Military Review

The English Massacre: Cavaliers vs. Roundheads

The English Massacre: Cavaliers vs. Roundheads

Charles I going to be executed. Croft's painting

The Second Civil War in England was even more brutal than the first. Cromwell stated that the reason for the war was “leniency” towards opponents after victory. Victory in the first war shows that God supports the Puritans. So this is a rebellion against God. The troops were ordered to "take revenge".

English distemper

After the elimination of the Earl of Stafford and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles lost his strongest confidants. Parliament continued its offensive. He demanded reform of the church, the abolition of the episcopate, the right to appoint and remove ministers, control of all actions of the monarch. Karl rejected these demands: "If I agreed to this, I would become only a ghost, an empty shadow of the king." In November 1641, Parliament adopted the Great Remontstration, a collection of articles listing the crimes of the crown. In connection with the uprising in Ireland, England decided to form an army. However, parliament refused to consider the king as supreme commander.

The king could no longer retreat. He learned that his position had not previously been as hopeless as he was led to believe. He has supporters in parliament itself, counties and the people. I learned that he was being deceived by playing the "war" with Scotland. Charles I became furious and in January 1642 ordered the arrest of five of the main conspirators. However, "the birds flew away," as the monarch himself noted. In response, the opposition expelled all supporters of the king from parliament, roused the townspeople to revolt. The king decided to leave the rebellious London, went to Oxford and announced a gathering of his supporters. Parliament began to form police units.

A sluggish civil war began. For three years she dragged on without much results. There were more parliamentary supporters, but they had poor organization and discipline. "Cavaliers" (royalist nobles) were more disciplined, had military experience. The king's troops were commanded by Charles' nephew, the young Prince Rupert, who had experience in the war with the Spaniards on the side of the Dutch rebels and in the Thirty Years War. The royal cavalry easily beat the "round-headed" (the name came from the short hair), parliamentary militiamen. However, the gentlemen acted without a special plan, strategy and did not use their first victories. The wealth of London and the major British ports, the resources of the bourgeoisie at first balanced the capabilities of the gentlemen.

Cromwell and the new army

In the meantime, the opposition itself has split. Moderate Presbyterians ruled parliament. But more radical groups also gained strength. The Independents ("independents") opposed any church hierarchy (the power of the synods of presbyters) and royal power in general. They demanded the autonomy of local church communities. They proposed replacing the monarchy with a republic. Levellers ("equalizers") went even further. They said that power is not needed at all, each community can live by itself according to "divine rules." There were also Anabaptists, Brownists, Quakers, who considered themselves "saved" only, and the rest of the world mired in sin and lost.

In these religious squabbles, which were then of leading political significance, Oliver Cromwell came to the fore. He came from a bourgeois Puritan family, was elected a member of parliament, and became an ideological opponent of royal power. During the turmoil, he recruited and equipped an equestrian detachment of several dozen people. In 1643, under his leadership there were already 2 thousand people. They were nicknamed "iron-sided". His regiment became special and ideological. Cromwell attracted radical sectarians: Independents, Levellers, Baptists. Cromwell introduced the institution of propagandist preachers (political commissars of the time). They followed discipline, inspired the fighters. His soldiers did not drink alcohol, did not gamble. For offenses, they were severely punished. The discipline was iron. At the same time, the ideological regiment fought extremely brutally. Ironsides smashed the temples of the Anglican Church, tortured priests, did not spare royalists and papists (Catholics). A close-knit squad began to win battles. They noticed him and began to actively praise him. Cromwell became a hero of the revolution.

The Independents in the fight against the Presbyterians decided to stake on Cromwell. His successes were inflated, exaggerated, failures were hushed up or blamed on Presbyterian commanders. Cromwell was called "the savior". The commander himself believed in this, began to consider himself “chosen” to save the country. He showed himself as an excellent politician - unprincipled and cynical. Together with the Independents, Cromwell managed to achieve the democratization of the army. Under the Bill of Self-denial, all MPs resigned from command. Peers lost their traditional right to command the army. Thomas Fairfax became commander-in-chief, Cromwell received the second place in the army, the post of chief of all cavalry. Fairfax and Cromwell began to create a "new model army" following the example of the iron-sided ones. The army consisted of over 20 thousand soldiers, a total of 23 regiments (12 infantry, 10 cavalry and 1 dragoon). The troops were instilled in tough discipline and ideology (religious radicalism).

Andrew Carrick Gow. Cromwell and the Ironsides at the Battle of Dunbar

King's defeat

A turning point has come in the war. The more numerous and now well-organized roundheads began to beat the gentlemen. In the decisive battle at Naseby on June 14, 1645, 13 thousand army of Parliament under the command of Fairfax and Cromwell defeated 7 thousand royalists Karl and Rupert. The royal army ceased to exist: 2 thousand were killed, 5 thousand were captured. The king himself was able to escape to the Scots, but his archives were seized, where there were documents on ties with Catholics, Irish and France. Charles' secret correspondence was voiced by parliament as proof of the king's duplicity and treachery.

