Battle of Edgehill 23 October 1642


Map Code: Ax02175

In the opening encounter of the English Civil War, both armies were largely raw recruits with a sprinkling of veterans of continental conflicts. The Royalists had been marching on London and were well positioned on the scarp of Edgehill in southern Warwickshire when the Parliamentarians under the Earl of Essex intercepted them. After an initial exchange of artillery fire, the cavalry on the Royalist flanks, commanded by Prince Rupert and Sir Henry Wilmot, charged: both Parliamentarian flanks under the command of Sir James Ramsay and Lord Feilding buckled under the assault and fled. While the Royalist cavalry pursued their routed opposite numbers, the Parliamentarian infantry charged the Royal centre, forcing it back, and imperilling the king and his sons. Disaster was averted when the Royalist cavalry belatedly returned to the fray, regaining the Royal Standard, which had been captured. After a further inconclusive exchange, the battle ended at nightfall with honours broadly even.

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