The King the Scots and the Discontented Army

Evidently the King hoped, when he surrendered to the Scots on 5 May 1646, to place himself in a position to negotiate with them with a view to forming an alliance against Parliament, The Scots were disgruntled both at their treatment from their erstwhile allies, and by Parliament's failure to implement Presbyterianism in England. Nevertheless, the price of Scottish help for the King would involve his acceptance of the Solemn League and Covenant, a price Charles was unwilling to pay, and...

Roundway Down and the Fall of Bristol

On 10 July Sir William Waller, having pursued the royalists to Devizes, faced them drawn up on Roundway Hill, but Prince Maurice abandoned his position and withdrew into the town. Waller moved forward and established his army to the north. The royalist commanders decided to split their army, sending the horse to Oxford, whilst the wounded Hopton held Devizes with the foot. Prince Maurice moved rapidly, entering Oxford on 11 July after a night march, to find reinforcements already on their way...

The Campaigns of the Marquess of Montrose

Battle Philiphaugh

It is arguable that not only was Montrose the master of what might be termed guerrilla warfare, but that he was also the outstanding general serving Charles I during the civil war years. A Covenanter turned royalist, Montrose performed prodigious feats with very few forces, distracted the Scottish invasion army during 1644-5, but operated always too far from the main theatres of war to achieve anything lasting. Appointed lieutenant general of the King's armies in Scotland, the Marquess' task...

The Military Situation in Late 1644

Battle Naseby Map

Undeniably, the collapse of royalist fortunes after the relative successes of 1643, may be traced to the arrival in England of a Scottish invasion army in January 1644, Despite every effort by the marquess of Newcastle to bring the enemy to battle, he had been outmanoeuvred, and after parliamentarian encroachment in Yorkshire, had been forced to retire on York and send appeals for military aid to Oxford. This resulted in the eventual despatch of Prince Rupert to relieve York in the spring, and...

The Military Situation in Late 1643

Battle Roundway 1643

Despite the heavy fighting, albeit somewhat localised, since Edgehill in October 1642, the King's forces, which needed to reach London to bring the war to an effective end, were still very much confined to the north and west of the country in other words, to their primary recruiting grounds and areas of support. On the other hand, the forces of the parliament had been unable to make headway of any enduring nature, and rested content with acting on a largely defensive basis. The most successful...

MAP 32 16441645 The War in the North

York had surrendered to the allied armies on 16 July 1644 after the battle of Marston Moor had broken Newcastle's northern royalist army. Rupert had marched away immediately into Lancashire after the battle, sending Sir John Mayney to recruit in Furness, and Goring and Langdale to Carlisle. From 9 to 20 July, the Prince perambulated around Lancashire, but on the 21st he was at Preston, on the 22nd he garrisoned Lathom House again, and on the 25th entered Chester. Mayney, in the Furness area,...

The Flight of Charles II after Worcester

The story of Charles II's return to France after the defeat at Worcester has often been told, and it is remarkable for the number of relatively humble people who cared for him during his month and a half on the run. Quitting Worcester in the general rout of 3 September, he entrusted himself to Charles Giffard at Kinver Heath and was brought to Boscobel by way of Stourbridge and Wordsley. With his hair cut and a change of clothes, on the 4th he hid in a nearby coppice and moved at night to...

MAP 43 16411649 Civil War in Ireland

The appointment of Thomas Wentworth later earl of Strafford in 1632 as Lord Deputy in Ireland initiated a period of government, the primary objective of which was to turn Ireland into a major revenue source for the English crown, by reducing the power of the magnates, imposing a Laudian church discipline and boosting Irish industries. At the outbreak of the King's war against the Scots in 1639, Wentworth mustered an army of 9,000 men to use in Scotland, but his downfall in the same year led to...

The Risings of the Clubmen

Wimborne Giles Map

Towards the end of 1644, in certain parts of the country, popular reaction to the war and to the depredations of both sides brought about organised resistance. The Clubmen, countrymen led by minor gentry and the 'middling sort' of people, yeomen and husbandmen, took up arms to defend themselves and their possessions against looting and undisciplined soldiers. Although the Clubmen have been seen as 'crypto-royalists', the fact was that it was largely against royalist troops that they tried to...