The Scots for some time kept the king in the position of a prisoner, they beat concessions out of him. In January 1647 Charles was sold to the British Parliament for £ 400. He was placed under arrest and did not know what to do with the king next. Presbyterians believed that Charles should be returned to the throne, but his power should be limited. Negotiations were underway with the king. Cromwell also took part in them. The deputies were afraid that the king would break his promises, were mired in disputes and came up with new guarantees. Meanwhile, radical sentiments grew and became stronger. The Independents refused to return the crown to Charles and called the Presbyterians "new tyrants." They offered to create a republic. The "equalizers" generally advocated universal freedom and democracy. Other sectarians dragged the country towards complete anarchy.

At the same time, the threat of dictatorship arose. The army has become a new political force. Cromwell formed the "General Army Council", which became a new political center, a competitor to parliament. Cromwell pushed Fairfax into the background and became the de facto commander in chief. Parliament tried to counter the new threat. Several leaders of the Independents and Levellers were arrested. They decided to send the army away - to pacify Ireland, and the remaining regiments to disband. They say the war is over, there is no money. But it was too late. Cromwell thwarted the demobilization through his preacher commissars. The regiments were not disbanded, they refused to disarm and did not go to Ireland. The All-Army Council began a struggle for power and published political documents. He promised to protect "freedom".

The Second Civil War

Meanwhile, the situation in the country was deplorable. The Troubles claimed tens of thousands of lives. Counties and cities were devastated, businesses stopped, agriculture suffered heavy losses. Prices rose rapidly, people were starving. The winners were in a hurry to reward themselves. The confiscated estates of the king, royalists and the church were seized. In predation, Presbyterians and Independents were not inferior to each other. The people rebelled again. In London, citizens shouted to the deputies that life was better under the king. Karl again had supporters.

Karl decided that he had a chance to turn everything in his favor. With the help of officers sympathetic to him, he fled to the Isle of Wight in November 1647. The king was supported by the fleet. In Scotland, the Presbyterians decided to support the royal power so that the country did not slide into complete chaos. In December 1647, the king made an agreement with the Scottish representatives: he pledged to recognize the Presbyterian Church in exchange for military assistance. Karl also began to negotiate with the Irish. Royalist revolts swept across England.

In the "army of the new model" unrest began. She was decomposed by levellers. The revolt was raised by four regiments, demanded to equalize all citizens in rights, redistribution of land. Cromwell was able to suppress the rebellion thanks to his enormous authority. He personally arrived in the troops, and attracted military preachers. The fight was avoided. The shelves were "cleaned", the ringleaders were executed, the leveling activists were fired or arrested. Discipline in the army was restored. The army was thrown against the Royalists and the Scots. The second civil war was even more ruthless than the first. Cromwell stated that the reason for the war was “leniency” towards opponents after victory. The guilt of the king and his supporters is now much higher. Victory in the first war shows that God supports the Puritans. So this is a rebellion against God. The soldiers were ordered to "take revenge." This led to brutal pogroms of cities and towns, burned down farms and mass executions.

The rebels could not withstand a well-organized and cohesive army. Most of the uprisings were spontaneous. In some places the revolt was raised by the royalists, in others the Presbyterians, who tried to protect the parliament from Cromwell, in the third - just starving peasants and townspeople. Scattered and spontaneous, the uprising quickly drowned in blood. Then Cromwell moved on the Scots. In August 1648, at the Battle of Preston, 8 thous. Cromwell's army crushed 20 thousand. the combined army of Scots and Royalists. Scotland asked for peace.


After that, Cromwell crushed Parliament. The military ordered the "purge" of the Presbyterians from Parliament. The House of Commons was terrified. I decided to summon the king, make peace with him. Karl agreed to reconciliation and came to London. But the power was already on the side of Cromwell. He easily threw away any semblance of legitimacy. In December, his regiments entered London, took Charles under arrest. Captain Pride burst into the House of Commons, arresting or expelling 150 MPs. Other MPs fled themselves. There are 50-60 people left from parliament, ready to vote the way Cromwell needs. This remnant has received the nickname "rump".

