The King attempts to arrest the Five Members — the Militia Ordinance — outbreak of the English Civil War — the battle of Edgehill


  (January) The Irish Uprising spreads to Counties Antrim, Limerick and Clare. Source: TCW
1 King Charles denounces the Irish insurgents as traitors. TKW
  The King offers the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer to John Pym, which he refuses. TKW
2 The King appoints Sir John Culpeper Chancellor of the Exchequer; Viscount Falkland appointed Secretary of State. TKW
3 At the King's command, Attorney-General Sir Edward Herbert indicts five members of the House of Commons for treason. TKW
4 The King fails in his attempt to arrest the Five Members — Pym, Hampden, Hesilrige, Holles and Strode, also Lord Mandeville, the future Earl of Manchester. TKW
5 The King addresses the Common Council at the Guildhall and demands that the Five Members be handed over to answer the charges against them. His coach surrounded by hostile crowds on his return to Whitehall. TKW
10 The King and Royal Family leave Whitehall for Hampton Court. TKW
  Irish insurgents before Drogheda proclaim Sir Phelim O'Neill general of their forces and governor of County Meath. CCW
11 The Five Members return in triumph to Westminster. TKP
  Parliament appoints Sir John Hotham governor of Hull with orders not to deliver the town or its magazine without Parliament's authority. His son, Captain Hotham, sent north to secure Hull and await Hotham's arrival. ODNB
  A plan to infiltrate Drogheda is thwarted and a number of Irish insurgents taken prisoner. CCW
  Battle of Swords: Sir Charles Coote defeats insurgents near Dublin. DNB
12 The King moves from Hampton Court to Windsor Castle. DBD
  Parliament orders George Goring to hold Portsmouth against any demands made by the King. CWIH
  Lord Digby and Sir Thomas Lunsford attempt unsuccessfully to seize the arsenal at Kingston-on-Thames in Surrey for the King. ODNB
13 Lunsford arrested by order of Parliament. ODNB
15 Parliament accuses Digby of treasonous conduct. He flees to the Netherlands to escape arrest. DBD
  The Scottish commissioners in London call for the abolition of episcopacy in England. TSR
17 Sir Thomas Onslow musters the Surrey Trained Bands and secures the arsenal at Kingston-on-Thames for Parliament. DBD
19 Parliament authorises the recruitment of two new regiments of London Trained Bands. DBD
20 King Charles offers to conciliate with Parliament. DBD
21 The first of a series of executions of Roman Catholic priests takes place in London. TKW
24 The House of Commons will negotiate with the King on condition that he appoints Parliament's nominee as Lieutenant of the Tower. The House of Lords does not support this motion. DBD
  Parliament agrees to a Scottish proposal that 2,500 Scots already in arms should be sent to Ireland immediately, but refuses to grant forfeited Irish estates to the Scots as a reward. TSR
25 John Pym addresses the House of Lords urging them to support the Militia Bill.
28 The King rejects Parliament's attempts to gain control of the Tower and the Militia. DBD
31 Captain Hotham and the East Riding Trained Bands secure the port and arsenal at Hull for Parliament. DBD


1-3 The Earl of Ormond burns Newcastle and recapture Naas in County Kildare from the insurgents. Source: TCW
2 At Windsor, a deputation from the Commons and Lords attempts to persuade the King to accept the Militia Bill. DBD
3 The raising of Scots volunteer regiments authorised for service in Ulster. SA
8 Sir Phelim O'Neill proclaimed a traitor by the government in Dublin. A reward of £1,000 placed on his head. DNB
11 Sir John Byron relieved from command of the Tower of London. ODNB
12 Parliament submits a list of approved lords-lieutenant to the King, but he refuses to give up control of the Militia.
13 The King assents to the Bishops' Exclusion Act, which excludes bishops from the House of Lords. KCI
  (Mid February) The Royal Family at Dover where they are joined by Prince Rupert of Bohemia, who offers his services to the King. TKW
  (Mid February) The Irish Uprising spreads to County Kerry. TCW
20 Irish insurgents attempt to scale the walls of Drogheda but are driven back. CCW
21 Colonel Monck and Sir Richard Grenville arrive in Dublin from England with 1,500 foot and 400 horse. ODNB
23 Accompanied by Prince Rupert, Queen Henrietta Maria sets sail for the Netherlands to raise troops and supplies for the Royalist cause. TKW
26 Impeachment of Lord Digby by the House of Commons. ODNB
27 The King rejects Parliament's Militia Bill. TKW
  (End of February) The Irish Uprising spreads to County Cork. Viscount Muskerry joins the insurrection. TCW


