The Commonwealth: 1648-1660

The Commonwealth: 1648-1660

In January 1649, King Charles I was charged with "waging war on Parliament." It was claimed that he was responsible for "all the murders, burnings, damages and mischiefs to the nation" in the English Civil War. The jury included members of Parliament, army officers and large landowners. Some of the 135 people chosen as jurors did not turn up for the trial. For example. General Thomas Fairfax, the leader of the Parliamentary Army, did not appear. When his name was called, a masked lady believed to be his wife, shouted out, "He has more wit than to be here." (1)

This was the first time in English history that a king had been put on trial. Charles believed that he was God's representative on earth and therefore no court of law had any right to pass judgement on him. Charles therefore refused to defend himself against the charges put forward by Parliament. Charles pointed out that on 6th December 1648, the army had expelled several members of' Parliament. Therefore, Charles argued, Parliament had no legal authority to arrange his trial. The arguments about the courts legal authority to try Charles went on for several days. Eventually, on 27th January, Charles was given his last opportunity to defend himself against the charges. When he refused he was sentenced to death. His death warrant was signed by the fifty-nine jurors who were in attendance. (2)

On the 30th January, 1649, Charles was taken to a scaffold built outside Whitehall Palace. Charles wore two shirts as he was worried that if he shivered in the cold people would think he was afraid of dying. He told his servant "were I to shake through cold, my enemies would attribute it to fear." Troopers on horseback kept the crowds some distance from the scaffold, and it is unlikely that many people heard the speech that he made just before his head was cut off with an axe. The executioner then took up the head and announced, in traditional fashion, "Behold the head of a traitor!" At that moment, according to an eyewitness, "there was such a groan by the thousands then present, as I never heard before and desire I may never hear again." (3)

The House of Commons now passed a series of new laws. They abolished the monarchy, on the grounds that it was "unnecessary, burdensome and dangerous to the liberty, safety and public interest of the people" and the House of Lords as "it is useless and dangerous to the people of England". Lands owned by the royal family and the church were sold and the money was used to pay the parliamentary soldiers. People were no longer fined for not attending their local church. However, everyone was still expected to attend some form of religious worship on Sundays. The country was now declared to be a "Commonwealth and Free State" under the rule of Parliament, and the government was entrusted to a Council of State, under the provisional chairmanship of Oliver Cromwell. (4)

The Levellers wanted Parliament to pass reforms that would increase universal suffrage. Soldiers also continued to protest against the government. The most serious rebellion took place in London. Troops commanded by Colonel Edward Whalley were ordered from the capital to Essex. A group of soldiers led by Robert Lockyer, refused to go and barricaded themselves in The Bull Inn near Bishopsgate, a radical meeting place. A large number of troops were sent to the scene and the men were forced to surrender. The commander-in-chief, General Thomas Fairfax, ordered Lockyer to be executed.

Lockyer's funeral on Sunday 29th April, 1649, proved to be a dramatic reminder of the strength of the Leveller organization in London. "Starting from Smithfield in the afternoon, the procession wound slowly through the heart of the City, and then back to Moorfields for the interment in New Churchyard. Led by six trumpeters, about 4000 people reportedly accompanied the corpse. Many wore ribbons - black for mourning and sea-green to publicize their Leveller allegiance. A company of women brought up the rear, testimony to the active female involvement in the Leveller movement. If the reports can be believed there were more mourners for Trooper Lockyer than there had been for the martyred Colonel Thomas Rainsborough the previous autumn." (5)

John Lilburne continued to campaign against the rule of Oliver Cromwell. According to a Royalist newspaper at the time: "He (Cromwell) and the Levellers can as soon combine as fire and water... The Levellers aim being at pure democracy.... and the design of Cromwell and his grandees for an oligarchy in the hands of himself." (6) Lilburne argued that Cromwell's government was mounting a propaganda campaign against the Levellers and to prevent them from replying their writings were censored: "To prevent the opportunity to lay open their treacheries and hypocrisies... the stop the press... They blast us with all the scandals and false reports their wit or malice could invent against us... By these arts are they now fastened in their powers." (7)

David Petegorsky, the author of Left-Wing Democracy in the English Civil War (1940) has pointed out: "The Levellers clearly saw, that equality must replace privilege as the dominant theme of social relationships; for a State that is divided into rich and poor, or a system that excludes certain classes from privileges it confers on others, violates that equality to which every individual has a natural claim." (8)

In May 1649 another Leveller-inspired mutiny broke out at Salisbury. Led by Captain William Thompson, they were defeated by a large army at Burford led by Major Thomas Harrison. Thompson escaped only to be killed a few days later near the Diggers community at Wellingborough. After being imprisoned in Burford Church with the other mutineers, three other leaders, "Private Church, Corporal Perkins and Cornett Thompson", were executed by Cromwell's forces in the churchyard. (9) John Lilburne responded by describing Harrison as a "hypocrite" for his initial encouragement of the Levellers. (10)

Oliver Cromwell was asked by Parliament to take control of Ireland. The country had caused serious problems for English generals in the past so Cromwell was careful to make painstaking preparations before he left. Cromwell ensured that the wage arrears of his army were paid, and that he was guaranteed sufficient financial provision by parliament. On 15th August 1649, Cromwell arrived in Ireland and took control of an army of 12,000 men. (11) Cromwell made a speech to the Irish people the following day: "God has brought us here in safety... We are here to carry on the great work against the barbarous and blood-thirsty Irish... to propagate the Gospel of Christ and the establishment of truth... and to restore this nation to its former happiness and tranquillity." (12)

Cromwell, like nearly all Puritans "had been inflamed against the Irish Catholics by the true and false allegations of the atrocities which they had committed against English Protestants settlers during the Irish Catholic rebellion of 1641." (13) He wrote at the time that "all the world knows their barbarism". Even the philosopher, Francis Bacon, and the poet John Milton, who "believed passionately in liberty and human dignity", shared the view that "the Irish were culturally so inferior that their subordination was natural and necessary." (14)

Cromwell's first action on reaching Ireland was to forbid any plunder or pillage - an order that could not have been enforced with an unpaid army. Two men were hanged for plundering to convince the soldiers he was serious about this order. To control Dublin's northern approaches Cromwell needed to take the port of Drogheda. Once in his hands he could feel confident of controlling the whole of the northern route from Dublin to Londonderry. On 3rd September, around 12,000 men and supporting vessels had arrived outside the town. Surrounding the whole town was a massive wall, 22 feet high and 6 feet thick.

Sir Arthur Aston, who had been fighting for the royalists during the English Civil War, was the governor of Drogheda. On 10th September, Cromwell advised Aston to surrender. "I have brought the army belonging to the Parliament of England to this place, to reduce it to obedience... if you surrender you will avoid the loss of blood... If you refuse... you will have no cause to blame me." (15)

Cromwell had four times as many men as Aston and was better supplied with weapons, stores and equipment. Cromwell's proposal was rejected and the garrison opened fire with what weapons they had. Cromwell's reply was to attack the city wall and by nightfall two breaches had been made. The following day Cromwell led his soldiers into Drogheda.

Aston and some 300 soldiers climbed Mill Mount. Cromwell's troops surrounded the men and it was usually the custom to allow them to surrender. However, Cromwell gave the order to kill them all. Aston's head was beaten in with his own wooden leg. Cromwell instructed his men to kill all the soldiers in the town. About eighty men had taken refuge in St Peter's Church. It was set on fire and all the men were killed. All the priests that were captured were also slaughtered. (16)

Cromwell sent a letter to William Lenthall, the Speaker of the House of Commons: "I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood; and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are the satisfactory grounds for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret." (17)

The response from Parliament was that they were unwilling to pay for a long war. He was told to take control of the large estates owned by Catholics and to sell or rent it to Protestants. This money was to be used to pay his soldiers. Cromwell decided that the best way to bring a quick end to the war was to carry out another massacre. After an eight days' siege at Wexford, around 1,800 troops, priests and civilians were butchered. (18)

Hugh Peter, a chaplain to the Parliamentary army and a passionate anti-Catholic, was with Cromwell in Ireland. He reported that the town was now available for English Protestant colonists to settle. "It is a fine spot for some godly congregation, where house and land wait for inhabitants and occupiers." (19)

During the next few years of bloodshed it is estimated that about a third of the population was either killed or died of starvation. The majority of Roman Catholics who owned land had it taken away from them and were removed to the barren province of Connacht. Catholic boys and girls were shipped to Barbados and sold to the planters as slaves. The land taken from the Catholics by Cromwell was given to the Protestant soldiers who had taken part in the campaign. Before the rebellion in 1641, Catholics owned 59% of the land in Ireland. By the time Cromwell left in 1650 the proportion had shrunk to 22%. (20)

On 9th March, 1649, the House of Lords was abolished. (21) Although the House of Commons continued to meet, it was Cromwell and his followers who controlled England. The Levellers continued to campaign for an increase in the number of people who could vote. John Lilburne, Richard Overton, William Walwyn and Thomas Prince, all served terms of imprisonment. On 20th September, 1649, Parliament passed a law introducing government censorship. It now required a licence for the publication of any book, pamphlet, treatise or sheets of news. As Pauline Gregg has pointed out that the situation was little different "from the censorship they had been fighting in the King's time". (22)

On 24th October, 1649, Lilburne was charged with high treason. The trial began the following day. The prosecution read out extracts from Lilburne's pamphlets but the jury was not convinced and he was found not guilty. There were great celebrations outside the court and his acquittal was marked with bonfires. A medal was struck in his honour, inscribed with the words: "John Lilburne saved by the power of the Lord and the integrity of the jury who are judge of law as well of fact". On 8th November, all four men were released. (23)

Cromwell was also having problems with Gerrard Winstanley, the leader of the group that became known as the Diggers. Winstanley began arguing that all land belonged to the community rather than to separate individuals. In January, 1649, he published the The New Law of Righteousness. In the pamphlet he wrote: "In the beginning of time God made the earth. Not one word was spoken at the beginning that one branch of mankind should rule over another, but selfish imaginations did set up one man to teach and rule over another." (24)

Winstanley claimed that the scriptures threatened "misery to rich men" and that they "shall be turned out of all, and their riches given to a people that will bring forth better fruit, and such as they have oppressed shall inherit the land." He did not only blame the wealthy for this situation. As John Gurney has pointed out, Winstanley argued: "The poor should not just be seen as an object of pity, for the part they played in upholding the curse had also to be addressed. Private property, and the poverty, inequality and exploitation attendant upon it, was, like the corruption of religion, kept in being not only by the rich but also by those who worked for them." (25)

Winstanley claimed that God would punish the poor if they did not take action: "Therefore you dust of the earth, that are trod under foot, you poor people, that makes both scholars and rich men, your oppressors by your labours... If you labour the earth, and work for others that live at ease, and follows the ways of the flesh by your labours, eating the bread which you get by the sweat of your brows, not their own. Know this, that the hand of the Lord shall break out upon such hireling labourer, and you shall perish with the covetous rich man." (26)

On Sunday 1st April, 1649, Winstanley, William Everard, and a small group of about 30 or 40 men and women started digging and sowing vegetables on the wasteland of St George's Hill in the parish of Walton. They were mainly labouring men and their families, and they confidently hoped that five thousand others would join them. (27) They sowed the ground with parsnips, carrots, and beans. They also stated that they "intended to plough up the ground and sow it with seed corn". (28) Research shows that new people joined the community over the next few months. Most of these were local inhabitants. (29)

Local landowners were very disturbed by these developments. According to one historian, John F. Harrison: "They were repeatedly attacked and beaten; their crops were uprooted, their tools destroyed, and their rough houses." (30) Oliver Cromwell condemned the actions of the Diggers: "What is the purport of the levelling principle but to make the tenant as liberal a fortune as the landlord. I was by birth a gentleman. You must cut these people in pieces or they will cut you in pieces." (31)

Instructions were given for the Diggers to be beaten up and for their houses, crops and tools to be destroyed. These tactics were successful and within a year all the Digger communities in England had been wiped out. A number of Diggers were indicted at the Surrey quarter sessions and five were imprisoned for just over a month in the White Lion prison in Southwark. (32)

Cromwell also had problems with the Ranters. In 1650 Abiezer Coppe published A Fiery Flying Roll: A Word from the Lord to all the great ones of the Earth. In this pamphlet he claimed that "the Levellers (men-levellers) which is and who indeed are but shadows of most terrible, yet great and glorious good things to come". People who did not own property would have "treasure in heaven". His main message was that God, the "mighty leveller" would return to earth and punish those who did not share their wealth. Coppe argued for freedom, equality, community and universal peace. He told the wealthy that they would be punished for their lack of charity towards the poor: "The rust of your silver, I say, shall eat your flesh as it were fire... have... Howl, howl, ye nobles, howl honourable, howl ye rich men for the miseries that are coming upon you." (33) The historian, Alfred Leslie Rowse, claims that Coppe's "egalitarian Communism" was "300 years" before its time. (34)

Laurence Clarkson, had been a preacher in the New Model Army who wrote a pamphlet he defined the "oppressors" as the "nobility and gentry" and the oppressed as the "yeoman farmer" and the "tradesman". (35) Coppe and Clarkson both advocated "free love". (36) Peter Ackroyd claimed that Coppe and Clarkson professed that "sin had its conception only in imagination" and told their followers that they "might swear, drink, smoke and have sex with impunity". (37)

Barry Coward, the author of The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980) argues that the activities of the Ranters created a "moral panic" because their activities were "often violent and anti-social" and frightened conservative opinion into reaction. They formed a "hippy-like counter culture of the 1650s which flew in the face of law and morality and which was considered with horror by respectable society." (38) Cromwell disliked the Ranters more than any other religious sect who he considered to be totally immoral. (39)

Cromwell and his supporters in Parliament attempted to deal with preachers such as Coppe and Clarkson, by passing the Adultery Act (May 1650), that imposed the death penalty for adultery and fornication. This was followed by the Blasphemy Act (August 1650). Coppe claimed he had been informed that the acts against adultery and blasphemy "were put out because of me; thereby secretly intimating that I was guilty of the breach of them". (40) Christopher Hill, the author of The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (1991), agrees that this legislation was an attempt to deal with the development of religious groups such as the Ranters. (41)

Oliver Cromwell became increasingly frustrated by the inability of Parliament to get anything done. His biographer, Pauline Gregg, has pointed out: "He realized that all revolutions are about power and he was asking himself who, or what, should exercise that power. He knew, moreover, that whoever or whatever was in control must be strong enough to propel the state in one direction. This he learned from his battle experience. To be successful an army must observe one plan, one directive." (42)

Major General Thomas Harrison, who had been sympathetic to the demands of the Levellers, urged the House of Commons to pass legislation to help the poor. In August 1652, he promoted an army petition that called for law reform, the more effective propagation of the gospel, the elimination of tithes, and speedy elections for a new parliament. When it failed to act on these items, Harrison began to press for its dissolution. Harrison argued that when it was established after the death of the Charles I it was "unanimous in its proceedings for the reform of the nation" but it was now dominated by "a strong Royalist party". (43)

On 20th April 1653, Cromwell sent in his troopers with their muskets and drawn swords into the House of Commons. Harrison himself pulled the Speaker, William Lenthall, out of the Chair and pushed him out of the Chamber. That afternoon Cromwell dissolved the Council of State and replaced it with a committee of thirteen army officers. Harrison was appointed as chairman and in effect the head of the English state. (44)

In July, 1653, Oliver Cromwell established the Nominated Assembly and the Parliament of Saints. The total number of nominees was 140, 129 from England, five from Scotland and six from Ireland. The nominated assembly grappled with several of Harrison's favourite issues, including the immediate abolition of tithes. There was general consensus that tithes were objectionable, but no agreement about what mechanism for generating revenue should replace them. (45)

The Parliament was closed down by Cromwell in December, 1653. Charles H. Simpkinson has argued that Harrison now believed that "England now lay under a military despotism". (46) This decision was fiercely opposed by Thomas Harrison. Cromwell reacted by depriving him of his military commission, and in February, 1654, he was ordered to retire to Staffordshire. However, he was able to keep the land he had acquired during his period of power. The total value of this land was well over £13,000. (47)

The army decided that Oliver Cromwell should become England's new ruler. Some officers wanted him to become king but he refused and instead took the title Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. However, Cromwell had as much power as kings had in the past. The franchise was restricted to those who possessed the very high property qualification of £200 and by the disqualification of all who had taken part in the English Civil War on the royalist side. (48)

When the House of Commons opposed his policies in January 1655, he closed it down. Cromwell always disliked the idea of democracy as he posed a threat to good government. "The mass of the population was totally unsophisticated politically, very much under the influence of landlords and parsons: to give such men the vote (with no secret ballot, since most of them were illiterate) would be to strengthen rather than to weaken the power of the conservatives." (49)

Richard Baxter attempted to explain Cromwell's thinking: "In most parts, the major vote of the vulgar... is ruled by money and therefore by their landlords." (50) Cromwell warned Parliament that the vast majority of the population was opposed to his government: "The condition of the people is such as the major part a great deal are persons disaffected and engaged against us." (51) One pamphlet published at the time commented "if the common vote of the giddy multitude must rule the whole" Cromwell's government would be overthrown. (52)

Cromwell now imposed military rule. England was divided into eleven districts. Each district was run by a Major General and were answerable only to the Lord Protector. Christopher Hill argues that "The Major-Generals were to make all men responsible for the good behaviour of their servants.... They also enforced the legislation of the Long Parliament against drunkenness, blasphemy and sabbath-breaking... Above all they took control of the militia, the army of the gentry." (53)

The first duty of the Major-Generals was to maintain security by suppressing unlawful assemblies, disarming Royalist supporters and apprehending thieves, robbers and highwaymen. The militia of the Major-Generals was funded by a new 10% income tax imposed on Royalists known as the "decimation tax". It was argued that a punitive tax on Royalists was a just means of financing the militia because Royalist conspiracies had made it necessary in the first place. (54)

The responsibilities of these Major-Generals included granting poor relief and imposing Puritan morality. In some districts bear-baiting, cock-fighting, horse-racing and wrestling were banned. Betting and gambling were also forbidden. Large numbers of ale-houses were closed and fines were imposed on people caught swearing. In some districts, the Major-Generals even closed down theatres. (55)

