The marriage of Charles II and Henrietta Maria was unbelievably happy, which further strengthened the tragedy of their worship union. Their numerous children had to continue the royal dynasty. Henrietta Maria’s arrival to Oxford was a display of her magnificence. Oxford supporters rejoiced at the return of the queen. However, a certain sinister tint was felt in that gladness.
Oxford then concentrated the royal troops, but many soldiers were severely ill. In many towns battles were underway, and apart of them, various contagious and incurable diseases devastated the citizens’ vitality. People even resorted to wearing masks with long beaks filled with herbs to purify the air at least somehow.
It was the year 1643. Many decent people died of a new ailment. Its outbreak was fever, its farewell was death. The plague made people fear each other.
Despite such gloomy environment, Prince Rupert’s legendary war genius gained more and more victories. His image was surrounded with numerous myths. By August, 1643, he seemed to be winning the parliamentary enemy. His troops were conquering the South and West. Any resistance was eradicated. Royal soldiers broke into puritans’ houses and seized the property. Neighbors were killed by neighbors.
The war was also suffocating Hereford. The major part of the town was devastated and burned to ashes. On April 3, Prince Rupert reached Birmingham. The town was totally robbed by the royal warriors. One of the Prince’s favorite generals was killed by the town’s defenders. One third of Birmingham was demolished over that night.
Again, the parliamentary media were focusing on any bloodshed to raise the people’s rage. Now Rupert was represented as a bloodthirsty rascal. His 20-thousand army was looting, raping and burning. Following April 3, 1500 people were buried in a couple of days.
Charles I was imploring for softening the offensive tactics, but for Rupert, there was no way back after the April night in Birmingham. After Birmingham, the royalists were determined to sweep across all Western settlements. The total forces available were needed for that major attack. Enormous atrocities were still ahead.
To be continued…