March 29th, 1644 -The Battle of Cheriton – Sir William Waller’s Parliamentarian army was all that stood between Lord Hopton’s Royalist forces and London. With many on the Parliamentarian side already arguing for a hasty, panicky peace settlement a loss by Waller would have in all likelihood given the Royalist scumbags victory in the war. Lord Hopton was confident, too, having defeated Waller in two previous battles.
Waller’s musketeers occupied the high ground of Cheriton Wood as the battle began, but were forced from that position by the Royalist musketeers. Next, impatient to continue the attack, Colonel Sir Henry Bard led a charge at the Parliamentarians and was cut to pieces by the Parliamentary cavalry. Waller’s forces now took the battle to the enemy, and after two and a half hours had won a resounding victory. Not only had the bulk of Hopton’s foot soldiers been forced into a headlong retreat, but the Royalist cavalry had been virtually annihilated, with prominent officers like Lord John Stewart (King Charles I’s nephew) and Major General Sir John Smith (hero of the battle of Edgehill in 1642). If Waller had continued to advance he could have wiped out Hopton’s army, but content with the scale of the victory he had achieved he let the remnants of Hopton’s forces withdraw.
March 30th, 1643 – The Battle of Seacroft Moor – Lord George Goring’s Royalist army defeated a Parliamentarian army under Sir Thomas Fairfax near Seacroft Moor. Fairfax was falling back after a failed attempt to take Tadcaster, and his forces, which were composed mostly of “clubmen”, (the equivalents of our State Militias in the Revolutionary War in that they would fight only in their own limited areas) suffered a massive defeat. The Cock Beck, a stream that ran through the battlefield, was supposedly red for days with the blood of the casualties of the battle.
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