Former members of the Levellers grew disillusioned with the dictatorial policies of Cromwell and in 1655 Edward Sexby, John Wildman and Richard Overton were involved in developing a plot to overthrow the government. The conspiracy was discovered and the men were forced to flee to the Netherlands. It was later argued that Overton was by this time acting as a double agent and had informed the authorities of the plot. (56) Records show that Overton was receiving payments from Cromwell's secretary of state, John Thurloe. (57)

In May 1657 Sexby published, under a pseudonym, Killing No Murder, a pamphlet that attempted to justify the assassination of Oliver Cromwell. Sexby accused Cromwell of the enslavement of the English people and argued for that reason he deserved to die. After his death "religion would be restored" and "liberty asserted". He hoped "that other laws will have place besides those of the sword, and that justice shall be otherwise defined than the will and pleasure of the strongest". (58) The following month Edward Sexby arrived in England to carry out the deed, however, he was arrested on 24th July. He remained in the Tower of London until his death on 13th January 1658. (59)

In 1658 Cromwell announced that he wanted his son, Richard Cromwell, to replace him as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. The English army was unhappy with this decision. While they respected Oliver as a skillful military commander, Richard was just a country farmer. To help him Cromwell brought him onto the Council to familiarize him with affairs of state. (60)

Oliver Cromwell died on 3rd September 1658. Richard Cromwell became Lord Protector but he was bullied by conservative MPs into support measures to restrict religious toleration and the army's freedom to indulge in political activity. The army responded by forcing Richard to dissolve Parliament on 21st April, 1659. The following month he agreed to retire from government. (61)

Parliament and the leaders of the army now began arguing amongst themselves about how England should be ruled. General George Monk, the officer in charge of the English army based in Scotland, decided to take action, and in 1660 he marched his army to London. According to Hyman Fagan: "Faced with a threatened revolt, the upper classes decided to restore the monarchy which, they thought, would bring stability to the country. The army again intervened in politics, but this time it opposed the Commonwealth". (62)

Monck reinstated the House of Lords and the Parliament of 1640. Royalists were now in control of Parliament. Monck now contacted Charles, who was living in Holland. Charles agreed that if he was made king he would pardon all members of the parliamentary army and would continue with the Commonwealth's policy of religious toleration. Charles also accepted that he would share power with Parliament and would not rule as an 'absolute' monarch as his father had tried to do in the 1630s. (63)

Despite this agreement a special court was appointed and in October 1660 those Regicides who were still alive and living in Britain were brought to trial. Ten were found guilty and were sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered. This included Thomas Harrison, John Jones, John Carew and Hugh Peters. Others executed included Adrian Scroope, Thomas Scot, Gregory Clement, Francis Hacker, Daniel Axtel and John Cook. On the way to his execution, Harrison said: "I go to suffer upon the account of the most glorious cause that ever was in the world." (64)

Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, Thomas Pride and John Bradshaw were all posthumously tried for high treason. They were found guilty and on the twelfth anniversary of the regicide, on 30th January 1661, their bodies were disinterred and hung from the gallows at Tyburn. (65) Cromwell's body was put into a lime-pit below the gallows and the head, impaled on a spike, was exposed at the south end of Westminster Hall for nearly twenty years. (66)

Surely they that shall boast, as we do, to be a free nation, and not have in themselves the power to remove or to abolish any governor supreme, or subordinate, with the government itself upon urgent causes, may please their fancy with a ridiculous and painted freedom, fit to cozen babies; but are indeed under tyranny and servitude, as wanting that power which is the root and source of all liberty, to dispose and economise in the land which God hath given them, as masters of family in their own house and free inheritance. Without which natural and essential power of a free nation, though bearing high their heads, they can in due esteem be thought no better than slaves and vassals born, in the tenure and occupation of another inheriting lord, whose government, though not illegal or intolerable, hangs over them as a lordly scourge, not as a free government - and therefore to be abrogated.

Though perhaps till now no protestant state or kingdom can be alleged to have openly put to death their king, which lately some have written and imputed to their great glory, much mistaking the matter, it is not, neither ought to be, the glory of a Protestant state never to have put their king to death; it is the glory of a Protestant king never to have deserved death. And if the parliament and military council do what they do without precedent, if it appear their duty, it argues the more wisdom, virtue, and magnanimity, that they know themselves able to be a precedent to others; who perhaps in future ages, if they prove not too degenerate, will look up with honour and aspire towards these exemplary and matchless deeds of their ancestors, as to the highest top of their civil glory and emulation; which heretofore, in the pursuance of fame and foreign dominion, spent itself vaingloriously abroad, but henceforth may learn a better fortitude - to dare execute highest justice on them that shall by force of arms endeavour the oppressing and bereaving of religion and their liberty at home: that no unbridled potentate or tyrant, but to his sorrow, for the future may presume such high and irresponsible licence over mankind, to havoc and turn upside down whole kingdoms of men, as though they were no more in respect of his perverse will than a nation of pismires.

If our hearts were not over-charged with the sense of the present miseries and approaching dangers of the Nation, your small regard to our late serious apprehensions, would have kept us silent; but the misery, danger, and bondage threatened is so great, imminent, and apparent that whilst we have breath, and are not violently restrained, we cannot but speak, and even cry aloud, until you hear us, or God be pleased otherwise to relieve us.

Removing the King, the taking away the House of Lords, the overawing the House, and reducing it to that pass, that it is become but the Channel, through which is conveyed all the Decrees and Determinations of a private Council of some few Officers, the erecting of their Court of Justice, and their Council of State, The Voting of the People of Supreme Power, and this House the Supreme Authority: all these particulars, (though many of them in order to good ends, have been desired by well-affected people) are yet become, (as they have managed them) of sole conducement to their ends and intents, either by removing such as stood in the way between them and power, wealth or command of the Commonwealth; or by actually possessing and investing them in the same.

They may talk of freedom, but what freedom indeed is there so long as they stop the Press, which is indeed and hath been so accounted in all free Nations, the most essential part thereof, employing an Apostate Judas for executioner therein who hath been twice burnt in the hand a wretched fellow, that even the Bishops and Star Chamber would have shamed to own. What freedom is there left, when honest and worthy Soldiers are sentenced and enforced to ride the horse with their faces reverst, and their swords broken over their heads for but petitioning and presenting a letter in justification of their liberty therein? If this be not a new way of breaking the spirits of the English, which Strafford and Canterbury never dreamt of, we know no difference of things.

Kingly government governs the earth by that cheating art of buying and selling, and thereby becomes a man of contention his hand is against every man, and every man's hand against him. And take this government at the best, it is a diseased government and the very City Babylon, full of confusion, and if it had not a club law to support it there would be no order in it, because it is the covetous and proud will of a conqueror, enslaving the conquered people.

This kingly government is he who beats pruning hooks and ploughs into spears, guns, swords, and instruments of war; that he might take his younger brother's creational birth-right from him, calling the earth his, and not his brother's, unless his brother will hire the earth of him; so that he may live idle and at ease by his brother's labours.

Indeed this government may well be called the government of highwaymen, who hath stolen the earth from the younger brethren by force, and holds it from them by force. He sheds blood not to free the people from oppression, but that he may be king and ruler over an oppressed people....

Commonwealth's government governs the earth without buying and selling and thereby becomes a man of peace, and the restorer of ancient peace and freedom. He makes provision for the oppressed, the weak and the simple, as well as for the rich, the wise and the strong. He beats swords and spears into pruning hooks and ploughs. He makes both elder and younger brother freemen in the earth.

When public officers remain long in place of judicature they will degenerate from the bounds of humility, honesty and tender care of brethren, in regard the heart of man is so subject to be overspread with the clouds of covetousness, pride, vain glory. For though at first entrance into places of rule they be of public spirit, seeking the freedom of others as their own; yet continuing long in such a place, where honours and greatness is coming in, they become selfish, seeking themselves and not common freedom; as experience proves it true in these days, according to this common proverb, Great offices in a land and army have changed the disposition of many sweet-spirited men.

And nature tells us that if water stands long it corrupts; whereas running water keeps sweet and is fit for common use. Therefore as the necessity of common preservation moves the people to frame a law, and to choose officers to see the law obeyed, that they may live in peace: so doth the same necessity bid the people, and cries aloud in the ears and eyes of England, to choose new officers and to remove old ones, and to choose state officers every year.

The Commonwealth hereby will be furnished with able and experienced men, fit to govern, which will mightily advance the honour and peace of our land, occasion the more watchful care in the education of children, and in time will make our Commonwealth of England the lily among the nations of the earth.

What is the purport of the levelling principle but to make the tenant as liberal a fortune as the landlord. You must cut these people in pieces or they will cut you in pieces.

If we prefer a free government, though for the present not obtained, yet all those suggested fears and difficulties, as the event will prove, easily overcome, we remain finally secure from the exasperated regal power, and out of snares; shall retain the best part of our liberty, which is our religion, and the civil part will be from these who defer us, much more easily recovered, being neither so subtle nor so awful as a king reinthroned. Nor were their actions less both at home and abroad, than might become the hopes of a glorious rising commonwealth: nor were the expressions both of army and people, whether in their public declarations or several writings, other than such as testified a spirit in this nation, no less noble and well-fitted to the liberty of a commonwealth, than in the ancient Greeks or Romans. Nor was the heroic cause unsuccessfully defended to all Christendom, against the tongue of a famous and thought invincible adversary; nor the constancy and fortitude, that so nobly vindicated our liberty, our victory at once against two the most prevailing usurpers over mankind, superstition and tyranny, unpraised or uncelebrated in a written monument, likely to outlive detraction, as it hath hitherto convinced or silenced not a few of our detractors, especially in part abroad.

After our liberty and religion thus prosperously fought for, gained, and many years possessed, except in those unhappy interruptions, which God hath removed; now that nothing remains, but in all reason the certain hopes of a speedy and immediate settlement for ever in a firm and Besides this, if we return to kingship, and soon repent (as undoubtedly we shall, when we begin to find the old encroachment coming on by little and little upon our consciences, which must necessarily proceed from king and bishop united inseparably in one interest), we may be forced perhaps to fight over again all that we have fought, and spend over again all that we have spent, but are never like to attain thus far as we are now advanced to the recovery of our freedom, never to have it in possession as we now have it, never to be vouchsafed hereafter the like mercies and signal assistances from Heaven in our cause, if by our ungraceful backsliding we make these fruitless; flying now to regal concessions from his divine condescensions and gracious answers to our once importuning prayers against the tyranny which we then groaned under; making vain and viler than dirt the blood of so many thousand faithful and valiant Englishmen, who left us this liberty, bought with their lives; losing by a strange after-game of folly all the battles we have won, together with all Scotland as to our conquest, hereby lost, which never any of our kings could conquer, all the treasure we have spent, not that corruptible treasure only, but that far more precious of all our late miraculous deliverances; treading back again with lost labour all our happy steps in the progress of reformation, and most pitifully depriving ourselves the instant fruition of that free government, which we have so dearly purchased, a free commonwealth.

In the mean time the Major-Generals carried things with unheard of insolence in their several precincts, decimating to extremity whom they pleased, and interrupting the proceedings at law upon petitions of those who pretended themselves aggrieved; threatening such as would not yield a ready submission to their orders, with transportation to Jamaica or some other plantations in the West Indies; and suffering none to escape their persecution, but those that would betray their own party, by discovering the persons that had acted with them or for them.

After the failure of his first Parliament and some unsuccessful royalist and republican conspiracies in the early months of 1655, Oliver accepted his generals' scheme for direct military rule. The country was divided into eleven districts, and over each a Major-General was set, to command the local militia as well as his own regular troops....

The Major-Generals took over many of the functions of Lords Lieutenants, formerly agents of the Privy Council in the counties. But their social role was very different. Lords Lieutenants had been the leading aristocrats of the county. Some Major-Generals were low-born upstarts, many came from outside the county: all had troops of horse behind them to make their commands effective. This was the more galling at a time when many of the traditional county families were beginning to benefit economically from the restoration of law, order and social subordination. The rule of the Major-Generals seemed to them to jeopardize all of these. There was not much temptation to return to local government under such circumstances.

The Major-Generals interfered, on security grounds, with simple country pleasures like horse-racing, bear-baiting, and cock-fighting... The Major-Generals were instructed not only to set the poor on work - the JPs' job anyway - but to consider by what means "idle and loose people" with "no visible way of livelihood, nor calling or employment... may be compelled to work". They were to see that JPs enforced the legislation of the Long Parliament (and indeed of the Parliaments of the 1620s) against drunkenness, blasphemy and sabbath-breaking - offences which the justices were ready enough to punish in the lower orders, but in them only. The Major-Generals were to make all men responsible for the good behaviour of their servants. They were to take the initiative against any "notorious breach of the peace'. They were to interfere in the licensing of alehouses - a matter on which the House of Commons had defeated even the great Duke of Buckingham. They also interfered, often quite effectively, against corrupt oligarchies in towns. They had little confidence in juries of gentlemen and well-to-do freeholders, and Cromwell himself shared the prejudice. Above all they took control of the militia, the army of the gentry, away from the "natural rulers". Quite apart from the latter's objections to having their running of local government supervised, controlled and driven, the whole operation was very costly. At least justices of the peace and deputy-lieutenants were unpaid.

During the Commonwealth, at the height of what is usually called the English Revolution, the House of Lords was abolished. It is a remarkable fact that the peers as a status group were entirely unaffected by the fundamental change in the political constitution of the country. Those that did not go into exile with the royalists, went on living in their magnificent seats, enjoying their social and apparently all their other privileges, even some of their political eminence as individuals. Cromwell's government continued to address them by their titles and ended by attempting to create its own class of peers. This is eloquent testimony to the apparently indispensable function of the English peerage in the traditional English social structure and to the extent to which their order existed independently of the House of Lords itself.

Under the influence, temporarily, of General Harrison and the Fifth Monarchy men, and disgusted by the war policy of the merchants, Cromwell agreed to the calling of an Assembly of Nominees (known later as Barebone's Parliament) consisting 140 men chosen by the Independent ministers and congregations. It was a frankly party assembly, the rule of the saints, or that sober and respectable Independent middle and lower middle class which, in the country districts, had not been deeply influenced by the Levellers and remained to the end the most constant force behind the Commonwealth. The assembly soon proved too revolutionary and radical in its measures for Cromwell... After sitting five months it was dissolved in December, 1653, to make way for a new parliament for which the right wing group of officers around Lambert had prepared a brand new paper constitution - the Instrument of Government.

This constitution aimed ostensibly at securing a balance of power between Cromwell, now given the title of Lord Protector, the Council and parliament. The latter included the first time members from Scotland and Ireland and there was a redistribution of seats to give more members to the counties. Against this, the franchise was restricted to those who possessed the very high property qualification of £200 and by the disqualification of all who had taken part in the Civil Wars on the royalist side. The new parliament was thus anything but a popular or representative body, but this did not prevent it from refusing to play the part assigned to it, that of providing a constitutional cover for the group of high officers now controlling the Army. The parliament of the right proved as intractable as the parliament of the left had been and dissolved at the earliest possible moment in January 1655...

The country was divided into eleven districts, each under the control of a major-general. Strong measures were taken against the royalists, and it is from this period that much of the repressive legislation traditionally associated with Puritan rule dates. It should, however, be noted that the major-generals were often merely enforcing legislation of the preceding decade or even earlier. What the gentry most resented was forcible interference with the JPs in running local government as best pleased them.

The full system was in operation for something over a year, from the autumn of 1655 until the mid-winter of 1656-7. It is clear, both from their surviving correspondence with the Protector and his Secretary of State and from local government records where these are available, that some of the Major-Generals were more active than others; some were tenderer towards royalists in their handling of the decimation tax, others took less part in local government as JPs and left alehouses and cruel sports to the ordinary magistrates in their counties. Hid their unpopularity was not an invention of post-Restoration royalist propaganda, as is evident from what happened in the next parliament. Most of them were outsiders to the areas where they were in charge, and a large proportion of them were self-made men below the social status and landed wealth of those who would normally have been JPs in most counties. Above all the decimation tax, whatever its intentions and whatever its justification in ex-Cavalier support for Penruddock's and other plots, looked like a return to the penal taxation of the 1640s and a breach of the 1652 Pardon and Oblivion Act.

As long as he lived, the Commonwealth continued, for he was a very capable man and an able politician. During his rule the army remained loyal to him but when he died in 1658, all the disagreements came to the surface. Faced with a threatened revolt, the upper classes decided to restore the monarchy which, they thought, would bring stability to the country. The army again intervened in politics, but this time it opposed the Commonwealth. Its Commander-in-Chief, General Monk, went over to those who were planning to restore the king.

The restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 was the decision of all the property-owning classes-the old nobility, the new nobility, the commercial interests and the manufacturers. For these classes, the land question had been solved. Land could now be bought and sold without restriction as any other commodity. The barriers to trade and commerce had been destroyed. The English Revolution had achieved its objective of sweeping away the barriers which were preventing the rise of the new system.

The English Revolution, during its first phase, shattered the bonds of feudalism, and laid the foundation for the new system of capitalism. The restoration was not a defeat of the English Revolution; it consolidated the power of the commercial classes, Only the aims of the Levellers and Diggers had not been achieved. Although the king was restored to the throne the powers of Charles II were entirely different from those of Charles I. He ruled with limited powers, controlled by the commercial class. The Restoration showed the strength the new middle class, not its weakness, and was a sequel to the revolution. Indeed, as one writer puts it, although Charles II was called king by the Grace of God, in reality he was king by the merchants and squires.

The newly restored ruling class took revenge on the most active men of the English Revolution, as ruling classes have done throughout history. They took a gruesome revenge on Cromwell. They dug up his corpse in Westminster Abbey, dragged it through the streets, and hung it in chains on Tyburn gibbet. The condemned rebels went undaunted, to their death. On the way to the scaffold, Major-General Harrison of the New Model Army said: "I go to suffer upon the account of the most glorious cause that ever was in the world."

