The English Civil War (1642-1651) started when Charles I raised his royal standard in Nottingham. The split between Charles and Parliament was such that neither side was willing to back down over the principles that they held and war was inevitable as a way in which all problems could be solved. The country split into those who supported the King and those who supported Parliament – the classic ingredients for a civil war. This blog will record my wargaming journey through the English Civil War using 28mm miniatures.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Saturday, 1 April 2017
I recently played two games on consecutive days, The Battle of Gloucester and then The Battle of Monmouthshire. As a result, I completely lost track of the events of each battle (middle age is clearly taking it's toil on my short-term memory). But in the interest of sharing some interesting battle scenes from the games, please find a selection of photos below.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
In August 1642, Astley joined King Charles at Nottingham. He was dramatically appointed commander of the Royalist infantry when the Earl of Lindsey stepped down on the morning of the battle of Edgehill. Astley continued as commander of the Royalist foot throughout the First Civil War, participating in all the major battles fought by the King's Oxford army. He was one of the most disciplined and stalwart of the Royalist generals, but he was not a strong presence on the King's Council of War and took no part in court politics. In recognition of his services, he was created Baron Astley of Reading in November 1644. At the fateful battle of Naseby in June 1645, Astley's infantry came close to breaking Skippon's Parliamentarians in the centre, but were themselves routed after a decisive flank attack by Cromwell's Ironsides.
After the defeat of Naseby, the King removed the unpopular Charles Gerard from command of Royalist forces in Wales and appointed Astley in his place. Astley organised the chaotic administration of Royalist garrisons in the region and raised a force of 3,000 horse and foot in Worcestershire. This represented the last Royalist field army of the First Civil War. In March 1646, Astley set out from Worcester intending to march his troops to the King's headquarters at Oxford but he was intercepted and defeated at Stow-on-the-Wold by a superior Parliamentarian force and obliged to surrender. Astley was imprisoned in Warwick Castle until the surrender of Oxford in June 1646.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Monday, 27 March 2017
Regiment of foot of Essex’s Army raised by Lord Saye and Sele but led by Meldrum until he was sent North and replaced by Aldrich. Entered the New Model Army under Col Lloyd
The blue coated regiment was raised in the summer of 1642, by Lord Saye and Sele, a powerful politician and wealthy landowner, to fight for the cause of parliament. Drawing mainly from his power base in and around Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire, he appointed experienced and prominent officers, including Captain Lieutenant John Rainsford, the author of “The Young Soldier” drill manual.
In September 1642, he handed over the command of the regiment of Colonel Sir John Meldrum and as part of Meldrums brigade the regiment acquitted itself well at the battle of Edgehill. The regiment remained under Meldrum until 1643 when it was passed on to Colonel John Aldridge. Aldridge led the regiment through the 1644 campaigns in the West Country, including the Parliamentarian defeat at Lostwithiel in Cornwall, where the “Blew colours” were witness to the Parliamentarian surrender on the 2nd of September 1644.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
When the parliament raised an army Sir William was appointed lieutenant-general of the horse, under the nominal command of the Earl of Bedford. He commanded the reserve at the Battle of Edgehill, broke several regiments of the king's foot, and captured part of his artillery. Ludlow describes him spiking the king's guns with his own hands, and all accounts agree in praise of his services.
In the spring of 1644 he was detached from the army of Essex with 1,000 horse to reinforce Waller, and shared the command at the victory of New Alresford. His letter of 30 March 1644 to Essex, relating the battle, was ordered to be printed. He then rejoined Essex, accompanied him into Cornwall, and took Weymouth and Taunton (June 1644). When the infantry was forced to surrender, he broke through the king's lines, and "by an orderly and well-governed march passed above 100 miles in the king's quarters", and succeeded in joining General Middleton.
At the Second Battle of Newbury he commanded the right wing of the parliamentary horse. This was Balfour's last public exploit; with the organization of the New Model Army he retired from military service.