Cambridgeshire society during the first and second Civil Wars c.1638-c.1649 : some aspects of patterns of allegiance.
The subject under examination is the effect of Cambridgeshire's experience of war
firstl. on local allegiances, and secondly, on allegiance studies. This thesis argues for
the necessity of a new analytical model in three stages.
For too long historians have discussed Civil War allegiances, while side-stepping the
most ntractable problem the endeavour presents; the differentiation of external action
(acti\ ism) from inward conviction (allegiance). The Introduction discusses the
implications of this undifferentiated approach, introduces a new analytical model, and
exam! nes two common denominators in the interaction between Cambridgeshire
peoples expression of allegiances and the circumstances of place and time. Chapter
One portrays Cambridgeshire's pre-Civil War topography, and the potential mental
lands. apes of its inhabitants. Chapter Two relays the county's political narrative,
from 1638-1646, as it is characterized in existing histories. These chapters create the
axes through which the themes subsequently analysed are measured.
The fi rst Civil War in Cambridgeshire is analysed from different perspectives,
identi lying factors that might effect existing ideas on Civil War allegiances. Chapter
Three re-evaluates the outbreak and initial phase of the War. Chapter four assesses
how the impact of war on Cambridgeshire affected the expression of allegiances.
Chapters Five and Six examine how local people were labelled as the enemy.
Chapter Five demonstrates the contortions Parliamentarians were forced into to
maintain power against Royalists, rioters and each other. Chapter Six addresses the
spirit! ial dimension of allegiance and enmities.
Chapter Seven draws together the threads of Part II in its narrative of Cambridgeshire
durin; , the second Civil War. It illustrates that county borders obstruct a coherent
retelling of local events, and charts analytical blind-spots through local perceptions of
royal i>t resistance, crystallizing the structure of boundaries recast for the analysis of