John Lilburne and Parliamentary Reform (Answer Commentary)

The Diggers and Oliver Cromwell (Answer Commentary)

Military Tactics in the Civil War (Answer Commentary)

Women in the Civil War (Answer Commentary)

Portraits of Oliver Cromwell (Answer Commentary)

Execution of King Charles I (Answer Commentary)

(1) Ian J. Gentles, Thomas Fairfax : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(2) Barry Coward, The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980) page 237

(3) Peter Ackroyd, The Civil War (2014) pages 309-310

(4) Roger Lockyer, Tudor and Stuart Britain (1985) page 289

(5) Ian J. Gentles, Robert Lockyer : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(6) Mercurius Pragmaticus (19th December, 1648)

(7) John Lilburne, The Second Part of England's New Chains Discovered (March, 1949)

(8) David Petegorsky, Left-Wing Democracy in the English Civil War (1940) page 54

(9) Tony Benn, The Observer (13th May, 2001)

(10) John Lilburne, The Legal Fundamental Liberties of the People of England (1649)

(11) Barry Coward, The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980) page 248

(12) Oliver Cromwell, speech to the people of Dublin (16th August, 1649)

(13) Jasper Ridley, The Roundheads (1976) page 66

(14) Christopher Hill, God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (1970) page 109

(15) Oliver Cromwell, message to Sir Arthur Aston (10th September, 1649)

(16) Pauline Gregg, Oliver Cromwell (1988) pages 177-178

(17) Oliver Cromwell, letter to William Lenthall (September, 1649)

(18) Christopher Hill, God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (1970) page 113

(19) Richard P. Stearns, The Strenous Puritan: Hugh Peter 1598-1660 (1954) page 356

(20) Micheál Ó Siochrú, God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (2008) page 248

(21) Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost (1965) page 42

(22) Pauline Gregg, Oliver Cromwell (1988) page 222

(23) Pauline Gregg, Free-Born John: A Biography Of John Lilburne (1961) page 301

(24) Gerrard Winstanley, The New Law of Righteousness (1649)

(25) John Gurney, Gerrard Winstanley (2013) page 45

(26) Thomas N. Corns (editor), The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley (2009) page 513

(27) John F. Harrison, The Common People (1984) page 199

(28) Ariel Hessayon, William Everard: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(29) John Gurney, Brave Community: The Digger Movement in the English Revolution (2013)

(30) John F. Harrison, The Common People (1984) page 199

(31) A. L. Morton, A People's History of England (1938) page 217

(32) John Gurney, Brave Community: The Digger Movement in the English Revolution (2013) page 167

(33) Abiezer Coppe, A Fiery Flying Roll: A Word from the Lord to all the great ones of the Earth (1650)

(34) Alfred Leslie Rowse, Reflections on the Puritan Revolution (1986) page 217

(35) Nicholas McDowell, The English Radical Imagination (2003) page 8

(36) Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (1991) page 210

(37) Peter Ackroyd, The Civil War (2014) page 313

(38) Barry Coward, The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980) pages 208-209

(39) Christopher Hill, God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (1970) page 205

(40) Abiezer Coppe, Remonstrance of the Severe and Zealous Protestation of Abiezer Coppe (1651)

(41) Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (1991) page 208

(42) Pauline Gregg, Oliver Cromwell (1988) page 222

(43) Charles H. Simpkinson, Thomas Harrison: Regicide and Major-General (1905) page 143

(44) Jasper Ridley, The Roundheads (1976) page 140

(45) Austin Woolrych, Commonwealth to Protectorate (1982) page 236

(46) Charles H. Simpkinson, Thomas Harrison: Regicide and Major-General (1905) page 190

(47) Ian J. Gentles, Thomas Harrison : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(48) A. Morton, A People's History of England (1938) page 228

(49) Christopher Hill, God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (1970) page 198

(50) Richard Baxter, The Holy Commonwealth (1659) page 243

(51) Oliver Cromwell, speech in the House of Commons (23rd November 1654)

(52) Henry N. Brailsford, The Levellers and the English Revolution (1961) page 345-346

(53) Christopher Hill, God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (1970) page 168

(54) Gerald E. Aylmer, Rebellion or Revolution: England from Civil War to Restoration (1986) page 174

(55) Pauline Gregg, Oliver Cromwell (1988) pages 282-285

(56) Alan Marshall, Edward Sexby : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(57) B. J. Gibbons, Richard Overton : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(58) Edward Sexby, Killing No Murder (1657)

(59) Alan Marshall, Edward Sexby : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(60) Pauline Gregg, Oliver Cromwell (1988) page 317

(61) Barry Coward, The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980) page 276

(62) Hyman Fagan, The Commoners of England (1958) page 134

(63) Maurice Ashley, The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England (1975) page 194

(64) Hyman Fagan, The Commoners of England (1958) page 135

(65) Ivan Roots, The Great Rebellion: 1642-1660 (1966) page 261

(66) John Morrill, Oliver Cromwell : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

The Legacy of the Commonwealth

Despite its part in restoring the monarchy, the navy presented Charles II with considerable problems. Every ship in service was in the hands of his former enemies, many of whom had shown little enthusiasm over his return, and the situation was much the same in the administrative machine and the dockyards. The king faced a problem of how to create a new officer corps with the right blend of loyalty, skill, and experience. This chapter discusses how the king turned the Commonwealth navy into a realist one without destroying its efficiency in the process.

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English Civil War

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's government. The first (1642–46) and second (1648–49) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–51) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

The overall outcome of the war was threefold: the trial and execution of Charles I the exile of his son, Charles II and the replacement of English monarchy with, at first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–53) and then the Protectorate (1653–59) under Oliver Cromwell's personal rule. The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although the idea of parliament as the ruling power of England was legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.

Battle [ edit | edit source ]

The Spanish army approached and camped upon a line of dunes north-east of Dunkirk. Turenne seized the initiative and marched out to meet the Spanish and attack them the following day. The French army of some 6,000 foot and 8,000 horse ⎟] and 10 cannon were deployed with their left on the sea and their right on the canal. Turenne, before low tide, deployed his French-English force in two lines with cavalry on each flank. With the left flank cavalry on the beach, 40 squadrons strong, Turenne planned to take advantage of the turning tide going out to expose the Spanish right to his cavalry. Turenne placed 5 cannon on the right wing between the downs and the meadow and 5 cannon on the left along the strand. ⎠] Cromwell's English, under the command of Major General Thomas Morgan and William Lockhart, were lined up against the Spanish troops while the centre was the French infantry consisting of the Guards, the Swiss and the regiments of Picardy and Turenne facing the Wallons and Germans. The right flank French cavalry under the Duke de Crequi opposed Condé.

The Spanish army with 6,000 foot and 9,000 horse ⎟] formed up with its right on the sea across the sand-hills to the canal of Furnes on the their left. The regular Spanish infantry tercios were on the right under the command of Don Juan, the English Royalist regiments under the Duke of York were on their left to the right centre, the Walloon and German tercios were in the centre and on the left were the French rebel Frondeurs and some other troops. The Spanish cavalry was draw up in line behind the infantry. In their rush to relieve Dunkirk the Spanish had left their artillery behind.

Turenne began the battle with four or five artillery salvoes from his two unopposed batteries and the Spanish right flank was bombarded with some harassing fire from several frigates and sloops ⎡] of the English fleet. The Anglo-French army began to advance and the Cromwellian English pressed quickly ahead against the Spanish tercio of Don Caspar Boniface deployed on a sand dune that was somewhat in advance of the rest of their army. The English charged and crossed pikes with the Spanish tercio driving it down the hill and, by following up, the English formation became exposed. James, Duke of York led two cavalry charges against the Cromwellian troops' flank driving into the musketeers. Some Spanish cavalry from their reserve was sent forward and threatened the English but were defeated in turn by the French cavalry under Marquis de Castelneau. The French infantry consisting of the Guards, the Swiss and the regiments of Picardy and Turenne advanced on the Spanish centre meeting little resistance. Marshal Turenne took advantage of the receding tide to concentrate most of his cavalry on his left and its advance enveloped the Spanish right wing. ⎡]

Condé on the Spanish left held off the initial attacks of the French right wing and even counterattacked them, getting unhorsed and nearly captured, but in the end he was also forced from the field. The German and Walloons of the centre retired at the onset of the French infantry, throwing the Spanish cavalry in the reserve into disorder so that it was carried away in the flight. ⎢]

The battle lasted for about two hours and, by noon, Turenne had a complete victory ⎣] that ended with the rout of the Spanish forces. The Spanish lost about 1,200 killed, 800 wounded ⎤] and some 4,000 captured while the French lost only about 400, most of them English. Amongst the Cromwellian troops Lockhart's regiment of foot bore the brunt of the fighting. Its lieutenant-colonel, Fenwick, and two of its captains were killed, and nearly all the rest of its officers were wounded. Lillingston's lost a captain and thirty or forty killed, while the other regiments suffered only slight losses. ⎥] The French pursuit lasted until nightfall. One force of English Royalist guards [lower-alpha 5] held out, surrendering only when they were assured they would be allowed to rejoin Charles II at Ypres. The Duke of York's troop of guards, which charged several times with the Duke himself at its head, suffered severely, but also remained fit for further service. The King's forces after the battle numbered less than a thousand men, probably not more than seven or eight hundred. ⎦] The French corps of Frondeurs on the left under the command of Condé retreated in good order.

Col. William Claiborne

William Claiborne (c. 1600 – c. 1677)[1] (also spelled William Clayborne) was an English pioneer, surveyor, and an early settler in Virginia and Maryland. Claiborne became a wealthy planter, a trader, and a major figure in the politics of the colony. He was a central figure in the disputes between the colonists of Maryland and of Virginia, partly because of his trading post on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay, which provoked the first naval battles in North American waters. Claiborne repeatedly attempted and failed to regain Kent Island, sometimes by force of arms, after its inclusion in the lands that were granted by a royal charter to the Calvert family, thus becoming Maryland.

A Puritan, Claiborne sided with Parliament during the English Civil War and was appointed to a commission charged with subduing and managing the Virginia and Maryland colonies. He played a role in the submission of Virginia to Parliamentary rule in this period. Following the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, he retired from involvement in the politics of the Virginia colony. He died around 1677 at his plantation, Romancoke, on Virginia's Pamunkey River. According to historian Robert Brenner, "William Claiborne may have been the most consistently influential politician in Virginia throughout the whole of the pre-Restoration period".[2]

Early life and emigration to America

Claiborne was born in Kent, England in 1600 to Thomas Clayborn, an alderman and lord mayor from King's Lynn, Norfolk who made his living as a small-scale businessman involved in a variety of industries, including the salt and fish trades, and Sarah Smith, the daughter of a London brewer.[3] The family name was spelled alternately as Clayborn, Clayborne, or Claiborne. William Claiborne, who was baptized on 10 August 1600, was the youngest of two sons.[4] The family's business was not profitable enough to make it rich, and so Claiborne's older brother was apprenticed in London, becoming a merchant involved in hosiery and, eventually, the tobacco trade.[3]

However, Claiborne was offered a position as a land surveyor in the new colony of Virginia, and arrived at Jamestown in 1621. The position carried a 200 acre (80 hectare) land grant, a salary of ꌰ per year, and the promise of fees paid by settlers who needed to have their land grants surveyed. His political acumen quickly made him one of the most successful Virginia colonists, and within four years of his arrival he had secured grants for 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of land and a retroactive salary of ꍠ a year from the Virginia colony's council. He also managed to survive the March 1622 attacks by native Powhatans on the Virginia settlers that killed more than 300 colonists. His financial success was followed by political success, and he gained appointment as Councilor in 1624 and Secretary of State for the colony in 1626. Around 1627 he began to trade for furs with the native Susquehannock on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and two of its largest tributaries, the Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers. To facilitate this trade, Claiborne wanted to establish a trading post on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay, which he intended to make the center of a vast mercantile empire along the Atlantic Coast.[3] Claiborne found both financial and political support for the Kent Island venture from London merchants Maurice Thomson, William Cloberry, John de la Barre, and Simon Turgis.[5]

Kent Island and the first dispute with Maryland

In 1629, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore arrived in Virginia, having traveled south from Avalon, his failed colony on Newfoundland. Calvert was not welcomed by the Virginians, both because his Catholicism offended them as Protestants, and because it was no secret that Calvert desired a charter for a portion of the land that the Virginians considered their own.[6] After a brief stay, Calvert returned to England to press for just such a charter, and Claiborne, in his capacity as Secretary of State, was sent to England to argue the Virginians' case.[7] This happened to be to Claiborne's private advantage, as he was also trying to complete the arrangements for the trading post on Kent Island.

Calvert, a former high official in the government of King James I, asked the Privy Council for permission to build a colony, to be called Carolina, on land south of the Virginia settlements in modern-day North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Claiborne arrived soon afterwards and expressed the concerns of Virginia that its territorial integrity was being threatened. He was joined in his protests by a group of London merchants who planned to build a sugar colony in the same area.[8] Claiborne, still intent on his own project, received a royal trading commission through one of his London supporters in 1631, one which granted him the right to trade with the natives on all lands in the mid-Atlantic where there was not already a patent in effect.[9]

Claiborne sailed for Kent Island on 28 May 1631 with indentured servants recruited in London and money for his trading post, likely believing Calvert's hopes defeated.[10] He was able to gain the support of the Virginia Council for his project and, as a reward for London merchant Maurice Thomson's financial support, helped Thomson and two associates get a contract from Virginia guaranteeing a monopoly on tobacco.[11] Claiborne's Kent Island settlers established a small plantation on the island and appointed a clergyman.[12] While the settlement on Kent Island was progressing, the Privy Council had proposed to George Calvert that he be granted a charter for lands north of the Virginia colony, in order to create pressure on the Dutch settlements along the Delaware and Hudson Rivers. Calvert accepted, though he died before the charter could be formally signed by the king and the new colony of Maryland was instead granted to his son, C๬ilius Calvert, on 20 June 1632.[13] This turn of events was unfortunate for Claiborne, since the Maryland charter included all lands on either side of the Chesapeake Bay north of the mouth of the Potomac River, a region which included Claiborne's proposed trading post on Kent Island. The Virginia Assembly, still in support of Claiborne and now including representatives of the Kent Island settlers, issued a series of proclamations and protests both before and after the granting of the Maryland charter, claiming the lands for Virginia and protesting the charter's legality.[14]

Claiborne's first appeal to royal authority in the dispute, which complained both that the lands in the Maryland charter were not really unsettled, as the charter claimed, and that the charter gave so much power to Calvert that it undermined the rights of the settlers, was rejected by the Lords of Foreign Plantations in July 1633.[15] The following year, the main body of Calvert's settlers arrived in the Chesapeake and established a permanent settlement on Yaocomico lands at St. Mary's City.[16] With the support of the Virginia establishment, Claiborne made clear to Calvert that his allegiance was to Virginia and royal authority, and not to the proprietary authority in Maryland.[17] Some historical reports claim that Claiborne tried to incite the natives against the Maryland colonists by telling them that the settlers at St. Mary's were actually Spanish, and enemies of the English, although this claim has never been proven.[18] In 1635, a Maryland commissioner named Thomas Cornwallis swept the Chesapeake for illegal traders and captured one of Claiborne's pinnaces in the Pocomoke Sound. Claiborne tried to recover it by force, but was defeated although he retained his settlement on Kent Island. These were the first naval battles in North American waters, on 23 April and 10 May 1635 three Virginians were killed.[19]

During these events, Governor John Harvey of Virginia, who had never been well liked by the Virginian colonists, had followed royal orders to support the Maryland settlement and, just before the naval battles in the Chesapeake, removed Claiborne from office as Secretary of State.[20] In response, Claiborne's supporters in the Virginia Assembly expelled Harvey from the colony.[21] Two years later, an attorney for Cloberry and Company, who were concerned that the revenues they were receiving from fur trading had not recouped their original investment, arrived on Kent Island. The attorney took possession of the island and bade Claiborne return to England, where Cloberry and Company filed suit against him. The attorney then invited Maryland to take over the island by force, which it did in December 1637. By March 1638 the Maryland Assembly had declared that all of Claiborne's property within the colony now belonged to the proprietor.[22] Maryland temporarily won the legal battle for Kent Island as well when Claiborne's final appeal was rejected by the Privy Council in April 1638.[23] [edit]Parliamentary Commissioner and the second dispute with Maryland

In May 1638, fresh from his defeat over Kent Island, Claiborne received a commission from the Providence Land Company, who were advised by his old friend Maurice Thomson, to create a new colony on Ruatan Island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. At the time, Honduras itself was a part of Spain's Kingdom of Guatemala, and Spanish settlements dominated the mainland of Central America. Claiborne optimistically called his new colony Rich Island, but Spanish power in the area was too strong and the colony was destroyed in 1642.[24]

Soon after, the chaos of the English Civil War gave Claiborne another opportunity to reclaim Kent Island. The Calverts, who had received such constant support from the King, in turn supported the monarchy during the early stages of the parliamentary crisis. Claiborne found a new ally in Richard Ingle, a pro-Parliament Puritan merchant whose ships had been seized by the Catholic authorities in Maryland in response to a royal decree against Parliament. Claiborne and Ingle saw an opportunity for revenge using the Parliamentary dispute as political cover, and in 1644 Claiborne seized Kent Island while Ingle took over St. Mary's.[25] Both used religion as a tool to gain popular support, arguing that the Catholic Calverts could not be trusted. By 1646, however, Governor Leonard Calvert had retaken both St. Mary's and Kent Island with support from Governor Berkeley of Virginia, and, after Leonard Calvert died in 1648, C๬ilius Calvert appointed a pro-Parliament Protestant to take over as governor.[26] The rebellion and its religious overtones was one of the factors that led to passage of the landmark Maryland Toleration Act of 1649, which declared religious tolerance for Catholics and Protestants in Maryland.[27]

In 1648 a group of merchants in London applied to Parliament for revocation of the Maryland charter from the Calverts.[28] This was rejected, but Claiborne received a final opportunity to reclaim Kent Island when he was appointed by the Puritan-controlled Parliament to a commission which was charged with suppressing Anglican disquiet in Virginia Virginia in this case defined as "all the plantations in the Bay of the Chesapeake."[29]

Claiborne and fellow commissioner Richard Bennett secured the peaceful submission of Virginia to Parliamentary rule, and the new Virginia Assembly appointed Claiborne as Secretary of the colony.[30] It also proposed to Parliament new acts which would give Virginia more autonomy from England, which would benefit Claiborne as he pressed his claims on Kent Island. He and Bennett then turned their attention to Maryland and, arguing again that the Catholic Calverts could not be trusted and that the charter gave the Calverts too much power, demanded that the colony submit to the Commonwealth.[30] Governor Stone briefly refused but gave in to Claiborne and the Commission, and submitted Maryland to Parliamentary rule.[31]

