Thomas Fairfax Personal Standard


Rupert's pet poodle 'Boy' was a favourite target for the propagandists from early in the war. Here Toby's good Parliamentarian dog Pepper confronts a Royalist Poodle intended to be Boy.

The King's strategy for 1644 was that the Oxford army should stand on the defensive to await Rupert's return from the relief ofYork. However in early June the King marched out of the city with a fast-moving force of some 5,000 Horse and 2,500 musketeers, aiming to lead the Parliamentarians away from Oxford and outdistance their pursuit. By 6 June the King had reached Worcester, with the armies of Essex and Waller some way distant at Chipping Norton. Unknown to the Royalists the animosity between Essex and Waller had boiled over and the former had decided to take his army to relieve besieged Parliamentarian garrisons in Dorset and Devon. Waller was ordered to keep the King under a close watch. On 12 June the King's army reached Bewdley and Charles established himself at Tickhill Manor for a two-day Council of War.

When he wrote his letter to Rupert on 14 June, King Charles believed himself to be still pursued by the combined armies of Essex and Waller. The Royalist commanders decided to march back to Oxford to re-form their field army. The Royalist Horse was stationed at Bridgnorth, implying that the King's next move would be to the important Royalist recruiting centre of Shrewsbury. Accordingly Waller placed his army at Stourbridge to cover a march to the north by the Royalist army.

In fact on 15 June the Royalist musketeers boarded boats and moved quickly downriver to Worcester, where they were joined by the Horse. By 16 June the Royalists were at Evesham, closer to Oxford than Waller, who remained at Stourbridge. As the Royalists marched they broke down the bridges behind them. On 18 June the Royalists reached Witney just outside Oxford and on the following day the Oxford army was reunited. The King now moved his army to Buckingham, where he spent several days re-supplying his stocks of ammunition and powder.

While the Royal army was making its escape back to Oxford, Sir William Waller at last realised that he had been duped and set off in pursuit. The

Rupert's pet poodle 'Boy' was a favourite target for the propagandists from early in the war. Here Toby's good Parliamentarian dog Pepper confronts a Royalist Poodle intended to be Boy.

Cornet of Lambert's Horse in 1644. Red field, green mound, golden column, white scroll, (artwork by Mike Seed courtesy Partizan Press)

The death of Rupert's poodle at Marston Moor was celebrated in a pamphlet called 'A Dogs Elegy or Rupert's Tears' which suggests the dog was his satanic 'familiar'. The text reads 'Sad Cavaliers, Rupert invites you all That doe survive, to his Dogs Funerall Close-mourners are the Witch, Pope, & Devill, That much lament your late befallen evill'.

A Victorian representation of the defeated Royalists streaming back into York after Marston Moor. Fearful that pursuing Parliamentarians would enter the city, the garrison commander closed the gates against all but troops from the garrison.

Royalist deception had been so effective that Waller set off in the wrong direction seeking his adversary at Gloucester. However, the Committee of Both Kingdoms soon informed Waller that the King and his full army were at Buckingham and, so they feared, about to descend on the Eastern Association. Waller was ordered to intercept the King and on 28 June he camped at Hanwell near Banbury. By this time the King had marched to Brackley in Northamptonshire and when news of Waller's arrival reached him he set out to protect his garrison at Banbury.

Both armies found strong defensive positions to the south-west of Banbury and the Royalists were easily able to repulse a Parliamentarian attack. The Royalists marched north to Daventry, forcing Waller to follow them. On 29 June at Cropredy Bridge, Waller saw a chance to attack part of the Royalist column that had become strung out on the march. His attack failed and Waller's forces suffered a rebuff, but not a defeat. Waller's eye for ground enabled him to form up in another strong defensive position where he awaited Major-General Browne with a Parliamentarian force of 4,500 men.

The Royalists decided that they could no longer face Waller and they set off for Evesham, reaching it on the night of 3 July. Here reports of a great Royalist victory outside York first reached them and bonfires blazed in celebration throughout the night. Their joy was short-lived for it quickly became clear that the reports dispatched after the Royalist left

LEFT Scarborough castle from where, following Marston Moor, the Marquis of Newcastle sailed for the Continent, abandoning the Royalist cause in the North of England.

OPPOSITE King Charles had little military experience before the outbreak of civil war. His successes in 1644, and the defeat of Prince Rupert at Marston Moor, convinced the King that he was the equal of any of his generals.

