9 January 2015

Commemoration, Holly Holy Day, Mass for a Martyr and 'Fortress Newark'

The parade of the King's Army on Horse Guard's Parade in 2012.

A number of annual events are scheduled to take place later this month:

  • Jan 24 Holly Holy Day 2015: Day commemorating the lifting of the Siege of Nantwich in 1644. Expect living history displays, cavalry, music, molly dancing, plough witches and other activities, with the battle re-enactment on Mill Island just on the west side of the town centre at 2pm.
  • Jan 25 (11am - 1pm): The King's Army of the English Civil War Society traces the route of the King's last walk from St James' Palace in the Mall to his place of execution at the banqueting House in Whitehall. The army will be draw up on Horse Guards Parade, with a wreath laid outside the Banqueting House.
  • Jan 31 (12pm): Sung Mass at Saint Mary de Castro, Castle Street, Leicester, to commemorate the 'Martyrdom of King Charles'.

An exciting series of events has also been announced for the May bank holiday weekend to celebrate the opening of the National Civil War Centre in Newark. Over the weekend of 3-4 May 'Fortress Newark' will feature re-enactments, displays, parades and living history to bring the Civil Wars to life, with up to 1000 members of the Sealed Knot, English Civil War Society and History Re-enactment Workshop taking part. More details can be found on the Events calendar.

30 October 2014

Cromwell and Hesilrig display @ NPG

The display at the National Portrait Gallery.

If you're in London over the next year a couple of small 17th century displays at the National Portrait Gallery are worth catching.

One explores the relationship between art and power during the period, while the other reveals an intriguing discovery about the collection's portrait of Sir Arthur Hesilrig ...

14 October 2014

Video: War Walks: Naseby (1997)


Click above to watch the late Professor Richard Holmes tell the story of the Battle of Naseby (1645).

The half-hour programme formed part of the second series of Holmes' excellent War Walks (1997).

30 September 2014

Q&A: Robert Wilton (author of Traitor's Field)


The number of historical fiction authors choosing the English Civil War period as a backdrop is increasing. By my reckoning over 30 novels (where the story is set somewhere between 1635-1660) have been published since 2010, compared with around 15 in each of the previous two decades (see my list). Partly this is due to the explosion in print and digital self-publishing, but also reflects mainstream publishers' increased appetite for novels set in the 17th century.

Robert Wilton's Traitor's Field (2013) concerns the rivalry between two military intelligence agents operating during the Interregnum. I asked Robert about how he came to write about the 1650s, what particularly intrigued him about intelligence during the period, and what guides his writing and research ...