1 The House of Commons makes a final attempt to persuade the King to accept the Militia Bill; upon his refusal, the Commons resolve to pass the bill as an ordinance, without the King's assent. Source: TKW
2 The King sets out for the north despite the protestations of Parliament. KCI
  Both Houses resolve that the Kingdom should be put "in a posture of defence" and appoints the Lords-Lieutenant as commanders of the militia. HCJ, HLJ
4 Sir Ralph Hopton imprisoned in the Tower after protesting at Parliament's criticism of the King. ODNB
5 The House of Lords issues a declaration proclaiming the power of Parliament to act for the good of the nation's defence independently of the King. The Militia Ordinance passed, giving Parliament control of the county Trained Bands. HCJ, HLJ, AOI
9 King Charles at Newmarket. Lords Holland and Pembroke reach him with the text of Parliament's declaration, which he vehemently rejects. DBD
10 The Earl of Ormond raises the siege of Drogheda and occupies the town with 3,000 foot and 500 horse. DBD
11 Queen Henrietta Maria arrives at The Hague and is cordially received by the Prince of Orange and her exiled sister-in-law Elizabeth of Bohemia. DBD
15 Parliament appoints the Earl of Warwick Admiral of the Fleet against the King's wishes. KCI
  Sir Ralph Hopton released from the Tower. DBD
  (Mid-March) Sir John Hotham arrives at Hull to take up his governorship. ODNB
19 The Adventurers Act pledges land in Ireland to those who invest in the army raised to suppress the Irish Uprising. TCW
  Henry Jones presents to the House of Commons the preliminary findings of the commission taking depositions from Protestant settlers dispossessed by the Irish insurgents. 1641D
  The King enters York where he sets up his court. The city becomes the King's base for gathering supporters and preparing for war, and remains the main Royalist stronghold in the north after his departure in July. KCI, TKW
  The town of Galway declares for the insurgents. TCW
21 The King issues a public declaration in answer to all Parliament's criticisms. DBD
22 The clergy of Armagh meet at Kells to discuss the Irish Uprising. A national synod at Kilkenny proposed for 10 May following. TCK


  (Early April) Lord Inchiquin captures and plunders Rochfordstown near Cork, headquarters of Viscount Muskerry. Source: ODNB
2 The Earl of Ormond advances from Dublin into County Kildare to relieve beleaguered British garrisons. CCW
3 Major-General Robert Monro lands at Carrickfergus with 2,500 Scottish Covenanter troops to combat the Irish insurgents. A further 7,500 Scottish troops cross to Ireland during the spring and summer. TCW
9 The Earl of Essex dismissed from the office of Lord Chamberlain after refusing to obey the King's command to join him at York. ODNB
  Parliament petitions the King to remove the arsenal at Hull to the Tower of London. DBD
10-11 Ormond sends Sir Charles Coote with a detachment of six troops of horse to relieve garrisons at Birr, Burris, and Knocknamease, which he achieves without the loss of a single man. DNB
15 Battle of Kilrush: the Earl of Ormond defeats insurgents commanded by his kinsman Viscount Mountgarrett. TCW, ODNB
23 Sir John Hotham refuses to admit the King and his entourage into Hull, site of England's main northern arsenal. TKW
24 The King proclaims Sir John Hotham a traitor. DBD
26 Parliament issues a declaration stating that Hotham cannot be declared a traitor without due process of law. HCJ
27 Major-General Monro advances into Armagh. TCW
  (End of April) The siege of Cork is lifted. Viscount Muskerry besieges Limerick Castle. Sir Charles Coote relieves Castlegeasal of Castlejordan, and captures Philipstown and Trim. TCW


  (Early May) Sir Phelim O'Neill forced to retreat from Armagh to Charlemont by Major-General Monro. Source: TCW
3 British troops recapture Newry from Irish insurgents; survivors massacred. CCW
5 Parliament appoints a committee at York to present the protestations of Parliament to the King and to report on the King's actions. Commissioners include Lord Howard of Estrick, Lord Fairfax, Sir Philip Stapleton and Sir Hugh Cholmley. DBD
7 Sir Charles Coote killed when insurgents attempt to recapture Trim in County Meath. TCW
  Lord Leven commissioned to command the Scottish army in Ulster. ODNB
9 A bill for the calling for an Assembly of Divines brought before the House of Commons. TCWA
10 A national synod of Irish Catholic clergy meets at Kilkenny and lays the foundations of the Confederation of Kilkenny. The Oath of Association framed and a manifesto towards a provisional government of Ireland issued. The synod remains in session until the end of May. TCK
  Mass parade of the London Trained Bands at Finsbury Fields. TKW
12 The King issues a warrant summoning the gentry of Yorkshire to attend him in arms. TKW
17 The King orders the Law Courts to move to York. Parliament declares the move illegal, but Lord-Keeper Littleton sends the Great Seal to York. TKW
20 The King forms a lifeguard to protect his person, composed of gentlemen of undisputed loyalty. Sir Thomas Byron appointed commander, with the Prince of Wales an honorary captain. DBD
23 Parliament feigns shock at the formation of the King's lifeguard and declares that he should rely upon the law and the affections of his subjects for protection rather than soldiers. DBD
25 The Scottish Privy Council ignores a petition by Royalist nobles and lairds that it should take the King's side against Parliament. TSR
27 Parliament declares that the King, "seduced by evil councillors", is intent on making war. Henceforward, no order is valid unless it comes from both Houses of Parliament. The King declares that any obedience given to Parliament's Militia Ordinance is treasonous. TKW, DBD
28 Parliament orders the Sheriffs of all counties adjacent to Yorkshire to prevent the mustering of troops under any warrant served by the King. DBD
  The Lords-Justices in Dublin forbid all communication with the Catholic Confederates.
30 A naval convoy transfers the arsenal at Hull to London. SOH
31 Covenanters at Edinburgh petition the Scottish Privy Council not to offer help to the King but to mediate between the King and Parliament. TSR


