Buckinghamshire wasn't the site of any major Civil War battles, and didn't host any of the main garrisons, but it did sit between several key positions (notably the Royal Court at Oxford), and several major battles took place just outside the county. There were also several local garrisons, and a significant number of raids of various sizes. The county is thus a good cross section of those parts of England and Wales that were directly affected by the Civil War, without making any headlines.
The book is split into four parts. Chapter one looks at the county community of Buckinghamshire - largely the local gentry - examining which families were most prominent, held local political posts, worked with the militia or were otherwise significant, and how they reacted to the political crisis that led to the war. The most significant local figure was John Hampden, one of the leading figures of the Parliamentary opposition to Charles I, but he was only part of a divided local community.
Chapter two looks at the impact of the war on the county community. This covers areas such as their direct military involvement, damage to their lands and income and the legal problems caused by picking the losing side.
Chapter three looks at the impact of the fighting on the local community. This covers the actual fighting in Buckinghamshire, largely limited to raids from outside the country, the actions of local garrisons, and a handful of sieges (mainly of houses, but also some of key towns).
Chapter four looks at the post-war period, and the recovery of power by the families that had made up the pre-war county community. This process got underway during the Commonwealth, but sped up after the restoration of Charles II.
This is a useful examination of the impact of the Civil War on the county community, showing that even areas that didn’t suffer a major battle or siege were affected heavily by the conflict. It will also be of great interest to local historians in Buckinghamshire.
1 - The Community and the Approach of War
2 - The War and the County Community
3 - The War and the Local Community
4 - The Revival of the County Community
Author: Ian F. W. Beckett
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military