Trial and execution of King Charles I — the Commonwealth abolishes the monarchy — the Leveller mutinies — Cromwell in Ireland — storming and massacre at Drogheda


  (Early January) Captain Marshall and Captain Allin rejoin Prince Rupert at Helvoetsluys with valuable prizes to finance the fitting out of his squadron. Source: PRA
1 An ordinance passed by the House of Commons proposing a special court for the trial of King Charles I. HGCW4
  William Prynne attacks the Army's actions and his illegal imprisonment in A Brief Momento. The House of Commons orders the suppression of the pamphlet and sends John Fry and Humphrey Edwards to question Prynne. PP
2 The House of Lords rejects the ordinance for the King's trial. HGCW4
4 The Rump Parliament declares itself supreme authority in the land with powers to pass laws without the consent of the King or the House of Lords. HGCW4
  The Scottish Parliament meets in Edinburgh. RCRS
6 The Rump Parliament passes an Act for setting up the High Court of Justice to try the King. HGCW4
8 First meeting of the High Court of Justice to discuss procedure for the King's trial. 54 of the 135 commissioners nominated attend the meeting. Four lawyers named to conduct the prosecution: William Steele, Isaac Dorislaus, John Aske and John Cooke. Edward Dendy appointed Sergeant-at-Arms. LDCI
9 The Sergeant-at-Arms proclaims the High Court of Justice at Westminster Hall. LDCI
  The House of Commons votes that the present Great Seal of England should be broken up and a new one engraved under which the authority of the House of Lords is no longer recognised. HGCW4
  Colonel Overton and the officers of Hull issue a Declaration urging Fairfax to remain true to the principles agreed by the Council of Officers after the Putney Debates. ODNB
10 Chief Justice John Bradshaw appointed Lord-President of the High Court of Justice. LDCI
  William Prynne released from imprisonment under a writ of habeas corpus. Most of the other imprisoned MPs are released during the following weeks. PP
14 The Ranter Abiezer Coppe causes uproar among the congregation of St Helen's church, Bishopsgate, by cursing and blaspheming from the pulpit for an hour. ODNB
15 The charge against the King drafted by the prosecution lawyers. LDCI
  The Council of Officers completes their modified version of the Agreement of the People. HGCW4
  Parliament issues A Declaration of the Commons of England to vindicate the Purge and its aftermath. PP
16 Parliament appoints sixteen "Regulators" to investigate administration of the Navy and to examine the reliability of naval officers. CN
17 The Second Ormond Peace: The Marquis of Ormond concludes a treaty with the Irish Confederates to raise 18,000 troops for the King in exchange for toleration for Catholics and constitutional reform in Ireland. TCW, HCP1
  A letter signed by forty-seven Presbyterian ministers of London sent to General Fairfax protesting at the Army's actions. LDCI
18 King Charles brought to London from Windsor by Colonel Thomlinson. LDCI
19 Edward Massie escapes from imprisonment at St James's. PP
20 Opening of the King's trial. The King refuses to recognise the legal authority of the High Court. LDCI
  The Agreement of the People as modified by the Council of Officers brought before Parliament, but laid aside until the King had been dealt with. HGCW4
  Publication of A Vindication of the Imprisoned and Secluded Members of the House of Commons to refute the Army's accusations against the Presbyterian MPs. PP
21 Prince Rupert's squadron of seven warships sails from Helvoetsluys in the Netherlands for Kinsale in southern Ireland. MPRC
22 Second day of the King's trial: the King refuses to answer the charges against him. LDCI
  The Marquis of Ormond invites the Prince of Wales to come to Ireland, believing that an Irish army will soon be ready to invade England on behalf of the Royalists. HCP1
  A Parliamentarian squadron under Captain Moulton shelters under the guns of Dover Castle to avoid a confrontation with Prince Rupert's squadron in the Channel. PRA
23 Third day of the King's trial: he persists in his refusal to recognise the legality of the High Court. LDCI
  The Scottish Parliament passes the Act of Classes, excluding all supporters of the Engagement from public office. HCP1
24 Thirty-three witnesses against the King heard in private by a sub-committee of the High Court. LDCI
25 Depositions against the King read out in Court and confirmed by the witnesses. Commissioners privately prepare the draft of the King's sentence. LDCI
26 The sentence against the King finalised. LDCI
  Publication of The New Law of Righteousness by Gerard WInstanley. ODNB
  The imprisoned Presbyterians Browne, Clotworthy, Copley, Lewis and Waller moved from St James's to Windsor Castle. All five remain imprisoned without trial for several years. PP
  Having collected five prizes in the voyage down the Channel, most of the ships of Prince Rupert's squadron arrive at Kinsale on the south coast of Ireland. Rupert in the Constant Reformation has become separated from the rest of the fleet and encounters Vice-Admiral William Penn in the Assurance near Castlehaven, who withdraws rather than fight Rupert. PRA
27 Final day of the King's trial. Still refusing to recognise the legality of the High Court, he is condemned to death. LDCI
30 Beheading of King Charles I at Whitehall HGCW4, LDCI
31 Prince Rupert joins the rest of his squadron at Kinsale. PRA


