- The Naseby Battlefield Project
- Arts Council England
The Naseby Battlefield Project in Welford, Northamptonshire was selected for the Meeting Point Midlands programme in 2019.
Having participated in Arts&Heritage’s training workshops in Autumn 2019, The Naseby Battlefield Project’s Meeting Point commission was delayed due to Covid-19. They will be announcing the artist selected for their commission in February 2021.
The Naseby Battlefield Project is participating in the fourth Meeting Point programme, building on the success of previous and current programmes, which have seen 25 museums working with more than 50 museum professionals to create 25 new artworks and over 100 workshops.
The battle of Naseby was fought one summer morning on Wednesday 14 June in 1645 in the open fields of a small Northamptonshire village. It effectively ended the English Civil War (1642-45) when parliament’s New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell defeated the Royalists main field army under King Charles I and his nephew Prince Rupert of the Rhine.
The seeds of the English Civil War are rooted in the actions of Charles I when he dissolved parliament and began a period of Personal Rule (1629-40), otherwise known as the ‘Eleven Year Tyranny’. The King’s unpopularity grew with the implementation of dubious fiscal regulations, such as Ship Money and an annual levy for the navy, which extended to ports and inland towns. The King’s interference with land titles in Scotland and his representative Sir Thomas Wentworth’s enforcement of Royal control in Ireland intensified political dissatisfaction. After a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Scots at the Battle of Newburn in 1640, the King was forced to recall parliament. The new Long Parliament impeached Wentworth and, it is argued, facilitated the Ulster Uprising of 1641 thus pitting Parliament against King in England. Instead of accepting the list of grievances of Parliament, King Charles mobilized for war in 1642.
The Battle of Naseby was the culmination of that bloody Civil War and resulted in a political revolution. As such it is arguably one of the most important battles ever fought in England. Three years of conflict ended with a Parliamentarian victory that signalled the beginning of a radical new government.
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The Naseby Battlefield Project will be announcing their commissioned artist in February 2021.