Monday, October 3, 2011

Twitter Ye Not - The Battle of Edge Hill

Twitter Ye Not - The Battle of Edge Hill

A regular piece for the Daily Mail Weekend magazine about how figures in history might have twittered or tweeted or whatever, had they the chance, inclination and technology.

On Sunday 23 October 1642, King Charles I led his Royalist army (Cavaliers) against rebellious Parliamentary troops (Roundheads)at the Battle of Edge Hill (or Edgehill) in Warwickshire, the opening campaign of the Englsih Civil War. Here, we imagine the Twitter feed for that week-end.

I have shown on one side, 'warts and all', puritan leader Oliver Cromwell (one of history's big bastards in my opinion. Boo! Hiss!). Facing him across the battlefield stands weak and vain King Charles I (also Boo! Hiss!).

The Civil War raged for many years but eventually ended with the Parliamentary forces victorious, beginning the Commonwealth, in which taverns, theatres, drinking, even May-poles and Christmas, were banned! Not good. In the absence of any fun the Puritans amused themselves by prosecuting and executing a lot of witches! Nice.

Charles Stuart (Charles I) was beheaded on Tuesday, 30 January 1649 on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House on White-Hall, Westminster. His grandmother was Mary, Queen of Scots, who was also famously beheaded.

Cromwell died on 3 September 1658 and was briefly succeeded by his ineffectual son Richard, known to history as Tumble-Down Dick or even Queen Dick. Cromwell Jnr's reign was immediately followed by the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 when Charles I's son Charles II, known as the Merry Monarch, took the throne.

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