When Charles II disbanded the army of the late Commonwealth he (wisely) saw to it that each soldier was fully paid for his service, then, with very few exceptions, he dumped them upon the generally unsympathetic population of the Three Kingdoms to fend for themselves. Although they were now free to make a living as they chose, most knew only the trade of arms and in the coming months and years fell on hard times. In C. H. Firth’s magisterial work, Cromwell’s Army, he cites several examples of ballads of the period that engage the theme of “soldier turned beggar”. One in particular sticks in my mind. It begins, “in Red-coat rags attired I wander up and down, since fate and foes conspired, thus to array me…” Hence the name of the blog.
When I am not being Guillaume d’Guy (my nomme de faux-guerre) I am Bill, a retired pastor and former analytical chemist, living with my lovely wife (and the occasional cat or two) on the eastern slopes of the hauntingly beautiful Allegheny Mountains.
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