chapter  6
19 Pages

Civil war, 1642–6

On the Parliament’s side were the smaller part of the gentry in most of the counties, and the greatest part of the tradesmen and freeholders and middle sort of men, especially in those corporations and counties which depend on clothing and such manufactures…the reasons which the party themselves gave was because, say they, the tradesmen have a correspondence with London, and so are grown to be a far more intelligent sort of men than the ignorant peasants that are like brutes, who will follow any that they think the strongest…and the freeholders, say they, were not enslaved to their landlords as the tenants are. …The other side [the King’s] said, that the reason was because the gentry, who commanded their tenants, did better understand affairs of state than half-witted tradesmen and freeholders do.