Claiborne made no overt legal attempts to re-assert control over Kent Island during the commission's rule of Maryland, although a treaty concluded during that time with the Susquehannocks claimed that Claiborne owned both Kent and Palmer Islands.[32] Claiborne's legal designs on Maryland were once again defeated when Oliver Cromwell returned Calvert to power in 1653, after the Rump Parliament ended.[33] In 1654, Governor Stone of Maryland tried to reclaim authority for the proprietor and declared that Claiborne's property and his life could be taken at the Governor's pleasure.[34] Stone's declaration was ignored and Claiborne and Bennett again overthrew him, creating a new assembly in which Catholics were not allowed to serve.[35] Calvert, now angry at Stone for what he perceived as weakness, demanded that Stone do something, and in 1655 Stone reclaimed control in St. Mary's and led a group of soldiers to Providence (modern Annapolis). Stone was captured and his force defeated by local Puritan settlers, who took control of the colony.[36] Given the new situation, Claiborne and Bennett went to England in hopes of convincing Cromwell to change his mind but, to their dismay, no decision was made and, lacking royal authority, the Puritans gave power over to a new governor appointed by Calvert.[37] Going behind Claiborne's back, Bennett and another commissioner reached an agreement with Calvert that virtually guaranteed his continued control over Maryland through the remainder of the Protectorate.[38]

With no authority left in Maryland, Claiborne turned to his political offices in Virginia. However, he was a Puritan and an ally of Parliament during the English Civil War, and upon the restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, he had few friends left in government. Claiborne therefore retired from political affairs in 1660 and spent the remainder of his life managing his 5,000 acre (2,023 hectare) estate, "Romancoke", near West Point on the Pamunkey River, dying there in about 1677.[39]

Family life and descendants

In the midst of the political turmoil of the conflict over Kent Island, Claiborne married Elizabeth Butler of Essex, who would remain his wife at least through 1668.[4] Claiborne was also the forebear of a number of lines of American Claibornes, and among his descendants are William C. C. Claiborne, first governor of Louisiana, fashion designer Liz Claiborne,[40], Daniel Sullivan (LtCol USMC), and a number of political figures from Tennessee and Virginia.[41] Descendants of the Claiborne family have formed a society to advance the genealogical study of Claiborne's lineage.[42]

William Claiborne served as a member of the governor's Council (1623� 1642�) and as secretary of the colony (1626�). Born in England and educated at Cambridge, Claiborne came to Virginia in 1621 as surveyor of the colony and by 1623 was a member of the Council. He operated a lucrative trading post on Kent Island but was evicted by Maryland authorities, who claimed the land as their own. In 1626, Claiborne became secretary of the colony and led a powerful faction on the Council that clashed with Governor Sir John Harvey and eventually evicted him from office. After serving in the militia during the Anglo-Powhatan War of 1644�, Claiborne, a Puritan sympathizer, helped negotiate the surrender of Virginia to Parliament in 1652 after the English Civil Wars. When Charles II was restored to the throne, Claiborne, who had a civil relationship with the long-serving loyalist governor Sir William Berkeley, retired from public life. He defended the governor during Bacon's Rebellion (1676), losing much of his property in the process. Claiborne died in 1679.

Claiborne was born probably in Crayford Parish, in Kent, England, where he was baptized on August 10, 1600. He was the son of Sara Smyth James Cleyborne and her second husband, Thomas Cleyborne, a merchant and former mayor of King's Lynn in the county of Norfolk Sir Roger James, a shareholder in the Virginia Company of London, may have been his elder half brother. Contemporaries wrote Claiborne's surname with a variety of phonetic variants, and during his first decades in Virginia he sometimes spelled his name Claybourne, but in later years he signed as Claiborne. He entered Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, on May 31, 1617. Four years later, perhaps on his half brother's recommendation, the Virginia Company appointed Claiborne surveyor of the colony at a salary of ꌰ per annum and also offered him an assistant, 200 acres of land, and a convenient house, presumably in Jamestown.

Claiborne traveled to Virginia in the retinue of Governor Sir Francis Wyatt and arrived in October 1621. His first task was to survey the New Town section of Jamestown, but he was soon involved in Virginia's politics and was one of the company's officers who in 1622, following the deadly Powhatan Uprising, requested that the king take over management of the colony. By the spring of 1623 Claiborne was a member of the governor's Council, in which office James I confirmed him in August 1624 when appointing Wyatt the first royal governor of Virginia. Surveying allowed Claiborne to accumulate a considerable amount of land, including property in Elizabeth City County. After 1640 he lived at Romancoke, near the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers, in the part of York County that in 1654 became New Kent County and in 1701 King William County. In the mid-1630s he married Elizabeth Boteler, or Butler. They had four sons and two daughters.

Late in the 1620s Claiborne explored trading opportunities in the upper part of the Chesapeake Bay and for much of the 1630s operated a lucrative trading post on Kent Island, which put him in conflict with successive Lords Baltimore, who maintained that the island was within the charter boundaries of Maryland. Eventually expelled from the island and losing perhaps as much as ꌐ,000, Claiborne harbored a long and intense animosity toward Maryland and the Calvert family. Beginning with tobacco and fur, Claiborne built a profitable and influential commercial network that connected the Chesapeake Bay with London. His closest Virginia associates included Samuel Mathews (d. 1657), another merchant, land magnate, and member of the governor's Council, and his initial London associates were William Cloberry and Maurice Thompson, two of the most successful merchants in that city. In 1638 Claiborne received a grant of an island off the coast of Honduras and may have intended to set up a trading post there.

Claiborne made several voyages across the Atlantic to advance his commercial interests and protect his political connections. Growing wealth and influence made him a leader of Virginia's emerging political elite. In 1626 Claiborne became secretary of the colony, an office that ranked second only to the governor in political weight. He and Mathews led a dominant faction of Council members whose quest for land and influence produced clashes with Governor Sir John Harvey. In May 1635, while Claiborne was at Kent Island, the faction evicted Harvey from office. Claiborne initially emerged from that feud a much stronger politician, and when Sir Francis Wyatt returned to Virginia as governor in November 1639, he handled Claiborne gingerly.

Claiborne yielded the secretary's lucrative office to his rival Richard Kemp, who in 1634 arrived with a royal appointment, and when Harvey returned to Virginia for a second term as governor in 1637 Claiborne lost his seat on the Council. In 1640 he scored a victory over Kemp by obtaining royal permission to found a signet office for the purpose of validating public records, providing the Council consented, which it did. The new office reduced Kemp's influence and income because the great seal of Virginia and its attendant fees were transferred from him to Claiborne. Not long thereafter Wyatt relinquished the office of governor to Sir William Berkeley. Claiborne acted as an intermediary, and in 1642 the new governor reappointed Claiborne to the Council and named him treasurer of the colony.

The two dominant figures in Virginia, Claiborne and Berkeley contested for leadership of the planter elite. They differed over trade policy, with Claiborne opposing Dutch traders whose presence in Virginia threatened his own connections with London. They disagreed over how to prosecute the Anglo-Powhatan War of 1644�, during which Claiborne commanded some of the Virginia militia and made an attempt to recover Kent Island. They also took different positions on the issues that led to the English Civil Wars. Claiborne readily accommodated himself to the Puritans and was one of the commissioners Parliament appointed to bring Virginia and Maryland under its dominion. In that capacity he helped negotiate the terms by which Berkeley surrendered Virginia to Parliament in March 1652. Claiborne and his fellow commissioner Richard Bennett, who succeeded Berkeley as governor of Virginia, appointed a new Council in Maryland, action that precipitated two years of intermittent warfare between competing factions in that colony.

In the spring of 1652 the House of Burgesses elected Claiborne senior member of the Council and secretary of the colony. He and Berkeley remained on civil terms, despite their differences, and Claiborne eased Berkeley's return to the governorship in March 1660. Berkeley retained him in office for a few months, but Claiborne was too deeply implicated in the parliamentary cause to continue as a Council member and secretary after Charles II returned to England as king. Claiborne retired from public life in March 1661 and lived quietly and in relative obscurity at Romancoke. Berkeley threw a few crumbs in his direction by appointing two of his sons to the county court, and one of Claiborne's sons sat in the House of Burgesses. Claiborne remained loyal to the governor during Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, suffered significant property losses in the process, and may have sat on some of the courts-martial that sentenced several rebels to death, although it is possible that Claiborne's namesake son took on that responsibility. On March 13, 1677, Claiborne petitioned the Crown to recoup financial losses he had incurred when he was expelled from Kent Island forty years earlier. The following July 16 a Colonel Claiborne, who may have been the father, the son, or an unrelated person, boarded the royal naval ship Bristol to collect eight barrels of shot for use by the county militia.

The date and place of Claiborne's death are not known, nor is the place of his burial. He died on an unrecorded date before August 25, 1679, when his son Thomas Claiborne was identified in a York County record as executor of the estate of "Coll William Clayborne Decd."

August 10, 1600 - William Claiborne is baptized in Crayford Parish, in Kent, England.

May 31, 1617 - William Claiborne enters Pembroke College, University of Cambridge.

1621 - Perhaps at the recommendation of Claiborne's half brother, the Virginia Company of London appoints William Claiborne surveyor of the colony at a salary of ꌰ per annum and also offers him an assistant, 200 acres of land, and a convenient house, presumably in Jamestown.

October 1621 - William Claiborne arrives in Virginia in the retinue of Governor Sir Francis Wyatt.

Autumn 1622 - Following a deadly attack by Virginia Indians, William Capps, William Claiborne, and other Virginia Company officers request that the king take over management of the colony.

Spring 1623 - William Claiborne is a member of the governor's Council.

August 1624 - James I confirms William Claiborne's position on the governor's Council when appointing Sir Francis Wyatt the first royal governor of Virginia.

1626 - William Claiborne becomes secretary of the Virginia colony, an office that ranks second only to the governor in political weight. He and Samuel Mathews lead a dominant faction of Council members whose quest for land and influence produces clashes with Governor Sir John Harvey.

1634 - William Claiborne yields the office of secretary of the Virginia colony to his rival Richard Kemp, who arrives in Virginia with a royal appointment.

May 1635 - While William Claiborne is at Kent Island, a faction of Council members to which he belongs decides to evict Governor Sir John Harvey from office.

1637 - William Claiborne loses his seat on the governor's Council.

1638 - William Claiborne receives a grant of an island off the coast of Honduras and possibly intends to set up a trading post there.

November 1639 - Sir Francis Wyatt returns to Virginia as governor.

1640 - William Claiborne obtains royal permission and consent of the governor's Council to found a signet office for the purpose of validating public records. The new office reduces the power of Claiborne's rival, Richard Kemp, secretary of the colony.

1642 - Governor Sir William Berkeley reappoints William Claiborne to the governor's Council and names him treasurer of the colony.

1644� - During the Anglo-Powhatan War, William Claiborne, a member of the governor's Council and treasurer of the colony, commands some of the Virginia militia.

March 12, 1652 - Supported by a Parliamentary fleet, Richard Bennett, William Claiborne, and Edmund Curtis accept Virginia's bloodless capitulation at Jamestown. Two weeks later they obtain the surrender of Maryland's leaders as well.

Spring 1652 - The House of Burgesses elects William Claiborne senior member of the governor's Council and secretary of the colony.

March 1660 - William Claiborne, despite being a supporter of Parliament and the Puritans, helps ease the return to the governorship of Sir William Berkeley just prior to Charles II's return.

March 1661 - William Claiborne, a supporter of Parliament and the Puritans, retires from public life not long after Charles II returns to England as king.

1676 - William Claiborne remains loyal to Governor Sir William Berkeley during Bacon's Rebellion and suffers significant property losses in the process.

March 13, 1677 - William Claiborne petitions the Crown to recoup financial losses he incurred when he was expelled from Kent Island forty years earlier.

July 16, 1678 - A Colonel Claiborne, who may be William Claiborne, his son, or an unrelated person, boards the royal naval ship Bristol to collect eight barrels of shot for use by the county militia.

August 25, 1679 - Thomas Claiborne, the son of William Claiborne, is identified in a York County record as executor of his father's estate. His father died sometime before this date.


  1. ^ A number of different sources dispute Claiborne's date of birth and which family he descended from in England, though Brenner, which is the most recent authoritative historical text, cites 1600 as the date of birth and the Norfolk / Kent Clayborns as his ancestry. Dates and other biographical information in this article are drawn from Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography 1887�.
  2. ^ Brenner, p. 120
  3. ^ a b c Brenner, p. 121
  4. ^ a b Richardson, p. 95
  5. ^ Brenner, pp. 122�
  6. ^ Browne, p. 27 and Fiske, pp. 263�
  7. ^ Browne, p. 28 and Krugler, p. 107
  8. ^ Fiske, p. 265
  9. ^ Brenner, p. 124
  10. ^ Brenner, p. 124 and Hatfield, p. 186
  11. ^ Brenner, p. 131
  12. ^ Fiske, p. 271
  13. ^ Brenner, p. 141
  14. ^ Brenner, pp. 141�
  15. ^ Browne, pp. 43�
  16. ^ Fiske, pp. 272�
  17. ^ Fiske, p. 274
  18. ^ Osgood, p. 94 and Fiske, p. 275
  19. ^ Hatfield, p. 186
  20. ^ Fiske, p. 277
  21. ^ Hatfield, p. 186 and Brenner, p. 143
  22. ^ Osgood, p. 95 and Fiske, pp. 280�
  23. ^ Brenner, p. 157 and Fiske, pp. 281�
  24. ^ Brenner, p. 157
  25. ^ Brenner, p. 167
  26. ^ Osgood, pp. 113�
  27. ^ Fiske, pp. 288�
  28. ^ Brenner, pp. 167�
  29. ^ Osgood, pp. 120�
  30. ^ a b Osgood, p. 124
  31. ^ Fiske, pp. 294�
  32. ^ Osgood, p. 127 and Fiske, p. 294
  33. ^ Osgood, p. 121
  34. ^ Osgood, p. 129
  35. ^ Osgood, p. 130
  36. ^ Osgood, p. 131
  37. ^ Osgood, pp. 132�
  38. ^ Osgood, p. 133
  39. ^ Fiske, p. 297
  40. ^ Bernstein, Adam (2007-06-27). "Liz Claiborne, 78, Fashion Industry Icon". The Washington Post: pp. B07. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  41. ^ A number of genealogies reference his descendants, including Boddie's 1999 Virginia Historical Genealogies.
  42. ^ "The National Society of the Claiborne Family Descendants". Retrieved 2008-01-22.


Brenner, Robert (2003). Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London's Overseas Traders. London:Verso. ISBN 1-85984-333-6. Browne, William Hand (1890). George Calvert and Cecilius Calvert: Barons Baltimore of Baltimore. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company. Fiske, John (1897). Old Virginia and Her Neighbors. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Krugler, John D. (2004). English and Catholic: the Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7963-9. Hatfield, April Lee (2004). Atlantic Virginia: Intercolonial Relations in the Seventeenth Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3757-9. Osgood, Herbert Levi (1907). The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century. London: MacMilland and Company. Richardson, Douglas (2005). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8063-1759-0.

External links and Sources

Exploring Maryland's Roots: William Claiborne National Society of Claiborne Family Descendants

In 1627, William Claiborne set out to locate the source of the great Chesapeake Bay. In August 1631, he landed upon the Isle of Kent and established the first English settlement in Maryland. This settlement was one of the first in the nation, predated only by Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, and the Massachusetts Colony. Established on the southeastern side of the island, the settlement stood approximately 2 miles northeast of Kent Point on the shore of what is now known as Eastern Bay. The island was already inhabited by several Native American tribes including the Matapeakes who occupied the southern banks of the Chester River and the Monoponsons who lived on the southern end of the island. The early settlers were often subject to attack from neighboring mainland tribes, the Wicomese and the Susquehannas. Records indicate that Claiborne built a fort, a church, dwellings and boats. He also built the first boat in Maryland, a small sailboat called a pinnace, which Claiborne named the "Long Tayle." In addition to planting gardens and orchards, Claiborne stocked farms with cattle and planted tobacco, starting Maryland’s famous tobacco economy that sustained the colonists and dominated colonial life until the 1800s when corn and wheat replaced it as Maryland’s main crops. Unfortunately, due to 350 years of erosion, today the remains of the settlement are most likely underwater. The next 25 years were turbulent ones as Claiborne struggled with Lord Baltimore for control of the island. It is reported that the first naval battle of the new world was fought between the forces of Claiborne and Lord Baltimore over possession of the island. Claiborne eventually lost his fight and was forced to relinquish control of the island.

Colonel William CLAIBORNE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 was christened 10 Aug 1600 in Crayford, Kent, England. He died 1678 in , New Kent, Virginia. William married Elizabeth BUTLER on 1635 in , Westmorland, Virginia.

Elizabeth BUTLER [Parents] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 was born 1610 in Roxwell, Essex, England. She married Colonel William CLAIBORNE on 1635 in , Westmorland, Virginia.

Hon./Capt. William Claiborne, born ca 1600, baptized 10 August 1600 in Crayford, son of Thomas & Sara Smyth-James Claiborne. William was admitted to Pembroke College, Cambridge, 31 May 1617 at age 16. On 13 June 1621 he was chosen by the Virginia Company to undertake the task of Surveyor of the Colony, compensated with 200 acres of land in the colony. He arrived at Jamestown in October, 1621 on the ship the George. He laid out the area on Jamestown Island known as New Towne. William would achieve many honors during his lifetime. In 1623 he was appointed to the council, and would serve as the first Secretary of the Colony 1625-35, 1652-60, and Treasurer – appointed for life in this position. He accumulated large tracts of land, including 250 acres at Archer’s Hope (James City) 500 acres at Blount Point (Warwick), 150 acres at Elizabeth City 5000 acres in Northumerland County 5000 acres on the Pamunkey and 1,500 acres on the north wide of the York the River. His plantation in Virginia- was called “Romancoke.” By 1626 he had accumulated a total of 17,500 acres in 7 different locales. In 1631 he settled the Isle of Kent in the Chesapeake Bay and named his plantation there Crayford, becoming the 1st White Settler in what is now known as the State of Maryland He would subsequently lose his land on the Isle of Kent due to political machinations of the Royal Governor. He served courageously as Captain of the colonial troops in their struggles with the Indians.

