The English Civil War of the mid-17th Century was part of a wider series of conflicts that spanned the entire British Isles, involving Scotland and Ireland as well as England and Wales. Also called "The Great Rebellion", "The English Revolution" and "The Wars of the Three Kingdoms", the British Civil Wars and Commonwealth period witnessed the trial and execution of a king, the formation of a republic in England, a theocracy in Scotland and the subjugation of Ireland. The first attempt was made to unite the three nations under a single government, and the foundations of the modern British constitution were laid.
From the signing of the Scottish National Covenant of 1638 to the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, this site explores the turmoil of the Civil Wars and Interregnum, and the constitutional experiments of the Commonwealth and Protectorate period of the 1650s.
The BCW Project website is arranged in four interweaving threads that combine to produce a comprehensive view of the events, ideas and personalities that shaped the era.
- Time Lines: detailed chronological listings of events during the period 1638-60
- Biography: who's who in the Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate
- Military: military and naval history of the Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate
- Church & State: politics and religion—we talk about them here
Unless otherwise stated, all historical dates are given according to the Julian calendar, which was used in England until 1752. During the 17th century, the Julian calendar date was 10 days behind the Gregorian calendar, which was used in many European countries. Years are numbered from 1st January, though many 17th century sources number the year from 25th March. See this Wikipedia page for a summary of the problems of historical dating and calendar conventions.
Throughout the site, historical or traditional counties are used for geographical location rather than modern administrative regions, in keeping with 17th century county designations. However, all place-names are given in their modern spelling.