6.1s Civil War day in London

By Jonathan Selby, Head of History

“For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he…” These words by Colonel Rainsborough are inscribed on the walls of St Mary’s Church Putney, scene of the Putney Debates in 1647 and arguably the birth place of democracy as we understand it. This was the first place that 6.1 historians visited on Wednesday on their Civil War day in London. We then progressed to Whitehall and The Banqueting House, Charles I’s monument to the Stuart Monarchy (ceilings painted by Rubens) and also the scene of his execution in 1649. The Museum of London gave us a slice of horrible history with Cromwell’s death mask amongst the more macabre relics displayed. We took a trip down the River Thames with a panoramic and potted version of London’s history provided by a voluntary guide whose commentary was effectively compulsory (“That’s Shakespeare’s Theatre – ‘e done some good plays”). We had an excellent day out and returned no wiser perhaps, but certainly better informed and relaxed.


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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