Lunchtime Talk: ‘Loyalties Under Siege: Life in Oxford during the Civil War’

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As the Royalist Capital for the duration of the First English Civil War (1642-1646), Oxford’s population was swollen with throngs of officials and soldiers and the city was the stage of sieges, skirmishes and intense rivalries.

But what did all of this mean for people living in Oxford?

This talk, led by Eugene Coyle, will explore the daily challenges faced by Oxford’s residents during the Civil War.

The talk will look at the persistent friction between town and gown factions, which arose from the historical tension between local townspeople and the academic community of the university. This rivalry, rooted in social, economic and cultural differences, impacted loyalties, collaboration and conflict resolution amid this tumultuous era.

The talk will also examine the impact of the Great Fire of 1644 and the Great Plague – both consequences of overcrowding and Royalist Military law – and how these events shaped Oxford’s experience in the Civil War era.

Eugene Coyle, FRHistSoc served as a sessional tutor at both the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education and The School of Continuing Education at the University of Reading until his retirement in 2017. His academic focus revolves around Irish and British Revolutionary Studies. Presently, his research efforts are concentrated on exploring various dimensions of civilian life in Oxford during the English Civil War.

Tickets are available for £5 online or at the Museum Shop (booking fee applies online). We strongly advise booking tickets in advance. Tickets may be available to purchase on the day, dependent on availability.

Complimentary tea and coffee will be available to enjoy during the talk. We recommend arriving before the start of the talk if you would like to grab a refreshment.

Sales from tickets help support our work to deliver fun and accessible family activities, community engagement projects, schools workshops, exhibitions and special events for Oxford’s people in our Museum spaces.

Access at the Museum

The Museum is accessible for wheelchair users, buggies and baby carriers. There is step-free, level entry access to the Town Hall via the entrance closest to Carfax (to the left of the main steps as you face the Town Hall). Inside the Museum, Museum Makers is accessible via a platform lift and lift to the basement level. Accessible toilets are available in the Museum (close to Museum Makers) and in the Town Hall on the ground floor, before entering the Museum.

Please contact the Museum team if you’d like to talk to a member of staff about your access requirements. Further access information can be found on our website: https://museumofoxford.org/plan-your-visit/access.

Photo consent:

Please be aware that photographs will be taken at this event for use in marketing. If you (or a member of your group) would prefer not to be photographed, please let a member of staff know during the event.

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