I just finished reading this authoritative history of the English Civil Wars in the 1640s
A new history of the civil wars in England in the 1640s and 1650s outlining battles, diseases, religious fervour, and radical politics involving the New Model Army, Levellers, petitioners, pamphleteers, and Charles I.
This book goes into great detail about all these people and the effects the war had on the ordinary people of the country, emphasizing the hardships, misery, and lack of security they would have endured. This information is given in equal measure to the items most people know about these civil wars i.e. Cromwell, Ireton, the Putney debates, the battles of Edgehill, Naseby, and Marston Moor.
The execution of Charles I had not been the main business of civil war politics and neither was the abolition of the monarchy. It was the culmination of a number of revolutionary impulses such as Colonel Pride’s purge of the corrupting elements in the House of Commons, so that the remaining members better reflected the feelings of the people.
Michael Braddick also makes the point that in the final weeks of 1648 and in early 1649 the party who most wanted Charles dead was Charles himself. This way the monarchy had a chance of maintaining its role in the future. If Charles had accepted the various agreements put forward to him by the parliamentary side, the role of the monarch and The House of Lords would have been emasculated forever.