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BOOK REVIEW - PETER GAUNT  (Introduction by C. V. Wedgwood - THE CROMWELLIAN GAZETTEER 1987 Sutton Press Wren's Park

 

A lavish A To Z town by town, city by city, county by county look at the Civil War and Protectorate Commonwealth from a definite pro-Oliver Cromwell Bias, with much detail of Irish, Welsh and Scottish events too.

 

The lack of an index makes navigation of the book difficult at times, especially as towns are listed in county-by-county chapters. It may not always be easy to remember if a village was in the East Riding, or the West Riding Of Yorkshire. Some counties did not exist in Cromwell’s day; Greater Manchester, given as such in the book, was part of Lancashire in the 1640’s and 1650’s. Worse, being concerned with Cromwell’s exploits, the book excludes all but a few references to battles which did not involve Cromwell or the Parliamentary (Roundhead and New Model Army) forces. The Scottish campaigns of Montrose & McColla are not covered, nor are events from The Irish uprisings during the Civil War (before Cromwell attacked Ireland). What is covered however more than compensates for these shortcomings. Battles, minor Skirmishes, and troop movements through even minor villages are covered in detail. In many cases the book gives details of a given towns’ remaining evidence for the Civil War, i.e. a battlement that still stands, or a commemorative plaque. It is sad that no similar work exists to cover the King’s forces and their movements. To take Cromwell’s activity out of context as the work does, is misleading. The book remains an invaluable source of reference for historians, Civil War Re-enactors, and general readers alike.  There are several useful maps, and an excellent introduction by leading historian C.V. Wedgewood. Whenever I am due to visit a town, I look up its history, and especially its Civil War connections, so this book is one that gets frequent perusal on my part. http://www.olivercromwell.org/

 

Copyright. Arthur Chappell                              

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