The Battlefield at Naseby

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Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Naseby is a small village in rural, picturesque Northamptonshire, England. With curving country lanes, and rolling hills of farmland sprawling into the distance, it’s tranquil and quiet, only interrupted by the sounds of passing vehicles on the motorway nearby.

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But it wasn’t like that during the Battle of Naseby, during the English Civil War, which encompassed the surrounding fields with one of the most significant battles in history…

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Photo: Andrea Zuvich.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich.

Then we journeyed to the Cromwell Monument:

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Photo: Andrea Zuvich

You can read the inscription below, which reads:

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Photo: Andrea Zuvich

The view was beautiful, in spite of the freezing wind…

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Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Now that you’ve seen the pretty pictures, which were taken a few months ago in weather so bitterly cold that you should be happy to see these where you now are; we will get into the factors that led up to this battle:

King Charles I, son of James I, believed stubbornly in the divine power of kings, that nothing was above a king but God himself, and so no one should question a decision made by a king. But Parliament did question aspects of his rule, and so Charles dissolved Parliament for eleven years of what is known as the King’s Personal Rule (1629-40), also known as the Eleven Years’ Tyranny by his enemies.

Eventually, Charles ran out of money and had to call Parliament back into session in order to get funds for war in Scotland, which had turned into a problem after Charles decided to introduce a new prayer book. Not a good idea. Parliament gave him money, but ordered his top advisor, Earl of Strafford, to be executed. Parliament continued making demands of the King, telling him what he should do, in exchange for the money he needed, and this was completely unacceptable to his way of thinking. He was a God-anointed King, how dare these men tell him what to do.

Eventually, things escalated and all roads led to war…

The English Civil Wars were between the Royalists, or Cavaliers, those who fought for King Charles, and the Parliamentarians, or Roundheads, who were at odds with the king. The former had amongst its leaders none other than Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The Parliamentarians had amongst their leaders: General Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell at the head of the New Model Army – a forerunner of Britain’s modern army.

On the February 2013 edition of BBC History Magazine, the article entitled, “20 Battles That Shaped Britain”, the Battle of Naseby was ranked at No. 1. Why? Cromwell and the Parliamentarians crushed the Royalists so badly that Royalists were doomed, and the monarchy would never be the same again. Things changed more and more after Charles I’s time, and his descendants following the Restoration in 1660 wielded less and less power than his predecessor did. Little by little, monarchs have had less power – today, Her Majesty the Queen has pretty much only symbolic power.

But, really, the best place you can read about this is at The Battlefield Trust, which has almost every battle fought on this country’s soil. Amazing stuff, and I can’t do any better than what they’ve compiled there. Check it out: http://www.battlefieldstrust.com/resource-centre/civil-war/battleview.asp?BattleFieldId=51

Naseby is as important as other battles such as the Battle of Hastings, the Battle of BosworthAnd please have a look at www.naseby.com, and consider whether you can be a Friend or a Benefactor to this organisation.

Recommended Reading:

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