This work examines the ways in which the armies of all sides acquired their arms and equipment during the wars. It shows that without an appraisal of the logistics of arms production and distribution, and an assessment of the degree to which the needs of all sides were satisfied, the reasons why events took the course they did cannot be fully understood. Dr. Edwards demonstrates that, in terms of logistics, Parliament was in the strongest position: not only did it control the native arms industry, concentrated in the Home Counties, but also, because of its superior industrial and financial base, it was able to finance its purchases more easily. And in addition, it had readier access to foreign supplies. The access to, and reliability of, shipments of arms and supplies from abroad emerges as a crucially important factor. Indeed, Dr. Edwards argues that war in England may not even have broken out in 1642, and could not have been sustained, if consignments had not been coming in from mainland Europe.
The result of extensive research both in Britain and abroad and the use of countless unpublished and largely unknown documents, Dealing in Death fills a gap in the history of the war that has lain open for 350 years.