1 The House of Commons discusses the excluded Members and resolves that those who voted to continue negotiations with the King on 5 December 1648 may be re-admitted if they acknowledge their error and retrospectively register their dissent from the vote. Around seventy MPs dissent and return to Parliament during February. Source: TRP
  The House of Lords proposes a joint committee with the Commons to discuss the settlement of the nation, but the Lords' messenger is refused admission to the Commons. PP
2 Parliament resolves to strengthen the Navy against the threat from Prince Rupert's fleet and Irish privateers by sending thirty warships and forty armed merchantmen to sea. HCP1, CIR
4 News of the King's execution conveyed to Charles, Prince of Wales, at the Hague; Charles assumes the title of King. HCP1
5 Charles II proclaimed in Edinburgh, with the proviso that he takes the Covenant. TCW
6 After a two-day debate, the House of Commons votes by 44 votes to 29 to abolish the House of Lords. HCP1, PP
7 The House of Commons resolves to abolish the Monarchy. HCP1, PP
  A committee appointed to draft instructions for a Council of State and to nominate members. TRP
  The Scottish Parliament ratifies and approves the two Catechisms and the Confession of Faith prepared by the Westminster Assembly. CWA
8 King Charles I buried at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. HGCW4
9 Publication of Eikon Basilike, the supposed last meditations of Charles I. HGCW4
  Appointment of judges and magistrates willing to serve under the Commonwealth. HCP1
10 Five Royalist leaders of the Second Civil War brought to trial before the High Court of Justice: the Duke of Hamilton, Lords Holland, Norwich and Capel and Sir John Owen. HCP1
13 John Milton publishes The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates in defence of the new Commonwealth. ODNB
14 The Council of State appointed to take over the executive functions of the Monarchy, with committees for foreign affairs, the Army, the Navy and Ireland, along with various lesser committees. HCP1
  (Mid-February) Pluscardine's Rising: Royalist uprising in the Highlands led by Sir Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine and other Scottish nobles. RCRS
  (Mid-February) The Scottish Presbytery of Belfast denounces the execution of King Charles and encourages the Ulster Scots to refuse to co-operate with the Parliamentarian commanders Colonel Monck and Sir Charles Coote. CIR
17 Charles II renews the Marquis of Ormond's commission as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. ODNB
19 Members of the Council of State raise objections to the wording of the Oath of Engagement — the declaration of loyalty to the Commonwealth proposed by Henry Ireton. HCP1
22 Charles II appoints the Marquis of Montrose his Captain-General in Scotland. HCP1
  Sir Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine seizes Inverness but withdraws into the mountains soon after at the approach of Covenanter forces commanded by Lieutenant-General David Leslie. RCRS
  Parliament passes an Act authorising the impressment of sailors into the Navy, and guaranteeing the fairer distribution of prize money. CN
  In a move to discourage Leveller influence in the Army, the Council of Officers forbids soldiers from presenting petitions except through their officers. HCP1
23 Discouraged by the signing of the Second Ormond Peace, Archbishop Rinuccini leaves Ireland. TCW
  Parliament resolves that MPs who had not returned to Westminster by this date, unless engaged in military duty, should be denied entry until further notice. TRP
  The Earl of Warwick dismissed from command of the Navy. Popham, Blake and Deane appointed Generals-at-Sea. HCP1
24 Scottish commissioners leave London for the Netherlands, with the intention of inviting Charles II to Scotland. The Commissioners are arrested at Gravesend and sent back to Scotland under armed guard. HCP1
26 John Lilburne presents England's New Chains to Parliament, which criticises the Council of State and calls for a revival of the Self-denying Ordinance to curb the power of the Army. HCP1
  (Late February) The Marquis of Ormond sends representatives to persuade Owen Roe O'Neill to join the Royalist alliance but O'Neill will only consider doing so if six counties in Ulster are restored to the native Irish. CIR