1 The bill for the calling of an Assembly of Divines passed by both Houses of Parliament, but the King withholds his assent. Source: TCWA
  The Nineteen Propositions approved by both Houses, requiring the King to give up control of the militia and the right to appoint ministers. TKW
2 The Nineteen Propositions sent to the King at York. DBD
3 The King meets the gentry of Yorkshire at Heworth Moor in a demonstration of loyalty arranged by Lord Savile. Sir Thomas Fairfax attempts to present a petition urging reconciliation with Parliament, but is ignored by the King and almost ridden down. TKW
4 Brawling at Leicester between supporters of the Royalist Lord Hastings and those of the Parliamentarian Lord Stamford over command of the militia. Lord Hastings driven from the town. ODNB
6 Lord Savile and the Earl of Lindsey declared public enemies of the state by Parliament for their support of the King. DBD, HCJ
8 The King obtains a declaration signed by the gentry present at Heworth Moor testifying to his peaceful intentions. DBD
9 Parliament passes an ordinance appealing for plate, money and horses at eight per cent interest. DBD
12 The King issues the Commissions of Array to all the Lords-Lieutenant throughout the kingdom. TKW, DBD
  Captured Irish insurgents Lord Maguire and Hugh MacMahon imprisoned in the Tower of London. ODNB
14 The King writes to the Mayor, Aldermen and Guilds of London declaring that whoever supports Parliament in the prosecution of war is a traitor. DBD
15 Lord Hastings again driven away by the citizens of Leicester when he tries to read the King's Commission of Array. ODNB
16 Battle of Glenmaquin: Sir Robert Stewart's Lagan Army defeats Sir Phelim O'Neill's insurgents to secure Donegal and north-west Ulster for the Protestants. ODNB
18 The King rejects the Nineteen Propositions. DBD
20 Magazines at Preston, Warrington and Liverpool in Lancashire secured for the Royalists by agents of Baron Strange. AECW
  The King sends the Earl of Newcastle to secure the port of Newcastle-on-Tyne and Tynemouth, and with them the Northumberland and Durham coalfield. AECW
  Lord Montgomery threatens the Irish stronghold of Charlemont but is unable to continue his attack owing to a shortage of ammunition. CCW
21 Viscount Muskerry and General Barry capture King John's Castle and the town of Limerick. CCW
  The Dublin Parliament excludes all members who refuse to take the Oath of Supremacy; forty-one Catholic members expelled. HGCW1
25 The Earl of Northampton reads the Commission of Array at Coventry but fails to raise any support. ODNB
26 Colonel James Clotworthy captures Fort Mountjoy on Lough Neagh from the Irish insurgents. DNB
30 The King revokes the commission of the Earl of Northumberland as Lord High Admiral and appoints Sir John Penington in his place. DBD


