The English Civil War

The Third Civil War

The execution of the King was the first occasion of its type in England. Many kings had been killed. Edward II, Richard II and Richard III all met their downfalls in some way at the hands of their successors. But until now, the monarchy had always survived. The Rump Parliament ordered that no successor would replace Charles on the throne, but that England would become a republic. The image of the monarch, used for so long to decorate the seal used to authenticate acts of Parliament, was removed and the House of Lords was abolished; replaced by a forty-one-man council, with the enigmatic Cromwell sitting unchallenged as chief citizen. While Cromwell took his military skills to Ireland to neutralise elements of dissent with such ferocity that his actions are now considered genocide, the Scots who had opposed Charles I now crowned his son Charles II in Edinburgh. An invasion by Scottish forces in the summer of 1651 ended in defeat at Worcester. Although Cromwell had succeeded in defeating a second king, Charles survived, spending a night hidden within the body of an oak tree in the grounds of Boscobel House on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border before making his way to France, disguised as a servant.