The Uxbridge Treaty, 1645

The Uxbridge Treaty was proposed by the allied English Parliamentarians and Scottish Covenanters during the English Civil War. Relations between the allies had deteriorated after it became apparent that the Scottish alliance was not going to bring about a swift military victory. The Covenanters began to associate with the "Peace Party" in the Westminster Parliament, which sought to end the war through a negotiated settlement with the King. Towards the end of 1644, the Covenanters insisted upon offering peace proposals, with the aim of strengthening the union between the Scottish and English parliaments and enforcing a Presbyterian religious settlement in both kingdoms.

The negotiations opened at Uxbridge on 29 January 1645 with the Duke of Richmond leading the Royalist commissioners and the Earl of Northumberland heading the English Parliamentarians. The Earl of Loudoun led the Scottish delegation. The principal allied demands were:

From the outset, there was little hope of King Charles agreeing to these terms. Apart from his uncompromising devotion to Episcopacy, the military success of Montrose in Scotland encouraged the King to believe that an outright Royalist victory was still within his grasp. He regarded the divisions between the Scots and the Parliamentarian factions as signs of weakness. Neither was there enthusiasm for the treaty amongst the "War Party" in Parliament, which was planning the formation of the New Model Army and intended to continue the war to the bitter end. Negotiations reached deadlock and were abandoned on 22 February 1645.

The failure of the Uxbridge Treaty left the Covenanters and the moderates in the Westminster Parliament no option but to support the continuation of the war.


S.R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War vol. ii (London 1889)

David Stevenson, Revolution & Counter-Revolution in Scotland 1644-51 (Newton Abbott 1977)