MAP 49 1651 The Worcester Campaign

Worcester Campaign Map

Cromwell's orders to his commanders were urgent once news of the King's march south was confirmed. Leaving forces to take Stirling, Cromwell sent Lambert with 4,000 cavalry to move rapidly into England with the object of attacking the royalist army in column of march. In England itself, the New Model was being reinforced by local levies, as the need to prevent the King from reaching London grew more apparent. Charles skirted the government garrison in Carlisle and entered Penrith on 8 August,...

Flashpoints of Civil War in the Summer of 1642

Although civil war did not formally break out until the King raised his standard on 22 August 1642 at Nottingham, the summer had seen both sides flexing their muscles and striving for advantage on a localised level. The physical division between the King and his Parliament came in March, when Charles arrived in the city of York on the 18th of that month and established his court there. It was in Yorkshire that first overt royalist action took place when, on 3 May, Sir Francis Wortley reportedly...

Prides Purge and the Kings Execution

Scottish help for the King had been substantial 14,000 men or more but dilatory and, in the event, badly commanded. The surrender of Colchester in Essex on 27 August 1648, followed by the wanton execution of its two royalist commanders, marked the end of the abortive uprising. In Scotland the duke of Hamilton's proEngagement party was overthrown by the marquess of Argyle, with Cromwell's backing, and the King was thus stripped of any effective support in Scotland. Nevertheless, Parliament was...

The Second Civil War Royalists and Exparliamentarians

On 23 March 1648 Pembroke Castle, throughout the first civil war a solid Parliamentarian garrison in South Wales, declared for the King. The motives of the governor Colonel Poyer were mixed, based upon frustration with the political events at London, despair at not receiving back pay, and resentment towards the New Model. On 28 April royalists and Scots under Sir Marmaduke Langdale occupied Berwick, Carlisle fell on the 29th, and in mid-May the county of Kent erupted, royalists and...

MAP 33 1645 The Naseby Campaign

Naseby Map 1645

At Stow on the Wold on 8 May 1645, the royalist field army had split Goring going towards the West Country to tackle Fairfax Rupert and the King aiming northwards. Fairfax, however, was ordered to leave the West Country and to make for Oxford, whilst Goring, ordered to rejoin the main field army, failed to do so. On 14 May Fairfax came to Newbury, and on the 19th the New Model laid formal siege to Oxford itself, held by Will Legge, a close friend of Prince Rupert and unlikely to panic. For the...

MAPS 50 51 The Battle of Worcester 3 September 1651

Battle Upton Bridge 1651

Cromwell's main body lay to the south-east of the city on and around the Red Hill, on the east bank of the Severn, whilst Fleetwood was moving from Upton along the road to Powick and so to Powick Bridge, scene of a royalist cavalry victory in 1642, Fleetwood's objective was to cross the River Teme and attack the Scots on its northern bank, who formed the western defences of the city. The troops under Fleetwood moved slowly, but came to the Teme at two points, near Powick Bridge itself and...

MAPS 18 19 The Battle of Cheriton 29 March 1644

Royalist Infantry Flags 1644

Hopton's cavalry under Sir Edward Stawell had outpaced Waller's under Balfour, and reached Alresford before the parliamentary army could do so. The long awaited pitched battle seemed to be coming, but on 28 March the parliamentary commanders at Hinton Ampner were divided. Recognising that retreat, however, was as perilous as staying to fight, Waller prepared for action on the 29th. Whilst there is no doubt that Hopton wanted a battle, he was probably surprised to find Waller apparently...

War in the East and East Midlands

Map Mines West Midlands

The counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, formed into the Eastern Association on 20 December 1642, saw little real fighting, coming early and easily under parliamentarian control. Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire were the battlegrounds, where the southward thrusts of the earl of Newcastle were resisted, although Lincolnshire was a markedly royalist county. In early December 1642, Newcastle had garrisoned Pontefract in Yorkshire, and sent forces out to garrison...

