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The Army in Cromwellian England, 1649-1660


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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Character of the Army
1: A Standing Army
2: Promotion and Patronage
3: Political Engagement
Part 2: The Army and Society
4: The Garrisoning and Quartering of the Army
5: The Provision of Pay to the Army
6: The Material Impact of the Military Presence
7: The Religious Impact of the Military Presence
8: The Army and the Government of the Localities
Part 3: The Army and the End of the Republic
9: The Military Presence Unchecked
10: The Demise of the Army

About the Author

Henry Reece read History at Bristol University and did his D.Phil. at St John's College, Oxford. He spent thirty years in publishing, latterly as chief executive of Oxford University Press from 1998 to 2009. Oxford University awarded him an Honorary D.Litt. in 2010. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Oxford. He now lives on Vancouver Island in Canada.


The Army in Cromwellian England 1649-1660 is an elegant synthesis of forty years' worth of historiography, securely anchored in primary sources. Reece's conclusions lead us to reconsider long-held orthodoxies, such as the beliefs that an 'un-English' autocracy characterized the Commonwealth and Protectorate, and that the return of the Stuarts was inevitable.
*Mark Charles Fissel, American Historical Review*


Reece has shown us how essential the army was to establishing stability and the rule of law following victory. We have an even greater feel for the war and peace in mid-seventeenth century Britain as a result.
*Martyn Bennet, War in History*

a long-awaited and very important book.
*Northern History,*

Henry Reece has given us a study of major importance, finely judged, stimulating, and based on massive and impeccable research.
*Bernard Capp, Military History*

"This book has marinaded for longer than most" Henry Reece remarks... His book is the best possible advertisement for marinading. It is a fine scholarly achievement, required reading for all who take England's republican experiment seriously... Reece's excellent book certainly makes us think hard; on the army itself it is surely definitive.
*Anthony Fletcher, History*

this is a very fine study
*Journal of British Studies*

an excellent treatment of the ... day-to-day experience of the peacetime army of the Commonwealth and Protectorate ... As this body of men was, beyond doubt, the empowering force of English (and indeed British and Irish) political developments between 1647 and 1660, to achieve such a well-rounded portrait of it is extremely valuable.
*Ronald Hutton, University of Bristol*

The judges were very impressed with Henry Reece's incisive and thoroughly researched analysis ... His clear and readable book makes an important contribution to knowledge of the period.
*Ann Sweeney, Chairman of the Judges of the 2013 Samuel Pepys Award*

Reece's book succeeds in two regards: it provides detailed analysis of a topic that has not received much scholarly attention (the nature and impact of the standing army during the Interregnum), and it offers a new interpretation of a major historical event (the demise of the army in 1659-60) ... this book, and the research grounding it, will benefit future studies of military, local, and political histories of the Interregnum.
*Benjamin Woodford, Canadian Journal of History*

a thoughtful, well-researched and strongly argued contribution to our understanding of the role and position of the army in England, particularly valuable and generally convincing in casting further light on the military's role in local administration, on Oliver Cromwell's handling of the army and its officers and -- its freshest and biggest contribution -- on the army's conspicuously limited opposition to Monck and the path to the Restoration.
*Peter Gaunt, English Historical Review*

This is institutional history ... of a very sophisticated and readable kind. The command of sources is formidable and the style is lucid and often trenchant ... Reece's book is necessary reading for all who hope to explain it [the Restoration].
*Barbara Donagan, Renaissance Quarterly*

This is an intriguing study of a crucial institution at a critical time in English history. It is a complex story ... and Reece does an excellent job in describing it.
*Peter Harrington, Milton Quarterly*

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