Archive for the ‘civil war’ Category

The book I read to research this post was Loyal and Ancient City: The Civil War In Lichfield by Howard Clayton which is an excellent book which I bought from a car boot sale. I live in Birmingham so Lichfield in Staffordshire is quite near to me. It’s famous for having the smallest cathedral in Britain and also unusually it’s made of sandstone. During the Civil War, Lichfield was very loyal to the Royalists & it was a relatively large city by their standards with a population of around 3,000. It was also a key outpost close to the frontier between Royalist & Parliamentarian forces. The eastern and western parts of the country including Wales & London were Parliamentarian with a great big band cutting the middle of the country of Royalist areas. Lichfield changed hands several times as it was attacked by Parliamentarian forces & then Royalists would try to save them. Quite a few of the famous battles of the war were near to Lichfield underlying its importance. Lichfield also supplied a huge contingent of the Royalist forces but they were generally outnumbered by the Parliamentarians in the battles. Charles the 1st made Oxford a temporary capital city during the war. The war famously started when Charles went to parliament to arrest 5 members of the house who had already fled and were recruiting an army for war. Towards the end of the Civil War the Parliamentarians beseiged Lichfield and although in the meantime many other Royalist settlements like Ludlow & Dudley did surrender after relatively brief sieges the city of Lichfield stuck it out for quite a long time. Interestingly the first bishop of Lichfield was Saint Chad and the cathedral is named after him. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Civil War but they had a really good bishop who greatly built on the congregation and was good at organising the tidying up work. Of course Cromwell turned out to be a dictator and when he died and his son took over the nation as a whole soon got fed up and they brought back parliament and the monarchy. This book is really interesting and appears well researched.

The book I read to research this post was Irish History for Dummies by Mike Cronin¬†and it’s an excellent book. I must admit these kind of niche histories that they do in these dummies books. I did read african american history for dummies recently which I also recommend. I live in england but am of irish descent and was brought up a catholic although I’m not a practising one actually my beliefs are probably more in line with spiritualism although I’ve never actively followed them.

One interesting point in the book was that there is a massive burial site at newgrange that’s set out celestially like stonehenge but is a 1000 years older and is 600 years older than the egyptian pyramids. Thousands of people flock to newgrange every year but irelands biggest tourist attraction is the giants causeway where lava from a volcano now long extinct has set in hexagonal columns some upto 12 metres high.

My mums family are from Dublin and I have visited but somewhere in Dublin I’d like to visit is the Natural History Museum which boasts the largest shark ever caught in irish waters among its exhibits.

I’ll tell you one bit of history which isn’t in the book apparently when Michael Collins and David Lloyd George were negotiating Irelands independance. The english prime minister threatened to flatten Dublin with a battleships cannons if Collins didn’t sign the agreement. Collins was later assassinated.