The towns and fields of Lancashire witnessed bloody fighting, on and off for almost a decade in the 1640’s. The English Civil Wars found one of their most important battlegrounds right here in the county, as Englishmen (and sometimes Scots) fought desperately over the political future of the nation and the fate of Kings. Neighbours, fathers, sons and friends took up arms against each other, for King or for parliament. Lancaster was burned; Liverpool was stormed; the people of Bolton were massacred; and every Lancastrian was affected by economic chaos, pillaging, plague, disruption and distress.
It was Lancashire’s own Earl of Derby who coined the phrase ‘a general plague of madness’ to describe ‘this foolish and wicked’ war. And, like his King, Derby was executed for his part in it all.
This hugely important story has never been told in such riveting detail. Stephen Bull treads a skilful and knowledgeable path through all of the battles, sieges and skirmishes of the Lancashire wars and puts everything firmly in their crucial, wider context.