Garrison warfare was a far more characteristic action of the civil wars than set-piece battles, with more soldiers employed in garrisons than in the field armies. Yet historians have neglected these garrison histories because they appear less dramatic and more mundane than battlefield engagements. This is partly due, as Ian Atherton has recently pointed out in his study of royalist Lichfield, to few garrison accounts having survived, with even fewer in print. Therefore the voluminous accounts for the major garrisons of Hull and Beverley held in The National Archives deliver a rare insight into garrison life. A garrison was planted at Hull in 1639 as the town was the key arsenal for equipping and supplying the royal army during the Bishops' Wars. What became the civil war garrison was established on 23 January 1642, when John Hotham marched several companies of the East Riding trained bands from his father's trained band regiment into Hull. Five days later, he was able to supplement them with companies of Hull's own militia.
(Online publication September 15 2011)