Newark-on-Trent or simply Newark is a market town of 28,000 people (2011) in Nottinghamshire, on the edge of Sherwood Forest. It’s famous as the place where King Charles I surrendered during the English Civil War.
Newark has probably been a transport hub since Roman times – here the “Fosse Way” reaches the River Trent, which is navigable. The town prospered through wool and cloth, and in the early 11th century it was owned by Lady Godiva, she of the legendary naked ride. King John died here in 1216, a year after signing Magna Carta. When the English Civil War broke out in 1642 over the powers of the monarch versus parliament, Newark supported the Royalists. But by 1646 Charles I found himself defeated across England and surrendered (actually at nearby Southwell); in 1649 he was beheaded. His son Charles II continued the war until 1651 but then fled into exile, and Britain became a republic. Castles that had resisted parliament were demolished, so Newark Castle became a ruin.
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