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Quaker Studies

Abstract

James Nayler spent between eight and nine years in Parliament's army during the English Civil Wars, but this period of his life has not been adequately discussed in any of his biographies. This article documents causes for the Civil Wars in Nayler's home town and his enlistment, rank and service throughout the wars. His involvement in a list of major battles is shown. Nayler became a member of the Council of War under John Lambert, commander of the Northern Armies, and served as Lambert's Quartermaster in the settlement of the rebellious army troops. As a member of the Council, Nayler voted to support the army's treatment of the captured King Charles I as a criminal, which led to the King's trial and execution and the establishment of the Commonwealth under Cromwell's Protectorate. Nayler's position in the wars is compared with that of George Fox, William Dewsbury and George Bishop.

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