The Lord Protector: Religion and Politics in the Life of Oliver Cromwell

By Robert S. Paul | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
THE SECOND CIVIL WAR (May 1648-December 1648)

I

THE royalists had timed the new war well. The Scots were ready to invade, and England itself was seething with resentment against the government and its army. The Army appeared to be divided: many of those who were about to be disbanded were royalist in sympathy, and the Leveller elements were undermining the authority of the higher officers. The rising was centred in three main areas. In the far north, Sir Marmaduke Langdale brought out troops to clear the way for a Scottish invasion. Secondly, there was a general uprising in Wales, led by two disaffected officers of the Parliamentary army, Colonel Poyer and Colonel Laugharne. Thirdly, a revolt broke out in the southeastern counties--previously regarded as a Parliamentary stronghold. Fairfax decided to deal with this immediate threat to the capital himself, but Cromwell, with the main force, was detailed to tackle the danger in Wales.1 He was preceded by Colonel Horton, who met the mutineers on May 8 at St. Fagan's and defeated them.

This was heartening to the government, but it by no means crushed the rebellion even in the Principality, and the seizure of Berwick and Carlisle by Langdale and Sir Philip Musgrave opened the way to the Scots. On May 3 a letter was delivered from the Scots to Parliament demanding the reimposition of the Covenant and the Presbyterian discipline, together with the disbandment of Fairfax's army and the readmittance of the excluded Presbyterian members. On May 4, two thousand petitioners from the county of Essex agitated that the King be restored and that the Army be disbanded,2 and this was followed by a petition from "divers hundreds" from the county of Surrey, which developed

____________________
1
Lambert, himself a Yorkshireman, was sent to the north, and Sir Hardress Waller was sent to keep the south-western counties from rising.
2
Whitelocke, 304.

-164-

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