The Fall of Bristol and the Marches of the King

Map Battle Torrington

Following upon his defeat at Naseby in June 1645, the King withdrew to Hereford and made contact with Charles Gerard, the able royalist commander in South Wales. Gerard had been sent into the country early in 1644 to recover the royalist control there, lost by the earl of Carbery to the efficient Rowland Laugharne. Gerard's overwhelming success, accompanied by some brutality, made South Wales a potential recruiting ground for the King, and Charles was at Raglan Castle when news of Langport...

MAPS 27 28 The Second Battle of Newbury 27 October 1644

Second Battle Newbury Tactics

The royalist infantry under Lord Astley held Shaw House and the line of the Lambourn, Prince Maurice, away towards Speen, was trying to entrench his infantry on their new position, whilst the bulk of the royalist cavalry formed the centre of the royalist position close to their guns. Donnington Castle's guns were also involved in the general dispositions. Whether or not the King knew for certain of the projected outflanking march is not clear, but that he moved Maurice towards Speen indicates...

Scotland in 16391640 and the Bishops Wars

Meanwhile The Scottish Army

The root cause of the armed confrontations between Charles I and part of his Scottish subjects lay in his policy of anglicisation and their fears that the union of the two crowns was leading them into subjugation. As early as 1637 there were hopes of a closer, parliamentary union, to offset the personal union represented by Charles, but internal divisions and contradictions led Scotland first to ally with Parliament in 1643, then to revert to loyalty to the Crown and, as a consequence, to end...

The Second Civil War The Royalists and the Scots

Stainmore Pass

The insurrections in England and Wales had taken place without Scottish help, which was long delayed by deep divisions within Scotland over the issue of the Engagement. Colchester was under siege, and the fall of Pembroke but three days away, when the duke of Hamilton entered Cumberland on 8 July. An abortive rising at Kingston on Thames led by the earl of Holland had come to nothing, and the Scots army could hope to achieve little. It entered Carlisle and joined up with English cavaliers under...

The Outbreak of the Third Civil

English Civil War Scottish Flags

The failure of the 1648 rising was largely due to the inability of the Scots either to act in unison or to act positively. In the attitude to Charles II in Scotland, there was more or less a three-way split the old Montrose royalists, the Engagers residue of Hamilton's party and the hard-line Covenanters. The two latter shared a mutual dislike of Montrose. It was unfortunate for Charles II, therefore, that after the events of 1649 50 he was obliged to depend upon the Scots for a military...

MAPS 23 24 The Battle of Marston Moor 2 July 1644

Second Battle Newbury Tactics

On the morning of 2 July the allied army which had lain encamped on Marston Moor, began to march away towards Tadcaster and so southwards. The rearguard, commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell and David Leslie, was alarmed by the sudden appearance of Rupert's army crossing Hessay Moor towards them, and the allied generals were obliged to turn back and to offer battle rather than be caught in line of march. The allied troops drew up in battle order on Braham Hill, cultivated land...

MAPS 34 35 The Battle of Naseby 14 June 1645

Battle Naseby Map

The royalist dispositions on the ridge were conventional, with Langdale and his Northern Horse on the left flank, Rupert and his cavalry on the right, and Astley with the infantry in the centre. Cromwell and Fairfax considered that the royalist position gave Rupert an option not to fight if he so wished, and decided to withdraw towards Naseby and occupy high ground there. The enemy movement was seen by Rupert, who ordered the whole royalist army to set in motion, and a flanking march was begun....

The Rump Parliament and Interregnum Government

The execution of Charles I and the abolition of the monarchy were, obviously, events of profound significance. It was an inauspicious beginning for the Republic, however, that the period of the 'Commonwealth' 649 to 1653 was marked by the government of the Rump, a minority element of the Long Parliament. This proved to be strikingly unpopular although its corruption was exaggerated , and not overly dedicated to the current revolutionary sentiments. And from its very inception, the morale of the...

War in the North The Scottish Invasion January to April 1644

1st Battle Newbury Map

Haggerston 19.1.44 lA N Middleton fi elfjeld Haggerston 19.1.44 lA N Middleton fi elfjeld Ebchester - 20.3.44Chester le StreeT Easington 1.4.44 r. o. i'Quarnngton 8.4.44 Sishop Auckland fVerry Hill 1 00' Easington 1.4.44 r. o. i'Quarnngton 8.4.44 Sishop Auckland fVerry Hill 1 00' In September 1643 Parliament and the Scots reached an agreement, the Solemn League and Covenant, whereby more than 20,000 Scottish troops would enter the war against the King. Scottish involvement would force the...

