England, the English and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
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This thesis explores the role of England and the English during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), and provides the first major study of the between 50,000 and 60,000 Englishmen who fought for the ‘Protestant cause’ within the armies of countries such as the Dutch Republic, Denmark and Sweden. These findings provide an alternative perspective on a number of widely accepted theories, such as the demise of English military power throughout the period and the failure of the Stuart monarchs to engage within continental warfare. The actions of the English abroad openly contributed not only to crucial European events, such as during the struggle to hold the Palatinate (1620-1623) and at the sieges of Maastricht (1632) and Breda (1637) but also to domestic events such as the breakdown of relations between the Crown and Parliament. By making extensive use of continental archives to analyse the role of the English abroad, this thesis provides a new perspective on not only events in Europe but also events within the borders of Stuart Britain. Through an analysis of the networks and motivations that linked these men, it challenges any idea these they were unimportant or simply mercenary by showing they were, in fact, an active part of Stuart policy while also actually fighting for a host of individual motivations. Explaining the role of these men during the breakdown of Stuart government in the late 1630s and 1640s illustrates the considerable influence this body of men had on their homeland. The thesis not only contributes to English historiography but also allows the existent work on Scotland and Ireland by historians such as Steve Murdoch, Alexia Grosjean, David Worthington and Robert Stradling to be placed within a wider British context. It also provides a contribution to the beginnings of a wider analysis of the English abroad during the early modern period, which has been sorely under-researched.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 23-10-30
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 30th October 2023
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