English Civil War research resources

Primary and secondary sources
Overviews, biogs, timelines

Primary and secondary sources


A comprehensive reference resource spanning Charles I's first parliament of 1625 to the Restoration. Excellent soldier/statesmen biographies and campaign maps.

British History Online

A vast collection of searchable databases, invaluable for access to state papers, court registers and other legal documents.


The Open University's free OpenLearn site has dozens of useful resources, including free courses and audio and video clips.

Connected Histories

11 major sources from the Early Modern period to the 19th century. Includes the 17th and 18th century Burney Newspaper Collection, the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers and the Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online. More collections to be added in 2012.

Wikipedia English Civil War page

The usual Wikipedia-advice-caveats apply, but click away and let it guide you. Who knows where you'll end up?

London Lives 1690-1800

240,00 manuscript pages from eight London archive and 15 other datasets. Access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances.

The National Archives: searching for English Civil War soldiers

The best central source for finding individual soldiers, at the National Archives, Kew. An incomplete list of known sources, but a great starting point.

Early English Books Online (subscription only, but accessible via the British Library at St Pancras or Colindale)

More than 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, and the Early English Books Tract Supplement.

Also contains the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection, consisting of over 22,000 printed items, bound in 2,000 volumes, including 7,200 news pamphlets and newsbooks, providing detailed accounts of battles, negotiations, and political machinations.

The 1641 Depositions

Witness testimonies mainly by Protestants, but also by some Catholics, from all social backgrounds, concerning their experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion.

The Battlefields Trust

30 battle reports (so far) from the wider conflict across Britain, including key facts, terrain maps and aerial photos.

Reporting the English Civil War

Website from Tyger's Head Books providing daily news from the developing English Civil War, beginning from the Battle at Edgehill in October 1642.

ECW Living History Resources

How to make and source 'things mid-17th century'.

The 1642 Tailor

How to kit yourself out for the English Civil War.


Early 17th century military drill illustrated and animated. Also includes detailed pages on siege warfare.


Detailed interactive map of the battle, including images, primary sources and suggestions for further reading.

Cultures of Knowledge: Networking the Republic of Letters 1550 - 1750

Project using digital methods to reassemble and interpret the correspondence networks of the early modern period.

Locating London's Past

Fantastic resource that allows you to search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results on to a fully GIS compliant version of John Rocque's 1746 map.

Early Modern Dress and Textiles

A list of useful links to collections, companies and guilds, journals, societies, research centres and re-enactments groups.

The Court of Chivalry 1634 - 1640

Records of the Court of Chivalry from 1634 and 1640. 738 surviving cases covering a wide variety of topics relating to the social, political and cultural history of the period, from ship money and the Bishops' Wars to pew disputes and duelling, from heralds visitations and grants of arms to brawls in the street and quarrels at race meetings.


Jeff and Caroline's site of "useful 17th century stuff". Lots of info on costume, including period knitting and sewing techniques, as well as articles about life in the Sealed Knot.



A blog about early modern books, history and culture.


Articles by historical fiction authors concentrating mainly on the 17th century.

The 1640s Picturebook

A selection of English and Scottish images mainly from the 1640s, intended primarily as a costume guide.

Overviews, biogs, timelines

BBC English Civil War page

A précis of the years 1603-1714.

History on the Net

Teaching resources for schools, including online quizzes, wordsearches etc.

Spartacus Educational

More biogs and descriptions of battles/radical groups etc. Useful collection of links to writers of the English Civil War.

Oxford Continuing Education

Open Education Resources used in teaching at the University of Oxford's Continuing Education department. Mainly podcasts and links but worth checking as more resources are likely to be added.


Ed Podesta's site helps history teachers think about and plan their history teaching.


  1. Open University English Civil War pages
    This link is no longer viable.

    Just thought you would like to know. I also wanted to say that your website is fantastic and I appreciate all of your hard work!

  2. Thanks Deborah - the content seems to have been subsumed into the OpenLearn content (see the other link above) so I've taken it down. Thanks for the spot - and for your kind words about that site!

  3. Thank you so much for all this! For my coursework i'm researching and debating the causes of the English Civil War so this site has been amazing and so helpful

  4. Thanks Emma for your kind comments - all the best with your coursework.