Skip to content

Grosvenor Museum Lunchtime Lectures

Spring Series 2019

A series of lectures by Professor Peter Gaunt

The English Civil War in Chester and the surrounding region, 1642-46: the same war, but very different contexts

Grosvenor Museum, Grosvenor Street, Chester.  Wednesdays, 1.00 - 2.00 pm

£3.00 per lecture (pay at the door) or pay in advance for the full series (£6.00)

Hosted by the University of Chester, Department of History & Archaeology

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Chester's civil war: regional capital or damp squib?

From autumn 1642 until the opening months of 1646 Chester served as a major royalist base, garrison and strorghold in the northern Marches and the North West. This lecture explores the role which it might therefore have played and was expected to play in the civil war, assessing its potential and value to the king's cause and its threat to the parliamentarians. It argues that in fact Chester was viewed very differently, not only by the two sides but also when placed within local, regional and national contexts, and that for a vaiety of reasons in reality it never served as a dynamic regional captial.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Cheshire's civil war: three months of action, three years of stalemate?

After a period of uncertainty during 1642, early in 1643 a forceful campaign enabled the parliamentarians to capture most of Cheshire, pinning the royalists into Chester, the Wirral and the Dee valley. But thereafter Cheshire's war became remarkably immobile and this division of the county between the parliamentarians and the royalists changed very little until its closing stages. This lecture examines both these starkly different phases of the war within the county, exploring not only how most of Cheshire fell to parliament so quickly quite early on but also how and why thereafter the fighting became bogged down and Cheshire's war became so static.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

North Wales's civil war: there's a war on, but where's the fighting?

Across the border, almost all of Wales, including adjoining parts of North (and mid) Wales, appeared to follow a very different course, coming out swiftly, fervently and without resistance for the king in 1642 and then serving as part of the royalist heartlands, uncontested and seeing little active fighting for most of the war. This lecture explores why Wales seemed so royalist and questions the depth of that apparent allegiance, as well as assessing why subsequent parliamentarian attempts to break into northern and mid Wales and to challenge royalist supremacy proved so fitful, limited and unsuccessful. It examines how and why parliament was eventually able to overcome Welsh royalism and analyses the very different type of campaign which parliamentarian generals mounted in order to do so.