Some notes on a not so ‘Civil War’

Jun 08, 12 Some notes on a not so ‘Civil War’

Posted by in Cambridgeshire 2012, Miscellaneous

The English Civil War : 1642-1651 The Outbreak of War The Civil War in England broke out in in August 1642. On one side stood King Charles I, and his supporters and on the other, men like Oliver Cromwell who believed that the king was a tyrant. War spread to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and lasted nearly nine years. Families and friends found themselves on opposite sides but were prepared to fight each other to the death. Historians still disagree about why war broke out but the following certainly played a part: Government – Charles I believed that God had made him a king and that he had no need to consult Parliament so he ruled without it from 1629 to 1640. This led to a power struggle between him and the Members of Parliament. Religion – England was a Protestant country but Charles I introduced ceremonials and rituals that teemed very Roman Catholic to a lot of people. Those that feared this, fought against the king. Cromwell’s War King Charles raised his standard on 22nd August 1642, declaring war, Oliver Cromwell was made a captain and spent the autumn raising a troop of about sixty horsemen from this area then in October they joined the main army of Parliament. In 1643, Cromwell was made a colonel and put at the head of a cavalry regiment within the Eastern Association, Parliament’s army in East Anglia. For much of the war, he was engaged in almost continuous military service and was hardly ever at home in Ely, He became extremely successful and played a crucial part in some of Parliament’s most important victories. The New Model Army At the start of the war both the King and Parliament relied on private armies being raised by wealthy men to fight in their local area as Cromwell had done in East Anglia. This situation changed in 1645 when Parliament realised that it needed a more organised national army if it was going to defeat the king. The...

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Cromwell Country

Jun 07, 12 Cromwell Country

Posted by in Cambridgeshire 2012

The area around Cambridge can definitely be described as “Cromwell Country”. His influence and memory can be seen everywhere. Accordingly we immersed ourselves in exploring his historical legacy today by visiting his house in Ely. It was great to walk through the house where this great man lived, worked and planned the greatest political upheaval in British history. The English Civil war shaped the politics and formed the constitutional Monarchy we see today in modern Britain. Before visiting Cromwell’s house the irony of eating our lunch in small pub calld “The King’s Arms”, just down the road from his house wasn’t lost on us !...

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Norfolk Island … a potted history

Norfolk Island is situated some 1,500 kilometres from Sydney and 1,060 kilometres from Auckland. It is an island with an unusual & chequered history. Discovery and First Settlement Discovered by Captain Cook during his second voyage in 1774, Norfolk Island was initially used as a penal colony. The first penal colony was established on Norfolk Island on 6th March, 1788; just five weeks after the arrival of the first fleet at Botany Bay. The penal colony was established under Commandant Lieutenant Philip Gidley King R. N. who thus founded the second British settlement in the Pacific. The majority of the convicts were slowly and eventually evacuated to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and by 1814 the penal settlement has closed and Norfolk Island lay abandoned and tranquil for the next eleven years. Second Settlement In 1825, after eleven years drowsing in the sun, Norfolk Island was elected by His Majesty’s Government to be the site of another colony. The original settlement was established primarily in order to develop the resources of the island. This one had no such purpose. It was designed to be conducted along the lines of `a great Hulk or Penitentiary’ for the incarceration of `re-convicted incorrigibles’. It was designated to become `a place of the severest punishment short of death’. Sir Thomas Brisbane wrote: “I could wish it to be understood that the felon who is sent there is forever excluded from hope of return”. Hell in Paradise Such depravities are destined to culminate in rebellion and many occurred. Following one uprising, a priest, later to be-come Bishop Ullathorne, wrote: ‘I have to record the most heart-rending scene that I ever witnessed. The turnkey unlocked the cell door and … then came forth a yellow exhalation, the produce of the bodies of the men confined therein. I announced to them who were reprieved from death and which of them were to die. It is a literal fact that each man who heard his reprieve wept bitterly, and each man who heard...

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Singapore -Origins

Mar 15, 12

Sir Stamford Thomas Raffles (1781-1826) first set foot on the island of Singapore on 29th January 1819 which was then just a small fishing village. Raffles, an agent of the British East India Company ventured to Singapore hoping to establish a free port and a halfway point for traders along the China-India trade routes. After signing the preliminary treaty with a local leader, the official treaty with Sultan Hussein of Johore-Riau was signed on 6 February 1819, giving the British the right to establish a trading port on the island. However the Dutch protested as Singapore was then part of the Dutch Empire. The dispute was resolved with the signing of the 1824 Anglo-Dutch treaty whereby the British acquired Mallorca, Penang and Singapore while the Dutch gained Bencoelen (present day Bengkulu) and the rest of Indonesia. In August 1824 another Treaty of Friendship and Alliance was signed giving the British governance of Singapore. From the 19th Century, Singapore’s success as the “Great Commercial Emporium of the East” owed much to its free port status and strategic location. The Singapore River became the main artery of trade, where port, trading and warehouse facilities developed along the riverbanks. In 1867 Singapore became a British Crown-Colony after the transfer of the Straits Settlements from the British Administration in India to the Colonial Office in London. It remained so until 1959 when Singapore achieved self-government, gaining full independence in...

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