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Historical Background

The story, main characters, and some of the settings in The Stone of the Seer are fictional but are based on true events and the story features real historical characters, such as King Charles I. The English Civil War was a series of conflicts in England, Scotland, and Ireland in the 1640s and early 1650s. The war originated in the struggle between Charles I and Parliament regarding how the country should be governed.

The king’s defeat in the civil war led to his trial and execution in January 1649. The monarchy was abolished and replaced first by the Commonwealth of England and then the Protectorate, before the monarchy was restored in 1660. However, the defeat of Charles I confirmed that an English monarch could not rule the country without the consent of Parliament, although this wasn’t legally established until the Glorious Revolution in 1688.

These are links to online sources where you can learn more about the historical events, settings, and leading characters from the English Civil War, some of the leading characters during the conflict, historical locations that are mentioned in the text, life in the seventeenth century, and details from other historical periods that are featured in the story.

Please note that all links to websites were fully operational at the time of the book’s publication.

 

The English Civil War

There is a great deal of material online about the English Civil War. These websites provide information on the background to the conflict, the political and religious ideas of the time, the opposing armies, and about the course of the war throughout the British Isles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundhead

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalier

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_English_Civil_War

https://kids.kiddle.co/English_Civil_War

https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/english-civil-wars

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUcivilwar.htm

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/first-civil-war/

http://bcw-project.org/timelines/the-english-civil-war

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/second-civil-war/

http://bcw-project.org/timelines/the-second-civil-war

 

Battles of the English Civil War

Many battles were fought during the civil war. These websites feature some of the more important ones that affected the outcome of the conflict.

 

The Battle of Edgehill (1642)

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUedgehill.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Edgehill

http://bcw-project.org/military/english-civil-war/edgehill-campaign/battle-of-edgehill

http://www.battlefieldsofbritain.co.uk/battle_edgehill_1642.html

 

The Battle of Newbury (1643)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Newbury

http://bcw-project.org/military/english-civil-war/southern-england/first-newbury

http://www.battlefieldsofbritain.co.uk/battle_newbury_1643.html

 

The Battle of Marston Moor (1644)

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUmarstonmoor.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Marston_Moor

http://bcw-project.org/military/english-civil-war/northern-england/battle-of-marston-moor

http://www.battlefieldsofbritain.co.uk/battle_marston_moor_1644.html

 

The Battle of Naseby (1645)

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUnaseby.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Naseby

http://bcw-project.org/military/english-civil-war/midlands-and-east/the-naseby-campaign#naseby

http://www.battlefieldsofbritain.co.uk/battle_naseby_1645.html

 

The Battle of Preston (1648)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Preston_(1648)

http://bcw-project.org/military/second-civil-war/preston

 

The Siege of Colchester (1648)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Colchester

http://bcw-project.org/military/second-civil-war/kent-essex#colchester

https://thehistoryjar.com/2018/08/28/siege-of-colchester-1648/

 

This map shows the locations of some of the Civil War’s major battles.

https://olivercromwell.net/english-civil-war-battles/

 

Weaponry and tactics

These websites have lots of information regarding the types of weapons and tactics used by both sides during the civil war.

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUcivilwarW.htm

https://www.historyonthenet.com/english-civil-war-weapons

http://theenglishcivilwarsite.weebly.com/weapons.html

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUcivilwarMT.htm

 

New Model Army

The New Model Army was a professional fighting force established by Parliament in 1645. It helped the Parliamentary forces to win the civil war.

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUmodelarmy.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Model_Army

https://www.historyhit.com/oliver-cromwell-and-the-new-model-army/

http://bcw-project.org/military/new-model-army

 

Charles I (1600-1649)

Charles I was King of England from 1625 to 1649. His disagreements with Parliament, which wanted to reduce his powers, led to the English Civil War. The king’s defeat resulted in his trial and execution in 1649.

https://kids.kiddle.co/Charles_I_of_England

http://bcw-project.org/biography/charles-the-first

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_England

https://www.biography.com/royalty/charles-i

 

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)

Oliver Cromwell was one of the main leaders of the Parliamentary forces in the civil war against Charles I.

