Principal Battles & Engagements, 1642

Principal Battles and Engagements of the
First Civil War
in Chronological Order

1643  |  1644  |  1645  |   1646

Powick Bridge : 23rd September, 1642

The first engagement of the Civil War was a cavalry skirmish south of Worcester in the meadows surrounding Powick Bridge. Prince Rupert, while covering Sir John Byron's intended withdrawal from Worcester, defeated an advanced cavalry force of Lord Essex’s main army under Nathaniel Fiennes.

Edgehill : 23rd October, 1642

The first major battle of the Civil War. The two armies were fairly evenly matched numerically with around 14,500 men apiece. The Earl of Essex commanded the Parliamentarian army, but although the King was present at the battle, and took an active part, he had delegated command of the Royalist army to the Earl of Lindsey, who was superseded by the Earl of Forth just before the battle began. The two armies were drawn up for battle shortly after midday, the Roundheads some two miles south of Kineton and the Royalists just north of Radway. Prince Rupert commanding the Royalist cavalry on the right wing and Lord Wilmot that on the left were entirely sucessful in their first charge, but the fight in the centre was most stubbornly contested. The Royalist centre was gradually pressed back almost to its start line, and after three hours’ hard fighting both armies had had enough. Victory in the field went to neither side, but the King had forced Essex to withdraw, leaving the road to London open.

Brentford and Turnham Green : 12th-13th November, 1642

On the morning of 12th November Prince Rupert attached Denzil Holles’ regiment under cover of a morning mist, and after a sharp engagement drove it back into Brentford. The battle in Brentford againt Holles’ regiment and that commanded by Lord Brooke was short and sharp and resulted in the Royalists gaining possesion of the town. But on the following day King Charles found his way barred at Turnham Green by a large Parliamentarian army, which included the city trained bands. Charles felt unable to take on this large force with an army greatly weakened by cold and hunger. He withdrew to Reading and the threat to London was removed.

Tadcaster : 6th December, 1642

Lord Newcastle, having won a victory at Pierce Bridge on 1st December, and now in command of all the Royalist forces in the north, attacked and defeated Lord Fairfax at Tadcaster. The victory was important for it drove a wedge into the Parliamentarian defence of Yorkshire. This victory, however was somewhat offset when Sir Thomas Fairfax (Lord Fairfax’s son) captured Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield from Sir William Savile in January 1643, which forced Newcastle to fall back upon York.

1643  |  1644  |  1645  |   1646