David Flintham - Military Historian
The Tudor ramparts of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Below is a view of the Vauban-designed ramparts in Ypres
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Welcome to the home page of David Flintham BA FRGS CITP.
I am a military historian, specialising in 17th century fortifications and sieges.
The 17th century was a watershed in European history: it was the century where the superstitions of the medieval period were largely laid to rest, to be replaced by scientific reasoning. The origins of the great transformations of the 18th and 19th centuries (the Enlightenment, and the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions) can be traced to the 17th century. The transformation on the battlefield was no less dramatic – military engineering which was regarded as an ‘art’ during the 16th century was very much a science by the end of the 17th.
The military history of Western Europe in the 17th century is dominated by the Eighty Years’ War, the Thirty Years War, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (misleadingly, but commonly, known as the ‘English Civil Wars’), and the wars of Louis XIV. The common perception of these conflicts is of big battles: cavalry charges on the wings whilst in the centre, massed infantry formations slugging it out. Yet the reality is rather different as it was the siege rather than the set-piece battle which dominated 17th century warfare.
This site is home to my research into the sieges and fortifications of the 17th century.
My essay 'His Majestie's Scenographer: the Military Art of Wenceslaus Hollar' has just been published in Home and Away: The British Experience of War 1618-1721: Proceedings of the 2017 Helion and Company 'Century of the Soldier' Conference.
My biography of Richard Clampe (who designed King's Lynn's fortifications following the siege of 1643, and later went on to plan the Parliamentarian siege-works around Newark upon Trent). This has just been published in Fort (volume 46), the journal of the Fortress Study Group.
2019 sees my silver jubilee as a published writer (my first commission was a piece about the Battle of Cropredy Bridge which appeared in the programme for Fairport Convention’s 1994 Cropredy Festival). Since then, I have written 3 books, contributed chapters to two further ones and have written nearly 50 essays, papers and articles. And like Fairport Convention, I am still going strong.