Black Tom

Sir Thomas Fairfax and the English Revolution

By Andrew Hopper

Black Tom

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7109-6
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: April 2007
  • BIC Category: Humanities / British & Irish history, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century, European history, United Kingdom, Great Britain, History, Early Modern History
  • Series: Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain


Sir Thomas Fairfax, not Oliver Cromwell, was creator and commander of Parliament's New Model Army from 1645 to1650. Although Fairfax emerged as England's most successful commander of the 1640s, this book challenges the orthodoxy that he was purely a military figure, showing how he was not apolitical or disinterested in politics.

The book combines narrative and thematic approaches to explore the wider issues of popular allegiance, puritan religion, concepts of honour, image, reputation, memory, gender, literature, and Fairfax's relationship with Cromwell.

'Black Tom' delivers a groundbreaking examination of the transformative experience of the English revolution from the viewpoint of one of its leading, yet most neglected, participants. It is the first modern academic study of Fairfax, making it essential reading for university students as well as historians of the seventeenth century. Its accessible style will appeal to a wider audience of those interested in the civil wars and interregnum more generally.


List of figures, maps and tables
Preface and acknowledgement
1 The Yorkshire Fairfaxes and the outbreak of wa
2 'The rude malice of the people': Fairfax and popular parliamentarianism
3 'The brutish general' and the year of victories
4 Parliament, the army and the second civil war
5 Fairfax and the King killers
6 Republic and Restoration
7 The Fairfaxes and the causes of the civil war
8 Religion and honour
9 'The rider of the white horse': image and reputation
10 Gender and literature: Anne Fairfax and Andrew Marvell
11 Fairfax and Cromwell
Conclusion: The Short Memorials and the battle for the memory of Black Tom


Andrew Hopper is Lecturer in History in the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester

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