1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 5 (UK)
20 x 50 minute episodes
This epic BBC series presented the split loyalties of the Lacey family (brought about by a marriage in the family) during the English Civil War.
The Laceys – headed up by aristocratic widower Sir Martin Lacey (Julain Glover) – were a Royalist family and loyal to King Charles I (Jeremy Clyde, pictured below). But their loyalties were torn apart when their eldest daughter, Anne (Sharon Maughan) married a parliamentarian.
Her new husband, John Fletcher (Rob Edwards) came from a puritan family who were very rich but “in trade”, and were loyal to Oliver Cromwell (Peter Jeffrey).
Series one dealt with the lead-up and fighting during the English civil war as King Charles raised an army from Catholic Ireland, with the Protestant parliamentarians out to stop him.
The Lacey family home, Arnescote Castle, was besieged by Parliamentary forces under Colonel Hannibal Marsh (Malcolm Stoddard) and handed over to John Fletcher and Anne, while Anne’s twin brother Tom Lacey (Tim Bentinck) was to be sent to the Tower of London until his sister made a last plea to him to change his allegiance.
He was ultimately exiled to France, to return in series two with revenge in his heart.
Series two presented the aftermath of the civil war with Cromwell now in power and evidently not trying to replace the monarchy with parliamentary democracy, but proving to be a Machiavellian dictator who wants to replace tyranny with more tyranny.
The final episode saw King Charles II (Simon Treves) restored and John Fletcher hauled off to stand trial.
By The Sword Divided was devised by John Hawkesworth, the creator of Upstairs Downstairs and The Duchess of Duke Street. Location filming took place at Rockingham Castle in Northampton.
Sir Austin Fletcher
Lady Lucinda Ferrar
Sir Thomas Lacey
Sir Martin Lacey
Major General Horton
Lord Edward Ferrar
King Charles I
Colonel Hannibal Marsh
Sir Ralph Winter
King Charles II
Gather ye Rosebuds – May 1640 | This War Without an Enemy | The Sound of Drums | A Silver Moon | The Edge of the Sword | Outrageous Fortune | A Sea of Dangers | Ring of Fire | Ashes to Ashes | Not Peace, But a Sword || Conflicts | Cruel Necessity | Cromwell at Arnescote | Witch Hunt | Escape | Fateful Days | Forlorn Hope | The Mailed Fist | Retribution | Restoration