  (March) With unemployment and hunger rife, the poor of London are supplied with free corn and coal. Source: WTUD
1 Eight troopers petition the Council of Officers, in defiance of the order forbidding soldiers to petition.HCP1
2 Sir George Ayscue appointed admiral of the Irish Sea fleet to counteract the activities of Prince Rupert's squadron and to keep the sea route to Dublin open. HCP1
3 The eight Army petitioners court-martialled; five of them remain defiant and are cashiered. HCP1
5 Parliament appoints the Committee for Absent Members to interrogate excluded MPs wishing to be re-admitted to Parliament. TRP
6 The High Court of Justice passes the death sentence on Hamilton, Holland, Norwich, Capel and Owen. HCP1
  The Council of State recommends that a standing army of 32,000 troops should be maintained in England, with another 12,000 for service in Ireland. HCP1
8 Petitions for mercy heard at the High Court; Lord Norwich and Sir John Owen reprieved. HCP1
9 Executions of the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland and Lord Capel. HCP1
  The Marquis of Ormond writes to Colonel Jones at Dublin asking him to join the Royalist coalition. CIR
10 Chief Justice John Bradshaw appointed President of the Council of State. HCP1
  Lord Byron arrives at the Hague carrying Ormond's invitation to Charles II to lead the Irish Royalists. HCP1
12 Abolition of the office of Lord High Admiral. An Admiralty Committee appointed in its place. CN
13 A committee headed by Sir Henry Vane appointed to consider alliances and relations with European powers. HCP1
  Prince Rupert writes to King John of Portugal requesting various privileges to be granted to his ships in Portuguese ports, most of which are granted. PRA
14 Colonel Jones replies to Ormond, rejecting his authority as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland and refusing to surrender Dublin. CIR
15 The Council of State nominates Oliver Cromwell to command the army to be sent to Ireland. HCP1
  John Milton appointed Secretary of Foreign Tongues to the Council of State. ODNB
  (Mid-March) Lord Inchiquin musters the Munster army at Cashel and marches for Athlone in order to prevent Owen Roe O'Neill from moving west towards Connacht. The Earl of Castlehaven advances into Leinster against O'Neill, who is forced to withdraw into Ulster. CIR
  (Mid-March) Prince Rupert sends out four ships under Sir John Mennes from his squadron at Kinsale to capture prizes and to establish contact with Sir John Grenville in the Isles of Scilly. PRA
17 Parliament passes an Act abolishing the Monarchy. AOI
19 Parliament passes an Act abolishing the House of Lords. AOI
21 Richard Overton and the Army Levellers cashiered for petitioning (3 March) publish The Hunting of the Foxes, criticising the Council of Officers as a worse tyranny than the King. HCP1, ODNB
22 The Marquis of Huntly executed in Edinburgh. RCRS
23 Cromwell appeals to the Council of Officers to maintain unity against the criticisms of the Levellers. HCP1
24 Publication of the second part of England's New Chains, in which Lilburne appeals to Parliament to end the dominance of the Council of Officers. HCP1
  News reaches London of the capture of five ships south of the Scillies by Royalist privateers. General-at-Sea Edward Popham ordered to sail to the Downs; Vice-Admiral Moulton ordered to Plymouth to prepare an expedition against the privateers. PRA
  Colonel Morrice finally surrenders Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire to Major-General Lambert after a nine-month siege. HOP
26 John Milton refuses the Council of State's order to write a refutation of England's New Chains. HCP1
27 Parliament condemns England's New Chains as seditious and likely to encourage mutiny in the Army. HCP1
  Scottish commissioners arrive at the court-in-exile of Charles II in the Hague. Their request for the dismissal of the Marquis of Montrose before negotiations begin is rejected. RCRS
28 Leveller leaders John Lilburne, Richard Overton, William Walwyn and Thomas Prince arrested and brought before the Council of State. After refusing to incriminate themselves by admitting authorship of England's New Chains, all four are imprisoned in the Tower to await trial. HCP1
30 Parliament confirms Cromwell's appointment as commander-in-chief of the expedition to Ireland. HCJ
  (Late March) The Parliamentarian garrison at Londonderry besieged by the Lagan Army of Ulster. CIR


1 Diggers begin to cultivate waste land on St. George's Hill near Walton-on-Thames in Surrey. Source: WTUD
2 A petition signed by 80,000 people calling for the release of Lilburne and his associates presented to the Council of State. HCP1
  Abraham Reynoldson, Lord Mayor of London, deprived of his office, fined and imprisoned for refusing to proclaim the abolition of the Monarchy. HCP1
5 Scottish commissioners negotiating with Charles II insist that the Covenant be imposed in England and Ireland as well as Scotland as a condition for Scottish military aid. RCRS
9 Four ships from Prince Rupert's squadron at Kinsale take officers and soldiers to reinforce Sir John Grenville on the Isles of Scilly. PRA
10 Court-martial of the leaders of the Royalist rebellion in South Wales — Major-General Laugharne, Colonels Poyer and Powell. HCP1
12 Laugharne, Poyer and Powell sentenced to death but allowed to draw lots for their lives. Only Colonel Poyer to be executed. HCP1
13 Charles II empowers the Marquis of Montrose to negotiate with European kings and states on his behalf. HCP1
  (Mid-April) Revival of Pluscardine's Rising in the Highlands. Accompanied by Major-General Middleton, Lord Reay, the new Marquis of Huntly and other Royalist nobles, Sir Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine occupies Balvenie in Banffshire with 1,000 followers. RCRS
  (Mid-April) Sir John Mennes brings five prizes into Prince Rupert's privateering base at Kinsale. The Council of State orders General-at-Sea Edward Popham to sail for the western end of the Channel with all available ships. CWS
16 Henry Sanders of Walton-on-Thames complains to the Council of State about the activities of the Diggers on St. George's Hill. Sir Thomas Fairfax ordered to investigate. RRCE
  John Lilburne objects to the use of the term "Levellers" in reference to himself and his associates. Unlike the True Levellers or Diggers, he has no wish to equalise wealth or to attack property rights. HCP1, WTUD
17 Regiments to go to Ireland selected by drawing lots: four cavalry regiments (those of Ireton, Scrope, Horton and Lambert), four infantry regiments (Ewer, Cook, Deane and Hewson) and five troops of dragoons. Those who refuse to go before the settlement of arrears of pay and other grievances are cashiered. HCP1
18 Petitioners calling for Lilburne's release dismissed from Parliament. HCP1
19 Captain Gladman reports to Fairfax that the Digger community on St. George's Hill is insignificant and presents no threat. ODNB
20 Digger leaders Gerrard Winstanley and William Everard appear before General Fairfax at Whitehall. They are allowed to go free after undertaking only to cultivate waste land. HCP1
  Two of Prince Rupert's privateers captured by Vice-Admiral Moulton's squadron on the return voyage from the Isles of Scilly to Kinsale. CWS, PRA
23 A group of women petitioners calling for Lilburne's release refused entrance into Parliament and told to go home and wash their dishes. HCP1
24 Mutiny over pay in Colonel Whalley's regiment at Bishopsgate. HCP1
25 Fairfax and Cromwell personally pacify the mutinous troops at Bishopsgate; fifteen ringleaders arrested. HCP1
  Execution of Colonel Poyer by firing squad at Covent Garden. ODNB
  Owen Roe O'Neill proposes a treaty with Colonel Monck, governor of Dundalk. CIR
26 Court-martial of the mutineers from Colonel Whalley's regiment. Cromwell pleads for mercy for all except Robert Lockier, believed to be the ringleader, who is sentenced to death. HCP1
  Publication of the Digger manifesto: The True Leveller's Standard Advanced. HCP1
27 Execution of Robert Lockier by firing squad in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. HCP1
29 Encouraged by the Levellers, thousands of Londoners attend the funeral of Robert Lockier in protest against the power of the Army. HCP1
  Isaac Dorislaus arrives at the Hague as special envoy from the English Commonwealth to the States General of Holland. HCP1


