“Cromwell slept ‘ere” and other English Civil War myths…


We spotted a great article recently from BBC History Magazine about “10 great misconceptions about the English Civil War”

Common mistakes it seeks to correct include the ideas that the Civil War broke out by accident (wrong), Cavaliers were aristocrats while Roundheads were yeomen (wrong), Cromwell won the war for parliament (wrong) and that it was only a war of religion (also wrong).

It’s a great article with some very prominent historians involved, so we recommend it while also adding a more specific one of our own…

Even just the cursory wander around the English countryside will yield several old pubs, hotels and houses that lay claim to having been visited by Oliver Cromwell, Charles I, and/or the troops of either of them – whether it would be historically accurate or not.

One particular favourite is a pub near Daventry in Northamptonshire that boasts that Cromwell stayed there the night before the Battle of Naseby; if he had, he’d not only have run into the Royalists stationed there, but would have had to have galloped about 40 miles before getting anywhere near the battle!

We often joke that if Oliver Cromwell had visited or slept in all the places he’s reputed to have visited or slept in then he would either would have had to have a twin brother or lived to be a hundred!

But whether it’s true or not, it’s always nice to see English Civil War history at least being acknowledged, and that’s certainly true in the Yorkshire town of Otley, where one of our members spotted this little plaque on the wall of the Black Bull pub!

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