After the king’s execution, Cromwell ruled the country as the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

https://kids.kiddle.co/Oliver_Cromwell

http://bcw-project.org/biography/oliver-cromwell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Cromwell

https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/oliver-cromwell

 

Henrietta Maria (1609-1669)

Henrietta Maria was the wife of Charles I and Queen of England from 1625 to 1649. As a Roman Catholic, she was unpopular in England and was forced to leave the country during the civil war. She returned to England after the Restoration in 1660, when her son became King Charles II.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Maria

https://kids.kiddle.co/Henrietta_Maria_of_France

http://bcw-project.org/biography/henrietta-maria

 

Sir Thomas Fairfax (1612-1671)

Sir Thomas Fairfax was commander-in-chief of Parliament’s forces during the English Civil War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Fairfax

http://bcw-project.org/biography/sir-thomas-fairfax

 

Thomas Rainsborough (1610-1648)

Thomas Rainsborough was a Parliamentary officer and political activist during the civil war. He was closely associated with the Leveller movement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Rainsborough

http://bcw-project.org/biography/thomas-rainsborough

 

John Lilburne (1614-1657)

John Lilburne was a leading political activist and writer before, during, and after the English Civil War. He was closely associated with the Leveller movement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lilburne

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUlilburne.htm

http://bcw-project.org/biography/john-lilburne

 

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (1591-1646)

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, was one of the leading commanders of the Parliamentary army in the early years of the civil war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Devereux,_3rd_Earl_of_Essex

http://bcw-project.org/biography/robert-devereux-3rd-earl-of-essex

 

Henry Ireton (1611-1651)

Henry Ireton was the son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell and a general in the Parliamentary army during the civil war.

http://bcw-project.org/biography/henry-ireton

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ireton

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/ireton_henry.shtml

 

Prince Rupert (1619-1682)

Prince Rupert of the Rhine was the nephew of Charles I. He commanded the Royalist cavalry during the civil war.

http://bcw-project.org/biography/prince-rupert

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Rupert_of_the_Rhine

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/rupert_prince.shtml

 

Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester (1602-1671)

Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester, was a leading commander of Parliamentary forces during the civil war.

http://bcw-project.org/biography/edward-montagu-earl-of-manchester

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Montagu,_2nd_Earl_of_Manchester

 

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford (1593-1641)

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, was one of the leading advisors of Charles I in the years before the English Civil War. He was executed for treason in 1641.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wentworth,_1st_Earl_of_Strafford

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUwentworthT.htm

 

Matthew Hopkins (1620-1647)

Matthew Hopkins was a witch-hunter during the English Civil War. He and his associates were responsible for sending more than a hundred people to their execution during the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Hopkins

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Matthew-Hopkins-WitchFinder-General/

 

Political activism

These websites have information about the political ideas and movements that were popular before and during the civil war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levellers

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/The-Levellers/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diggers

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUdiggers.htm

 

The Putney Debates

The Putney Debates were a series of discussions about creating a new constitution for the country at the end of the English Civil War.

https://spartacus-educational.com/STUputneydebates.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putney_Debates

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/second-civil-war/putney-debates

 

Religion in the seventeenth century

These websites have information about the religious situation in England at the time of the civil war. This includes details on secret Catholic places of worship, similar to the underground workshop located at Habingdon House.