1 Lilburne's final version of the Agreement of the People issued — even though the Leveller leaders are all in prison. Source: HCP1
  Leveller-inspired mutiny in Colonel Scrope's regiment at Salisbury on its way to Ireland. The soldiers refuse to leave England until arrears of pay are settled and the liberty of the country is secured. Similar declarations issued by the regiments of Ireton, Reynolds, Harrison and Skippon. HCP1
2 Assassination of the Commonwealth envoy Dr Dorislaus by English Royalists at the Hague. ODNB
6 William Thompson leads a mutiny of local troops at Banbury in support of Lilburne and the Agreement of the People. HCP1
7 The Council of State complains to Parliament against the licenser Gilbert Mabbott for allowing the publication of the Agreement of the People and recommends his dismissal. HCP1
8 Owen Roe O'Neill and Colonel George Monck sign a three-month cessation of hostilities at Dundalk. TCW
  Colonel Ker routs Pluscardine's rebels at Balvenie, bringing the Royalist uprising in the Highlands to an end. RCRS
9 Security measures increased at the Tower of London, where the Leveller leaders are imprisoned. HCP1
  General Fairfax reviews his cavalry regiments at Hyde Park before marching to confront the mutineers. Oliver Cromwell appeals to the troopers to trust in Parliament and orders the removal of all Leveller insignia. HCP1
11 Fairfax at Alton in Hampshire. He appeals to the mutineers in similar terms to Cromwell's appeal at Hyde Park. HCP1
12 Fairfax at Andover in Hampshire. HCP1
13 The Generals-at-Sea gather a fleet at Plymouth and prepare to sail against Prince Rupert at Kinsale. CWS
14 A new Treason Act becomes law, with Parliament taking the place of the Monarchy. It also becomes treasonable for civilians to stir up mutiny in the Army. HCP1, AOI
  Cromwell leads a surprise night attack on the mutineers camped at Burford, Oxfordshire. HCP1
15 A Parliamentary committee chaired by Sir Henry Vane set up to report on the regulation of future elections. HCP1
  (Middle of May) The Marquis of Ormond sends Lord Inchiquin and the Earl of Castlehaven north from Kilkenny to clear the way for a Royalist advance on Dublin. HCP1
16 Lord Inchiquin captures Leix Castle in Queen's County; the Earl of Castlehaven advances to Marybourough (Portaloise). CIR, HCP1
17 Execution of three Leveller ringleaders in Burford churchyard. HCP1
18 The Plymouth squadron sets sail for Kinsale. CWS
19 The Council of State declares England to be "a Commonwealth and free state", with the House of Commons as supreme authority in the land. HCP1
  Cromwell and Fairfax installed as Doctors of Civil Law at Oxford University. HCP1
  Charles II rejects the proposals put forward by the Scottish commissioners. Charles authorises the Marquis of Montrose to take military action against the Covenanters. RCRS
21 The Earl of Castlehaven captures Athy in County Kildare from O'Neill's garrison, but complains that his forces are badly-supplied and prone to desertion. HCP1, CIR
22 Generals-at-Sea Robert Blake and Richard Deane blockade Prince Rupert's privateering squadron in its base at Kinsale in southern Ireland. CN
  The licenser Gilbert Mabbott dismissed. Parliament asks the Council of State to prepare legislation aimed at preventing the publication of subversive literature. HCP1
  Lord Inchiquin's cavalry joins the Earl of Castlehaven's army at Athy. CIR
25 Cromwell reports to Parliament on the suppression of the Levellers. HCP1
  Colonel Monck writes to the Council of State announcing his truce with O'Neill and explaining that it had been prompted by military necessity. The Council refuses to ratify the arrangement and resolves to keep the three-month truce secret to avoid provoking the hostility of English Protestants. HCP1
27 Lord Cottington and Sir Edward Hyde sent as Charles II's ambassadors to Spain. HCP1
  Sir Robert Stewart returns to direct the Lagan army's siege of Londonderry, having escaped from captivity in London. ODNB
28 The Council of State transfers its offices to Whitehall. HCP1
29 Prince Rupert replies to a request from the Marquis of Ormond for money or prize goods to pay his army and that Rupert should impose a blockade on Dublin. Rupert himself needs money to maintain his squadron, and he cannot break out of Kinsale without fighting the Commonwealth ships blockading him. PRA
30 Thomas Andrews, newly appointed Lord Mayor of London, proclaims the abolition of the Monarchy. Aldermen who protest are dismissed from office. HCP1