MAP 55 1659 Sir George Booths Rising

The death of Cromwell on 3 September 1658 saw the accession of his son Richard as Lord Protector, from which office he was pushed by a strange alliance of New Model commanders and former Rumpers, who restored the Rump Parliament in reduced form. From the defeat at Worcester through to Cromwell's death, royalist plots aimed at restoring Charles II to his throne had proved full of high ideals and little else yet with the move against Richard Cromwell from within, some royalists entertained hopes...

S s

Bourtononf Woodstock the Water Handborough Burfordt Brii9ef Witney Newbridge Bletchingdon ,Cassington 79 Islip .Wolvercote Oxford Thame By the spring of 1644 the royalists were in an unenviable position. The military advantage had swung decidedly in favour of the Parliament and of its Scottish allies, whilst the reinforcements coming from Ireland had proved a mere trickle. There was no real prospect of an alliance with the Irish confederacy. The King, to create a strong enough main army based...

Royalist Conspiracy and the Risings of 1655

The battle of Worcester marked the end of royalist hopes of success through a Scottish alliance. The field army was gone, Charles II barely escaped to Europe, and the earl of Derby was executed. The Isle of Man fell to the government on 31 October 1651, Jersey and Guernsey fell in December. The Parliament began to move towards reconciliation, the Act of Oblivion of February 1652 inaugurating a policy that Cromwell personally favoured. In France, the court in exile was riddled with intrigue, the...

Bibliography

Place of publication London unless otherwise stated. Abell, H.F. Kent and the Great Civil War 1901 Adair, John Roundhead General A Military Biography cfSir William Waller 1969 --Cheriton 1644 The Campaign and the Battle Kineton, 1973 Allen, J.W. English Political Thought 1603-44 1938 Andriette, Eugene A. Devon and Exeter In The Civil War Newton Abbot, 1971 Ashton, Robert 7he English Civil War Conservatism and Revolution 1603-1649 1978 Aylmer, G.E. The Struggle for the Constitution 1963 Bayley,...

MAPS 4 5 The Battle of Edgehill 23 October 1642

Battle Edgehill Warks

Battle between the two armies was inevitable, but the time and place a matter of chance. From the bare Edgehill a plain ran down towards Kineton township, giving the royalist commanders overall view of the field, but obstructed by enclosures near Kineton itself. Prince Rupert rode to the ridge early in the morning, his cavalry were in place shortly before noon, and the infantry came into position by about two o'clock. Essex's surprise may be indicated by the fact that the royal army was now...

MAP 44 16491650 Cromwell in Ireland

Ireland Cromwell 1649 Map

The marquess of Ormond's revitalised royalist army failed to take Dublin early in 1649, being defeated at the battle of Baggot-rath by Michael Jones. Cromwell, with 20,000 men, entered the capital on 15 August with the set purpose of punishing the Irish confederates and of restoring Ireland to order. He struck first at Drogheda where, after storming the defences, he allowed a general massacre to take place, leading to 3,000 or more deaths including those of royalist fugitives from England....

MAP 54 The Rule of the Major Generals

Cromwell Major General Map

Cromwell's period of personal rule as Protector, which began on 16 December, merely legalised his position as the single most important leader in post-monarchical England. It may be that Cromwell sought to make his authority constitutional, as the Instrument of Government allowed for, and it may also be that his objectives fell far short of dictatorship. However, his power base was narrow, being opposed not only by royalists at home and in exile, but also by the large Presbyterian faction,...

Introduction

This book is concerned with the topography of the English Civil Wars of 1642-51 and, to a lesser extent, with events prior and subsequent to those dates. It sets out to fill a gap in the available literature concerning the period, by offering a series of complementary texts and maps aimed at explaining, for the most part, the sometimes confusing prose accounts of campaigns and battles. Over the last thirty years or so, there has been a marked and widespread interest in the civil wars amongst a...