375 years later, the English Civil War returns to Manchester

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Nantwich 02 - Photo by Ammgramm on Flickr.jpgAlmost 375 years to the day since Manchester witnessed the first casualty of the English Civil War, the conflict is to be brought to life in Chadderton.
Foxdenton Park in Chadderton will go back in time to the 17th Century this weekend as The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote, part of the Sealed Knot reenactment society, reveals what life was like during the English Civil Wars of the 1640s in an event that is ideal for the whole family.
From 10am on Saturday and Sunday, visitors will be able to visit an authentic encampment in the park and meet the army on campaign, before Roundhead and Cavalier take part in two deadly skirmishes! 
With muskets, drums, and pike, costumed reenactors will recreate one of the many battles between the two competing sides. Who will be victorious in this battle for control of the nation – the King? Or Parliament?
At 10.30am, the armies will march from Kingfisher School on Foxdenton Lane before taking part in skirmishes at 11.45am and 2pm in Foxdenton Park. As well as the battles, there will be fascinating displays explaining 17th Century life and what it was like to take up arms in this so-called ‘war without an enemy’.
Manchester has the dubious distinction of being the site of the first casualty of the English Civil War: on 15th July 1642, weaver Richard Perceval died during a street fight in Manchester when Royalists tried to force the Parliamentarian town to hand over its gunpowder stores.
Perceval, from Levenshulme, was allegedly killed by Thomas Tyldesley of Astley – the first death in a conflict that would claim a greater proportion of lives than World War One.
The event will take place next to Foxdenton Hall, which reuses features and stonework from an earlier building of 1620, which was built for lord of the manor William Radclyffe. Radclyffe died along with his oldest son, Robert, at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, the first pitched battle of the English Civil War.
Musket block (c) David Gee.jpg
About the Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote:
Part of the Sealed Knot, the world’s oldest and Europe’s largest re-enactment society, the members of Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote re-enacts a regiment from the English Civil Wars period from 1642-1660. They portray the lifeguard of Edward Montagu, the second Earl of Manchester, who was one of the leading generals in the First English Civil War of 1642-5. For more information, go to www.earlofmanchesters.co.uk
About The Sealed Knot:
Europe’s oldest and largest re-enactment society, The Sealed Knot was formed in Oxford in 1968 and has thousands of members across the UK, Europe, and the world. It stages dozens of events every year from commemorative marches and village fetes to massed battles. A registered educational charity, the Society aims not to glorify war but to honour those that died in the many battles of the English Civil War, and to educate the public about those wars, and also about the lives and times of people in that period.
The name of the Society derives from a group, which, during the Protectorate, plotted for the restoration of the monarchy; here the similarity ends though as the present society is a non-political charity that has both Parliamentarian and Royalist armies.
About the English Civil War:
The English Civil War was actually a series of armed conflicts between 1642 and 1652, culminating with the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660. Far more complex than simply ‘Roundheads versus Cavaliers’, the English Civil Wars was a tumultuous period when our modern nation state was first formed. Arguments between King Charles I and his Parliament over taxation, religion and control of the country boiled over into open conflict in 1642, with the country dividing into those who supported the King and those who supported Parliament. After the second Civil War, Oliver Cromwell rose to prominence and following Charles II’s failed invasion of England, Cromwell became head of the English Commonwealth and then king in all but name as Lord Protector. He died in 1658, but his son and successor Richard Cromwell quickly abdicated. Charles II returned and was restored as King of England in 1660.
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