1 At Clogrennan near Carlow, the Marquis of Ormond musters 11,000 foot and 3,000 horse of the Irish-Royalist army and prepares his campaign against the Parliamentarian garrisons in Leinster. Source: CIR
7 An official Day of Thanksgiving held in London for the suppression of the Levellers. Members of Parliament attend a state banquet in the City of London. HCP1
11 The Digger community in Surrey attacked by thugs hired by local landowners. ODNB
14 Ormond's advance guard attacked by 4,000 Parliamentarians from the Dublin garrison at Johnstown near Naas. CIR
18 John Lilburne's pamphlet The Legal Fundamental Liberties of the People of England denounces Cromwell and his officers for creating a military despotism with Pride's Purge. HCP1
  Arrest of Marchamont Nedham, publisher of the Royalist newsbook Mercurius Pragmaticus. ODNB
19 The Marquis of Ormond's army arrives at Finglas on the northern outskirts of Dublin and prepares to blockade the city. IB, HCP1
21 On the advice of the Kirk, the Scottish Parliament orders the purging from the Scottish army of any who had any part in the Engagement or the recent Royalist uprisings. RCRS
22 Charles II arrives at Brussels in the Spanish Netherlands to negotiate for help from Spain. He is rejected by the Archduke Leopold, on the orders of King Philip. HCP1
  Parliament formally appoints Oliver Cromwell governor-general of Ireland for three years and commander-in-chief of the army to be sent there. HCJ
23 The Surrey Diggers arrested and charged with trespass. EDD
28 Charles II sends Sir Robert Meynell to Rome to seek help from the Pope. HCP1
  (Late June) Rather than mount a direct assault on Dublin, the Marquis of Ormond sends Lord Inchiquin to capture Parliamentarian garrisons at Drogheda, Dundalk and Trim. CIR


  (Early July) Sir George Monro joins the Lagan army besieging Londonderry with 2,000 Ulster Scots. Source: CIR
  (Early July) Two of Prince Rupert's ships break out of Kinsale: one, carrying letters for the King, is captured by Blake's squadron, the other, the Blackamoor Lady, captures a prize and delivers it to Cherbourg before returning to Kinsale unscathed. PRA
1 Leading Scottish statesmen and clergymen meet in Edinburgh to discuss Scotland's policy towards Charles II. HCP1
  The Council of State commissions Thomas Scot to direct the Commonwealth's spying and intelligence network. RCE
4 Parliament passes an Act authorising the sale of lands and property formerly belonging to the royal family to finance the payment of Army arrears. CIR, AOI
9 Following attacks by Presbyterian ministers, Parliament passes a resolution forbidding clergymen to preach or pray against the government. They are not to publicly mention James and Charles Stuart, must observe official days of public humiliation and must publicise Acts and Orders of Parliament. HCP1
  The Marquis of Clanricarde captures Sligo in Connacht. CIR
10 Cromwell leaves London for Bristol to supervise preparations for the Irish expedition. CIR
14 Cromwell arrives at Bristol. He assures his troops that they will not embark for Ireland until he has enough funds for supplies and pay. HCP1
11 Drogheda surrenders to Lord Inchiquin. HCP1
  Gerrard Winstanley appeals in vain to the House of Commons against the persecution of the Diggers; the St. George's Hill commune begins to disperse and move to Cobham Heath. EDD
13 Inchiquin besieges Dundalk. HCP1
15 Letters from Charles II received by the Marquis of Argyll and his colleagues. HCP1
16 A second Act of Parliament passed authorising the sale of royal lands and property. AOI
18 Henry Marten procures John Lilburne's release on bail from the Tower so that he can visit his wife and children who are seriously ill. HCP1
22-26 Four Parliamentarian regiments arrive at Dublin from England to reinforce Colonel Michael Jones. HCP1, IB
23 Inchiquin's cavalry capture a powder convoy en route from Dundalk to the Irish camp at Crossmaglen. Owen Roe O'Neill withdraws into western Ulster. HCP1, CIR
24 Colonel Monck surrenders Dundalk to Lord Inchiquin after most of the garrison defect. Monck returns to England to give an account of his actions. HCP1
  Ormond's troops capture two small forts on Lowzey Hill near Dublin, cutting off the streams supplying water for the city's flour mills. Colonel Jones orders the expulsion of all Catholics from the city. CIR
25 The Marquis of Ormond transfers the bulk of his army to Rathmines on the southern side of Dublin, leaving Lord Dillon with 2,000 foot and 500 horse to cover the northern approaches to the city. HCP1, CIR
27 Ormond sends Lord Inchiquin with three regiments of horse to Munster to guard against the possibility of Cromwell landing there. IB
28 Ormond's troops storm and capture Rathfarnham Castle near Dublin. IB
29 Colonel Thomas Armstrong and a party of skirmishers driven back from Dublin. Colonel Jones' nephew, who had gone over to the Royalists, is taken prisoner; Jones has him hanged as a deserter. HCP1
31 Parliament forwards £100,000 to Cromwell, enabling him to complete preparations for the invasion of Ireland. HCP1
  Owen Roe O'Neill begins negotiations for an alliance with the Royalists. HCP1


