The third army
Wandering soldiers and the negotiation of parliamentary authority, 1642–51
in Battle-scarred
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Historians have long been interested in vagrancy during the early modern period, and the treatment meted out to travellers by local officials. However, despite the fact that so many vagrants were conscripted for military service, little work has been done on how they fared during the British Civil Wars. The closely-related topic of ‘wandering soldiers’ remains largely unexplored, despite the fact that they featured prominently in early modern ‘rogue’ literature. Demobilised veterans and deserters did not simply go home, not least because large numbers of conscripts, being unskilled and unmarried, had little reason to do so. The chapter investigates the scale, complexity and political significance of the problems which resulted, and why, given the fact that such individuals were potentially far more dangerous than normal vagrants, the moral panics of earlier decades were not repeated.


Mortality, medical care and military welfare in the British Civil Wars


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