The English Civil Wars - conference

Date: Saturday 15 September 2012
Time: 10am to 6pm
Venue: Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds

The conference will examine the causes of the English Civil Wars and discuss in detail some of the most significant battles plus the social, political and historical impact on the British Isles caused by this tumultuous period of conflict.

Special emphasis will be placed on investigations into the arms and equipment of the forces of this period and on knowledge of the battles made possible by recent advances in battlefield archaeology.

Speakers include:

  • Thom Richardson (Keeper of Armour, Royal Armouries)
  • Graeme Rimer (Former Academic Director, Royal Armouries)
  • Professor Micheál Ó Siochrú (History Department, Trinity College Dublin)
  • Martin Marix Evans (The Naseby Battlefield Project)
  • Natasha Ferguson (Treasure Trove, National Museums Scotland)
  • Chris Scott (English Civil War author and historian)
  • Brian Godwin (Independent scholar)
  • Katherine Elliott (Independent scholar)

Provisional Programme (subject to change)

Registration – 9.30 am to 10.00 am

Morning session 1 – 10.00 am to 11.30 am

  1. Welcome – Thom Richardson (Keeper of Armour, Royal Armouries Museum)
  2. Chris Scott (English Civil War author and historian) ‘The descent into War’
  3. Natasha Ferguson (Treasure Trove, National Museums Scotland) ‘They a’ came fae the trench and cried’: Philiphaugh and the archaeology of 17th century battlefields’

Morning tea/ coffee – 11.30am to 12.00pm

Morning session 2 – 12.00 pm to 1.15 pm

  1. Micheál Ó Siochrú (History Department, Trinity College Dublin) ‘War and Terror in Ireland’
  2. Martin Marix Evans (The Naseby Battlefield Project) ‘Naseby: Research and Interpretation’

Lunch – 1.15pm to 2.30pm (opportunity to see ECW re-enactment activities at 1.45pm)

Afternoon session 1 – 2.30pm to 3.45pm

Afternoon Chair: Frank Baldwin, Battlefields Trust

  1. Brian Godwin (Independent Scholar) ‘English Firearms from the late 1500s to the English Civil Wars’
  2. Thom Richardson (Keeper of Armour, Royal Armouries Museum) & Graeme Rimer (Senior Curator Emeritus) ‘Littlecote and makers and distribution of arms and armour of 17th century’

Afternoon tea/coffee – 3.45pm – 4.15pm

Afternoon session 2 – 4.15pm – 6.00pm

  1. Katherine Elliott (Independent Scholar) ’Clothing soldiers- Development of an organised system of production and supply of military clothing in England between 1645 and 1708’

Final Q&A

Close – by 6pm

New publication

This conference will mark the publication of the Royal Armouries catalogue of the English Civil War Armoury from Littlecote House, written by Graeme Rimer and Thom Richardson.

Weekend events at the Museum

Saturday 15 September

English Civil War living history displays and demonstrations from Colonel Edward Montagu’s Regiment of Foote, members of the English Civil War Society will be taking place at the Museum.

Pre-conference Exclusive Handling Session

Arms & Armour of the English Civil War

Friday 14 September 2012
5pm – 6.30pm
The handling session has now sold out

This session will allow participants the rare chance to handle and examine close-up related pieces from the collections of the Royal Armouries. These will include the materiel of Cuirassier, Harquebusier and Pikeman; their swords (including ‘mortuary-swords’), rapiers, pikes, firearms, armour, buff coats and accessories, Also on display will be a number of relevant contemporary books such as Cruso’s Militaire Instruction of 1632.

Highlights will include a number of pieces from the world-famous Littlecote Collection as well an ornate helmet of Charles I and a sword traditionally associated with Oliver Cromwell.

The session is to be lead by Curator of European Edged Weapons Bob Woosnam-Savage, Curator of Firearms Jonathan Ferguson and Senior Curator of Armour Karen Watts.

Places are limited for this special event – so book early to reserve your place!


Places are limited to 200 delegates

Full: £45 includes lunch and refreshments
Concessions (60+, students, unemployed): £35 includes lunch and refreshments


To book a place for the Conference and/or the Pre-conference Handling Session, please download and complete a booking form and post with payment to:

James Walker
Royal Armouries Museum
Armouries Drive
LS10 1LT

T: 0113 220 1888

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