  (Early July) The King sends the Marquis of Hamilton to attempt to rally Royalist support in Scotland. Source: TSR
1 Parliament appoints the Earl of Warwick commander of the fleet. DBD, AOI
2 The fleet declares for Parliament and accepts the Earl of Warwick as its admiral. TKW
3 The King sets up his court at Beverley in the vicinity of Hull. The Royalist army of 3,000 foot and 1,000 horse quartered around the village of Anlaby. SOH
5 Parliament appoints the Committee of Safety consisting of five peers: Earls of Essex, Northumberland, Pembroke and Holland, Viscount Saye-and-Sele, and ten MPs headed by Pym, Hampden and Holles. HCJ
6 The defenders of Hull open the sluices and break the banks of the River Humber, flooding the land for two miles around the town. SOH
8 Owen Roe O'Neill arrives in County Donegal to fight for the Confederates. O'Neill's rival Thomas Preston arrives in Wexford around the same time. ODNB
10 A Royalist raiding party approaches Hull to burn down buildings outside the town walls, but is driven away by gunfire from the defenders. The first military action of the English Civil War. SOH
11 The King sends the Marquis of Hertford into Somerset to rally support. AECW
  Several Oxford colleges donate money and plate to the King's cause. HGCW1
12 Parliament resolves to raise an army "for the safety of the King's person, the defence of both Houses of Parliament, and of those who have obeyed their orders and commands; and for the preservation of the true religion, the laws, liberties and peace of the kingdom". The Earl of Essex commissioned Captain-General of Parliament's army. HCJ, AOI
  At The Hague, the Queen gives Prince Rupert his commission as General of Horse in the King's army. DBD
  Street fighting in Manchester between Royalist and Parliamentarian supporters when Baron Strange (later the Earl of Derby) attempts to prevent the execution of the Militia Ordinance; Richard Perceval, a linen weaver, becomes the first fatal casualty of the English Civil War. TKW, TCG
14 The Earl of Bedford appointed Lord-General of Horse in Parliament's army. DNB, HCJ
16 A parliamentary delegation headed by the Earl of Holland presents Parliament's terms for peace to the King at Beverley, but is met with a cold reception. ODNB
19 Parliament commissions Alexander Popham to raise troops in Somerset. AECW
27 Sir John Meldrum with 1,500 troops arrives by sea to direct the defence of Hull. SOH, AECW
30 A major sally by the defenders of Hull drives away the besieging Royalist force. The King abandons the siege. SOH
  Supporters of the Earl of Northampton gather at Kineton Heath in Warwickshire to prevent Parliamentarian artillery being moved from Banbury to Warwick Castle. Lord Brooke agrees to leave the guns at Banbury. AECW


1 The Earl of Lindsey appointed Lieutenant-General of the King's army. Source: ODNB
  Street brawl at Shepton Mallet in Somerset when Colonel Strode tries to prevent Sir Ralph Hopton from reading the King's Commission of Array. BC
  Parliamentary ordinance requires that customs duties be paid to Parliament rather than to the King. AOI
2 Colonel George Goring, Governor of Portsmouth, declares for the King. AECW
  The Marquis of Hertford officially commissioned Lieutenant-General of the six western counties of England and of south Wales. ODNB
4 Action at Marshall's Elm in Somerset. Eighty Royalist cavalry and dragoons under Sir John Stawell and Lt. Col. Henry Lunsford rout six hundred Parliamentarian infantry under John Pyne MP marching to join Colonel Strode at Shepton Mallet. BC
  The Earl of Leven arrives in Ulster to command the Covenanter army against the Irish rebels. ODNB
5 The King appoints the Earl of Cumberland Lord-Lieutenant of Yorkshire. DBD
  Sir Alexander Popham and Sir John Horner approach Wells with a large force of Parliamentarian recruits. The Marquis of Hertford withdraws to Sherborne in Dorset. BC
7 The Earl of Portland, governor of the Isle of Wight, removed from office and replaced by the Parliamentarian Earl of Pembroke. DBD
8 The Earl of Warwick arrives with five warships to blockade Portsmouth. SOP
  The Royalist Earl of Northampton seizes the magazine and artillery stored at Banbury in Oxfordshire and marches to besiege Warwick Castle. DNB
10 Sir William Waller arrives before Portsmouth to take command of an assault force from the Trained Bands of Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey. SGCW
  Oliver Cromwell and Valentine Walton defeat an attempt by Cromwell's cousin Henry to remove the plate of the Cambridge colleges. ODNB
12 Sir Richard Gurney, the Royalist Mayor of London, deprived of office and detained in the Tower. DBD
  Parliamentarian troops capture Portsbridge near Portsmouth. The Royalists hemmed in within the city walls. SGCW
13 Accompanied by his kinsman Sir Phelim O'Neill, Owen Roe O'Neill arrives at the stronghold of Charlemont in County Armagh. ODNB
  Around 300 students at Oxford University take up arms for the King. HGCW1
14 Parliament sends Colonel Edwin Sandys to Sevenoaks in Kent to arrest the Royalist Sir John Sackville. DBD
15 Cromwell seizes the magazine at Cambridge. DBD
  Captain Bushell of the Earl of Warwick's fleet captures the Henrietta Maria, the only Royalist ship in Portsmouth harbour. CWIH
  (Mid-August) The King's nephews Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice land at Tynemouth and set out to join the King. MPRC1
16 Parliament appoints the Puritan merchant Isaac Penington Lord Mayor of London. HGCW1
17 Sir Bevil Grenville musters the Cornish cavaliers on Bodmin racecourse. TGCW
18 Sir William Waller sets up gun platforms at Gosport to command Portsmouth harbour and threatens to bombard the town. SGCW
21 Dover Castle surprised and taken by the Parliamentarians. AECW
  Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice join the King at Leicester Abbey. MPRC1
22 The King raises the Royal Standard at Nottingham Castle. HGCW1
  Anti-Royalist mob at Colchester sacks the houses of Sir John Lucas and Lady Rivers. HGCW1
  Lord Brooke defeats the Earl of Northampton's forces at Southam near Warwick to lift the siege of Warwick Castle and secure Parliamentarian control of Warwickshire. ODNB
23 Colonel Sandys arrests Lord Teynham at Rochester in Kent when he attempts to read the King's Commission of Array. DBD
  Lord Chandos attempts to read the Commission of Array in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, but an angry crowd drives him from the town and smashes his coach to pieces. BG
24 Rochester Cathedral defiled by Sandys' troops. DBD
  Under the leadership of William Cawley, the town of Chichester in Sussex declares for Parliament. SCWI
25 The King sends the Earl of Southampton to the House of Lords and Sir John Culpeper to the Commons in the hope of negotiating a treaty with Parliament. HGCW1
  Battle of Liscarrol in County Cork: Lord Inchiquin defeats insurgents under Garret Barry to secure Cork for the Protestants. (The date of this battle varies widely according to different sources; most give August or September) TCW
  The Earl of Bedford arrives at Wells to take command of Parliamentarian forces in Somerset, Devon and Dorset. BC
27 Parliament refuses to negotiate with the King. HGCW1
  Sir William Waller negotiates with Colonel Goring for the surrender of Portsmouth, but Goring rejects the terms offered. SGCW
28 Sir John Byron arrives at Oxford to organise a convoy to transport the silver plate pledged by the colleges for the King's cause. ATKA
29 Owen Roe O'Neill acknowledged Lord-General of Irish Confederate forces at the Ulster provincial assembly at Clones. ODNB
30 King Charles raises the Earl of Ormond to the dignity of a Marquis. HGCW1