1 Colonel Monck interviewed by the Council of State then sent to report to Cromwell on the state of affairs in Ireland. Source: HCP1
  Ormond sends Major-General Purcell on a night march to fortify Baggotrath Castle. HCP1
2 Colonel Jones recaptures Baggotrath Castle and goes on to inflict a decisive defeat on Ormond's coalition army at the battle of Rathmines. TCW
4 Cromwell arrives in Milford Haven. First meeting between Cromwell and George Monck. TCG, ODNB
  The Marquis of Ormond retreats to Kilkenny. CIR
6 Parliament rejects a proposal to make the payment of tithes compulsory. HCP1
7 Owen Roe O'Neill's Ulster army arrives before Londonderry, forcing the Scots-Royalist army besieging the city to withdraw. CIR
7-13 Colonel Jones advances on Drogheda. Ormond advances to Tecroghan to threaten Jones' supply lines. Jones returns to Dublin when Colonel Armstrong, the Royalist governor of Drogheda, rejects his summons to surrender. CIR
10 Before Parliament, Colonel Monck takes sole responsibility for arranging the truce with O'Neill and denies any involvement from Cromwell or the Council of State. Although Parliament denounces the arrangement, Monck's actions are exonerated. HCP1
  John Lilburne publishes a fierce attack on Cromwell and Ireton in An Impeachment of High Treason Against Oliver Cromwell and his Son-in-Law Henry Ireton. Lilburne states that the Monarchy is preferable to Cromwell's military despotism. HCP1
12 The Marquis of Ormond appeals to Owen Roe O'Neill to join the Royalists against the Parliamentarians. O'Neill resolves to join Ormond. HCP1
13 Cromwell's army embarks from Milford Haven for Ireland. CIR
15 Cromwell arrives in Dublin with thirty-five ships. CIR
  Henry Ireton sets sail for Ireland with a second force, apparently intending to land in Munster. CIR
16 The Council of Officers petitions Parliament not to extend religious freedom to Catholics. HCP1
17 The Marquis of Ormond strengthens the Drogheda garrison with additional troops. Sir Arthur Aston appointed governor. HCP1
20 The Council of State issues a warrant for Lilburne's arrest and an order for the seizure of his books and papers. Lilburne's forceful arguments persuade the musketeers sent to arrest him not to carry out their orders. HCP1
23 Unable to find a safe place to land in Munster, Ireton joins Cromwell at Dublin. CIR
24 Cromwell issues a declaration ordering no violence against civilians in Ireland. HCP1
31 Parliament orders the banishment of the Catholics Sir Kenelm Digby and Walter Montague. Sir John Winter — still in England after an order for his banishment — to be arrested. HCP1
  Newly-promoted Lieutenant-General Michael Jones leads Cromwell's advance guard from Dublin towards Drogheda. CIR
  (Late August) In response to the outbreak of an unofficial privateering war, France prohibits the import of goods from England. Parliament responds in September by prohibiting the import of French wine and woollen goods and by issuing letters of marque to English captains wishing to challenge French privateers. TRP


1 John Lilburne publishes An Outcry of the Young Men and Apprentices of London in which he incites the soldiery to rise up in support of the Agreement of the People and the Leveller martyrs of Burford. Source: HCP1
  Oliver Cromwell marches from Dublin with 10,000 troops. HCP1
3 Cromwell arrives before Drogheda. HCP1
4 Parliament passes an Act for the support of impoverished prisoners. HCP1
5 A force of Danish mercenaries sent by the Marquis of Montrose arrives at Kirkwall in the Orkneys in preparation for a Royalist invasion of Scotland. RCRS
  Cromwell's artillery arrives at Drogheda having been transported by sea from Dublin. CIR
8 Mutiny of soldiers at Oxford influenced by Lilburne's Outcry of the Young Men. The Council of State sends Colonel Ingoldsby to restore order. HCP1
9 Troops In London ordered to break up church services where the banned Book of Common Prayer is being used. HCP1
10 Sir Arthur Aston refuses Cromwell's summons to surrender Drogheda. HCP1
11 Storming and massacre of Drogheda. TCW, HCP1
  Sir Charles Coote advances eastwards from Londonderry against the Royalists in Ulster. CIR
  The Council of State orders the prosecution of all those involved in the publication of An Outcry of the Young Men under the new Treason Act. HCP1
12 Cromwell sends Colonel Venables north with four regiments to rendezvous with Sir Charles Coote in Ulster. PCI
13 After long consultation with the Attorney-General, the Council of State announces to Parliament that sufficient evidence has been found to convict Lilburne of sedition. HCP1
14 Lilburne brought before the Attorney-General but he refuses to acknowledge his offence. HCP1
15 Sir Charles Coote captures Coleraine; the garrison massacred. CIR
  (Mid-September) Colonel Venables occupies Dundalk, which the Royalists have abandoned. PCI
16 Cromwell returns to Dublin. Michael Jones appointed lieutenant-general, Henry Ireton appointed major-general; Colonel Hewson appointed governor of Dublin. HCP1
17 Charles II lands at Jersey, hoping to move from there to lead the Royalists in Ireland. Henry Seymour sent to report on conditions in Ireland. HCP1
  Cromwell writes to Parliament requesting reinforcements to replace troops drawn from his army for garrison duty in captured castles and towns. CIR
19 A warrant issued for Lilburne's recommital to the Tower. HCP1
20 Parliament passes an Act outlawing the publication of unlicensed books, pamphlets and newsbooks. Aimed at critics of the government, the Act proves impossible to enforce. HCP1
21 Carlingford surrenders to Colonel Venables. PCI
22 Colonel Venables occupies Newry. PCI
23 Cromwell's main army marches south from Dublin for Wexford. CIR
27 After defeating an attack by Colonel Trevor's Royalists at Dromore, Colonel Venables advances to occupy Lisburn. From Lisburn, he marches to invest Belfast. PCI
  Lilburne sent back to the Tower of London. HCP1
28 Parliament issues a declaration denouncing the Levellers and assuring Presbyterians that religious toleration will not be extended to extremists or Catholics. HCP1
  Arklow Castle surrenders to Cromwell. TCG
29 Ferns Castle surrenders to Cromwell. TCG
30 Belfast surrenders to Colonel Venables. PCI
  Enniscorthy in County Wexford surrenders to Cromwell. TCG


