‘The perpetual marching of troops, the ceaseless noise of drums and trumpets’
The militarization of Westminster
in Westminster 1640–60
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This chapter examines the neglected topic of Westminster’s militarization, both during the civil war and especially after it. In contrast to much of the rest of the country, it was actually after the civil war that a military presence became more firmly established in the town in the decade that followed the military occupation of Westminster in December 1648, when permanent garrisons were entrenched at its heart. The chapter examines the extent and nature of military involvement in the locality, including the impact of regular security ‘scares’ over suspected royalist plots, and significant military/civilian clashes in the election of Westminster’s own local MPs. The chapter also focuses on what this meant for inhabitants – not just a regular round of military musters, marching troops and busy garrisons, but also the seizure of horses, the searching of goods and letters by courts of guard, occasional affrays, public displays of military justice, and armed searches of private houses.

Westminster 1640–60

A royal city in a time of revolution


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