Chapter

Political oath-taking and the fear of treachery

Andrew Hopper

in Turncoats and Renegadoes

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199575855
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744617 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575855.003.0007
Political oath-taking and the fear of treachery

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This chapter demonstrates how both sides became obsessed with side‐changing, attempting to prevent it within their own ranks and provoke it among the enemy. It demonstrates how such hopes and fears shaped the political infighting on both sides, as well as how they came to dominate strategy at the highest levels. Attempts to consolidate support through oath‐taking are examined, as well as the plotting to win over enemy garrisons by treachery. It concludes that by 1644 parliament was becoming far more effective at this than were the royalists, and that the loss of a succession of royalist garrisons through treacherous means in 1644–5 did much to undermine the morale and functional capacity of the royalist cause.

Keywords: allegiance; loyalty; conspiracy; side‐changing; treachery; oaths; covenants; garrisons; military

Chapter.  10407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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