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English Civil War documents

Our archives consist of a variety of sources, from Parish and Borough records to family and estate records. Many of these sources contain documents dating back centuries, with a selection going back to be the English Civil War. Some families, such as the Bankes Family of Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy actively participated in the Civil War, and their records reflect as such.

Take a look at the list below of documents relating to the Civil War, and if you would like to find out more information or take a look at the original documents, contact Dorset History Centre.


A List of Civil War Documents
Reference numberDateDescription of documents


25 November 1648Pardon issued by order of Parliament to Richard Newman of Fifehead, Magdalen for his part in the late rebellion [English Civil War].
D1/OUCirca 1643Letter written on behalf of King Charles requesting financial assistance to help fight in the Civil War.
D-BKL/H/G/58June 1762Notes and thoughts on military history and the circumstances of the Civil War.
D-BKL/H/J/5/401648Map and diary of the siege of Colchester (Royalist) by Lord Fairfax (Parliamentarian) until 22 Aug 1648. Includes details of the forces engaged in the siege.
D-FIL/Z2[no date]Description of the first siege of Corfe Castle in 1643, derived from Mercurius Rusticus (a Royalist precursor to the modern newspaper).
S-235/A/2/5/21642Statement issued by Walter Ridout protesting against the expulsion order by the Governors of Sherborne School, because of his support for the Roundheads (Parliamentarians).
D-PLR/X/41625/6-1638Letter of instructions concerning the collection of weapons for Corfe Castle and Purbeck.
D-MAY/Box/2Circa 1850Reprint of 'Happy News from Sherborn 1642', a civil war tract talking about events of the time.
D-BKL/H/J/5/121810sWilliam John Bankes' detailed notes on important historical figures in British History of the 17th Century, including notes about the Scottish rebellion, parliament in the 1600s, and the Civil War.
DC-BTB/N/151638-1639Writ for the levy of ship-money on the people of Bridport, one of the contributors to the start of the Civil War

This is by no means an exhaustive list of documents relating to the topic, so if this has peaked your interest why not search our catalogue for more documents, or even contact us to arrange a visit with your class to view the documents themselves (where possible).

Alternatively, take a look at our new learning resources on the Bankes family, including Civil War material and activities from the family's time at Corfe Castle. 

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