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Cromwell to Queen Anne - 1646AD to 1714AD

The Battle of Marston Moor near York in July 1644 was a turning point in the Civil War. By the end of October the Royalist strongholds of York and Newcastle were taken by Parliamentarian forces and the Royalist hold on the North was ended. When Charles finally surrendered in 1646, Newcastle was his first place of imprisonment. He would be executed in London three years later. Parliament ruled the country until 1660 when the Stuart monarchy returned. The Stuarts ruled until the death of Queen Anne in 1714.

1646 May 13, - CHARLES SURRENDERS (Newark, Nottinghamshire)

Charles surrenders to the Scots on May 9 and is escorted to Newcastle for imprisonment. He considers a list of propositions regarding increased Parliamentary powers. The Scots leave Newcastle in February 1647 after receiving 200,000 from Cromwell for the king.

October 1648 - ROYALIST RISING (Northumberland)

A Royalist rising takes hold in Scotland and the North. Raby is besieged and Berwick captured. Cromwell retakes Berwick on October 18 and visits Newcastle (Oct 19-22), Durham (Oct 23) and Barnard Castle at Blagraves, the house with the carved heads on The Bank (Oct 24).

1649 January 30, - CHARLES BEHEADED (London)

King Charles is accused of treason and executed on Cromwell's orders. Cromwell abolishes the monarchy and makes himself Lord Protector, ruler of England.

March 26, 1649 - WITCH TRIALS (Newcastle)

On March 26, 1649 some twenty-seven, out of 30, suspected witches were found guilty of witchcraft at Newcastle. Fourteen were executed on the Town Moor. A man by the name of Matthew Bulmer accused of being a shape-shifting wizard (he could apparently transform into a black cat called Vinegar) was executed and burned. In this era of witch-fearing hysteria Newcastle town council requested the suspected witches be brought to trial, so the town’s magistrates sent for Scottish witch-finder or, ‘witch-pricker’ Cuthbert Nicholson. John the Bellman, who was responsible for delivering news and making proclamations to Newcastle’s populace, invited people to report anyone suspected of being a witch. Thirty women were brought to the Town Hall and stripped to their waist. Nicholson then pushed a pin into their skin. It was a simple, if rather dubious process. If they did not bleed they were declared witches. Nicholson, who is thought to have used a retractable pin, was later executed in Scotland for trickery. He confessed responsibility for the deaths of 220 women. He had been paid 20 shillings for each witch that he captured.

March 28, 1649 - LEVELLER LILBURNE IMPRISONED (Tower of London)

John Lilburne, founder of 'the Levellers' political group, is imprisoned by Cromwell. Lilburne's family are important Sunderland merchants - his uncle is mayor. Lilburne, once a friend of Cromwell, now criticises the Lord Protector's reforms as not radical enough. Lilburne has much support among Cromwell's New Model Army and is seen by Cromwell as a dangerous threat.

July 1650 - CROMWELL'S COLLEGE (Durham)

Cromwell suggests a college at Durham "would be a matter of great importance to promoting learning and piety in these rude and ignorant partes". Cromwell will sign a writ of privy seal for a university at Durham but it is suppressed after objections from Oxford and Cambridge in 1657.

September 3, 1650 - DUNBAR BATTLE (Dunbar)

After months of pursuit, battle is engaged between Cromwell and the Scots under the former Parliamentarian General Leslie. Scots outnumber English by two to one, but Cromwell launches a surprise attack and defeats them. 10,000 Scots are captured and 3,00 0 are imprisoned in Durham Cathedral. Cathedral woodwork is destroyed by the prisoners for firewood but a clock featuring a thistle is spared.

1652 - CASTLES DESTROYED (Durham and Stockton)

Durham and Stockton Castles, former properties of the Bishops of Durham, suffer under Cromwell's regime. Durham Castle was sold to Thomas Andrews, Lord Mayor of London, for 1,267 in 1649 and he severely defaced the property. This year Cromwell orders the destruction of Stockton Castle.

1658-1660 - MONARCHY RETURNS (Coldstream on Tweed)

On September 3, 1658, Cromwell dies. He is succeeded by his son Richard, who proves a weak leader. Support grows in Parliament for restoring the monarchy and crowning Charles II. General Monck, Duke of Abermarle, leads Scottish troops from Coldstream to London and successfully negotiates the coronation of King Charles II. A section of his army becomes the 'Coldstream Guards'.

1669 - CROFT SPA (Croft-on-Tees)

A small spa opens at Croft near Darlington.

1673 - STORMY SEAS (The North)

Around 40 ships are destroyed in storms off the North-East coast.

1675 - JOLLY RANT (Newcastle)

A pestilent disease 'Jolly Rant' kills 924 people in Newcastle.

1675 - DURHAM MPs (County Durham)

Durham sends its first MPs to the House of Commons: two represent the City of Durham and another two the county as a whole. One MP dies of smallpox four days after his election.

1688 - WILLIAM AND MARY (Britain)

Dutchman King William III (of Orange) becomes King of Britain in joint rule with his wife Queen Mary II.

1697 - MP BEHEADED (London)

Northumberland MP Sir John Fenwick, is beheaded for plotting against King William. He later gets posthumous revenge (see 1702)

1698 - SUNDAY SCHOOL (Stockton)

Britain's first Sunday School is established in Finkle Street, Stockton.

April 23, 1699 - FIVE INCH HAIL (Durham)

Hail stones five inches in diameter fall on Durham and the surrounding area.

1700 - CASTLE HOWARD (Yorkshire)

Castle Howard is being built by John Vanbrugh on the site of Henderskelfe Castle which recently burnt down.

1702 - KING KILLED (Britain)

William III dies after falling from a horse which once belonged to the executed MP John Fenwick. He is succeeded by Queen Anne.

1712 - STOCKTON PARISH (Stockton)

Stockton, an agricultural port, gains independent parish status. It was previously part of Norton.

1714 - ANNE DIES (Britain)

Queen Anne dies and is succeeded by George I.

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