The Most Interesting Man In English Civil War London
History has missed the plot with John Fowke
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ABSTRACT: This is a summary of the life and career of London merchant adventurer and military entrepreneur John Fowke. It illuminates his role in the outbreak of the English Civil War, the parliamentary victory, and the birth of mass politics. Fowke and his partners shaped the nascent British gunpowder empire through the Restoration.
Born in 1596 according to Parliamentary records, John Fowke was not the most powerful man in London. He was also not the richest or the most respected. He never fought a battle and his core motives throughout the period of study were profitable ones. Whether through business or politics, however, Fowke was connected to everyone in London who became important during the 1640s. He was instrumental in creating the New Model Army and then admitted them into London twice to restore his own political fortunes. After the execution of Charles I, Fowke and his ‘new modelers’ impressed their aggressive colonizing and mercantile trade policy on the Commonwealth, shaping the foreign policy of the Cromwellian state. Fowke was an increasingly prominent figure in London politics from the coronation of Charles in 1627 until his death in 1662. He is the most interesting man in English Civil War London.
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