1 Cromwell arrives before Wexford. Source: CIR
2 Lieutenant-General Michael Jones captures Fort Rosslare guarding Wexford harbour, which enables the Parliamentarian fleet to land siege artillery. CIR
  Publication of the first issue of A Brief Relation, Parliament's official newsbook for foreign news. HCP1
3 Cromwell summons Wexford. The governor, Colonel Synnot, plays for time, hoping that Ormond will send reinforcements. HCP1
6 1,500 Royalist infantry arrive to reinforce Wexford. HCP1
  Publication of Eikonoklastes, John Milton's attempt to refute Eikon Basilike. HCP1
9 Publication of the first issue of Several Proceedings, Parliament's official newsbook for domestic news. HCP1
10 Cromwell orders the bombardment of Wexford Castle to begin. CIR
11 Captain Stafford surrenders Wexford Castle, leading to the storming and massacre at Wexford. CIR
  George Winram of Libberton sails from Scotland to open negotiations with Charles II on behalf of the Covenanters. He contacts Presbyterian exiles in Holland. Colonel Titus offers to mediate between the Queen's ministers who favour a Scottish alliance and London Presbyterians. HCP1, RCRS
  In response to demands from garrison troops in England, the Council of Officers convenes the first of a series of weekly meetings to discuss plans for reform of the law and the abolition of tithes. TRP
12 Parliament resolves to extend the Oath of Engagement to Members of Parliament, all clergymen, all members of the armed forces and to all officials in the Courts of Law, in municipal government and at universities and schools. HCP1
  Owen Roe O'Neill's Ulster army at Finnea in County Longford. CIR
15 Cromwell marches west towards New Ross; Major-General Ireton sent south-west to attempt to capture Duncannon Fort. TCG, CIR
16 Protestant officers in Cork declare for Parliament. HCP1
  Blake's fleet forced by bad weather to withdraw from the blockade of Kinsale. CWS
17 Cromwell summons New Ross. HCP1
19 Sir Lucas Taaffe surrenders New Ross to Cromwell. TCW
20 Prince Rupert escapes from Kinsale with seven of his best ships, leaving the James and the Roebuck which are later seized by Commonwealth forces. TCW, PRA
  Representatives of the Marquis of Ormond and Owen Roe O'Neill sign an agreement at Finnea. In exchange for concessions to the Catholics in Ulster and the restoration of lands lost during the Plantation, O'Neill agrees to join Ormond against Cromwell. TCW
21 The Earl of Castlehaven reinforces the fort at Duncannon, but reports to Ormond that the garrison is short of supplies and ammunition. CIR
23 Ormond sends his own lifeguard and its commander Colonel Edward Wogan to stiffen resistance in Duncannon. HCP1
24 Opening of the trial of John Lilburne at the Guildhall on charges of treason. HCP1
  Parliament orders the arrest of the Presbyterian pamphleteer Clement Walker. HCP1
  All but 200 of Lord Inchiquin's infantry defect to Parliament. Inchiquin himself under suspicion of planning to defect. HCP1
26 The jury acquits Lilburne of the charges against him amid scenes of great popular rejoicing. HCP1
27 Lieutenant-General Michael Jones brings reinforcements to the siege of Duncannon Fort in County Wexford. TCG, CIR
31 From Jersey, Charles II issues a manifesto calling upon all Englishmen to rally to his cause. HCP1
  (End of October) Sir Charles Coote joins forces with Colonel Venables at Belfast. The combined force marches to besiege Carrickfergus. PCI


