Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Britain's Troubles

| Discussion topics | Documents | Audio | E-Texts | Reading |

Discussion topics

'Nothing made war inevitable except the ineptitude of Charles I and his ministers.' Discuss.
Which were more 'revolutionary' in their consequences: the events of the 1640s, or of the 1680s?
To what extent were 'Britain's Troubles' a result of the 'British problem'?


**NOTE: Some eresources are accessible only on-campus or via off-campus proxies or the athens service**





 'The Stoneyfeild Saboth Day', an account of the riot in Edinburgh when the Dean of St Giles tried to use the English-style Prayer Book in 1637
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) - Prologue
English Bill of Rights, 1689, excerpts
John Locke (1632-1704): Two Treatises of Government, 1690,
Radical Women During the English Revolution, excerpts
The Privy Council and the Position of the Communion Table at St. Gregory's (1633)


The execution of King Charles I.
Kings Charles II, laying his hands on a sick man (a victim of 'scrofula', the 'king's evil') in 1684
The Shepheards Oracles: Depicting King Charles I raising a
sword to a tree called religion. (1646)
Leviathan Title Page - Hobbes
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). English soldier and statesman. Portrait as Captain General and Commander in Chief of the Parliamentary forces. (1651)

ETexts - Online Reading available at Warwick


Hirst, 'The English republic and the meaning of Britain', JMH 66 (1994) [JStor]

Stoyle, 'English "nationalism", Celtic particularism and the English Civil War', HJ 43 (2000)

Barber, Sarah. Regicide and republicanism: politics and ethics in the English revolution, 1646-1659 (1998)

Doelman, James, King James I and the religious culture of England (2000)

Hunt, Margaret R., The middling sort:commerce, gender, and the family in England, 1680-1780 (1996)

Todd, Margo., Reformation to revolution: politics and religion in early modern England (1995)

Early English Books Online

A True Discourse of all the Royal Passages, Tryumphs and Ceremonies, obserued at the Contract and Marriage of the High and Mighty Charles, King of Great Britaine, and the most excellentest of Ladies, the Lady Henrietta Maria of Burbon

Books of Common Prayer

History of the United Kingdom: Primary Documents, 1486 - 1688

History of the United Kingdom: Primary Documents, 1689 - 1815


Audio Links:

Search for a suitable version of the following piece in

Here's a Health unto His Majesty - Composed by Jeremy Saville


Secondary literature:

M. J. Braddick, The Nerves of State: Taxation and the Financing of the English State 1558-1714 (1996)

G. Burgess, 'Was the English Civil War a war of religion?', Huntington Library Quarterly 61 (1998)

K. M. Brown, Kingdom or Province? Scotland and the Royal Union 1603-1715 (1993)

N. Canny, Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (2001)

T. Claydon, 'Problems with the British problem', Parliamentary History 16 (1997)

Coffey, John, Politics, religion and the British revolutions: the mind of Samuel Rutherford (1997)

B. Coward, The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980, revised 1994)

R. Cust, Charles 1: a Political Life (Longman, 2005)

Doran, Susan. Elizabeth I and religion, 1558-1603 (1994)

T. Harris, 'The legacy of the English Civil War', European Legacy 5 (2000)

T. Harris, Charles 11 and his Kingdoms 1660-1685 (Allen Lane, 2005)

C. Hill, The Century of Revolution (1961)

D. Hirst, England in Conflict, 1603-60 (1999)

" , 'The English republic and the meaning of Britain', JMH 66 (1994) [JStor]

C. Holmes, Why was Charles I executed ? (2006)

A. Houston; S. Pincus (eds), A Nation Transformed: England after the Restoration (2001)

J. P. Kenyon, Stuart England (1985)

M. Kishlansky, A Monarchy Transformed: Britain 1603-1714 (1997)

R. Lockyer, The Early Stuarts (1989)

D. Orr, 'Sovereignty, supremacy and the origins of the English Civil War', History 27 (2002)

C. Russell, The Crisis of Parliaments: England 1509-1660 (1971)

" , 'The British problem and the English Civil War', History 72 (1987)

Scott, Jonathan, England's troubles:seventeenth- century English political instability in European context (2000)

J. Sharpe, Early Modern England, 1550-1750 (1987)

A. G. R. Smith, The Emergence of a Nation State, 1529-1660 (1984 & 1996)

M. Stoyle, 'English "nationalism", Celtic particularism and the English Civil War', HJ 43 (2000)

Webster, Tom. Godly clergy in early Stuart England: the Caroline Puritan movement, c. 1620-1643 (1997)

A. Woolrych, Britain in Revolution, 1625-1660 (OPU, 2002)

K. Wrightson, English Society, 1580-1680 (1982)


Module Forum

Module Homepage




'Civil War', a BBC / Open University website

'Early English Books Online'

'The Stoneyfeild Saboth Day', an account of the riot in Edinburgh when the Dean of St Giles tried to use the English-style Prayer Book in 1637

English Short-Title Catalogue (ESTC) Catalogue of all books published either in Britain or in English between 1475 and 1800.

Oliver Cromwell BBC

Virtual Norfolk (Early Modern Norfolk Online Resource compiled at UEA, including a section on Civil War and Revolution)

Oliver Cromwell Website

Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674-1834 Now complete: over 100,000 trials online, searchable by crime, name, verdict

The British Library: Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto

The Civil War (website compiled by David Plant)

The First Year of the Civil War (extract from webpages of J. P. Sommerville)

J. C. Davis, [review of:] MacLachlan, The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary England : An Essay on the Fabrication of Seventeenth Century History (1996) from the online journal Renaissance Forum.

BOPCRIS: British official publications 1688-1995 abstracts of some pre-1800 documents are available