The Royalist War Effort in the North Midlands 1642-1646
thesisposted on 02.12.2010, 11:06 by Martyn Bennett
The Royalist War Effort in the north midlands was an organised system run, for the most part, by commissions of array composed generally of men with a vested interest in the communities over which they ruled. A financial system created by these men was based very much on the regular collection of a property tax. The funds which this tax raised was used to create an army based in the area, under the command of Henry Hastings, Lord Loughborough. This army was created from the units raised in the north midland shires during the summer and autumn of 1642 and used initially in the Edgehill campaign. The army eventually grew to be around five thousand strong and was commanded by men drawn from a broad social spectrum stretching from the titled gentry to below yeoman status. The birth of this regional war effort was the result of the King's attempt in late 1642 to regain ground in the area lost to local parliamentarians. The culmination of the work came a year later when, following the successful intervention of the Northern Army, the north midlands royalists were able to control the vast majority of the region. Thus at the end of 1643, the royalists had a power base from which to launch initiatives into any part of the country. The intervention of the Scots in January 1644 forced the Northern Army to return north and put the royalists on the defensive as far south as the north midlands. Successive internecine struggles between north midlands royalist officers and administrators and the continuous drain on the army's manpower, caused by other royalist regional commanders using various units, led to a severe weakening of the royalist war effort in the area. The culmination of this was the economically draining presence of the armies of Prince Rupert and George Goring also further reduced the North Midlands Army's manpower. The-defeat of thise armies, and the Northern Army at Marston Moor, plunged the north midlands ink' chaos and, weakened as it was, it almost collapsed entirely under parliamentarian pressure. For the rest of the war the area witnessed a battle of attrition as the parliamentarians steadily encroached upon former royalist territory. Three interventions by the King showed that the area's war effort could have been resurrected but nothing ever came of this and the war ended here, as elsewhere, with the succession of garrisons surrendering to parliament's forces.
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- Politics and International Studies