Cromwell carried out a great "purge" in London as well. The rioters, sympathetic to the king and the Presbyterians, were expelled from the city. Many were left homeless, property, livelihood, perished. The remnants of parliament, at the direction of Cromwell, decided in January 1649 to try the king. An unprecedented solution in that era. The House of Lords refused to accept this decision. The House of Lords was dissolved. The king's case was not accepted by any court. The Supreme Court of the army "saints" was established. The court found Charles guilty as a tyrant, traitor and enemy of the fatherland and sentenced him to death. On January 30, 1649, Charles was beheaded at Whitehall. In February, the monarchy was abolished, a republic was established and the State Council was created. Formally, the highest power in the country belonged to the parliament, but the "rump" was completely subordinate to the new dictator. As a result, Cromwell established a personal dictatorship - a protectorate.

Colonel Pride blocks the way of Presbyterian parliamentarians. Engraving
Photos used:
Articles from this series:
English Revolution: Blood and Madness
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  1. Undecim
    Undecim 9 October 2020 07: 17
    In the meantime, the opposition itself has split. Moderate Presbyterians ruled parliament. But more radical groups also gained strength. The Independents ("independents") opposed any church hierarchy (the power of the synods of presbyters) and royal power in general. They demanded the autonomy of local church communities. They proposed replacing the monarchy with a republic. Levellers ("equalizers") went even further. They said that power is not needed at all, each community can live by itself according to "divine rules." There were also Anabaptists, Brownists, Quakers, who considered themselves "saved" only, and the rest of the world mired in sin and lost.
    From the very first lines, a stream of author's ignorance descends on the reader.
    Brownists (named after the founder of the Brown sect) is the original name of the Independents, that is, they are one and the same. There were no Anabaptists in England; in England this movement was called the Mennonites. At the time of the events described, Mennonites are principled pacifists, not taking up arms.
    At the time of the events described, the Quakers did not exist at all as an organized movement.
    Again, the independent political current of the Levellers separated from the Independents only in 1647, and they never spoke out against the government in general, they advocated, in modern terms, to provide the population with broad political rights and freedoms, including the holding of annual elections to the House of Commons and the granting of suffrage to all free men and the inviolability of private property.
    That is, the author has not the slightest idea about the religious and political history of England, as well as about the intertwining of issues of religion and politics in the origin of the English Revolution of the middle of the XNUMXth century.
    1. vladcub
      vladcub 9 October 2020 16: 01
      Probably, Samsonov skipped history lessons or slept sweetly. I see no other explanation.
      How he got his diploma I can't imagine. Like then there was no guessing game?
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 9 October 2020 16: 04
        Yes, he did not skip anything. History is a propaganda tool. Samsonov, I think, works in this vein.
        1. vladcub
          vladcub 9 October 2020 16: 11
          In this he is not a historian, but a hired propagandist.
          1. Undecim
            Undecim 9 October 2020 16: 12
            Absolutely correct.
            1. vladcub
              vladcub 9 October 2020 17: 32
              And the hired synonym for the corrupt, and then the corrupt step to men and women of a certain behavior
              1. Undecim
                Undecim 9 October 2020 17: 52
                I see you wanted to be banned. Into the eternal.
                1. vladcub
                  vladcub 10 October 2020 16: 51
                  Ugh, ugh. God forbid from your prediction
        2. nickname7
          nickname7 9 October 2020 18: 05
          History is a propaganda tool. Samsonov, I think, works in this vein.

          And what exactly is Samsonov promoting to the Russians? Maybe Cromwell?
          1. Undecim
            Undecim 9 October 2020 18: 08
            Themselves unable to penetrate?
      2. Torins
        Torins 9 October 2020 17: 53
        Samsonov is known for his alternative approach to history)))
  2. Daniil Konovalenko
    Daniil Konovalenko 9 October 2020 08: 36
    laughing The author sees so ... All in a bunch ... Anabaptists in England where from? This sect is against violence. The Quakers, the movement was just forming and were engaged in the propaganda of their views, during this period there was a group of travelers, they traveled with missionary purposes throughout Britain, Ireland, continental Europe, the colonies of North America and even Turkey. The author, I recommend Pavlova T.A.Quaker movement in England (second half of the XNUMXth - early XNUMXth centuries.
  3. 1536
    1536 9 October 2020 09: 55
    Well, yes, the story is interesting, and then the islanders agreed among themselves and began to plunder the whole world. Don't let them do this now, because they will fight again. The question is how to do this? After all, they also created a monster in North America under the guise of first a "liberated" colony, and then a "confidential friend", so that no one could stop their robbery.
    1. nickname7
      nickname7 9 October 2020 18: 29
      The feudal lords considered it unworthy to work, they lived on rent and the state was optimized for them.
      Well, the meaning of the revolution was that the feudal lords were overthrown, and the capitalists began to control the state apparatus. The drones of the feudal lords were ruined.
      Cromwell, a representative of the bourgeois, merchants and industrialists, introduced protectionism, issued "navigational acts" according to which trade on the island was transferred to his own. Goods were allowed to be imported only on English ships. Money from trade went to shipyards, which caused an economic boom, with the help of the fleet they squeezed out competitors, strengthened and squeezed out again, so they became an empire.
      In Ingushetia, by the way, the nobles stopped serving, but consuming the country's GDP they degenerated into parasites and ruined the country, it's a pity that they were not overthrown in time.
  4. Lynx2000
    Lynx2000 9 October 2020 10: 00
    Similar events developed in Scotland - the civil war. The confrontation between the supporters of the king and the councilors (Parliament of Scotland). Reasons: restrictions on the power of the king and the independence of the Presbyterian Church (promised by the English Parliament for help from the Scottish army).

