Battle of Marston Moor English Civil War on this day Uncategorized

A great and significant date… The Battle of Marston Moor (1642)

One of the greatest assets of a general is a reputation for invincibility. If you have it you are playing down hill and if you are against it you have a big battle to fight. It was today in 1642 the Prince Rupert rode onto the field with his reputation and his poodle and left with only his poodle.

In 1642 the civil war was going badly for the royalist forces in the North. Royalist forces had been pushed back and then besieged in the city of York, the capital of the north. A relief force of Royalist cavalry evaded the parliamentary army and linked up with the royalist foot and then turned to bring the parliamentarians to battle. Facing a royalist army under Marquess of Newcastle and Prince Rupert was an allied force of Scots and Parliamentary forces under Fairfax and Manchester. Exhausted but willing to follow Rupert anywhere his soldiers prepared for battle but being late in the day Rupert was convinced the battle would be delayed. He went to dine and Newcastle retired to smoke so both were taken by surprise as the Parliamentarians started to advance at 7pm. Whatever you think of Rupert he was a very brave man and was able to engage the Parliamentarians and contested the field for several hours before being forced to retire. This was a side show because it was the foot who inflicted serious casualties on the Royalists and won the day. The day was won meaning that the Royalists lost their baggage and their artillery. The battle that should have buttressed the Kings holding in the north led to their unwraveling and after the surrender of York the North was lost to the King.

Prince Rupert lost his reputation but the Iron Sides under Cromwell gained status and renown that would soon become legendary. The loss of the North was a problem of long term significance. Much of the population and wealth lay in the south but the North had important trading ports with the continent which were now lost to the King. By winning and the