William married ca 1635 Elizabeth Butler, born ca 1610 in Roxwell, Essex, England. “She was the daughter of John Butler (1585 - ?) and Jane Elliott (abt. 1582 - ?) of Little Burche Hall, Roxwell, Essex, England. Elizabeth's siblings were John Butler of Kent Island, Sara Butler, ? Butler (female), and Thomas Butler, married Joan Mountsteven Butler wife of Nicholas Mountsteven, haberdasher of St. Marins at Ludgate. Elizabeth's uncle was Capt. Nathaniel Butler, Governor of Bermuda.”

William & Elizabeth’s children were 1) Jane, 2) John, 3) THOMAS, 4) William, Jr. “the younger”, and 5) Leonard. William had died by Mar 1677, probably on his plantation, Romancoke.

Secretary of the Colony of Virginia "Clayton Torrance in his excellent article on the English Ancestry of William Claiborne wrote: "There is no evidence that the Honorable WilliamClaiborne (1600-1677/8) and his wife Elizabeth Butler had other children (at least who survived infancy or childhood) than William, Thomas, Leonard, John, and Jane). Also Mary married 1st Edward Rice and 2nd Col. RobertHarris, 167__. "

STATE OF VIRGINIA Deeds & Orders 1650 1652, pg. 36, William Claiborne 1648

Whereas there are certain debts and other things due to me at Chichecon (i.e. Chicacone) and other places up the Bay. These presents are to appoint and authorize my kinsman Mr. Samuel Smith to ask and receive as also to implead and acquit and compound for any the said debts with any persons inhabitants or beings in the said places and in particularas being guardian unto my two daughters I do hereby authorize the said Samuel Smythe to take all those cattle at Chiceon into his custody fortheir use and to receive a heifer due from the estate of James Cloughton for a bull he killed of theirs witness hereunto my hand and seal this second day of April 1648

_______________________________W. Claiborne Witness: Christopher Williams _______________________________

Following account re Claiborne's settlement on Hampton site is from Old Kecoughtan (p86), William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Series 1, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1901:

Isle of Kent, first permanent European settlement soon to become the colony of Maryland <p>Kent Island, Maryland's First Permanent European Settlement </p><p>"Virginian William Claiborne, a partner in the Lond firm of Cloberry and Company, claimed a large Eastern Shore island in the middle bay for a settlement and trading post. At the time the English arrived, the island was inhabited by Matapeake indians, who sold it to Claiborne for 12 pounds of trade goods. Naming it "Isle of Kent" after his birthplace, he chose a site east and north of Kent Point on the southern tip of the island and there erected a stockade protected by four cannons. About one hundred people made up this first permanent European settlement in what soon became the new colony of Maryland."</p><p> </p><p>Source: </p><font size="2">The disappearing islands of the Chesapeake</font> <p>Written by William B. Cronin,Calvert Marine Museum,Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum,Mariners' Museum (Newport News, Va.),Maryland Historical Society </p><p> <a href=" =%22Kent+Island%22+%22fur+trade%22&source=bl&ots=Wg4Nx18Qy9&sig=1bOX7puzgm57 G5KK-IF1CKB_LbU&hl=es&ei=RoPyTMq8G8qXhQfzlqThDA&sa=X&oi=book_result& ampct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=claiborne&f=false"> land%22+%22fur+trade%22&source=bl&ots=Wg4Nx18Qy9&sig=1bOX7puzgm57G5KK-IF1CKB _LbU&hl=es&ei=RoPyTMq8G8qXhQfzlqThDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct= result&resnum=4&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=claiborne&f=false</a>< /span

WIlliam Claiborne credited with starting piracy on the Bay

Despite early efforts to keep piracy out of Chesapeake waters, pirates could not long be confined to the high seas. By 1635, the first act of piracy had been committed on the Chesapeake. William Claiborne, owner of a plantation on Kent Island, sent his agent to capture a small pinnace as it approached Palmer's Island at the head of the Bay. Fueled by growing tensions between Maryland and Virginia, Claiborne (a Virginian) was likely incensed that the Maryland pinnace had invaded territory of his Kent Island plantation. The event sounded the starting gun for almost two hundred years of piracy in the Bay.

Colonel William CLAIBORNE was christened 10 Aug 1600 in Crayford, Kent, England, son of Thomas & Sara Smyth-James Claiborne.ref>Source: #S-206 Page 438</ref> He died 1678 in New Kent, Virginia.

William matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, 31 May 1617 at age 16.[3] On 13 June 1621 he was chosen by the Virginia Company to undertake the task of Surveyor of the Colony, compensated with 200 acres of land in the colony. He arrived at Jamestown in October, 1621, on the ship the George and laid out the area on Jamestown Island known as New Towne.

William married Elizabeth BUTLER on 1635 in Westmorland, Virginia. Elizabeth was born 1610 in Roxwell, Essex, England. She was the daughter of John Butler (1585 - ?) and Jane Elliott (abt. 1582 - ?) of Little Burche Hall, Roxwell, Essex, England.[4] Elizabeth s siblings were John Butler of Kent Island, Sara Butler, ? Butler (female), and Thomas Butler, married Joan Mountsteven Butler wife of Nicholas Mountsteven, haberdasher of St. Marins at Ludgate. Elizabeth s uncle was Capt. Nathaniel Butler, Governor of Bermuda.

(William may have returned to England 24 Mar 1629/30 where he met Elizabeth Butler and married about 1631. Another source has two marriages - one to Jane Butler and another to Elizabeth Butler. Another source has his marriage 1635 in VA but this does not seem to fit birth dates of children.)

William would achieve many honors during his lifetime. In 1621, he was appointed Surveyor General at the solicitation of his cousin Ann, Countess of Pembroke. In 1623 he was appointed to the council and would serve as the first Secretary of the Colony 1625-35, 1652-60, and Treasurer – appointed for life in this position. He accumulated large tracts of land, including 250 acres at Archer’s Hope (James City) 500 acres at Blount Point (Warwick), 150 acres at Elizabeth City 5000 acres in Northumerland County 5000 acres on the Pamunkey and 1,500 acres on the north wide of the York the River. His plantation in Virginia was called "Romancoke."

By 1626 he had accumulated a total of 17,500 acres in 7 different locales. In 1631 he settled the Isle of Kent in the Chesapeake Bay, becoming the 1st White Settler in what is now known as the State of Maryland, and named his plantation there "Crayford," He subsequently lost his land on the Isle of Kent due to political machinations of the Royal Governor.

William died in or after March 1677, probably on his plantation, Romancoke. Torrence states that there is no positive evidence of the date or place of William’s death, but it was about 1677 or 1678. There is no existing evidence of a will or probate.[5]

William Claiborne married, about 1635, Elizabeth Boteler (Butler), born before 1612, sister of John Boteler, an 3 March 2007 Family of Thomas (Sr.) CLAIBORNE/CLAYBORNE **** Page 14 associate of Claiborne on Kent Island, and daughter of Jo hn and Jane (Elliott) Boteler of the Parish of Roxwell, County Essex, England. As the "wife of Captain William Claiborne, Treasurer of the Colony," Elizabeth Claiborne patented 700 acres in Elizabeth City County, 26 November 1647, the patent reciting that the land was made over to her by her husband "in nature and lieu of a jointure," 11 June 1644. The last record of her, 1 March 1668/9, is a power of attorney for conveyance of land given by her to

County. The settlement of Kecoughtan was later named Elizabeth City (VA). In part, for carrying out his duties as Surveyor, Claiborne received a grant of 250 acres at Archer's Hope just

1626 he received an additional grant of 500 acres near Blount Point on the n eck of land between the Warwick River and Deep Creek. Claiborne made his first return voyage to England in the fall of 1630. He would return to Virginia in the May of 1631. The purpose of the visit was to secure financing for his Kent Island venture in the upper Chesapeake and to recruit settlers. There Claiborne was introduced to the hous ehold of John Butler at Little Burch Hall. It was here that he met the 21 year old Elizabeth Butler. He also met her older brothers, John and Thomas. They had two sons at least, William and Thomas Claibor ne two daughters, Jane Claiborne who married Thomas Brereton and Mary Claiborne who married 1st Edward Rice and after his death she married Robert Harris.

This is the first study of the navy during the English Revolution. It argues that the commonwealth navy did not, as is often assumed, stand back from domestic political controversies, but was deeply influenced by the revolutionary circumstances of its origins.

The new regime saw a large and politically reliable fleet as essential to its survival, and the years after 1649 witnessed a rapid build-up and a drastic remodelling of the officer corps, with political and religious radicalism becoming major criteria in the selection of officers. The book charts the navy's central role in the struggle to win foreign recognition for the new regime, and in the wars which followed: the period saw England's first major war at sea, against the Dutch. The navy's
response to political change at home, and its intervention in the Restoration crisis of 1659-60 are also examined. The social history of the navy is also considered in detail.

This book provides a richly detailed insight into a neglected subject, and enhances our understanding of the Cromwellian period as a whole.
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Polish History Timeline

966 - Mieszko l creates Kingdom of Poland adopting Catholicism as the state religion.

Most of the peoples of these lands were pagan at this time - worsoping nature and the elements - trees , water, stones.

Establishment of the Polish Piast Dynasty - it's Kings ruled Poland until 1370 with the death of the Great King Kazimierz.

Mieszko is a diminutive of Mieczysław, a combination of two elements or lexemes: Miecz meaning sword and Sław meaning famous together meaning "Sword of Fame"

The early Kings of Poland were crowned in Gniezno near Poznan in the west.

[The names of Polish Kings based on First Name and Numeric Sequence would often also include a characteristic desciption. Here are some examples

Boleslaw l the Brave, Boleslaw ll the Bold, Boleslaw lll the Wrymouth, Boleslaw the Curly,

Henryk the Bearded, Henryk the Pious, Henryk the White, Henryk Probus,

Kazimierz l the Restorer, Kazimierz the Just, Kazimierz the Great,

Wladyslaw the Exile, Wladyslaw Spindleshanks, Wladyslaw the Short.

Not all Polish Kings had the full title of King Of Poland which went with a coronation ceremony, some lesser Kings had the title of Duke of Krakow]

967 - 1025 Bolesław I the Brave or the Valiant (Polish: Bolesław I Chrobry )

He was the firstborn son of Mieszko I by his first wife, Dobrawa, daughter of Boleslav I the Cruel, Duke of Bohemia

Bolesław I was a remarkable politician, strategist and statesman. He was able to turn Poland into one of the largest and most powerful monarchies in eastern Europe.

At the time of his death Bolesław I left Poland larger than he inherited her, adding to its domains the long contested Germananic marches of Lusatia and Sorbian Meissen as well as Red Ruthenia and possibly Lesser Poland. Militarily, at the time, Poland was unquestioningly a considerable power as Bolesław I was able to fight successful campaigns against both Holy Roman Empire and the Kievan Russia.

Boleslaw became a King of Legend - When King Boleslaw died, Poland lost a very able and brave ruler, one who had united her and made her into a really great country.

One legend claims that Boleslaw, and his Knights who fought with him for he was a great warrior and earned his title of the Brave, by routing Poland's enemies he went into a mountain called Giewont. (Overlooks Zakopane) This mountain forms part of the Tatra mountain range, and its shape, if seen from a certain angle, is like the head of a sleeping Knight. Within the mountain is a huge dark cavern and there sleeps King Boleslaw and his Knights. They are mounted on horses, with their swords, bow and lances beside them. And if Poland ever needs them, then some one must awake them, and they will ride forth to serve the Polish nation. (This tale is similar to the one of King Arthur waiting to be roused from beneath Glastonbury or even Alderley Edge)

Giewont Mountain- Zakopane

Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem " Krzyzacy"

They were the Germanic equivalent of the English and French "Knights Templar" formed during the crusades to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals to care for the sick and injured. Its members formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre, in the Orient, the medieval Order played an important role in Outremer (Holy Land), controlling the port tolls of Acre. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend Hungary against the Cumans. They were expelled in 1225 after allegedly attempting to place themselves under Papal instead of Hungarian sovereignty and turned to Vienna.

In 1226 Konrad I of Masovia invited the Teutonic Knights to help him fight the masovian people and convert them to Catholicism and this extended to the pagans who lived in a territory adjacent to his lands substantial border warfare was taking place and Konrad's province had suffered from Prussian invasions. The Teutonic Order quickly overstepped the authority and moved beyond the area granted them by Konrad (Chełmno Land or Kulmerland). In the following decades they conquered large areas along the Baltic Sea coast and established their own monastic state which would become identified as Prussia (Prusowie) When virtually all of the Western Baltic pagans became converted or exterminated (the Prussian conquests had been completed by 1283), the Knights turned their attention to conquering the rest of Poland and Lithuania, then the last major pagan state in Europe. Teutonic expansionist policy and wars with Poland and Lithuania continued for most of the 14th and 15th centuries. The Teutonic state in Prussia, populated by German settlers beginning in the 13th century, had been claimed as a fief and protected by the Popes and Holy Roman Emperors.

You will find on many pre WW2 maps of Poland a Prussian Germanic state in the heart of northern Poland all thanks to the invitation of the Baron Konrad 1. German rulers would continue to claim the right to occupy Polish lands from this point onwards.

Home of the Teutonic Knights - Malbork (Marienburg)

Southern Poland at this time was fighting back raids from the Muslim Mongol Tatars also referred to as the Golden Horde.

The Krakow signal bugle call, or Hejnal Mariacki, dates back to the Middle Ages when it was announcing the opening and the closing of the city gates. During one of the Mongol invasion of Poland (invasion of 1241), Tatar warriors approached the city. A guard on the Mariacki church tower sounded the alarm by playing the Heynal, and the city gates were closed before the Tatars could take the city by surprise. Away on the far meadows the Tartar warriors were mounting their horses and drawing their swords. But already the old watchman could see the Polish archers arriving. The archers took up their positions along the battlements as the tartars galloped towards the city. But by now the Polish arrows were flying. They rained down on the tartar invaders, wave after wave. Eventually the Tartars were forced to retreat, and Krakow was saved from the Mongols!

The bugler, however, was shot in the throat and did not complete the tune. According to the legend, that is why it now ends abruptly before completion.

Everyday in Krakow every full hour a golden trumpet shows above Krakow’s central Grand Square in the west window just below the spire of the higher tower of the Basilica of the Virgin Mary's to commemorate the saving of the town ending abruptly before completion.

The legend isn't actually true. The Polish armies were heavily defeated outside of Krakow by the invading Tatars forcing King Henryk The Pious to flee to the west of Poland along with many of the town folk. The city was sacked - raped and pillaged. The Tatars then headed in the direction of King Henryk.

The Polish King Henryk ll Pobozny ( The Pious) was also killed / hacked to pieces by the Mongols under the leadership of Batu Khan at the battle of Legnica. On the battle field Henryk's remains could only be recognised by his wife by the fact that he had 6 toes on his left foot.

On hearing of the death of Ögedei Khan (third son of Genghis Khan) on December 1241 (from excessive drinking) the Tatars returned back home. Further foreys from the Tatars would continue but these were more of an annoyance. However some Muslim Tatars did settle in Poland and there are a number of small Muslim communities in Poland that data back to these times.

Casimir III the Great - 1310-1370

The Great King Kazimierz is the only Polish king who both received and kept the title of Great in Polish history (Boleslaw I Chrobry is also called the Great, but his title Chrobry (Valiant) is now more common). When he received the crown, his hold on it was in danger, as even his neighbours did not recognise his title and instead called him "king of Kraków". The economy was ruined, and the country was depopulated and exhausted by war. Upon his death, he left a country doubled in size (mostly through the addition of land in today's Ukraine, then the Duchy of Halicz), prosperous, wealthy and with great prospects for the future. Although he is depicted as a peaceful king in children's books, he in fact waged many victorious wars and was readying for others just before he died.

In order to enlist the support of the nobility, especially the military help of pospolite ruszenie, Kazimierz was forced to give up important privileges to their caste, which made them finally clearly dominant over townsfolk (burghers or mieszczaństwo). This concession to the nobility ulitmately made the nobles more powerful than the monachy.

Kazimierz had no legal sons. Apparently he deemed his own descendants either unsuitable or too young to inherit. Thus In 1355 in Buda , and in order to provide a clear line of succession and avoid dynastic uncertainty, he arranged for his sister Elisabeth, Dowager Queen of Hungary, and her son Louis king of Hungary to be his successors in Poland.

In exchange to agreeing to this, the szlachta's tax burden was reduced and they would no longer be required to pay for military expeditions expenses outside Poland. Those important concessions would eventually lead to the ultimately crippling rise of the unique nobles' democracy in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Louis was proclaimed king on Kazimierz's death in 1370, and Elisabeth held much of the real power until her death in 1380. Thus a regal connection with Hungary was established

St. Jadwiga & Jagiello (1373 - 1424)

start of Jagiellon dynasty which would rule Poland for next 200 years

Princes Jadwiga was born in the year of Our Lord 1373, the third daughter of Louis of Hungary. King Louis was the nephew of the great King Casimir, and in 1370 he had claimed the rule of Poland as well, as Casimir's heir.

When Louis died, in 1382, Jadwiga was only nine years old. Because the old king had no sons of his body, he directed that Hungary and Poland should each take one of his daughters and crown her 'king' of the country. Though originally Jadwiga had been destined for Hungary, the Hungarian nobles preferred her older sister, Maria, and the Polish nobles agreed to have Jadwiga as their ruler. (Under Polish customs, both boy and girl children inherit equally, and the king has the right to declare any of his relatives or descendants his heir-- as in the old days of the clans.) In this way, Poland remained separate from Hungary.

Queen Jadwiga was crowned "rex", or King, of Poland in 1384. Alone in a strange country, Jadwiga soon found that she had many troubles to settle. The Teutonic Knights were attacking both Poland and Lithuania, hoping to recapture the lands they lost to Casimir many of Casimir's other descendants were hoping to claim parts of Poland as well. And of course poor Poland was menaced as always from the West by the greedy Germanic states, from the East by the rulers of Muscovy, and from the South by the continuing threat of invasion by the savage Mongols and barbarian Cossack Tartars.

In these circumstances, the great Polish nobles told the little queen that she could not marry her betrothed, an Austrian prince, since they could not accept an Austrian on the throne. As an alternative, they offered the prince Jagiello, King of Lithuania. If she married Jagiello, he would convert to Christianity, and convert his nation. Not only would the joined might of Poland and Lithuania cow her enemies, but the Teutonic Knights would lose the support of the church for their attempts to conquer 'pagan' Lithuania, the excuse they used for invading Poland.

