A report of discussions in Parliament concerning Cheshire’s attempt to be neutral, 9 January 1643
(Catalogue ref: SP 9/245/12)
These extracts are from a newspaper that supported the Parliamentary side.
The Royalists also had their newspapers or journals. These were the first newspapers in English history.
The vast majority of people in England did not want to go to war in 1642. On 23 December 1642 the political nation (gentry and lords) of Cheshire went further than most counties. They signed the Bunbury Agreement. Both Royalist and Parliament supporters agreed that Cheshire would be neutral in the war. It would not help or hinder either side.
There were quite a lot of attempts to remain neutral during the Civil War. In the South West there were local groups of civilians, known as the Clubmen, who fought to keep Royalist and Parliamentary forces out of their areas in 1644-45. However, they were not successful due to lack of training and equipment.
Deputy Lieutenants were important officials who represented king or Parliament in their local areas. The Militia Ordinance was an order sent out by Parliament in 1642. It ordered local officials to raise troops to fight for the Parliamentary cause.
Charles I sent out a similar order to raise troops. His order was called the Commissions of Array.