‘To condole with me on the Commonwealth’s loss’
The widows and orphans of Parliament’s military commanders
in Battle-scarred
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This chapter will examine how the Long Parliament and interregnum regimes treated the widows and orphans of their fallen military commanders. It will draw upon the petitions of the widows of the social elite, along with correspondence written by them or on their behalf. It will explore how elite war widows were able to mobilise networks of interest in their favour and the strategies they adopted to safeguard their families, livelihoods and estates. It will also analyse the conduct and deportment expected of elite war widows and the ways in which their self-fashioning sought to elicit favourable responses from authority. The chapter will compare and contrast the treatment of elite widows with those of the rank and file, as well as the widows of royalist officers petitioning for relief after 1660. It will conclude with an appreciation of how their involvement and sacrifice in a cause made some of these widows significant political figures.


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


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