1 Royalist students and soldiers at Oxford are prevented from destroying Osney bridge by the town Trained Band. Source: DBD
2 The Earl of Bedford besieges the Royalist Marquis of Hertford at Sherborne Castle in Dorset. DBD
  Parliamentary ordinance closes theatres for the duration of the war (the ban continues until 1660). AOI
  Parliamentarian artillery at Gosport opens fire on Portsmouth. SGCW
3 Colonel Richard Norton leads the storming and capture of Southsea Castle near Portsmouth. SGCW, CWIH
4 Colonel Goring holds a council of war, which decides to negotiate with Waller for the surrender of Portsmouth. SGCW
5 Viscount Falkland sent to Westminster with a second message from the King proposing a treaty, but this is rejected. Parliament issues a declaration claiming the right to confiscate the property of Royalist supporters in order to meet the expenses of the war. HGCW1
6 Prince Rupert demands £2,000 from the citizens of Leicester for immunity from plunder. They pay £500 but complain to the King, who disavows Rupert's action (though he keeps the money). HGCW1
  The Earl of Bedford abandons the siege of Sherborne and withdraws to Yeovil. BC
7 Colonel Goring surrenders Portsmouth to Waller. SGCW
  Action at Babylon Hill, near Yeovil in Somerset. BC
  Parliament agrees to the abolition of episcopacy and reform of the church, partly in the interests of gaining support from Scotland. HGCW1
9 The Earl of Essex leaves London, intending to march upon the King at Nottingham. TKW
10 The Earl of Essex at Northampton with 20,000 men. Rendezvous with contingents from the Midlands and East Anglia. HGCW1
  Sir John Byron leaves Oxford making for Worcester, with a convoy of college silver donated by the University for the King's cause. HGCW1
13 The King marches from Nottingham towards Chester, disbanding the hostile Nottingham Trained Bands and taking their weapons. He hopes to recruit in Wales and the Marches. HGCW1
14 Parliamentarian force under Lord Saye-and-Sele occupies Oxford. HGCW1
  The Earl of Essex reviews his army at Northampton and is obliged to write to Parliament requesting money to pay his unruly troops. HGCW1
15 Parliamentarian soldiers plunder Oxford colleges. DBD
16 Parliament orders the impeachment of Lord Strange for high treason. ODNB
17 Parliament demands contributions from the City of London to pay Essex's army. HGCW1
19 The Earl of Essex leaves Northampton, marching towards Worcester via Warwick and Stratford. HGCW1
  King Charles issues a manifesto, promising to defend the established church and to govern according to the laws of the land. HGCW1
  Lord Fairfax proclaimed leader of the Yorkshire Parliamentarians at Leeds. ODNB
20 The King's army reaches Shrewsbury and is joined by Patrick Ruthven, the Earl of Forth. HGCW1, DBD
  The Marquis of Hertford abandons Sherborne Castle, intending to raise support for the King in South Wales. BC
  Sir John Byron arrives at Worcester with the Oxford treasure convoy. ATKA
22 Colonel John Brown approaches Worcester with Essex's advance guard in pursuit of Byron's convoy. ATKA
23 Prince Rupert joins Sir John Byron at Worcester. Byron marches to join the King with the treasure convoy while Rupert covers his departure. TGCW
  Action at Powick Bridge near Worcester: Prince Rupert routs Essex's advance guard under Colonel John Brown. Although a minor action, it establishes Rupert's reputation as a dashing cavalry commander. TGCW
  The King's army occupies Chester. HGCW1
24 The Earl of Essex's army occupies Worcester. The mayor is arrested, the cathedral sacked. HGCW1
  The Royalist Earl of Derby besieges Manchester. AECW
25 The Marquis of Hertford sails from Minehead for south Wales with his infantry and artillery. Hertford sends Sir Ralph Hopton to Cornwall with 160 horse. BC
27 Lord Brooke occupies Oxford with 3,000 troops. DBD
  King Charles addresses the gentry of North Wales at Wrexham in Denbighshire. NUS
28 The King refuses to a receive a petition from the Earl of Essex. HGCW1
29 A treaty of neutrality concluded between Royalists and Parliamentarians in Yorkshire which is later condemned by Parliament. HGCW1
30 Hopton joins forces with Sir Bevil Grenville at Stowe in Cornwall. DBD


