The Civil War at Baddesley
Two generations of Ferrers held Baddesley during the English Civil War (1642–1651) and its aftermath, the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. They were Edward (1585-1651) and his son Henry (1616-81).
The turmoil of the War didn’t leave Baddesley unscathed. Although the extreme persecution of Catholics had ceased under James I, it was still inadvisable for a Catholic to be too open about their beliefs. During the Civil War most Catholics supported the King, but Edward managed to remain, or at least appear neutral. His alliance with his wife’s family, the wealthy and influential Peytos, probably helped him, and his building work at Baddesley church would have helped to maintain the image of a Protestant gentleman; he was even appointed as High Sheriff of Warwickshire, a position of considerable power at the time which wouldn’t have been offered to an avowed Catholic.
It was the practice by both sides during the war, the Royalists and the Parliamentarians, to raise funds by levying taxes and raiding large houses and estates. Baddesley was raided twice in 1643 by the Parliamentary forces.
" The 12th day of May Ano Dni. 1643 one Creed Hopkins and Boovey attended with a troope of horse and men … cam to the house of ye said Edward and there tooke out of the stable there horses … Then ye said troops enteringe ye house of the said Edward plundered itt. "
After the war, Edward submitted claims for compensation, as he was entitled to do, for over £40,000 in today’s money. There is no record of him ever receiving anything. Demand for such payments continued throughout the ten years of the Commonwealth, and Edward’s son, Henry, had to continue to find the money to pay them.
It seems that Henry (1616-81) had to spend much time and effort in renting out parcels of land – even the pasture land – and advancing mortgages in order to raise money. His widow, Bridget, continued the work, frequently taking cases to court.
In 1687 Henry’s son, George (1647-1712) again petitioned the King for compensation. As the King was now James II, a Catholic, they probably hoped for a favourable response. It isn’t known whether they ever received anything.