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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Reconstructing the New Model Army. Volume 2: 1649-1663

Reconstructing the New Model Army. Volume 2: 1649-1663

A major gap in the body of work available in print to researchers into the military history of the English Civil War is army lists of the New Model Army.

Reconstructing the New Model Army, of which this is the second volume, presents for the first time listings by regiment of the commissioned officers who fought in the New Model Army from the invasion of Ireland in August 1649 to the disbandment of many of its units in 1660 and the embedding of the remainder into the new royal army in the years that followed.

In Parts II and III of the volume snapshots are provided of the army in June 1650, October 1651, Autumn 1656, April 1659, September 1659 and April 1660, and for the army in Ireland in 1649-50, 1651-3, 1653-5, 1656-9, and 1659-60.

What happened to the officer corps in between the snapshots is provided by extensive notes all of which are fully referenced. This division into two armies is largely because they were very largely distinct from one another. Regiments stationed in Ireland stayed there and there was very little movement of officers between the Irish army and the army in England and Scotland. Part I of the volume contains a number of short essays reflecting on aspects of the army on which the snapshots shed new light or cause earlier historians work to be questioned.

They include reflections on changes in the officer corps over time, on whether or not the New Model could be described as a meritocracy, on its new Imperial role post 1650, and on the survival of New Model Army units beyond the winter of 1660, which was more extensive than has been supposed. At the end of the volume there are a number of appendices the most extensive of which contains listings of the regiments raised for or during the Scottish campaign of 1650-51 and disbanded immediately afterwards.

Reconstructing the New Model Army Volume 1. Regimental Lists April 1645 to May 1649