During the period of the civil war Oxford life was changing dramatically. Many different people were affected in many different ways; it was dependent on who you were. The gown had life quite easy were as the town did not, but life wasn’t just that simple, life did change due to circumstances and the Kings needs overtime. Oxford soon became known as a garrison city, sieges and battles took place all over the city. Many different divisions and rivalries worsened through out his war that made life increasingly difficult overtime.

With the development of Oxford as a garrison city, the Oxford citizens had to deal with a new way of life. Changes through out the city were occurring so that they could prepare for attacks by the enemy. Soldiers had to set up defences in the form of ditches and trenches to lower the amount of invaders in the city. Storm poles were set up so that enemies could not climb the walls and enter the city. There were also rivers that could provide a liability if the enemy could get boats through into the city but this was unlikely as the rivers were heavily guarded as well.

Of course there was much activity in the city. Soldiers guarded the streets carrying guns and weaponry in case of an attack. This would provide nervousness in people as they were indirectly intimidated by them. The king also ordered the people to share and give up their homes to the soldiers and courtiers, this led to much overcrowding which inevitably led to disease. The close living meant that germs could spread easier and quicker. Life for the town was, for most of the time, pretty poor and hard. The main issue was the living conditions.

The soldiers were made to live with people in their homes. This was a problem as most houses were overcrowded with the large families as it were but with soldiers living there as well the immense overcrowding led to disease. The main disease at that would spread was something known as ‘camp fever’, or Typhus. According to a Roundhead spy, around 40 people died every week. Fire destroyed around 200-300 homes and killed around 100 people. The King took supplies at will, he took pots and pans to melt down and turn into his own mint to make money. These were all bad things but it did change.

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If members of the public has a service to offer like a leather maker or metal maker then the king needed you so he had to pay you. This is the change that occurred for the town. It was very different for the gown though. They were in favour of King Charles. They wanted him to be there although overtime it was suggested otherwise. They had to put up with, any of the same things as the town; they had to accommodate the soldiers and courtiers. The gown were also very annoyed the King’s “I don’t care” attitude. He used most University buildings as storage for weapons, clothes and coal.

This meant that the gown couldn’t use a lot of the University as it was being used. They couldn’t go to their lessons and therefore there perfect education was ruined. Continuing with the Kings attitude he even took money and supplies from the people that supported him. The gown weren’t use to this. They were use to being treated like Gods in Oxford. They had many privileges (which had been taken by the king) that the town didn’t; now they were being treated very much like them. The gowns were not happy. A lot of the students signed up for the Army to help with the war.

As supporters of him the king expected some of the gown to sign up with out complaint. At the start of the war, the gown strongly supported the king, now they had very much changed their opinion for the worst. Life in the war affected everyone in positive and negative way. There was much change so everyone experienced being treated in different ways. The gown mainly had it good and easy but still sometimes experienced it hard. The same as the town, they mainly had it hard but there were good moments. There was much change through out the civil war.


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