Personal standard of Sir Thomas Fairfax. Dark blue field with darker blue acanthus pattern and blue and white fringe, (artwork by Mike Seed courtesy Partizan Press)
Cornet of the Troop of Horse of Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax. White field, red and gold crown, blue and gold mitre, gold-hilted sword. Motto: 'Long live the King and death to bad Government' (artwork by Mike Seed courtesy Partizan Press)





Hollar's map published in 1644 shows Lostwithiel, scene of the destruction of the army of the Earl of Essex as 'Lestethyell'. By marching into Cornwall, Essex had made the isolation of his army a simple matter for the Royalists.

wing had achieved its success had told less than the whole story and that the armies of Rupert and Newcastle had been destroyed. The King determined to march into the West Country, towards Exeter, to rejoin his Queen and see what could be salvaged of his seemingly hopeless cause.

As the King gloomily considered the prospect of defeat, the miracle that he had cautioned Rupert would be needed now began to take shape. Waller had combined forces with Browne at Towcester but a mutinous spirit had grown up amongst the London Trained Bands that formed a substantial part of his infantry. The men of the Trained Bands found themselves far from home in a campaign of marching hither and thither in the footsteps of the wandering King. One Trained Band regiment marched off carrying the body of their colonel, who had died of sickness, back to London. Desertion became endemic and Waller's army began to dissolve around him. By 26 July Waller was back in London and the King was free to march where he would.

The Earl of Essex had relieved Lyme in mid-June and Plymouth on 18 July. At the approach of the King, Essex marched into Cornwall and sought to contact the Parliamentarian fleet in the harbours around Lostwithiel in the hope that they would be able to sail his infantry back to London, and that his cavalry could slip through the Royalist lines. Essex's hopes of rescue from the sea were confounded by adverse weather that kept the fleet away from the Cornish coast.

On 14 August, at Bridgewater, the Royalists defeated a force of 2,000 Parliamentarian Horse, preventing their marching on to reinforce Essex. Knowing that their enemy was trapped and growing weaker by the day

Following the second battle of Newbury in 1644, King Charles left his artillery and wounded soldiers with the nearby Royalist garrison at Donnington Castle.

the Royalists delayed their attacks until 21 August, driving Essex's forces back into a shrinking bridgehead. The Earl of Essex escaped in a small boat while his cavalry, under the redoubtable Sir William Balfour, fought their way to Plymouth. It was left to Sir Philip Skippon to surrender the infantry of Essex's army, which marched away without its arms.

On 30 September at South Perrot, near Chard in Somerset, King Charles met with Prince Rupert for the first time since the disaster at Marston Moor and the victories of Cropredy Bridge and Lostwithiel. The King's opinion of his own military abilities had been dangerously enhanced, but his objectives were modest as he aimed only to re-supply his garrisons at Banbury, Basing House and Donnington Casde near Newbury.

Parliament feared a full-scale attack on London. Following the surrender of York, the Scots had marched north to besiege NewcasUe, Fairfax remained in Yorkshire to reduce Royalist garrisons and Manchester had returned to the Eastern Association.

Fortunately for the Parliamentarians the King was in no hurry and it was not until 2 October that he reached Sherborne in Dorset. Waller was then at Salisbury, Manchester had only reached Reading and Essex remained re-equipping his battered army at Portsmouth. On 22 October the King relieved Donnington Castle.

The Parliamentarians formed a plan that appears to have been intended to separate the feuding Parliamentarian commanders as much as to defeat the King. Manchester remained to the east of Newbury with his infantry while Waller, with Skippon commanding Essex's infantry and Cromwell the bulk of the Eastern Association cavalry, set out on an overnight flanking march to fall on Newbury from the west. On 27 October the attacks were launched late in the day with only two hours before the winter's daylight failed. The attacks were badly co-ordinated and the Royalists were able to hold their ground. Fearing that the next day would bring the overwhelming Parliamentarian strength down on them, the Royalists marched out through the gap between the Parliamentarian armies, leaving their artillery and casualties at Donnington Casde as they passed.

One final humiliation remained for the Parliamentarians. On 9 November the Royalist army led by Rupert returned to Donnington Castle, recovered its artillery unmolested and formed up on open ground to offer battle. Manchester argued against accepting battle and the King was able to march away to winter quarters as master of the field.

In response Parliament set out to ensure that its armies were commanded by competent, professional soldiers and passed a Self Denying Ordinance prohibiting all members of the House of Commons and House of Lords from holding military command. Oliver Cromwell as hero of Marston Moor, the victory that had enabled the Parliamentarian cause to survive the defeats of 1644, was specifically exempted from the Ordinance. Thus, thanks to Marston Moor, Cromwell alone retained both military and political influence in the English State and was to use his unique position to succeed King Charles as king in all but name.

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