Principal Battles & Engagements

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

1642  |  1643  |  1644  |   1645

Torrington : 16th February, 1646

Lord Hopton, with a force of 5,000, most of which were cavalry, did what he could to hold this Devon town. When patrol action flared up unintentionally after dark, Fairfax decided to mount a full-scale attack. After a brief struggle some of Hopton’s cavalry, fighting in narrow streets unsupported by infantry, broke, and he would have been unable to hold the town even if his entire stock of powder - stored in the church - had not blown up. The engagement is chiefly notable as being virtually the last in the First Civil War in which there was organized fighting.

The end of the First Civil War : 1646

The loss of Torrington left the way open to the west: Launceston and Bodmin were quickly occupied, Exeter surrendered on 13th April and Barnstaple and Dunster Castle a week later. Lord Astley’s 3,000 men, confronted at Stow-on-the-Wold (21st March) by Roundheads under Brereton and John Birch, showed no wish to fight. Charles gave himself up to the Scots at the beginning of May. Newark surrendered on 6th May, and when Oxford hauled down the flag on 24th June the First Civil War had ended.

1642  |  1643  |  1644  |   1645