12 July 2018.
ISBN: 978 1 78648 4161(HB)
This story is the third in the author’s Damian Seeker series set in mid-seventeenth century England. By now the fighting is over, Charles I having been beheaded in 1649, and the attempt by his son, the future Charles II, to retake the throne has culminated in his defeat at the Battle of Worcester and his subsequent flight to France. Oliver Cromwell’s attempt to rule through what is left of the Parliament has proved abortive, while Royalist plots are still abounding, although largely ineffectual. So, Cromwell decide to rule England through the Army, dividing the country into a number of regions, each ruled by a major-general. His aims are threefold: to deal with remaining Royalists by identifying them, taxing them and disarming them; to save money by the major-generals ruling through locally appointed officials (commissioners); and to encourage godliness and discourage vice in any form such as heavy drinking, music, dancing, fairs, even celebrating festivals such as Christmas(!) while special officials known as ‘triers’ scrutinise minutely local preachers and teachers for their religious purity.