2 Colonel Dalzeil signs articles of surrender at Carrickfergus, agreeing to deliver the town and castle on 13 December. TCW, PCI
3 Lord Broghill and Colonel Phayre arrive at Cork with orders from Cromwell to organise the insurrection against the Royalists in Munster. HCP1
5 Lieutenant-General Jones abandons the siege of Duncannon and withdraws to New Ross. HCP1, CIR
6 Death of Owen Roe O'Neill at Cloughoughter Castle near Cavan. TCW
  Cromwell's forces complete the construction of a bridge of boats across the River Barrow at New Ross. CIR
8 John Lilburne and the Leveller leaders released from the Tower on condition that they take the Oath of Engagement. HCP1
12 The Marquis of Montrose arrives at Gothenburg in Sweden, attempting to raise troops and supplies for the Royalist cause. HCP1
14 The Council of State directs General Fairfax to use soldiers to clear the roads of highwaymen. HCP1
15 Cromwell sends Lieutenant-General Jones and Major-General Ireton across the River Barrow to attempt to bring the Marquis of Ormond to battle. Ormond withdraws towards Kilkenny, destroying the bridge across the River Nore at Thomastown. CIR
19 Colonel Reynolds leads a detachment to capture Carrick-on-Suir, enabling Cromwell's army to cross the River Suir and approach Waterford from the landward side. CIR
20 ? Prince Rupert's fleet arrives in Portugal. With the support of King John IV, Rupert plans to operate against the Commonwealth from Lisbon. CWS
21 Cromwell marches from New Ross towards Waterford. HCP1
  Lord Castlehaven sent by Ormond to reinforce the garrison at Waterford, but Catholics opposed to Ormond refuse to allow him entry. HCP1
23 The town authorities at Waterford appeal to Ormond to send troops — but only if they belong to the contingent of Ulster Irish sent to Ormond by Owen Roe O'Neill before his death. HCP1
24 Cromwell arrives at Waterford and grants a five-day truce to allow the citizens time to consider his terms. HCP1
  Irish attack upon Carrick-on-Suir repulsed with great loss. CIR
26 Lord Cottington and Sir Edward Hyde arrive in Madrid hoping to win Spanish support for Charles II. HCP1
28 The Digger community at Cobham attacked by a group of soldiers who destroy two houses, take away wood and cast two or three old people into the open. ODNB
30 Ormond sends 2,000 Ulster Irish to Waterford commanded by Lieutenant-General Farrel. HCP1
  Ormond reports to Charles II that he cannot advise him to come to Ireland. HCP1


2 Cromwell abandons the siege of Waterford. Source: HCP1
4 An assembly of Irish clergy at the monastery of Clacmanoise attempts to unite the Irish against the English invaders. Cromwell denounced as a destroyer of the Catholic religion and a plunderer. HCP1
  Parliament resolves to exclude all MPs who have not taken their seats since Pride's Purge. TRP
5 The Council of State commissions Robert Blake to command a fleet against Prince Rupert in Portugal. Vice-admiral William Penn to take over the squadron watching remaining Royalist ships in Kinsale. CWS
6 Sir Charles Coote and Colonel Venables defeat Royalist forces under Lord Montgomery and Sir George Monro at Lisnestrain near Lisburn. PCI
7 Cromwell's army retires to winter quarters at Youghal. TCG
10 Lieutenant-General Michael Jones dies of fever at Dungarvan. ODNB
  Major-General Hugh O'Neill arrives from the Ulster army to take command of the Irish garrison at Clonmel. CIR
14 Parliament passes an Act forbidding Royalists from standing for office in the elections for the Common Council of London. HCP1
13 Second declaration of the Clacmanoise assembly calls for the Irish people to unite against the English invaders. HCP1
  Sir Charles Coote occupies Carrickfergus. All of Ulster under Parliamentarian control except for Charlemont and Enniskillen. PCI
18 The Council of State issues a warrant for the arrest of Abiezer Coppe and the seizure of his blasphemous book A Fiery Flying Roll. ODNB
21 John Lilburne elected to the Common Council for the City of London. HCP1
25 On learning of the discussions between Charles II's representatives and the Presbyterian exiles in Holland, Parliament orders the sequestration of the estates of Lord Willoughby, Edward Massie and others. HCP1
26 Lilburne's election to the Common Council declared void by Parliament because of his evasion in taking the Oath of Engagement. HCP1
27 Henry Seymour reports to Charles II on Jersey regarding the hopelessness of the Royalist cause in Ireland. HCP1


AOI: Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum C.H. Firth and R.S. Raitt (eds), 1911

CIR: Cromwell in Ireland, James Scott Wheeler (New York 1999)

CN: Cromwell's Navy, Bernard Capp (Oxford 1989)

CWA: Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly John Murray (The Presbyterian Guardian 1943)

CWS: Cromwell's Wars at Sea, John Barratt (Barnsley 2006)

EDD: English Dissenters: Diggers

HCJ: House of Commons Journal

HCP1: History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate vol. i, S.R. Gardiner (London 1903)

HGCW4: History of the Great Civil War vol. iv, S.R. Gardiner (London 1894)

HOP: The History of the Ancient Borough of Pontefract Benjamin Boothroyd (Pontefract 1807)

IB: Irish Battles, G.A. Hayes-MacCoy (London 1969)

LDCI: The Last Days of Charles I, Graham Edwards (Stroud 1999)

MPRC: Memoirs of Prince Rupert and the Cavaliers vol iii, Eliot Warburton (London 1849)

ODNB: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

PCI: History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland vol ii J.S. Reid (London 1853)

PP: Pride's Purge, David Underdown (Oxford 1971)

PRA: Prince Rupert, admiral and general-at-sea, Frank Kitson (London 1998)

RCE: Royalist Conspiracy in England 1649-60, David Underdown (New Haven 1960)

RCRS: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Scotland 1644-1651, David Stevenson (Newton Abbott 1977)

RRCE: Radical Religion in Cromwell's England, Andrew Bradstock (London 2011)

TCG: The Cromwellian Gazetteer, Peter Gaunt (Stroud 1987)

TCW: The Civil Wars, a military history of England, Scotland & Ireland 1638-60 , Kenyon and Ohlmeyer (eds) (Oxford 1998)

TRP: The Rump Parliament, Blair Worden (Cambridge 1974)

WTUD: The World Turned Upside Down, Christopher Hill (London 1975)

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