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argon
new milton
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1 of 11  Sat 6th Apr 2019 2:28pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:187

There does not seem to be much information about Coventry and its personalities during the civil war. Apart from references to Robert Beake and William Jesson little appears to be available about that period of turmoil in our history. There must have been a lot of chaos at that time involving all the residents of the city yet nothing appears to have been recorded. Does anyone know of any books that enlighten that period apart from Robert Beake's Diary which does not appear to be generally available if it was ever published.
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
ghlee
NSW Australia
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2 of 11  Sun 7th Apr 2019 2:35am  
Member: Joined May 2016  Total posts:17

There's only one reference to Coventry in C.V. Wedgewood's three volume history of the civil war and that is from the letters of Nehemiah Wharton (letter 2 I believe). Try here.
ghlee

Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
Helen F
Warrington
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3 of 11  Sun 7th Apr 2019 11:18am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1358

The Civil War crops up in a number of books and some of the recent archaeology has brought up some of Coventry's actions at the time (eg new ditches at Gosford Street gate) but the most specific book I've found is Coventry's Civil War 1642-1660 (Coventry & Warwickshire Pamphlets) That gives an overview of the social, political and religious situation at the time but it's only 62 pages long and not new. I think it would be available to borrow from the Herbert Archives. They might even have some copies for sale. The book has a list of source books, some referencing Warwickshire as the wider picture. As the Civil War is the era I'm trying to recreate, I will need to know more about the events but I haven't concentrated on it yet. Edited by member, 7th Apr 2019 11:19 am
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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4 of 11  Sun 7th Apr 2019 12:20pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2778

Local tradition says Caludon Castle was besieged in the civil wars, and reduced by an opposing force, who are credited with having pitched their camps at a spot between Henley Mill and Stoke Aldermoor, from whence they battered down the walls, and reduced it to a ruinous condition. The walls were at least 7 feet thick. The castle was said to have once housed St George.
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
argon
new milton
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5 of 11  Sun 7th Apr 2019 12:24pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:187

Thank you Helen, ghlee and Kaga, you have all given me something to follow up. I will let you know if I find anything extra.
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 11  Sun 7th Apr 2019 12:51pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2778

The Romanised-British people-Caledonia, meaning a well wooded country, may have been the source from whence the name came from. Minstrel verses. "In Coventry some time did dwell A knight of worthy fame High steward of this noble realm Lord Albert was is name" No idea who he was?
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
argon
new milton
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7 of 11  Sun 7th Apr 2019 6:22pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:187

Kaga. From my reading of the events Caludon Castle was destroyed after the restoration of Charles II in retaliation for the support of parliamentary forces during the war. In addition he had the city walls destroyed for that reason.
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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8 of 11  Mon 8th Apr 2019 3:20pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2778

Argon. I have good history of Caludon, but find the civil wars hard to pin down, there were so many battles, so many people swopped sides. From this castle, John de Seagrave (knight) married the Duchess of Norfolk. Their son, now a Mowbray, then became Duke of Norfolk, set off to have it out with the Duke of Hereford on Gosford Green (like I did with Alec Scotland!), was stayed by the king who banished Hereford for a time and Norfolk for life. There is a curious letter from Henry Prince of Wales to the Mayor of Coventry, April 1403, ordering lead from Caludon for repairs of Cheylesmore Mansion, now in the hands of the Mowbrays.
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
Helen F
Warrington
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9 of 11  Mon 8th Apr 2019 5:01pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1358

There was of course more than one civil war. Even the one in the 1600s was in two parts. Coventry's defences waxed and waned as each war or rebellion threatened. Some of the Red Ditches were supposed to date to before the Norman invasion and were reused when planning the Norman castle. The castle itself was used to defend against the Duke of Marmion who attacked from the emerging structure of St Mary's cathedral in King Stephen and Empress Matilda's era. More comfortable than the castle, Cheylesmore Manor was built during less fraught years but was incorporated into the city walls when things looked more dangerous. The walls themselves were never as impressive as one of the castles of old because warfare had moved on and walls could not withstand canon alone. They were primarily to protect against common criminals and those who wanted to avoid taxes on their goods. For the Civil War the walls were banked up with earth on the inside and the ditches were recut to make it difficult for Charles 1st to just walk in and take Coventry's supplies of gunpowder. There were half moon batteries built at the four main gates and the others were closed. Some of the gates and walls were hastily repaired. The defences had rarely been in better shape than they were for the war. The earth banks were probably the most secure defence against cannon shot, which might explain why the authorities got cross when the locals planted them up with veggies when nobody was looking. It doesn't look like Charles Ist tried very hard to enter the city and the makeshift positions he had occupied to attack from were swiftly removed once he'd moved on. I believe that a wall that divided the Great from the Little parks was demolished and quarry pits were filled in. Houses directly outside the city gates were moved inside and rebuilt on land formerly belonging to the monasteries. The population had previously peaked in the medieval era and bumped along a lower point for over a hundred years after a series of disease outbreaks and a fall in the city's prosperity but the Civil War saw many people move into the city for safety. Coventry's main claim to fame during the war was supposed to be for housing prisoners in St John's and the citizens snubbing them - leading to the phrase 'sent to Coventry'. Coventry must have had an large number of places for prisoners because they had a gaol near St Michaels, the bigger gatehouses would have had areas for prisoners and there was a building called the 'Bridewell' to the side of Spon Gate and roughly parallel with St John's. It was a substantial building, at least as long as the Bablake School wing opposite it. I doubt that prisoners were given much space each. It was unusual for towns to need much prison space because prisons only held those waiting trial. Being imprisoned wasn't used as a punishment in itself. Edited by member, 8th Apr 2019 5:03 pm
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
Helen F
Warrington
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10 of 11  Tue 9th Apr 2019 2:50pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1358

You possibly know about the Herbert talk about Mr Beake, booking required Robert Beake is one of Coventry’s most interesting mayors. He was a parliamentary soldier in the Civil War, master of the Drapers Company, mayor and an MP in the parliaments of 1654, 1656, 1660 and 1679. He kept a journal giving an account of his day-to-day activity as mayor in 1655/6. Using this journal and other documents from Coventry’s archives, the talk will explore Beake’s attempts to build a model ‘Godly Society’ in Coventry and his career as an MP.
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War
argon
new milton
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11 of 11  Tue 9th Apr 2019 3:35pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:187

Thank you Helen, yes I did know but cannot attend. Beake seems to have been an extremist Puritan and I can't imagine that he was popular with the townsfolk. In addition to Beake, William Jesson was a mayor in the same period and M.P. for almost half of the Commonwealth period. His influence seems longer than Richard Beake, as Jesson's son William was M.P. in 1660 and his granddaughter married Sir Richard Hopkins, later M.P. for Coventry, as was Sir Richard's son
Local History and Heritage - English Civil War

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