BATTLEFIELD HISTORY RESOURCES.
This area of our Website is constantly evolving and is dedicated to providing background historical detail to our programmes and for those who wish to go into the subject in greater detail.
|THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR
In this area we plan to do a series of programmes covering the various campaigns of the English Civil War. The first set of programmes are completed and up on the website. They comprise the majority of the battles of the campaign in the South West in 1643, namely
An Introduction to the Campaign in the South West 1643 . In this programme we introduce to you the recruiting of the Royalist and Parliamentary Forces, the initial movements of both armies to gain towns and land. Once both parties had secured their bases and recruited their armies they turned their efforts to defeating the opposition. After a few small engagements at Marshalls Elm, Babylon Hill and Modbury the main Royalist forces ended 1642 behind the River Tamar with Parliament in firm control of South Devon and Exeter and Plymouth, mainly due to the leadership of Col Ruthven a professional Scottish soldier. 1643 started with the Parliamentry forces in the ascendency led by a new and energetic commander, the Earl of Stamford who planned to invade Cornwall in conjunction with Ruthven. Facing them was the Royalist Commander on the ground Sir Ralph Hopton.
The Battle of Braddock Down In this programme we look at the first real battle of the campaign, Battle of Braddock Down which was fought on 19th January 1643. Sir Ralph Hopton's royalist forces had been camped the night before at nearby Boconnoc and were surprised when, in the morning on breaking camp, their vanguard of dragoons encountered enemy cavalry to the east. They discovered the parliamentarian army already deployed on the east side of Braddock Down. Ruthvin, the parliamentarian commander, had been unwilling to wait for the Earl of Stamford’s reinforcements to arrive at Liskeard and, perhaps wishing to claim the expected defeat of Hopton as his own, had marched out to challenge the royalist army. During this battle Sir Bevil Grenville the Cornish Royalist hero showed his potential as a regimental commander.
- The Battles of Launceston and Sourton Down
Battle of Launceston - 23 April 1643. On 23 April 1643, with the end of the winter truce, James Chudleigh an energetic young Parliamentary Commander crossed the River Tamar and moved to-wards Launceston with the aim of suprising the Royalists. Hopton the Royalist Commander reacted quickly delaying the parliamentary forces with one regiment, Grenvilles, whilst calling up his army from dispersed bivouacs. In the resulting battle the Parliamentary forces were driven back over the Tamar in confusion.
The Battle of Sourton Down - 24 April 1643. Following up his victory over Chudleigh, Hopton attempted to catch the parliamentary forces in Okehampton, but was ambushed at Sourton Down by Chudleigh with a small force of cavalry. The Royalists were forced to retreat and Hioton lost his despatches which allowed the Parliamentary Commanders to know his next moves.
- The Battle of StrattonThe Battle of Stratton, 16 May 1643 resulted in a victory for the Royalist Forces commanded by Sir Ralph Hopton. The attempt by the Parliamentary Forces to bottle the Royalists up in Cornwall failed and the Parliamentary Commander the Earl of Stamford lost his credibility. Hopton was able to move east to try and effect a link up with Prince Rupert. This victory gave Royalists control of the South West.