Riot, Rebellion and Regicide: East Anglia 1647-1649
with Dr Andrew Lacey, (Independent Scholar)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 18th July, 2015.


The puritan heartland of East Anglia experienced a series of riots against the authority of Parliament and, in 1648, a full-scale Royalist rebellion culminating in the siege of Colchester. This study-day will consider why these riots and rebellions took place and how they set the scene for the trial and execution of Charles I.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:                Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:                East Anglia – Puritan heartland? East Anglia was the home of Oliver Cromwell, the New Model Army and the Eastern Association and at the beginning of the English Civil War in 1642 the region was quickly secured for Parliament. This session will explore why East Anglia was so committed to the Parliamentarian cause, but was dissent just below the surface?

11.15 – 11.40:                Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:                1648 – Riots, Rebellions and Sieges In 1648 England erupted into Civil War again. The Scots invaded from the north and rebellion flared in South Wales and the South East of England. Riots broke out against Parliament in London, Norwich and Bury St. Edmunds, whilst Cavaliers and Roundheads clashed at Linton. This ‘summer of discontent’ culminated in the six week siege of Colchester. In this session we will discuss why the ‘Puritan heartland’ turned so violently against the Puritans!

12.40 – 14.00:                Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:                 1649 – Revolution and Regicide The second Civil War radicalised the New Model Army. Charles I was now denounced as ‘that man of blood’ and the demand grew that he should be brought to justice. To bring this about the Army seized power and put Charles on trial. This session will consider these revolutionary events which culminated in the King’s execution.

14.50 – 15.10:               Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:                The martyr and the Regicides With the King dead, England experienced eleven years of republican government. Yet many were never reconciled to the destruction of the monarchy and throughout the 1650’s Royalists plotted against the republican regimes. In our final session we will look at some of the expressions of Royalist resistance, the reasons why Charles was considered a saint and martyr and at what happened to the surviving regicides when Charles II was restored in 1660.

c.16.00:                            Thanks and Close

About Andrew Lacey

Andrew Lacey completed a first degree in history followed by a postgraduate degree in Library and Information Studies.

From 1988 he worked as a professional librarian in a variety of Colleges and Universities. From 1994 to 2005 he was College Librarian at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and, from 2001 to 2004, simultaneously Special Collections Librarian at the University of Leicester. Andrew was a member of the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Architecture and History of Art from 2005 to 2008.

In tandem with his professional career, Andrew has pursued his academic interests and teaching in continuing education. He is a Tutor for both the University of Cambridge, Institute of Continuing Education and the University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education. His teaching and research has included work on the English Civil War, sixteenth and seventeenth century English and European history, the relationship between art and power, and nineteenth and twentieth century British and European history.

Andrew was awarded a doctorate by the University of Leicester for research on the cult of king Charles I and the fruits of this work were published by the Boydell Press. He has also published many articles and essays on aspects of sixteenth and seventeenth-century history including the writing and tutoring of an online course for the University of Oxford on the English Civil War. He has also written and tutored an online course for the University of Cambridge, Institute of Continuing Education on the early Tudors, and is in the process of writing another online course for Cambridge on Queen Elizabeth I, which should be available in autumn 2015. In amongst all this, Andrew has a commission for three books from Amberley Publishers, one on the Stuarts, one on the English Civil War, and one on the Great Fire of London – never a dull moment!

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

  • Ashley, M., The English Civil War (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1996)
  • Ashton, R., Counter-revolution: the Second Civil War and its origins, 1646 – 8 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994)
  • Lacey, A., The cult of king Charles the martyr (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2003)
  • Plowden, A., In a free republic: life in Cromwell’s England (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2006)
  • Spencer, C., Killers of the king: the men who dared to execute Charles I (London: Bloomsbury, 2014)
  • Wedgwood, C.V., The trial of Charles I (London: Collins, 1964)
  • Worden, B., The English Civil War 1640 – 1660 (London: Phoenix, 2009)