The Lithuanian King was baptized in February 1386, a few days before the marriage, and took the name "Wladyslaw". Wladyslaw and Jadwiga were married on February 18, and the Lithuanian was crowned king of Poland in March, in the city of Krakow.

Jadwiga ruled jointly with the king, traveling on diplomatic missions, negotiating with German, Muscovite, and Italian princes of the Church, helping to establish the church in Lithuania, and establishing seats of learning. In fact, though the nobles had elected Wladyslaw as their king, they looked to Jadwiga as their true king as long as she lived. The young queen sponsored the refounding of the university at Krakow, the oldest in eastern Europe, naming it the Jagiellonian University, and making it a beacon of learning in law and theology she also founded a college for Lithuanians in Prague. Churchmen remember her efforts in the founding of the bishopric of Wilno.

But God willed that the beloved Queen was not to live a long life among her children On June 22, 1399 aged 26 Jadwiga gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Bonifacia. Within a month, both the girl and her mother had died from birth complications. They were buried together in Wawel Cathedral. Jadwiga's death undermined Jogaila's position as King of Poland, but he managed to retain the throne until his death 35 years later. Though king Wladyslaw, now sole ruler of Poland and Lithuania, remarried and had a son to succeed him, it is said that he never forgot his young queen, and it is true that her people have never forgotten her. Her memory lives in the union of Poland and Lithuania, and the comparative peace enjoyed under the rule of the Jagiellonian kings.

She is known in Polish as Jadwiga, in English and German as Hedwig, in Lithuanian as Jadvyga, in Hungarian as Hedvig, and in Latin as Hedvigis. She is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Hedwig. Jadwiga is the patron saint of queens, and of United Europe.

(On June 8, 1979 Pope John Paul II prayed at her sarcophagus and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments officially affirmed her beatification on August 8, 1986. The Pope canonized Jadwiga in Kraków on June 8, 1997)

One interesting story about Jadwiga's benevolence demonstrates the connection between myth and history. It had long been told that Jadwiga had given away all of her wealth (including the crown jewels and her personal jewelry) to help establish the Academy of Cracow (which was later renamed the Jagiellonian University, in honor of her and Wladyslaw). Retold through the centuries, this story became legend, seemingly invented as an example of her good works. However, when her sarcophagus in the Wawel Cathedral was opened in 1887, her skeleton was discovered with the royal scepter and orb with which she had been buried. Shockingly, the scepter and orb were made of humble wood, without even a covering of gold leaf! Jadwiga died at at the young age of 25, so there had been no time for her to reacquire a suitably regal symbols of her sovereignty. The legend proved to be true after all, and today Jadwiga's wooden scepter and orb are on display next to her sarcophagus in the Wawel Cathedral!

1410 The Battle of Grunwald (or 1st Battle of Tannenberg) took place on July 15, 1410 with the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led by the king Jogaila (Władysław II Jagiełło), ranged against the knights of the Teutonic Order, led by the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen. The engagement in the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War (1409-1411) was one of the most important battles in Medieval Europe, and the largest battle to involve knights.

The battle saw the forces of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights decisively defeated, but they defended their castles specifically Malbork and retained most of its territories. The order never recovered its former power, and the financial burden of ensuing reparations decades later caused a rebellion of cities and landed gentry.

The offensive that followed lost its impact with the ineffective siege of Malbork (Marienburg). The failure to take the fortress and eliminate and destry the Teutonic (later Prussian) state had for Poland dire historic consequences in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries

In 1456, during the Thirteen Years' War, the Order—deserted and opposed for establishing taxes to pay high ransoms for prisoners taken by the Polish king—could not pay its mercenaries. Hochmeister Ludwig von Erlichshausen moved the seat of the Order to Königsberg, and gave Malbork castle to the Bohemian mercenaries as payment. The mercenaries left, after selling the castle to King Casimir IV Jagiellon, who thus acquired what he and his predecessor could not conquer. He entered the castle triumphantly in 1457.

Under mayor Bartholomäus Blume, the city itself resisted the Polish onslaught for three more years, until the Poles captured and hanged Blume in 1460. A monument to him was erected in 1864. Castle and town became part of Royal Prussia in 1466, and served as one of the several Polish royal residences. During the Thirty Years' War, in 1626 and 1629, Swedes occupied the castle, and again from 1656 to 1660 in The Deluge (see below) during the Northern Wars.

(There was a 2nd epic Battle of Tannenberg in 1914 at the start of WW1 which resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army by the Germans - who like to forget about the first battle and focus on the second which they won.)

The Golden Age

1569 - 1772 The Golden Age of the Polish Commonwealth - Poland was the largest country in Europe at this time. It was free, independent and democratic.

However all power was with the area Barons/Magnates. Each Baron had his own fighting force - generally cavalry.

The Polish term "szlachta" designates the formalized, hereditary noble class.

There was a Polish Parliament "The Seym" all laws passed had to be agreed by ALL the barons. Any one baron had the right of Liberum Vetu, that is they could vote down the entire bill. This was Polands Golden Freedom.

In addition Polish Kings were not hereditary - they were nominated and installed as a figure head by the barons and usually such kings were foreign and not Polish nationals- they were reliant on the barons support and to provide fighting forces.

Poland thus had a large nobility. About ten percent (10%) of the population was noble, as compared to the one (1%) to two (2%) percent in the rest of Europe. The Polish State was set up to serve the Polish nobleman. Over the centuries, the wealthiest Polish families often contrived to acquire foreign titles, and in later periods a small number of titles were awarded by Parliament. As a result many barons/magnates recieved hugh sums from foreign governments to represent their interests and vote for their kings and the majority of the kings of this period tended to be foreign and weak because the noblemen did not want to vote in a King more powerful then they had become.

Łańcut Palace ( pronounced Wine-Tsut ) exemplifies the grandeur and opulence of the major Polish Nobility through the inter-marriages of the families of the Lubomirski, Czartoryski, Radziwill and Potocki.

Also noteable residences are the Zamoyski Palace and The Kozlowka Palace which is considered to be one of the most beautiful magnate residencies in Poland. Aleksander Zamoyski bought the Kozlowka for the Zamoyski family who founded the eastern fortified town of Zamość.

There are many hundreds of residences/palaces to discover in Poland all bound to the noble families.

The Deluge "Potop" 1648 -1660

Splits within the Polish nobility between supporting a "Jesuit" King - Jan Kazimierz with sympathies with Austria and nobility supporting the Swedish King Charles X Gustav of Sweden led to the Deluge.

"The Deluge" refers to the Swedish invasion and occupation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1655 to 1660 When the Swedish armies first invaded Poland, the Voivod of Poznań, Krzysztof Opaliński, surrendered Great Poland to Charles Gustav. Other areas also surrendered in rapid succession. Almost the whole country followed suit, with the Swedes entering Warsaw unopposed in August 1655 and King John ll Casimir fleeing to Silesia.

However several places still resisted, most remarkably (and symbolically) the monastery at Jasna Góra in Czestochowa (pic above) . Led by The Grand Prior Augustyn Kordecki, the garrison of this sanctuary-fortress of Poland held off its enemies in the Siege of Jasna Góra (November 1655 to January 1656). The defense of Jasna Góra galvanized Polish resistance against the Swedes. In December 1655 the Tyszowce Confederation formed in support of the exiled John Casimir (Jan Kazimierz).

Spontaneous uprisings started all over the country, attacking the dispersed occupation forces — who, in their turn, retaliated. The uprisings soon merged under the leadership of Polish military leader Stefan Czarniecki and Grand Hetman of Lithuania Jan Paweł Sapieha, who started organized counterattacks in order to eliminate those loyal to Charles Gustav. In the end, John II Casimir's supporters crowned him in Lwów Cathedral in 1656 (Lwów Oath).

In 1655, the fabled castle of Krzystopor (it really did and does exist) owned by the Ossoliński family was captured by the Swedes, who occupied it until 1657, pillaging the entire complex. The damage to the structure was so extensive that after the Swedes’ withdrawal it was not rebuilt.

The Ossolinski's castle was reputedly the biggest in Europe prior to the building of Versailles. The name 'Krzyztopor' mean The Battle Axe of The Cross - whose descendents are represented in North Western England through Count Boris Ossolinski, whose Jackson heiress bride is remembered in England as Countess Mary Ossalinsky.

The Commonwealth forces finally drove back the Swedes in 1657. (Jan Sobieski was among the Greater Polish regiments based in Poznan)

These heroic victories were regarded as the miracle of Black Madonna and Czestochowa's fame grew even more. It also made the grateful Polish King Jan Kazimierz to crown Black Madonn Queen and Patroness of Poland.

( The legend concerning the two scars on the Black Madonna's right cheek dates back 220 years from this period, when the Protestant Hussites (Czechs) stormed the Pauline monastery in 1430, plundering the sanctuary. Among the items stolen was the icon. After putting it in their wagon, the Hussites tried to get away but their horses refused to move. They threw the portrait down to the ground and one of the plunderers drew his sword upon the image and inflicted two deep strikes. When the robber tried to inflict a third strike, he fell to the ground and squirmed in agony until his death. )

1629 - 1696 Jan Sobieski (Greatest Polish King and Saviour of Vienna)

Although Poland-Lithuania was at that time the largest and one of the most populous states of Europe, Sobieski became a king of a country (1676) devastated by almost half a century of constant war, which brought an end to Poland's economic well-being. The treasury was almost empty and the court had little to offer for the powerful magnates, who often allied themselves with foreign courts rather than the state they lived in. Sobieski decided to stabilise the situation of the country by forcing the Ottomans to accept a peace treaty to end the constant wars on the southern border. In the autumn of 1674 he recommenced the war against the Turks and managed to recapture the mighty fortresses of Kamieniec Podolski, Bar and Reszków, which re-established a strongly-fortified line defending Poland's southern border in the Ukraine.

In 1676 the Tatars started a counter-offensive and crossed the Dneper, but could not retake the strategic town of Żórawno and the peace treaty was signed soon afterwards. Although Kamieniec Podolski remained a part of Turkey, Poland levelled its significance by the construction of the Stronghold of the Holy Trinity and return of the town of Bila Tserkva. With signing of the treaty a period of peace started, much needed to repair the country and strengthen the royal authority. Although constantly harassed by the magnates and foreign courts of Brandenburg and Austria (Austria even tried to oust Sobieski and replace him with Charles of Lorraine), Sobieski completely reformed the Polish military. The military was reorganised into regiments, the infantry finally dropped pikes replacing them with battle-axes and the Polish cavalry adopted the formations of the famous Winged Hussars and dragoons. Also, Sobieski greatly increased the number of guns and developed a new tactics of artillery.

Battle of Vienna 1683

Sobieski's greatest success came on September 12, 1683 with his victory at the Battle of Vienna, in joint command (with Leopold who actually fled the city to safety returning the day after the victory - and of course claiming credit) of Polish, Austrian and German troops, against the invading Turks under Kara Mustafa. The Muslim armies were threatening to overturn Christian Europe - this was a pivotal battle for the heart of europe and Christianity.

Upon reaching Vienna, he joined with the Austrians and Germans. Sobieski had planned to attack on the 13th of September, but with Turkish undermining efforts being close to breach the walls and enter the city, he ordered full attack on September 12. At 04:00 a united army of about 81,000 men attacked a Turkish army that numbered about 130,000 men which were divided between attacking the town walls and fighting off the united army. At about five o'clock in the afternoon, after observing the infantry battle from the hilltop, Sobieski led Polish husaria cavalry along with Austrians and Germans into a massive charge down the hillside. Soon, the Turkish battle line was broken and the Ottoman forces scattered in confusion. At 17:30, Sobieski entered the deserted tent of Kara Mustafa and the battle of Vienna ended.

The Pope and other foreign dignitaries hailed Sobieski as the "Savior of Vienna and Western European civilization." In a letter to his wife he wrote, "All the common people kissed my hands, my feet, my clothes others only touched me, saying: 'Ah, let us kiss so valiant a hand!'"

You'd expect the Austrians to be grateful and at least recognise Sobieski's effort with a memorial in Vienna . But not everything is remembered. It's hard to find any trace of the victory of Jan Sobieski, who embarrassed Leopold by entering the city in triumph a day before the Emperor managed to return. Sobieski's memorial in the city's historical centre is a simple plaque, mounted 300 years after the events of 1683.

King Jan III Sobieski, nicknamed by the Turks the "Lion of Lehistan", and the last great king of Poland, died in Wilanów, Poland on June 17, 1696. His wife, Maria Kasimira, died in 1716 in Blois, France and her body was returned to Poland. They are interred together in Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, Poland.

Picture - Sobieski sending message to the Pope to say that Vienna was saved.( In Krakow Nat.Museum by Jan Matejko)

King Jan III was succeeded by Augustus II who stayed in power primarily because of Russian support. On his death in 1733, a struggle for the crown of Poland ensued, referred to as the War of the Polish Succession. In real terms Poland was very weak and no longer able to raise an effective national army to defend itself.

Towards 1772 there were proposals in the Seym to extend freedoms and land ownership to the lower classes. This was at direct odds with the dictarships of empires that surrounded Poland and resulted in three great partitions of Poland.

Stanisław August Poniatowski (1732 - 1798 ) ( Last King of Poland and lover of Catherine the Great of Russia )

Poniatowski owed his career ultimately to his family connections to the powerful Czartoryski clan, who in 1755 sent him to Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the service of British ambassador Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams and the same year, through the influence of the Russian Empress Elizabeth and Chancellor Bestuzhev-Ryumin, he joined the Russian court as the ambassador of Saxony.

He met Catherine Alexeievna (Catherine the Great of Russia) and they became lovers. She was irresistibly attracted to the handsome and brilliant young Polish nobleman, for whom she forsook all other lovers. They had a child Anna Petrovna, born in December 1757. He loved Catherine until he died but they would never marry and Catherine would continue having many lovers

After a coup d'état on 7 September 1764 supported by Russian troops, the ambitious, 32-year-old Poniatowski was elected King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

On his election in 1764 he aquired the Łazienki Park (in Warsaw) which was designed in the 17th century for Stanisław Lubomirski who lived in the adjacent Ujazdow Castle. It took the name Łazienki ("Baths") from a bathing pavilion that was located there. The development of the classicist-style gardens became a major project for Stanisław August during his reign and he further developed the bath house into the Łazienki Palace on an Island.

Today the memorial to Chopin is found the in the Łazienki gardens.

He also founded the School of Chivalry (otherwise "Corps of Cadets"), which functioned 1765-1794 and whose alumni included Tadeusz Kościuszko and the Commission of National Education (1773), the world's first national ministry of education.

It was only during the Four-Year Sejm of 1788-1792 that he threw in his lot with the reformers, centered in the Patriotic Party, and with them co-authored the Constitution of 3 May 1791.Poniatowski's eloquent speech before the Sejm on taking an oath to uphold the newly adopted Constitution moved his audience to tears.

Afraid that the May Constitution of Poland (1791) might lead to a resurgence in the power of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and that the growing democratic movements inside the Commonwealth might become a threat to the European monarchies, Catherine decided to intervene in Poland. She provided support to a Polish anti-reform group known as the Targowica Confederation formed by Polish nobility led by Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki to overthrow the Constitution. The confederates aligned with Russia's Catherine the Great, and the Russian army entered Poland, starting the Polish-Russian War of 1792.

[Targowica Confederation : Agreed in April 27th. in St Petersburg and on May 14, 1792 it was announced in a small town Targowica in Kirovohrad Oblast Ukraine by members of republican plot.

Is this the same town that our folks came from ? No our Targovica is in the Volyn Oblast. However in Poland supporters of the confederation are referred to as "targowiczanin" or foolish traitor- !!]

After a series of battles, Poniatowski, upon the advice of Hugo Kołłątaj and others, acceded to the Confederation. This undermined the operations of the Polish Army, which under Tadeusz Kościuszko and the King's own nephew, Prince Jozef Poniatowski, had been performing miracles on the battlefield.

After defeating Polish loyalist forces in the Polish War in Defense of the Constitution (1792) and in the Kościuszko Uprising (1794), Russia completed the partitioning of Poland, dividing all of the remaining Commonwealth territory with Prussia and Austria (1795).

After the final, Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stanisław August was forced to abdicate (25 November 1795) and left for Saint Petersburg, Russia. There, a virtual prisoner, he subsisted on a pension granted to him by Empress Catherine the Great, and died deeply in debt. He was buried at the Catholic Church of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg.

And so the ERA's of Polish Kings came to an end

Tadeusz Kościuszko (Son of Liberty) 1746 - 1817

He is a national hero in Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, and the United States. He led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising against Imperial Russia and Kingdom of Prussia as Supreme Commander of the National Armed Force. He was the son of Polish noble Ludwik Tadeusz Kościuszko and Tekla, née Ratomska. He was the youngest child in a family whose lineages are traced to Lithuanian and Ruthenian nobility.

He joined the Knights Academy in 1765 and In 1769 Kościuszko and his colleague Orłowski were granted a royal scholarship in Paris. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was forced to cut back its Army to 10,000 men, and when Kościuszko finally returned home in 1774, there was no place for him in the Army. he decided to travel back to Paris. There he was informed of the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, in which the British colonies in North America revolted against the crown and started the fight for independence.Thus he travelled to North America and joined the Continental Army. He was so moved after reading the Declaration of Independance much of which expressed his own opinions of freedoms that he was compelled to meet it's author Thomas Jefferson - becoming good friends in the process.

1776, Congress commissioned him a Colonel of Engineers in the Continental Army. "He was assigned a black slave named Agrippa Hull, whom he eventually freed.

After seven years of service, on October 13, 1783, Kościuszko was promoted by Congress to the rank of brigadier general. He also received American citizenship and a grant of land and was admitted to the prestigious Society of the Cincinnati and to the American Philosophical Society. When he was leaving America, he wrote a last will, naming Thomas Jefferson the executor and leaving his property in America to be used to buy the freedom of black slaves

In July 1784 Kościuszko set off for Poland, where he arrived on August 12. He settled in his home village of Siechnowicze. The property, administered by his brother-in-law, brought a small but stable income, and Kościuszko decided to limit his serfs' corvée to two days a week, while completely exempting female serfs. This move was seen by local szlachta (nobility) as a sign of Kościuszko's dangerous liberalism. But liberal thought was spreading - a strong, if still informal, group of politicians advocated for reforms and for strengthening the state arguing for granting the serfs and burghers more rights and for strengthening the central authorities. These ideas were supported by a large part of the szlachta, who also wanted to curb foreign meddling in Poland's internal affairs.

