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.


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)


The Battle of Newbury (1643)


The Battle of Marston Moor (1644)


The Battle of Naseby (1645)


The Battle of Preston (1648)


The Siege of Colchester (1648)


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Sir Thomas Fairfax (1612-1671)

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


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.


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.


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.,_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.


Prince Rupert (1619-1682)

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


Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester (1602-1671)

Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester, was a leading commander of Parliamentary forces during the civil war.,_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.,_1st_Earl_of_Strafford


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.


Political activism

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


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.


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.


Seventeenth century England

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


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.–The-Seventeenth-Century.html


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.


Medieval monasteries

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


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.

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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.