Maurice Ashley

Maurice Ashley offers a tribute and reassessment of Sir Charles Harding Firth, the great historian of England in the seventeenth century.

Maurice Ashley profiles the younger George Goring, one of the more successful of Cavalier generals, but one whose brave deeds and eclectic character have been little discussed.

Oliver Cromwell c. 1649 by Robert Walker

Maurice Ashley describes how Cromwell and the Levellers both believed in freedom of conscience and political reform; but character and circumstances divided them.

Maurice Ashley describes how, divided by a vast gulf from the prospering gentry, seventeenth-century cottagers and labourers lived a poor and harsh life. After 1660, their standard of welfare seems to have declined.

What was the “black thing” that palsied the character of the brave but highly unpopular monarch who was dethroned in 1688? Maurice Ashley queries a poisoned historical legacy.

Church and State stood foursquare behind the superiority of man in seventeenth century England. It was only when a lady became a widow, writes Maurice Ashley, that a glorious opportunity for authority and freedom suddenly flooded in upon her.