 

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Priests-Holes/

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-secret-rooms-that-were-custom-built-to-hide-your-priest

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/priest-holes

 

Seventeenth century England

This website provides information on what it was like to live in England in the seventeenth century.

http://www.localhistories.org/stuart.html

 

Medical knowledge

These links explain the level of medical knowledge and some of the medical procedures that were practiced during the era of the civil war.

https://www.healthguidance.org/entry/6350/1/Medical-History–The-Seventeenth-Century.html

https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/health-17th-century

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Weird-Wonderful-17th-18th-Century-Medicine/

 

Habingdon, Essex, and London

The fictional Habingdon House and the nearby village are located in the county of Essex in Southeast England. This map of England’s counties shows the location of Essex in relation to London.

http://myenglandtravel.com/images/all_england_counties_map.gif

 

Medieval monasteries

These links have excellent information on medieval monasteries and the scriptoriums where illuminated manuscripts were created.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scriptorium

https://www.historytoday.com/secrets-scriptoria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monastery

https://www.ancient.eu/Medieval_Monastery/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminated_manuscript

https://www.ancient.eu/Illuminated_Manuscripts/

https://www.ancient.eu/Book_of_Kells/

https://www.ancient.eu/article/1293/the-daily-life-of-medieval-monks/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk

https://www.ancient.eu/Medieval_Church/

 

The Vikings

The Vikings were people from Scandinavia in Northern Europe and the Viking Age was from around 700 to 1000 AD. During that time, the Vikings attacked countries on the coasts of Europe and often raided the British Isles, where the Vikings also settled and founded their own kingdoms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikings

https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/vikings-history

https://www.ancient.eu/Vikings/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Heathen_Army

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Great-Heathen-Army/

https://kids.kiddle.co/Great_Heathen_Army

This map shows the path of the Great Heathen Army of Vikings that attacked England in 865.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Heathen_Army#/media/File:England_Great_Army_map.svg

This map shows the areas controlled by the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in the British Isles in 886.

https://kids.kiddle.co/Image:Map_of_England_Showing_the_Anglo-Saxon_Kingdoms_and_Danish_Districts.jpg

 

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, architect, and inventor during the Renaissance in the late fifteen and early sixteenth centuries. He is known for his famous paintings but also worked on a number of inventions, including flying machines, and studied the workings of the human body.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci

https://www.history.com/topics/renaissance/leonardo-da-vinci

https://www.leonardodavinci.net/

 

Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London destroyed large parts of the city in early September 1666. Much of London was rebuilt after the fire and some areas of the city appeared different to how they had looked at the time of the civil war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_London

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/The-Great-Fire-of-London/

https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/museum/history-and-stories/the-great-fire-of-london/

 

Charles II (1630-1685)

Charles was the eldest son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. He was only a teenager during the civil war but still took part in some of the campaigns. Charles went into exile in 1646, first in France and then in the Netherlands. He returned to England as king following the Restoration in 1660.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_England

https://kids.kiddle.co/Charles_II_of_England

http://bcw-project.org/biography/charles-the-second

 

James II (1633-1701)

James II was the second surviving son of Charles I and the brother of Charles II. He was King of England from 1685 to 1688, when he was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution of that year and forced into exile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_II_of_England

https://www.royal.uk/james-ii

https://kids.kiddle.co/James_II_of_England

 

The Glorious Revolution

The Glorious Revolution took place in England in 1688. King James II was deposed and forced into exile, replaced as monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland by his daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William of Orange, who became King William III.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution

https://kids.kiddle.co/Glorious_Revolution

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/The-Glorious-Revolution-1688/

https://www.royal.uk/william-and-mary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England

https://kids.kiddle.co/William_III_of_England

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_II_of_England

https://kids.kiddle.co/Mary_II_of_England

 

The War of the Spanish Succession

The War of the Spanish Succession took place from 1701 to 1714. It was fought over who had the right to rule Spain after the previous king died without having any children. Most of the fighting was in Europe but there were also battles in North and South America.

https://www.britannica.com/event/War-of-the-Spanish-Succession

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Spanish_Succession

https://kids.kiddle.co/War_of_the_Spanish_Succession

 

Louis XIV (1638-1715)

Louis XIV was King of France from 1643 to 1715. He was involved in a number of major European wars, including the War of the Spanish Succession in the early eighteenth century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XIV

https://www.history.com/topics/france/louis-xiv

https://kids.kiddle.co/Louis_XIV_of_France

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