The narrow royalist victory in October 1642 at Kineton fight (better known to us as the battle of Edgehill) introduced the English population to the full horrors and burdens of civil war. Strange Newes from Warwicke, an aptly titled pamphlet, claimed that a wounded parliamentarian Corporal, Jeremiah Stone, came to the Anchor Inn in the town, and gave the hostess ‘a bag of money’ pillaged from the bodies of the dead to keep until he recovered. Two weeks later, Stone asked for it back, but ‘it grieved his unhonest hostess to part from so great a prize’. She and her husband debated ‘what shift they might find to detain the said bag of money’, and so they denied ever receiving the bag and dared the soldier to challenge them: ‘Mark the boldness of the wicked woman.’ A bitter quarrel ensued in which ‘the soldier bold in war, at home thought in a good quarrel, he might be more bolder, and … stoutly drew his sword’. At this the landlord called in his neighbours and had the soldier carried off to gaol. So far – so predictable; the tensions arising from the presence of strangers quartered in private houses or inns can be illustrated from a variety of sources. Such intrusions bore particularly on women. At the end of the war, again in Warwick, a servant Elizabeth Wright had been struck by a soldier quartered in her household in a quarrel over lost keys, and her husband subsequently prosecuted the soldier for assault. This case came before the Indemnity Committee which sought to preserve parliament’s agents from prosecution for actions undertaken in the course of the war.1 The real if understated hostility of a maid-servant in the house of the Warwickshire royalist Thomas Holte is revealed in complaints against the parliament’s own soldiers. The men had taken all the plate, jewels, furniture and household goods, leaving ‘nothing left standing. Tables and stools and chairs were all broken into pieces.’2 The Buckinghamshire gentlewoman, Mary Verney, returning from exile in France was outraged at the insolence of the troops in 1647: ‘I protest not which way

we shall live if the country may always quarter soldiers … I vow I had much rather live with bread and water than to be amongst them.’3