude Parliamentary soldiers who were beating the…

A moment in time: Scotland declares for Charles II

On this day in 1649, following the execution of his father Charles I, the Scots Parliament proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. The catch was that he had to take up the Covenant and declare Presbyterianism as the official religion in Ireland and England. “wee, the estats of parlement of the kingdome of Scotland, doe thairfor most unanimouslie and cheerfullie, in recognisence and acknowledgement of his just right, title and successioun to the croune of these kingdomes, heereby proclaime and declare to all the world that the said lord and prince Charles is by the providence…

The Battle of Upton

In the pre-dawn hours of 28 August 1651, eighteen Parliamentary soldiers inched along a narrow board, that was stretched across a broken bridge, while the high waters of the Severn swirled below them. Their mission: to surprise the Royalist forces holding Upton-upon-Severn on the opposite shore and open the way to Worcester where the King’s army was garrisoned. Fourteen months of a Cromwell the Cat and Charles the Mouse game were finally coming to a head. Background Following the execution of his father, King Charles I, by Parliament in 1649, Charles Stuart  sought allies to reclaim the throne and found in Scotland a willing partner….

Battle Scenes

That’s it. I’m just going to say it. I love battle scenes. I have no idea why, but they make me mad with excitement. I want to grab a sword or a pistol (a doglock pistol, thank you) and just rush into the thick of it. On a fine horse, of course. Fine dresses and jewels? Not as exciting as buff coats and bandoliers. It doesn’t matter if the battle scene happens on the sea (Master and Commander), on a beach (Robin Hood), in the Hellmouth (Buffy), or even in this excellent YouTube video produced by the English Civil War Society about…

Finding the Fugitive King a Ship (Finale)

Up until now, our fugitive King, Charles Stuart, has hidden in a tree, fought off a deranged miller, crouched in a priest’s hole, sparred with a Republican smith, and ridden past a sea of enemy dragoons, all while picking up lessons on the speech and comportment of a country fellow. He’s had a busy time of it, but now we get to the final stretch. Our King must find a ship. After Charles had left the Nortons of Abbotsleigh, he arrived at Trent, the home of a close acquaintance, Colonel Frank Wyndham, who set to work to find him a…