It would be misleading to think that the ascension of James I in 1603 brought a complete end to Scottish invasions. During the reign of James' successor, Charles I many Scots, particularly those with Protestant sympathies, rebelled against their monarch.

In August 1640 the Scots defeated Charles' army in a great battle at Newburn on Tyne just to the west of Newcastle. It was bad news for Charles, who was embroiled in a bitter dispute with the English Parliament who refused to supply funding for Charles' military campaign.

It was also a disaster for the people of Newcastle and Durham. The Scottish army seized both places. The Newcastle coal trade ceased for a time and shops in both towns were severely looted. King Charles negotiated a truce at York and the Scots disbanded on receipt of £60,000 in 1641. The staunchly Royalist residents and merchants of Durham and Newcastle were no doubt angry that parliament had not come to their aid.

Over the next two or three years Charles' disputes with the English parliament descended into a civil war between Royalists and Parliamentarians. Many Scots sided with the Parliamentarian cause and in February 1644 an army of Scots under General Leslie invaded England once again. They encamped at Corbridge and outside Newcastle and took delivery of further military hardware via the port of Blyth.

By March 1644 six regiments were left at Newcastle while the rest made their way to Sunderland, where there was some Parliamentarian support. A Scottish garrison was established at Sunderland and it became the centre for raids across Durham and Tyneside. For a time the garrison struggled to receive provisions from Scotland as many Scottish ships were captured by Royalists and forced into the Tyne. The Scots responded by seizing the town of South Shields at the mouth of the river in a siege on March 19.

Five days later, Royalist forces under the Marquis of Newcastle attempted to engage the encamped Scots in battle at Hylton near Sunderland but the Scots wouldn't take the bait. By April Newcastle's Royalists headed south to help defend York a place under siege form other Parliamentarian forces. Some Scots headed south through east Durham via Feryyhill and skirmishes occurred with the moving Royalist forces near Darlington.

On July 2nd Parliamentarians and Scots inflicted a heavy defeat on a whole host of Royalists forces including those of the Marquis of Newcastle in a great night time battle at Marston Moor near York. Three thousand Royalists were killed and on the 16 July, following a long siege, the Parliamentarians seized York.

The Scots now turned their attention to Newcastle upon Tyne. Heading northward they siezed the Bishop of Durham's castle at Stockton-on-Tees and arrived at Newcastle on 13 August 1644. Here they found the town (Newcastle was not yet a city) defended by the mayor John Marley. Eventually on October 22nd Newcastle was completely taken after the siege undertaken by the Scots had lasted ten weeks. In fact the Scots had penetrated Newcastle’s walls with gunpowder on October 20, but Newcastle castle held out for longer until its occupant, John Marley surrendered.

Newcastle's coal trade once again came to a standstill during the Scottish occupation of the town. The Scots also seized Tynemouth Castle on October 27th and they now had complete control of the Tyne. Newcastle was defeated, subdued and many of its residents were starved of provision. Many Newcastle people are said to have cursed the role of Sunderland, where the Scots had encamped and where there were many Parliamentarian supporters.

Meanhwhile, across England the Parliamantraians were increasingly gaining the upper hand and in May 1646 King Charles was captured and surrendered to the Scots at Newark in Nottinghamshire. He was escorted to Newcastle for imprisonment where he considered a list of propositions regarding increased parliamentary powers.

In February 1647, Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Parliamentarians paid the Scots at Newcastle £200,000 for their Royal prisoner and the Scots departed from Newcastle where normality slowly resumed. Charles was taken for imprisonment further south and on 30 January 1649 he was found guilty of treason and beheaded in London on the orders of Cromwell.

The English Civil War was now more or less over, but the struggle between England and Scotland continued. On the 3rd September 1650 after months of pursuit, a battle enraged at Dunbar in Scotland (about twenty few miles north of Berwick) between Cromwell and the Scots.

Leading the Scots was the former Parliamentarian General Leslie who had now fallen out with Cromwell and his supporters. Scots outnumbered English two to one but Cromwell launched a surprise attack and defeated them. Ten thousand Scots were captured and three thousand were imprisoned in Durham Cathedral. The prisoners destroyed much of the cathedral woodwork for firewood but the cathedral clock featuring the sacred Scottish thistle was spared.

Cromwell's victory in the Civil War had been revolutionary in political terms but ousting the monarchy for the one and only time in English history, but the revolution was short lived. On September 3 1658 Cromwell passed away and was succeeded by his son Richard, who proved to be a weak leader. Support grew in Parliament for restoring the monarchy and crowning Charles II. General Monck, Duke of Abermarle, was one of the men who supported the monarchy’s restoration and led Scottish troops from Coldstream near Berwick to London as a mark of support. It was he who successfully negotiated the coronation of King Charles II. A section of his army came to be famously known as the 'Coldstream Guards'.