2 The Earl of Derby abandons the siege of Manchester. Source: HGCW1
4 Captain Hotham captures Cawood Castle, ten miles south of York, for Parliament. HGCW1
  Sir Ralph Hopton reviews the Cornish posse comitatus at Moilesbarrow Down, comprising 3,000 well-armed troops and a number of clubmen. TGCW
5 London lawyer John Fountain imprisoned for refusing to pay a contribution to Parliament's war fund. HGCW1
  General Thomas Preston routs Colonel Monck at Timahoe, Queen's County. TCW
7 Troops from the Earl of Essex's army advance to Bridgnorth in Shropshire to guard against an expected attack by the King's army down the Severn valley but withdraw because the position is too exposed. ATKA
10 Prince Rupert marches from Shrewsbury towards Wolverhampton to cover the King's intention of marching straight for London. ATKA
11 Essex's advance guard established around Bewdley and Kidderminster. ATKA
12 The King marches south-east from Shrewsbury, towards London. HGCW1
13 Sir Ralph Hopton proclaims the King's commission at Launceston, Cornwall, gaining the support of the townspeople against the Parliamentary committee which attempted to indict him for disturbing the peace. HGCW1
14 Prince Rupert at Stourbridge. The Parliamentarian advance guard withdraws from the region of Kidderminster and Bewdley, convinced that the King's army will advance down the Severn valley. ATKA
15 The House of Lords assents to a bill authorising the imprisonment of anyone who refuses to contribute money to Parliament's war-effort. Revenues of churchmen and known Royalists to be sequestered for the use of Parliament. HLJ
  The King reaches Wolverhampton and is joined by the last of the Welsh levies. DBD
16 Captains of the London Trained Bands resolve to live and die for the cause of Parliament. HGCW1
17 The King's army reaches Birmingham. DBD
19 Realising at last that the King has marched into the Midlands towards London, the Earl of Essex leaves Worcester. ATKA
  The King's army at Kenilworth. ATKA
  The House of Lords passes a bill for the calling of an Assembly of Divines to discuss reform of the Church of England. HLJ
22 The King's army marches from Southam to Edgcote. TGCW
  The Earl of Essex's army arrives at Kineton. TGCW
23 The battle of Edgehill. The armies of the King and the Earl of Essex meet in the first major battle of the English Civil War. Both sides claim victory. HGCW1
  Local militia and irregulars beat off a Royalist attack on Bradford, Yorkshire. Parliamentarians occupy Leeds. SOB
24 The first Confederate General Assembly meets at Kilkenny in Leinster to represent the interests of Roman Catholics in Ireland (meets annually until 1648). TCK
25 The Earl of Essex withdraws to Warwick, leaving the road to London open for the Royalist army. Prince Rupert leads a successful attack on the Parliamentarian baggage train. HGCW1, ATKA
27 The King's army occupies Banbury. HGCW1
28 Citizens mobilise to defend London amidst rumours of the Royalist advance. HGCW1
  Prince Rupert plunders Broughton Castle, the seat of Lord Saye and Sele. Prince Rupert and the Earl of Forth urge the King to advance on London. DBD
29 The King enters Oxford in triumph. HGCW1
  The House of Lords proposes to re-open peace negotiations with the King. HGCW1


