Second Bishops' War begins

(161 words)

Historical Context Note


The First Bishops' War, the previous year, had been fought between King Charles I and Scottish Covenanters, who saw themselves as defending the Presbyterian Kirk against Charles' attempts to enforce a Prayer Book that would bring it in line with the more high-church England. It had forced the English into a humiliating retreat, and in June 1639 the two parties had signed the Pacification of Berwick. However, this was little more than a holding agreement, and on 3rd August, the Scottish Committee of Estates decided to launch a pre-emptive invasion of England. With the Battle of Newburn at the end of August, the Covenanters overwhelmed the English, and on 30th August they marched freely into Newcastle. In response to this defeat, the …

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