Finally the Great Sejm of 1788–92 opened the necessary reforms. One of its first acts was to approve the creation of a 100,000-man army to defend the Commonwealth's borders against its aggressive neighbors. Kościuszko applied to the army and on October 12, 1789, received a royal commission as a major general.

The Commonwealth's internal situation and the reforms initiated by the Constitution of May 3, 1791, the first constitution written in the modern era in Europe and second in the world after the American, were seen by the surrounding powers as a threat to their influence over Polish politics. On May 14, 1792, conservative magnates created the Targowica Confederation, which asked Russian Tsarina Catherine II for help in overthrowing the constitution. On May 18, 1792, a 100,000-man Russian army crossed the Polish border and headed for Warsaw, thus opening the Polish-Russian War of 1792.

Victorious in the Battle of Zieleńce (June 18, 1792), Kościuszko was among the first to receive the newly-created Virtuti Militari medal, Poland's highest military decoration even today.

In the ensuing Battles of Włodzimierz (July 17, 1792) and Dubienka (July 18) Kościuszko repulsed the numerically superior enemy and came to be regarded as one of Poland's most brilliant military commanders of the time. On August 1, 1792, King Stanisław August promoted him to Lieutenant General. But before the nomination arrived at Kościuszko's camp in Sieciechów, the King had joined the ranks of the Targowica Confederation and surrendered to the Russians.

The King's capitulation was a hard blow for Kościuszko, who had not lost a single battle in the campaign. Together with many other notable Polish commanders and politicians he fled to Dresden and then to Leipzig, where the émigrées began preparing an uprising against Russian rule in Poland.

On January 13, 1793, Prussia and Russia signed the Second Partition of Poland, which was ratified by the Sejm of Grodno on June 17. Such an outcome was a giant blow for the members of Targowica Confederation who saw their actions as a defense of centuries-old privileges of the magnates, but now were regarded by the majority of the Polish population as traitors. After the partition Poland became a small country of roughly 200,000 square kilometres and a population of approximately 4 million. The economy was ruined and the support for the cause of an uprising grew significantly, especially since there was no serious opposition to the idea after the Targowica Confederation was discredited.

The situation in Poland was changing rapidly. The Russian and Prussian governments forced Poland to again disband the majority of her armed forces and the reduced units were to be drafted to the Russian army. Also, in March the tsarist agents discovered the group of revolutionaries in Warsaw and started arresting notable Polish politicians and military commanders with forced imprisonment and deportation to Siberia.

PhD Reading Guide: Early Modern Royal Navy

This is a somewhat stripped down version of the bibliography for my PhD Thesis, which will also provide another post for this series. The annotations below are impressions and evaluations rather than summaries. This list covers the period 1660-1749, and includes the sources that most directly related to my study of the early modern Royal Navy.

The Fiscal-Military State

I didn’t really get into “the money” and spending per se in my PhD, however, these is the current leading edge of discussions of the early modern state and military. These also provided an important context, as comparisons can be made between Parliament/the Monarch’s willingness to spend money to do something/make a point, and their willingness to use their authority to define the Royal Navy. Of these, I found Pincus & Robinson very useful particularly due to the shift in language in their articles in describing England as an ‘Interventionist’ or ‘Developmental’ state. Abigail Swingen’s book (Which she wrote about here) is simply the best book I’ve ever read about the British Atlantic economy and empire (1650 to 1710ish), about mercantilism, and about slavery.

Bowen, Huw et al. ‘The Contractor state: 1650-1815’ International Journal of Maritime History, 2013, pp. 239-274

Brandon, Pepijn. War, Capital and the Dutch state (1588-1795). Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Brewer, John. The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State 1688-1783. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989.

Graham, A. & P. Walsh. The British Fiscal-Military States, 1660-c.1783. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016

Swingen, Abigail. Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.

Royal Navy History

Socio-Cultural History

These books are where I started my PhD. Without J.D. Davies in particular, there would be no PhD. The Gueritz article was one that I used for my MA, and that kept pushing me to consider institutional culture and identity. Elias Norbert is particularly interesting as it’s a demonstration of how historical discussions of military professionalization really do need to engage with sociological theory. N.A.M. Rodger is prolific and authority, and frankly his books provided good quotes that I used to show why new work and new approaches were needed. Reading Sarah Kinkel’s PhD *completely* transformed the final chapter of my thesis, and was what allowed me to come to my final argument about Parliament and the Admiralty each taking on part of the other’s ability to define the Royal Navy (At times).

Capp, Bernard. Cromwell’s Navy: The Fleet and the English Revolution, 1648-1660, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989

Corbett, Julian. Ed. Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816. Navy Records Society, 1905.

Davies, J.D. Gentlemen and Tarpaulins: The Officers and Men of the Restoration Navy. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.
Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing, 2002.
Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales. Stroud: The History Press, 2013.
Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and the Royal Navy. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing, forthcoming, 2017
Navy, Parliament and Political Crisis in the Reign of Charles II’ The Historical Journal, Vol. 36, No. 2. Jun., 1993) pp. 271-288
‘Pepys and the Naval Commission 1679-1684’ Historical Research, Vol. 67, No. 147. pp. 34-53
‘Fubbs Yes, Mum No: The Naming of British Warships, c.1660-c.1714, Part 1’ Gentlemen and Tarpaulins Blog, 30 July 2012.
‘A Hope and A Sandwich: The Naming of Stuart Warships, c1660-c1714, Part 2’ Gentlemen and Tarpaulins Blog,
‘Saints and Soldiers: The Naming of Stuart Warships, c.1660-c.1714, Part 3.’ Gentlemen and Tarpaulins Blog,

Dickinson, H.W. Educating the Royal Navy: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Education for Officers. London: Routledge, 2007.

Elias, Norbert. ‘Studies in the Genesis of the Naval Profession’. The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 1, No. 4. (Dec., 1950) pp. 291-309
The Genesis of the Naval Profession, ed. R. Moelker and S. Mennell. Dublin: University College of Dublin Press, 2007.

Gueritz, E.F. ‘Nelson’s Blood: Attitudes and Actions of the Royal Navy 1939-45’ Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 16, No. 3, The Second World War: Part 2 (Jul., 1981), pp. 487-499

Harding, Richard. Modern Naval History: Debates and Prospects. London: Bloomsbury Press, 2016.

Kinkel, Sarah. ‘The King’s Pirates? Naval Enforcement of Imperial Authority, 1740-46’, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol 71, No. 1 (Jan 2014), pp. 3-34

Kinkel, Sarah. Disciplining the Empire: Georgian Politics, Social Hierarchy, and the Rise of the British Navy, 1725-1775. PhD Thesis, Yale University, 2012.

Miller, Amy. Dressed to Kill: British naval uniform, masculinity and contemporary fashions, 1748-1857. London: National Maritime Museum, 2007.

Rodger, N. A. M. Articles of War: The Statutes which Governed Our Fighting Navies 1661, 1749, and 1886. Hampshire: Kenneth Mason, 1982.
The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy. Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co, 1990.
Safeguard of the Seas: A Naval History of Britain 660-1649. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1997.
The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.
‘The Naval ‘Service of the Cinque Ports’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 442 (Jun., 1996), pp. 636-651
‘Commissioned officers’ careers in the Royal Navy, 1690-1815′. Journal of Maritime Research, Vol 3, No. 1, (June, 2001), pp. 165-218
‘Honour and duty at sea, 1660-1815’ Historical Research, vol. 75, no. 190 (November 2002) pp. 425-447
‘From the ‘military revolution’ to the ‘fiscal-naval’ state’, Journal for Maritime Research 13, 2 (2011), pp. 119-128

Wilson, Evan, Jakob Seerup & Anna Sara Hammar (2015) The education and
careers of naval officers in the long eighteenth century: an international perspective, Journal for Maritime Research, 17:1, 17-33, DOI: 10.1080/21533369.2015.1024515

Royal Navy and the Law

Acland’s work is predictably whiggish in it’s approach, but for discussions of the development of the Articles of War, it’s what was available. Robert Glass’ paper is really good but also quite difficult to find. I also suggest looking at Anna Brinkman‘s work.

Acland, R. The Naval Articles of War Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, Third Series, Vol. 3, No. 4 (1921) pp. 190-201
‘The Developments of Naval Courts-Martial‘ Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, Third Series, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1922), pp. 38-40

Allen, Douglas W. ‘Compatible Incentives and the Purchase of Military Commissions’ The Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 1998), pp. 45-66

Glass, Robert ‘Naval Courts-Martial in the 18th Century’ in New Interpretations in Naval History: Selected Papers from the Twefth Naval History Symposium held at the United States Naval Academy, 26-27 October 1995. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1997.

Steckley, George F. ‘Collisions, Prohibitions, and the Admiralty Court in Seventeenth-Century London’ Law and History Review, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Spring, 2003), pp. 41-67

Administration and Logistics

These were fundamental to understanding *what* the Royal Navy was, both before and after 1660. Baugh’s NRS volume and book are the classics, although very difficult to purchase now. The theme of this section is ‘continuities’.

Baugh, Daniel A. British Naval Administration in the Age of Walpole. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965.
Naval Administration 1715-1750 (The Navy Records Society, London: William Clowes & Son 1977.

Black, Jeremy, and Philip Woodfine, eds. The British Navy and the Use of Naval Power in the Eighteenth Century. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1988.

Buchet, Christian. ‘Les Modalité de la Logistique Anglaise en Matériel Naval dan L’espace Caraibe (1689-1763)’ Histoire, Économie et Société, Vol 11, No. 4 (4e trimestre 1992), pp 571-596

Coats, Ann ‘English Naval Administration under Charles I- Top Down and Bottom Up- Tracing Continuities’ in Transactions of the Naval Dockyard Society, Vol. 8 (June 2012) pp. 9-30

Crewe, Duncan. Yellow Jack and the Worm: British Naval Administration in the West Indies. Liverpool University Press, 2003.

Davies, C.S.L. ‘The Administration of the Royal Navy under Henry VIII: The Origins of the Navy Board’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 80, No. 315 (Apr., 1965) pp. 268-288

Deshpande, Anirudh. ‘Limitations of Military Technology: Naval Warfare on the West Coast, 1650-1800’ Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 27, No. 17 (Apr. 25, 1992), pp. 900-904

Oppenheim, Michael. Ed. The Naval Tracts of Sir William Monson in Six Books Volume 4. sl: Navy Records Society, 1913.
‘The Royal Navy under Charles I’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 9, No. 33 (Jan., 1894), pp. 92-116
‘The Royal Navy under Charles I: Part III – The Administration’ English Historical Review, Vol. 9, No. 35. Jul., 1894), pp. 473-492
‘The Navy of the Commonwealth, 1649-1660,’ English Historical Review, Vol. 11 (No. 41. Jan., 1896): pp. 20-81

Tanner, J.R. ‘Pepys and the Popish Plot’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 7, No. 26 (Apr., 1892), pp. 281-290
‘Naval Preparations of James II in 1688’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 30 (Apr., 1893), pp. 272-283
‘The Administration of the Navy from the Restoration to the Revolution’ English Historical Review Vol. 12, No. 45 (Jan., 1897), pp. 17-66
‘The Administration of the Navy from the Restoration to the Revolution: Part II.-1673-1679. Continued)’, English Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 49 (Jan. 1898) pp. 26-54
‘The Administration of the Navy from the Restoration to the Revolution. Part III.-1679-1688. Continued)’, The English Historical Review, Vol. 14, No. 54 (Apr., 1899) pp. 261-289
‘Samuel Pepys and the Trinity House’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 176 (Oct., 1929), pp. 573-587

Thrush, Andrew. The Navy Under Charles I 1625-40. PhD Thesis, University College London, 1990.

Todd, Hilary ‘Charles, James, and the recreation of the Royal Navy 1660-1665’ Transactions of the Naval Dockyards Society vol 8, (June 2012)

Tomlinson, H. C. ‘The Ordnance Office and the Navy, 1660-1714’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 354 (Jan., 1975), pp. 19-39
Wheeler, J.S. ‘Navy Finance, 1649-1660’, The Historical Journal, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Jun., 1996) pp. 457-66

Turnbull, A. The Administration of the Royal Navy 1660-1673. PhD Thesis, Leeds University, 1974.

Willis, Sam. Fighting at Sea in the Eighteenth Century: the Art of Sailing Warfare. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2008
The Admiral Benbow: The Life and Times of a Naval Legend. London: Quercus, 2010.

Wilkinson, Clive. The British Navy and the State in the Eighteenth Century. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press in association with the National Maritime Museum, 2004.

Strategy and Operations

Strategy and Operations as such were not a major part of my thesis, but provided important context. I do want to highlight Robert Passfield’s book, however. The first two chapters are a thorough investigation of the 1690 attack on Quebec by Massachusetts forces under Phips. The last chapter is a really important discussion on the relationship between Massachusetts and England in 1690. Passfield’s discussion of the concept of a ‘suzerainty’ is what led me to consider the state-like attributes of the Royal Navy as defined in 1660, and then to the Westminster Model notion.

Ehrman, John. ‘William III and the Emergence of the Mediterranean Naval Policy 1692-1694’ The Cambridge Historical Journal 9, (1949) pp. 269-92

Graham, G.S. ‘The Naval Defence of British North America 1739-1763.’ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Fourth Series, 30 (1948), pp. 95-110

Gwyn, Julian. ‘The Royal Navy in North America, 1712-1776.’ In The British Navy and the Use of Naval Power in the Eighteenth Century, edited by Jeremy Black and Philip Woodfine, 129-147. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1988.

Murphy, Elaine. Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2012.

Newman, Peter C. Empire of the Bay: The Company of Adventurers that Seized a Continent. Toronto: Penguin, 2000.

Pack, S.W.C. The Wager Mutiny. London: Alvin Redman, 1964.

Palmer, Michael.’The Soul’s Right Hand’: Command and Control in the Age of Fighting Sail, 1652-1827′ The Journal of Military History, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Oct., 1997), pp. 679-705

Passfield, Robert. Phip’s Amphibious Assault on Quebec-1690. Ottawa: self-published, 2011.

Ships and People

In this section, Michael Lewis’s book is especially good. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but he has some pretty good quotes about the professionalization of the Royal Navy as a process, and the way that he struggled to describe Elizabethan Sea Dogs and to draw comparisons to later Royal Navy officers is a compelling display of the difficulties of defining the attributes that go with professional or institutional labels and descriptions. Rif Winfield’s and Brian Lavery’s books are must-have references, and they make life a lot easier.

Goodwin, P. G. The Construction and Fitting of the English Man of War, 1650-1850. London: Conway, 2006.

Harding, ‘Edward Vernon, 1684-1757’ in Precursor’s of Nelson: British Admirals of the Eighteenth Century, Peter Le Fevre & Richard Harding Eds. (London: Stackpole Books, 2000) 173-74.
‘George, Lord Anson, 1697-1762.’ In Precursors of Nelson: British Admirals of the Eighteenth Century, edited by Peter Le Fevre and Richard Harding, 177-200. London: Chatham Publishing, 2000.

Lewis, Michael. England’s Sea Officers: The Story of the Naval Profession. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1939.

Lambert, Andrew. Admirals: The Naval Commanders who made Britain Great. London: Faber and Faber, 2008.

Le Fevre, Peter. ‘Tangier the Navy and It’s Connection with the Glorious Revolution of 1688’, Mariner’s Mirror Vol 73 No. 2, (1987) pp. 187-190

Lavery, Brian. The Ship of the Line Vol. 1: The Development of the Battlefleet 1650-1850. s.l: Conway Maritime Press.

Winfield, Rif. British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714–1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. np: Seaforth, 2007.
British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1603-1714: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing, 2009.