  (Early November) Parliament sends its first direct request for military help to the Scottish Privy Council. John Pickering later sent as Parliament's agent to negotiate secretly with leading Covenanters. Source: TSR
2 The House of Commons consents to the re-opening of peace negotiations with the King, on the understanding that there should be no slackening in the preparations for the defence of London. HGCW1
3 The King leaves Oxford to continue his advance on London. HGCW1
  Skirmish at Aylesbury between units of Essex's army and the Royalist army. ATKA
4 The King enters Reading. He receives Sir Peter Killigrew sent by Parliament to request safe conduct for Parliamentarian commissioners empowered to negotiate a treaty. HGCW1
  The Earl of Essex reaches Woburn on his way back to London. DBD
5 Essex reaches St Albans. DBD
  The Confederate Assembly issues a mandate to all clergyman to administer the Oath of Association throughout Ireland. TCK
6 Playing for time, the King refuses to accept Sir John Evelyn as a Commissioner. HGCW1
7 The Earl of Essex arrives back in London to a hero's welcome. DBD
  Prince Rupert summons Windsor Castle to surrender, but the Parliamentarian commander Colonel Venn refuses. DBD
10 Parliamentarian commissioners (excluding Evelyn) attempt to treat with the King at Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire. HGCW1
11 The King proposes that Windsor Castle be surrendered to him as a place in which peace negotiations might be carried on. Meanwhile, Prince Rupert is ordered to attack the Parliamentarian garrison at Brentford. HGCW1
12 The Royalist army musters on Hounslow Heath. Prince Rupert and the Earl of Forth storm Brentford and sack the town. John Lilburne taken prisoner. HGCW1
13 The Earl of Essex's army, reinforced by the London Trained Bands, faces the Royalist army at Turnham Green. The King decides to withdraw. HGCW1
14 The King withdraws to Hampton Court, then to Oatlands. DBD
  The Confederate Assembly elects a 24-member Supreme Council. TCK
15 Sir John Morley and other Royalist gentry seize Chichester in Sussex for the King. SCWI
18 Sir Ralph Hopton besieges Exeter. DBD
19 The King withdraws to Reading. HGCW1
21 The mayor of Exeter leads a surprise dawn attack on the Royalist besiegers. Unable to sustain the siege, Hopton orders a withdrawal to Tavistock. DBD
  Parliament votes by a narrow majority to continue negotiations with the King. RKP
25 The House of Commons passes an ordinance for an assessment to be levied in London. RKP
26 Parliament establishes the Committee for the Advance of Money. HCJ
  The House of Lords passes the ordinance for the London assessment. RKP
  Sir William Waller storms and captures Farnham Castle in Surrey from Sir John Denham. RG
29 The King withdraws to Oxford, leaving Sir Arthur Aston to command the garrison at Reading. DBD


  (Early December) Sir Ralph Hopton secures the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound. Source: TGCW
  (First week of December) The Royalist high sheriff of Sussex, Sir Edward Ford, advances from Chichester towards Lewes, but his force is intercepted by local Parliamentarians at Haywards Heath and defeated. SCWI
1 The Earl of Newcastle defeats Yorkshire Parliamentarians under Captain Hotham at Pierce Bridge and crosses the River Tees. HGCW1
3 The Earl of Newcastle enters York, securing it for the King. DBD
5 Henry Wilmot storms and captures Marlborough for the King, completing the lines of defence around Oxford. HGCW1
  The citizens of Oxford compelled to begin digging the city's fortifications. DBD
6 The Earl of Newcastle defeats Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax at Tadcaster, driving a wedge into the Parliamentarian forces in Yorkshire. Newcastle then secures Pontefract. HGCW1
  Captain John Lilburne, along with two other officers captured at Brentford, is indicted for treason at Oxford. Parliament threatens to execute Royalist prisoners in reprisal if he is condemned. HGCW1
  Sir Ralph Hopton attempts to call out the posse comitatus of Devon at Modbury. Colonel Ruthven leads 500 Parliamentarian cavalry from Plymouth in a surprise attack to disperse the gathering. TGCW
7 Lord Fairfax retreats to Selby. HGCW1
8 Parliament passes an ordinance extending its powers of taxation to cover the whole of England. HGCW1
8-13 Pro-Royalist demonstrators in London demand that peace negotiations be resumed. HGCW1
9 The Royalists settle on their winter quarters around Oxford. DBD
  Parliamentarian prisoners of war brought to Oxford and set to work on building fortifications. DBD
13 Lord Grandison surrenders Winchester to Sir William Waller. Parliamentarian soldiers sack the town. HGCW1, ODNB
  The Earl of Stamford appointed commander of Parliament's forces in Wales and the border counties. ODNB
14 The Earl of Stamford abandons his headquarters in the predominantly Royalist town of Hereford and withdraws to Bristol. ODNB
  Waller's soldiers break down the doors of Winchester Cathedral, which they pillage and desecrate. CWIH
  The King issues a proclamation to establish the Royal Mint at Oxford. DBD
15 Parliament passes an ordinance for the formation of the Midland Association, combining the military and administrative resources of the counties of Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Rutland, Northampton, Buckingham, Bedford and Huntingdon. Lord Grey of Groby appointed commander of the Midland Association. HGCW1
16 Parliament orders the arrest of prominent Catholics and the sequestration of their estates. HGCW1
17 Officers of the English army in Ireland issue a remonstrance complaining of lack of pay and other grievances. HGCW1
  Waller advances to Havant in Hampshire, en route to Chichester. CWIH
18 A detachment from the Earl of Newcastle's army under Sir John Henderson occupies the stronghold of Newark in Nottinghamshire, ensuring that Royalist lines of communication between Oxford and the north are kept open. DBD
  Parliamentarian clubmen and irregulars hold off a Royalist attack on Bradford by Sir William Savile. SOB
19 Peace petitions from the City of London presented to the House of Lords. HGCW1
20 Ordinance for the formation of the Eastern Association, comprising the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge and Hertford. (The Earl of Manchester appointed commander of the Eastern Association in August 1643.) HGCW1
  The House of Lords sends down propositions to be submitted to the King in a new round of negotiations. HGCW1
  The Scottish Privy Council considers Parliament's request for military help and also a counter-declaration by the King. Persuaded by Hamilton, Lanark and other Royalists, the Council votes to publish the King's letter in Scotland. TSR
21 Sir William Waller arrives before Chichester in Sussex. Around the same time, a detachment is sent to Arundel Castle, which is weakly defended and easily captured. SCWI
22 Prince Rupert sets out from Oxford to counter a Parliamentarian attack on Banbury. DBD
23 Sir Thomas Fairfax reinforces Bradford with 300 infantry and three troops of horse. SOB
  Parliamentarians withdraw from the siege of Banbury as Prince Rupert approaches. DBD
  Colonel John Lambert besieges Skipton Castle in Yorkshire. DBD
24 Royalist garrison at Leigh in Lancashire driven out by Parliamentarians from Manchester. AECW
  Sir Gilbert Houghton's attack on the Parliamentarian town of Blackburn in Lancashire repulsed. AECW
26 The House of Commons agrees with the Lords' proposals that new negotiations with the King should be opened. HGCW1
27 Surrender of Chichester to Sir William Waller (some accounts give 5 January 1643 as the date of surrender). HGCW1
28 Encouraged by Sir Arthur Hesilrige, Waller's soldiers desecrate Chichester Cathedral. SCWI
30 Sir Ralph Hopton summons Exeter but is unable to sustain a siege and withdraws into Cornwall. DBD
  General Thomas Preston and the army of Leinster capture Burros Castle in County Laois. TCK
31 Ordinance for the formation of the Association of Warwickshire and Staffordshire under the command of Lord Brooke. HGCW1


