George Courtauld, author/compiler of The Pocket Book of Patriotism (you`ll find a copy at 3481 in our listings), believes that the English are woefully ignorant of their own history. Up to a point I agree with him, but I do wonder if it depends what aspect of that history you have in mind - the continuing popularity of books, events and societies connected with the local/regional history of a particular area indicates to me that people perhaps just approach the subject differently now. Different approaches to history need not be mutually exclusive of course !
Specially for history buffs, here are a few facts concerning the English Civil War ;
1) John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim`s Progress and others, was a soldier in the Parliamentary cause. I assume that`s the reason why so many editions of his books feature illustrations of the characters in Civil War-era clothing.
2) Sir Edward Verney, the King`s Standard Bearer, told one of the King`s advisers that he was not happy with the way his monarch behaved ("I do heartily wish the King would yield"), but felt tied to the King by bonds of loyalty ("I will not...forsake him"). He indicated that his true beliefs were not in keeping with the King`s philosophy, and that he regarded death as a way out of this conflict of loyalties and would "choose rather to lose my life...than to preserve and defend those things which are against my conscience". In the event, he refused to put on protective armour before riding into battle at Edgehill carrying the King`s Standard. He died still clutching the flag.
3) An equally brave and principled man, but on the Parliamentary side, was Colonel John Hutchinson, variously MP for Nottingham, Governor of Nottngham Castle, JP for Owthorpe in Notts and later Sheriff of Nottingham. Nick`s article `Colonel John Hutchinson and the Civil War in Nottingham` can be found online at Bookshelves and Brown Ale.
4) When Parliamentary forces attacked Staunton Hall in Notts, they met stiff resistance from Mrs Staunton and "a group of twenty servants and others too unfit for the military" ! Eventually, the redoubtable Mrs Staunton gave up the fight and made her escape along the Great North Road. After the war, she was allowed to return "without any molestation" . Her husband was fined "for bearing arms for the King", but his fine was later halved as compensation for vandalism and theft by Roundhead soldiers after the unequal battle.
These few facts bring us neatly to a couple of forthcoming additions to our stock ;
Ian Brown* - A Guide to the Civil War in Nottinghamshire (Nottinghamshire County Council, 1992)
Unknown - The Civil War 1642 - 1651 ; A Pitkin Guide (Pitkin Pictorials, 1993)
We are temporarily off-line , but these two will appear at numbers 3697 and 3698 in our listings in the not-too-distant future.
Any queries, just drop us an e-mail and we`ll get back to you ASAP.
* other titles by Ian Brown also available.