WYLDE (WILDE), John (c.1591-c.1669), of the Harriots, Droitwich, Worcs. and the Inner Temple, London later of Serjeants' Inn, Chancery Lane, London and Hampstead, Mdx.

b. c.1591, 1st s. of George Wylde I* of the Harriots, and Frances, da. of Sir Edmund Huddleston of Sawston, Cambs. bro. of George II*.1 educ. Balliol, Oxf. 1605, aged 14, BA Oxf. 1607 (incorp. Camb. 1608), MA Oxf. 1610 I. Temple 1603, called 1612.2 m. (1) by 10 Oct. 1613, 1da.3 ?d.v.p. (2) Anne (d. 6 May 1624), da. of (Sir) Thomas Harris*, 1st bt. of Tong Castle, Salop, 1da.4 suc. fa. 1616.5 d. c.1669.6

Offices Held

Reader, Clement’s Inn 1619-20, I. Temple 16317 recorder, Droitwich 1624-c.60,8 Worcester, Worcs. 1640-3, 1646-609 auditor, Steward’s acct., I. Temple 1626, auditor, treas.’s acct., 1627, bencher 1628-37, steward, Reader’s dinner 1629, reader’s attendant 163010 sjt.-at-law, 1637 treas. Serjeants’ Inn, Chancery Lane 1639-4211 commr. Gt. Seal, 1643-612 j. assize, Oxf. circ. winter 1647, 1650, 1651, 1652, summer 1650, 1651, 1659, Western circ. summer 1647, 1648, 1649, 1652, 1653, winter 1648, 1649, 1653 chief bar. of exch. 1648-55, Jan.-May 1660.13

J.p. Worcs. 1620-60 (custos rot. 1651-5), Oxon. 1647-53, Salop 1647-c.1655, 1660, Mon. 1647-53, Glos. 1647-60 (custos rot. by 1650-60), Berks. 1647-c.1655, Herefs. 1647-53, Devon, Dorset, Hants, Cornw. 1647-c.1655, Essex and Kent by 1650-53, Leics. Mdx., Norf., Northants., Som., Suff. by 1650-c.1655, Staffs., Surr., Warws. by 1650-53, Wilts. by 1650-c.1655, Caern., Flint., Merion. by 1650-53, Denb. by 1650-53, Mont. by 1650-60, Westminster by 1650-c.1655, Anglesey 1650-314 commr. subsidy, Worcs. 1622, 1628, 1642,15 charitable uses, 1624, 1628, 1631, 1632, 1636, 1637, 1638, 1640,16 gaol delivery, Worcester 1624-at least 1638,17 Forced Loan, Worcs. 1627,18 sewers, Glos. and Worcs. 162919 member, Council in the Marches of Wales, 163320 under-steward, Kidderminster, Worcs. 1636, commr. swearing the officers of the corp. of Kidderminster 1636,21 oyer and terminer, Oxf. circ. 1637-42, 1654-9, Hants 1648, Kent 1648,22 assessment, Worcs. 1643, 1644, 1647, 1648, 1649-53, 1657, 1660, Worcester 1647, 1648, 1660, Mdx. 1652-3, 1660, Westminster 1660,23 sequestration, Worcs. 1643,24 levying of money, Worcs. 1643,25 maintaining the Gloucester garrison, 1644,26 reducing Worcs. to the obedience of Parl., 1644,27 militia, Worcs. 1648, 1659, 1660, Worcester, 1648, Westminster, 1659, Glos. 1659, Mdx. 1659, 1660,28 scandalous ministers, Worcs. 1654.29

Member, cttee. for Irish Affairs, 1641, 164230 chairman, cttee. for safety of kingdom 1642,31 cttee. for sequestrations 1643-832 commr. assembly of Divines 164333 member, cttee. for supplying wood fuel to London by 1644,34 regulating the Excise, 164535 commr. for exclusion from the sacrament, 1646, 164836 conservator of peace, negotiations between Eng. and Scotland 164637 cllr. of state 1649-51.38


Wylde followed his father into the legal profession. As the eldest son of a Droitwich freeman he automatically became free on attaining his majority,39 and when his father died in 1616 he inherited property in and near the town.40 Wylde played a prominent part in Droitwich affairs, organizing the borough’s petition for a new charter in 1624, when he was appointed the town’s first recorder.41

Wylde first represented Droitwich in the 1621 Parliament. He made nine recorded contributions to debates and was appointed to five committees. In his first intervention, in the debate on the concealments bill (21 Mar.), he called for a saving clause for depending suits but was opposed by Sir Edward Coke.42 In the grievances debate on 26 Mar. Wylde attacked the Exchequer for encouraging informers and imposing unnecessary fees,43 and on 25 Apr. he proposed that the committee appointed to investigate Chancery should also examine the Exchequer. The House referred the business to the committee for sheriffs’ accounts, to which Wylde was then added.44 On 3 May he proposed that the bill against innovated fees should cover gaolers but that Exchequer fees authorized by a statute of 1604 should be allowed to continue.45 As well as complaining about grievances Wylde sought to maintain the dignity of his profession. On 1 May he attacked proposals to exclude from the bench all lawyers who had not been readers, for although he would not have been affected, having recently read at Clement’s Inn, he considered that it was a disgrace to be removed.46 Wylde also defended the interests of his county, arguing on 5 May that Worcestershire should not contribute to the repair of Tewkesbury bridge.47 Wylde’s remaining committee appointments, concerned the estates of Sir Edward Apsley (4 May), Sir Francis Hollyngham (8 May) and Thomas Frith (26 May), and the naturalization of Abigail and William Little (8 May).48

In the first sitting of the 1621 Parliament Wylde concerned himself with domestic issues, but early in the morning on 27 Nov. he turned to foreign policy, proposing to renew the previous day’s debate. As the House was then only thinly attended he was initially rebuffed, but he subsequently launched into an attack against Spain. Claiming that Spain aimed to ‘to subjugate all kingdoms’, he proposed an offensive war rather than one restricted to the Palatinate. He further suggested that Spain be declared the common enemy and that the House announce its readiness to vote money. He concluded by moving that the Commons should turn their attention to domestic security. Wylde’s views may have been too extreme for many in the Commons, as Pym states that he ‘was quickly stopped by the dislike of the House’. However, the full accounts of Wylde’s speech in other diaries suggest that Pym’s comment actually refers to Wylde’s earlier speech that morning, which was certainly cut short due to thin attendance.49 In his last intervention, two days later, Wylde returned to domestic issues, successfully moving that the sheriffs’ accounts committee meet the following afternoon.50

In February 1622 Wylde gave £50 for the recovery of the Palatinate and was active in raising contributions in Worcestershire.51 Returned again for Droitwich in 1624, this time with his brother-in-law Walter Blount, Wylde was appointed to five committees, made nine recorded contributions to debates, and was exclusively concerned with domestic issues. Twice he referred to the 1621 assembly as a ‘convention’, endorsing James I’s assertion that it was not a true Parliament.52 He quickly returned to abuses in the Exchequer, arguing on 24 Feb. that the bills prepared in 1621 should be revived and a select committee appointed. However the House thought that this matter came within the remit of the grand committee for investigating the courts of justice.53 Wylde was undaunted and at the latter committee the following day he repeated his demand for a select committee. This time the House relented, for the next day it appointed a committee, to which Wylde was named.54 He remained interested in the Exchequer, being appointed to the committee to consider a bill concerning licences of alienation (5 Mar.), and complaining in the debate on the second reading of the sheriffs’ accounts bill (8 Mar.) that the provisions relating to fees were too general.55

Wylde was active in the committee for grievances in 1624, attacking the patent for concealed tithes on 27 Feb. and 5 Mar. and the patent for defective titles on 15 March.56 His professional expertise explains his appointment to committees for the continuing of expiring statutes (13 Mar.), and the removal of suits from inferior courts on 15 March.57 He may also have acted in his professional capacity at the privileges committee’s hearing on the Cambridgeshire election dispute on 4 Mar., when he is recorded as excusing one Spalding.58 In addition he was added to the committee for Lady Bulkeley’s bill (4 May).59 Wylde seems to have been active on at least one other committee to which he had not been personally appointed, for on 12 May Wylde reported the bill concerning tithes on lead ore, recommending that it should be rejected.60 Moreover on 11 May he noted that some of the Somervile brothers had failed to attend the committee for their estate bill, to which the Worcestershire members had been added three days previously.61 Wylde was nominated to attend the conference with the Lords on 15 Apr. about the bill rescinding the power given to Henry VIII to make laws for Wales without the consent of Parliament.62 In the debate on the bill for the continuance of expiring statutes on 27 Apr., Wylde proposed that clauses should be added to prevent the import of ‘unwholesome’ hops and the selling of ‘corrupt’ salt.63

Re-elected for Droitwich in 1625, Wylde left no trace in the surviving records of that Parliament. Returned again in 1626 he made 17 recorded contributions to debates and was nominated to four committees. His initial interventions concerned relatively minor issues: on 16 Feb. he favoured granting privilege to Emanuel Giffard, and two days later he sought to have a bill concerning Edmund Nicholson, projector of the pretermitted customs, extended to include the projector of the impositions on Newcastle coal.64 However on 28 Feb. Wylde launched into a wide-ranging attack on the conduct of the war, arguing that the ultimate cause of their misfortunes was God, whose displeasure had been incurred by their sins. Nevertheless he advised the House to focus on more immediate causes, namely ‘the misemploying of our monies, the misguiding of our great action, the miscounsellings and ill counsellings, the refusing of the cordial counsel of parliament’. In an oblique reference to Buckingham, he argued that ‘where great things are managed by single counsel or private respects, they are to be looked into’. He complained that ‘we have lost our, money, our men, our command of the seas’, and also the services of those former members who had been pricked to serve as sheriffs.65 In the debate on 8 Mar. on the Council of War’s answers concerning the money voted in 1624, Wylde provided precedents for denying the king taxation. He showed that Parliament had once refused to vote funds when the ostensible cause of the request, a war with Castile, had been a pretence and that on another occasion it had turned down a request because the Commons had not received the accounts of a previous grant. He concluded by saying that had the 1624 Parliament known how the Council of War would answer they would not have voted the subsidies.66

On 22 Apr. Wylde used his legal expertise to buttress the case for proceeding against Buckingham by common fame by citing Bracton and a long list of precedents.67 In the debate on further supply four days latter he pointedly cited precedents for increasing the Crown’s revenue by confiscating the lands of disgraced ‘great officers’, although he did not believe that Buckingham’s fall would solve Charles I’s financial problems. He was reluctant to reform the subsidy, preferring instead to vote extra subsidies and fifteenths and to enter into a contract with the Crown to abolish wardship.68 Wylde’s support for supply, however, was conditional on the House first presenting its grievances, as he made clear after the chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Richard Weston*, called for the subsidy bill to be brought in on 5 May, and he attacked demands to hasten supply as an encroachment on their liberties.69

On 3 May Wylde was appointed to assist his Inner Temple colleague Edward Whitby*, one of the managers of the impeachment of Buckingham.70 Whitby was assigned to prepare the articles concerning the sale of honours and titles, but in the event fell ill. On 9 May Wylde suggested that Whitby’s other assistant, Christopher Sherland, who had less parliamentary experience than himself, should take over responsibility for presenting their part of the articles to the Lords.71

On 12 May, following the arrest of Eliot and Digges, Wylde was the first to break the silence in the Commons. In an impassioned speech he lamented that the House had lost both their friends and their liberty, and argued that the ‘broad charter of our great inheritance, gained with so great cost, so often confirmed’ was endangered. He proposed that a committee should be appointed to draw up a Remonstrance to the king for their release. However his speech was followed by a further long silence.72 Wylde returned to the case of Eliot and Digges on 17 May. Though he would not discuss the prerogative, as it was too ‘high’ for him, there had to be reciprocity between the prerogative and the subjects’ liberties, for the Crown had a duty to the law, just as the subject had a loyalty to the Crown. He conceded that the Crown was sometimes entitled to commit without showing cause, but only out of Parliament. Eliot and Digges’ right to free speech was fundamental, he added for without the right to free speech, which was declared rather than granted at the beginning of each Parliament, the freedom of Parliament was gone. He was concerned that a precedent should not be set, and advised that legislation be drafted declaring it illegal to imprison a Member except for treason, felony or breach of the peace. Even if this bill were not passed it would be clear to posterity what they had intended.73 By this stage Wylde may have believed that Parliament’s dissolution was imminent and therefore wanted to go down fighting.

Wylde presented the ‘very submissive’ petition of his fellow Inner Templer, Richard Dyott, for readmission to the Commons on 23 May, which suggests that he was not personally hostile to Buckingham’s supporters.74 In his last speech of the Parliament on 5 June, about heads for a proposed conference with the Lords concerning the retarding of the business of Parliament, he argued that Buckingham’s recent election as chancellor of Cambridge University, should be included, saying that in future the University would be the ‘meaner academy’ in his eyes. However he argued against including (Sir) Dudley Carleton’s ‘new counsels’ speech of 12 May, which was widely interpreted to mean that the king would cease to summon Parliament unless it was more acquiescent.75

Wylde attacked Sir Dudley Digges’s proposal to select committees by lot on 2 March.76 His legislative appointments in 1626 included bills concerned with administrations (7 Mar.) and the mitigation of the sentence of greater excommunication (2 May).77 He may have chaired the latter committee, for on 8 May he moved for an addition to its membership.78 On 3 May Wylde spoke in favour of a motion to instruct the Speaker to order High Commission to make void its proceedings against Sir Robert Howard*.79 On 3 June he was added to the committee to prepare charges against the anti-Calvinist Richard Montagu. However he argued on 5 June that among God’s blessings on England was ‘having above all the sincerity of the gospel’, indicating that he did not at this stage believe that Montagu’s doctrines had permeated very far.80 In addition he reported the sheriff’s accounts bill on 2 May, and on 1 June he was appointed to a committee for a private estate bill.81 On 2 June Wylde told the committee for grievances during the debate on the composition for purveyance of beer that the charters and customs of the City of London were confirmed by statute, thereby supporting the contention of the Brewers’ Company that London was exempted from purveyance by its charters.82 In the aftermath of the Parliament Wylde was one of those whom Secretary Conway (Sir Edward Conway*) ordered to hand over copies of the Commons’ final declaration.83

In 1628 Wylde was re-elected for Droitwich with his younger brother George, but it is probable that most, if not all, the references to ‘Mr. Wylde’ relate to this Member. He made nine speeches and was named to three committees. In addition, on 20 June, privilege was granted for one of his servants.84 He is first mentioned on 4 Apr., when he complained about a letter which had been written concerning the Droitwich election.85 Three days later he attacked billeting.86 However, it was not until 26 Apr. that he made his first major speech of the session, when he took the lead in the debate on the Lords’ propositions, presented at the previous day’s conference, which sought to obtain from the king a confirmation of the fundamental liberties of the subject enshrined in Magna Carta. He did not disagree with the proposals, but suggested that their wording should be tightened. For instance, he argued that it was not sufficient for the king to acknowledge that the subject’s property rights were ‘fundamental’ unless Charles also accepted that the royal prerogative did not include the power to infringe them. Consequently he proposed the insertion of ‘some negative words, as: no power to do otherwise, etc.’ He was also worried that the proposal that the king should proceed according to the Common Law in cases within its cognisance was dangerously ambiguous. Similarly, he observed that the Lords’ proposals would not prevent arbitrary imprisonment, for although they required the king to declare the cause of a man’s imprisonment within a ‘convenient time’, Wylde pointed out that ‘a "convenient time" not named is no time’. He wanted the Crown to be obliged to declare the cause and proceed according to the law within a definite period, and for there to be a procedure to enable prisoners to regain their liberty if this was not done.87 In the debate on the bill for the liberty of the subject on 29 Apr. Wylde spoke in favour of keeping the substance but changing the wording he requested sight of the bill against wrongful imprisonment introduced in 1621 and 1624, which he thought could provide some guidance.88 In the debate following the king’s message to the House on 1 May, in which Charles angrily demanded to know whether the Lower House ‘will rest on his royal word or no’,89 Wylde attacked those who informed the king of their debates before they had reached a conclusion. In answering the message he argued they should take advantage of Charles’s earlier offer to permit the House to proceed by bill ‘or otherwise’ so that they might enjoy their ‘ancient liberties’. Failure to reach an agreement with the king would mean that their forefathers’ liberties would come to an end, a dishonour as great as for ‘a private person to be the last of a family’.90 On 20 May, in the debate on the Lords’ amendments to the Petition of Right, Wylde spoke in favour of the Commons’ original description of the oath which had accompanied the Forced Loan commissions as ‘unlawful’, comparing it with the oath issued by Cardinal Wolsey with the Amicable Grant, which had been similarly condemned.91 Wylde’s support for the liberties of the subject and Magna Carta was, however, only provisional and in some instances he upheld royal power. In the debate on the scandalous ministers bill on 16 May, he answered Sir Henry Marten’s complaint that the bill took away the liberties of the clergy enshrined in Magna Carta, arguing that the ministry had lost their liberties because they had abused it, specifically instancing ‘that outrage by Thomas Becket’.92

At the committee for grievances on 30 Apr. Wylde argued that purveyance should not extend to beer as it was a manufactured product, and he also attacked the composition agreement imposed on the London Brewers.93 On 24 June he spoke on Bowdler’s case, arguing that the king had no right to the property of a bastard dying intestate.94 On 23 Apr. he was appointed to the committee for the bill concerning the winding of wool. He was subsequently added to the committee for the Medway navigation bill after the patentee was ordered to bring in his patent and other documents (17 May), and on 23 June he was added to the committee for the clerks of the custom house.95 During the recess Wylde was called to the Inner Temple bench.

In the 1629 session Wylde renewed his complaint concerning the letter about the Droitwich election. He also received two committee appointments. On 28 Jan. he was nominated to consider the bill against recusants evading forfeiture by placing their estates in trust.96 Though consigned to the care of Sir Thomas Hoby, the bill was reported by Wylde on 10 Feb., on which day he was appointed to the committee for the bill to confirm the Somers Island Company’s letters patent.97 On 20 Feb. Wylde intervened in the debate concerning the customs, asking that the collectors’ commission should be read.98

Wylde continued to prosper in the 1630s, becoming serjeant-at-law in 1637, when his patrons were the bishop of Worcester, the 10th earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Cottington (Sir Francis Cottington*).99 His support for the 1629 recusancy bill did not stop him from promoting the admission of the sons of his Catholic brother-in-law, Walter Blount*, to the Inner Temple in 1631 and 1636.100 Returned for Droitwich to the Short Parliament, and for Worcestershire to the Long Parliament, he was a staunch supporter of Parliament in the Civil War, playing a key role in constructing its financial machinery and in establishing an alternative Great Seal. In 1648 he was appointed chief baron of the Exchequer and subsequently supported the Commonwealth. However he fell out with Cromwell and lost all public office at the Restoration. He is said to have died at his house in Hampstead in about 1669 and to have been buried at the seat of his son-in-law Charles West, 5th Baron de la Warr, at Wherwell, Hampshire.101 No will or letters of administration have been found.

Kingdom of Lithuania (16 February 1918 to 9 July 1918)

The Council of Lithuania (Lietuvos Taryba) declared independence on 16 February 1918 when Lithuania was occupied by the Reichswehr. The name of the state was the Kingdom of Lithuania. On 9 July 1918, the council declared that the Duke of Urach is to become King Mindaugas II of Lithuania. However, on 2 November, the council revoked this decision and declared that Lithuania is to be a democratic republic.

36. King-elect Mindaugas II of Lithuania , Wilhelm Karl Duke of Urach

King-elect Mindaugas II of LT,
Wilhelm Karl Duke of Urach

Duke of Urach
Reign 17 July 1869 – 24 March 1928
Predecessor Prince Wilhelm Successor Prince Karl Gero

King-elect of Lithuania
Reign 11 July – 2 November 1918

Spouses Duchess Amalie in Bavaria Princess Wiltrud of Bavaria
Children Princess Marie-Gabriele Princess Elisabeth Princess Karola Prince Wilhelm
Karl Gero, Duke of Urach Princess Margarete Prince Albrecht Prince Eberhard
Princess Mechtilde
House House of Württemberg
Father Wilhelm, 1st Duke of Urach Mother Princess Florestine of Monaco
Born 30 May 1864 Monaco
Died 24 March 1928 (aged 63) Rapallo, Kingdom of Italy
Burial Ludwigsburg Palace Church
Remarks: Prince Wilhelm of Urach, Count of Württemberg, 2nd Duke of Urach (Wilhelm Karl Florestan Gero Crescentius German Fürst Wilhelm von Urach, Graf von Württemberg, 2. Herzog von Urach) was a German prince who was elected King of Lithuania with the regnal name Mindaugas II on 11 July 1918. He never assumed the crown however, as German authorities declared the election invalid and the invitation was withdrawn in November 1918. From 17 July 1869 until his death he was head of the morganatic Urach branch of the House of Württemberg.

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