1641D: 1641 Depositions website,

AECW: Atlas of the English Civil War, P.R. Newman (London 1985)

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

ATKA: All the King's Armies, Stuart Reid (Staplehurst 1998)

BC: Bellum Civile: Hopton's narrative of his campaign in the West, C.E.H. Chadwyck-Healey (ed), (Somerset Record Society 1902)

BG: Bibliotheca Gloucestrensis, John Washbourn (ed) (Gloucester 1825)

CCW: Confederate Catholics at War 1641-49, Pádraig Lenihan (Cork 2001)

CWIH: The Civil War in Hampshire 1642-45, Rev. G. N. Godwin (Southampton 1904)

DBD: The English Civil War Day By Day, Wilfrid Emberton (Stroud 1995)

DNB: Dictionary of National Biography

HGCW1: History of the Great Civil War vol. i, S.R. Gardiner (London 1888)

HCJ: House of Commons Journal

HLJ: House of Lords Journal

KCI: King Charles I, Pauline Gregg (Berkeley 1984)

MPRC1: Memoirs of Prince Rupert and the Cavaliers vol i, Eliot Warburton (London 1849)

NUS: A Nation Under Siege, the civil war in Wales 1642-48, Peter Gaunt (HMSO 1991)

ODNB: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

RG: Roundhead General, a military biography of Sir William Waller, John Adair (London 1969)

RKP: The Reign of King Pym, J.H. Hexter (Harvard 1941)

SA: Scots Armies of the English Civil Wars, Stuart Reid (Osprey 1999)

SCWI: Sussex in the Great Civil War and the Interregnum, Charles Thomas-Stanford (London 1910)

SGCW: Sieges of the Great Civil War, P. Young and W. Emberton (London 1978)

SOB: Sieges of Bradford, David W. Fell,

SOP: The Siege of Portsmouth

SOH: Sieges of Hull, Richard Hayton,

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

TCWA: The Calling of the Westminster Assembly, John Murray (Presbyterian Guardian 1942)

TGCW: The Great Civil War, A.H. Burne and P. Young (London 1958)

TCK: The Confederation of Kilkenny C.P. Meehan (Dublin 1846)

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

TSR: The Scottish Revolution 1637-44, David Stevenson (Newton Abbott 1973)

TKW: The King's War 1641-47, C.V. Wedgwood (London 1958)

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