Clubmen were associations founded in the southern and western counties of England, to restrain the excesses of the armies during the civil wars oif 1642 - 1649. They professed neutrality, but inclined towards the king, and were considered enemies by his opponents.
Clubmen were bands of vigilantes during the English Civil War (1642–1651) who tried to protect their localities against the worst excesses of the respective armies of both sides in the war. They sought to club together to prevent their wives and daughters being raped by soldiers of both sides, themselves being forcibly conscripted to fight by one side or the other, their crops and property being damaged or seized by the armies and their lives threatened or intimidated by soldiers, battle followers, looters, deserters or refugees. As their name suggests, they were mostly armed with cudgels.
Initially Clubmen gatherings came together spontaneously in response to the actions of soldiers in their localities. But as the war went on Clubmen in some areas were organised by the local gentry and local churchmen and were a force which both sides in the war had to take into account when planning a campaign and garrisoning some areas.