Battlefields Trust online lecture: The human cost of the Civil Wars.

Thursday 20th October 2022

The British and Irish Civil Wars (1638–1652) are now taking centre stage as a critical event in the welfare history of Europe. During these conflicts, the Long Parliament implemented a national pension scheme for those who had suffered ‘in the State’s service’. Maimed soldiers no longer able to work, bereaved war widows and orphans too could petition Justices of the Peace for a pension on a local level, through the county quarter sessions courts. For the very first time, this signified the state’s acceptance of a duty of care to both its servicemen and their families. The impact of war-related deprivation was widespread, given that civil-war population loss in England and Wales was around 3%, with even higher percentage losses in Scotland and Ireland. This lecture will showcase evidence from the Civil War Petitions Project’s website in order to assess how this system of military welfare operated, how claimants fashioned themselves as deserving recipients of relief, and how the victims of the war looked back on their experiences.

Andrew is Professor of Local and Social History in the Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House, University of Oxford. He was formerly Director of the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. Andrew is best known for his two monographs ‘Black Tom’: Sir Thomas Fairfax and the English Revolution (Manchester University Press, 2007) and Turncoats and Renegadoes: Changing Sides in the English Civil Wars (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is currently working on his third monograph Widowhood and Bereavement in the English Civil Wars under contract with Oxford University Press, which is based on the AHRC-funded Civil War Petitions Project (2017-2022) for which he is Principal Investigator. He is also chair of the editorial board of Midland History, a patron of the Naseby Battlefield Project, and Academic Advisor of the National Civil War Centre, where he was co-curator of the ‘Battle-Scarred’ exhibition of 2016-19.


This presentation is exclusive to Battlefields Trust members. It starts at 8pm and booking will be online in response to a Mailchimp invitation sent to all members.



For further information.

The Battlefields Resource Centre