    Recently on "Culture" there was a series of documentaries "Clans of Scotland", a story about Alexander Gramm, a supporter of King Charles I, was shown.

    By the way, I heard that the supporters of the parliament were called round-headed because, unlike the gentlemen, they did not wear plumes on their helmets.
  5. bbss
    bbss 9 October 2020 12: 28
    "Charles I was furious and in January 1942 year he ordered the arrest of five main conspirators ... ".
    How interesting!!! ...
  6. Justme
    Justme 9 October 2020 14: 10
    It would be nice to analyze these times a little in a non-standard way.
    Why not look at the La Rouch group's point of view on the history of England in this vein - (infiltration of the Venetian oligarchs into England, as a convenient promising maritime power and how they are there further "muddied"). Well, the results are something -
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 9 October 2020 16: 02
      Few of your Samsonovs, do you want more English to drag here? England also has its own fomenki.
      In Russia, England is to blame for all the troubles, in England - Venice. Consequently, Venice is the main enemy of Russia.
      1. Justme
        Justme 9 October 2020 16: 50
        Venice is a city abandoned by its oligarchy. And already long enough.
        But the history of his former oligarchy is amazingly interesting. It was they who provoked and "stirred up" the reformation of the church - these are really the first color revolutions. After the great geographical discoveries, the question arose of relocation. And besides, at that moment they "got" everyone and everyone had a question to break them in. First, the first group of them rushed to the area of ​​Holland, but this area was highly vulnerable to invasions. Next, they cast a glance at England. Does the name of the Whig party mean anything?
        And with what hangover lousy actor describes the passions in his "Romeo and Juliet" taking place in wildly distant Italy? And somehow, unexpectedly, in England, abandoned at the end of the world, cool thinkers appear .. And the country's political style of behavior has already acquired signs of make-upism.
        And last but not least, how did the preparation for the creation of the state of Israel begin and why Agliya was so concerned about this (the nationality of this public, I hope, is clear) ..
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 9 October 2020 17: 50
          Does the name of the Whig party mean anything?
          Says whiggamor is a cattle driver.
          There is an American magazine Executive Intelligence Review published by the LaRouche movement.
          There is a lot of this crap. Compared with them, Samsonov's delirium is babbling on the lawn, and Samson's Masters of the West are boys on parcels from the masters of Venice.
          I said above that each country has its own fomenki.
          1. alsoclean
            alsoclean 10 October 2020 15: 48
            Quote: Undecim
            I said above that each country has its own fomenki

            And each fomenka has its own
      2. Boris ⁣ Shaver
        Boris ⁣ Shaver 12 October 2020 03: 20
        Quote: Undecim
        Consequently, Venice is the main enemy of Russia.

        Hence nothing. Enemy of my enemy, you succeed, or minus for minus.
  7. parusnik
    parusnik 9 October 2020 16: 15
    "Well, Amphibrachiy, well, uchid" (c) ... In VO, there were so many articles about the English bourgeois revolution, could you read them? .. And so about the article, if Names and surnames in this article can be replaced by Lenin, Trotsky, change the names of the movements levellers, etc., replace the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, anarchists, change the name of the country to Russia, you get an ordinary article about the October Revolution ... smile
    1. Boris ⁣ Shaver
      Boris ⁣ Shaver 12 October 2020 03: 27
      Quote: parusnik
      you get an ordinary article about the October Revolution ...

      About February
  8. silberwolf88
    silberwolf88 9 October 2020 17: 14
    and this will still teach us something ... bloody scum granddaughters of all sorts of dictators and robbers ...
    1. Torins
      Torins 9 October 2020 18: 01
      It has happened no better in our history.
  9. 9 Shaft
    9 Shaft 10 October 2020 18: 06
    In short, everything was lost, it did not bleed
  10. Alexander Kopelevich
    Alexander Kopelevich 22 October 2020 19: 33
    It seems like the first civil war in English history was the "Scarlet and White Roses" war (almost like ours). This is the third, not the second?
  11. Akuzenka
    Akuzenka 13 December 2020 00: 45
    It is a pity that now there is no Cromwell in England.