The civil war years of the 1640s were amongst the most tumultuous in history. People of all classes who had previously co-existed peacefully suddenly found themselves opposing each other on political, religious, and economic grounds. Society was literally ‘by the sword divided’.
City of London guide Robin Rowles’ short talk examines a few strands of how the civil wars impacted on the City of London; its citizens, and other stakeholders. The ‘London factor’ was vital to the outcome of the war: had the City supported the king, instead of parliament, the royalists might have won.
The Livery Companies that regulated trade and commerce in the city. What was their contribution to the parliamentarian war-machine? And the ordinary citizen, called upon to fight and pay new taxes. And what of the churches, once places of spiritual respite but now centres of impassioned debate. Presiding over all was the Corporation of London. The Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council: to whom should they pledge their loyalty, the king or parliament?
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