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Historical Background

The story, main characters, and some of the settings in Royal Blood 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

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

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

 

These maps show territory held by the Royalists and that held by Parliament at different stages of the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornwall_in_the_English_Civil_War#/media/File:English_civil_war_map_1642_to_1645.JPG

 

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

 

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/

 

Elizabeth Poole

Elizabeth Poole was a woman that claimed to be a prophet during the civil war. She was born in 1622 and last appears in the historical record in 1668.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/4052957?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

http://www.abingdon.gov.uk/history/people/elizabeth-poole

 

Pride’s Purge

Pride’s Purge took place on December 6, 1648, when soldiers prevented Members of Parliament that opposed the army from entering the House of Commons. This ensured that MPs would vote for the king’s trial, which led to his execution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride%27s_Purge

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

 

The king’s trial and execution

There are many online sources for information regarding the trial and execution of Charles I in 1649.

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

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/the-commonwealth/trial-of-king-charles-i

http://www.prisonersofeternity.co.uk/the-trial-and-execution-of-charles-i-right-or-wrong/

https://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/212trial.html

https://historylearning.com/stuart-england/charlesi-execution/

https://www.panmacmillan.com/blogs/history/the-final-hours-of-charles-i

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

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/execution-charles-i

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/charlesI.htm

This image shows the High Court of Justice that was established for the trial of Charles I. The king is shown sitting alone in the dock, facing his accusers.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Court-charles-I-sm.jpg

This image shows the execution of Charles I in front of the Banqueting House on January 30, 1649.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/The_execution_of_King_Charles_I_from_NPG.jpg

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Seventeenth century London

These two websites provide information on what it was like to live in London in the seventeenth century.

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

http://www.localhistories.org/london17thcent.html

This map of London in 1660 is similar to how the city would have looked at the time of the civil war.

http://www.antique-maps-online.co.uk/london-rutger-2992.jpg

Virtual tour

This link features a video depicting what the city of London would have looked like in the years around the time of the English Civil War.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/11/fly-through-17th-century-london.html

 

Old London Bridge

Old London Bridge was first built in the medieval period and had multiple arches. A great many buildings were also built on the bridge over the years. The bridge was the only crossing over the Thames in the London area until Westminster Bridge was built in 1750. Old London Bridge was demolished in 1831.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Bridge#%22Old%22_London_Bridge_(1209%E2%80%931831)

https://thetudortravelguide.com/2019/03/02/old-london-bridge/

https://www.thehistoryoflondon.co.uk/the-medieval-london-bridge/

This image shows London Bridge and parts of the city, as it would have appeared in 1616 and during the civil war.

https://i1.wp.com/www.earlymodernengland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/z19london.jpg?ssl=1

 

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/

 

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is a historic castle first founded after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It houses the British crown jewels and has held many famous prisoners over the centuries.

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

https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/history-and-stories/the-story-of-the-tower-of-london/#gs.ddfq90

https://www.livescience.com/42821-tower-of-london.html

 

The Palace of Whitehall

The Palace of Whitehall in London was the main home of the English monarchs, including Charles I, from 1530 until 1698, when the palace was destroyed by fire.

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

http://www.everycastle.com/Whitehall-Palace.html

https://kids.kiddle.co/Palace_of_Whitehall

 

The Banqueting House

The Banqueting House was the only part of the Palace of Whitehall that survived the fire of 1698. Charles I was executed in front of the Banqueting House in January 1649.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqueting_House,_Whitehall

https://www.hrp.org.uk/banqueting-house/history-and-stories/the-story-of-banqueting-house/

https://www.britainexpress.com/London/Banqueting_House.htm

 

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall in London is the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster. The hall was built in 1097 and has been used for a variety or purposes over the centuries, including the trial of Charles I in 1649.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Westminster#Westminster_Hall

https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/building/palace/westminsterhall/

https://lostcityoflondon.co.uk/tag/westminster-hall/

 

St. James’s Palace

St. James’s Palace is a royal residence in London, built in the 1530s. Charles I spent his final night at St James’s before his execution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_James%27s_Palace

https://kids.kiddle.co/St_James%27s_Palace

https://www.royal.uk/royal-residences-st-jamess-palace

 

The Protectorate

The Protectorate lasted from 1653 to 1659, when a Lord Protector ruled the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

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

https://kids.kiddle.co/The_Protectorate

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/the-protectorate/

 

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth refers to the time after the execution of Charles I in 1649 when England and Wales, and later Scotland and Ireland, were ruled as a republic.

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

https://kids.kiddle.co/Commonwealth_of_England

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

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/the-commonwealth/

 

The Restoration

The Restoration occurred when Charles II returned from exile to become King of England in 1660.

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

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-english-restoration

http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/the-restoration/

 

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

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