Battle of Turnham Green


Battle of Turnham Green

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Turnham Green
partof=the First English Civil War
date=13 November 1642
place=Turnham Green, Middlesex
result=Parliamentarian victory
combatant1=Parliamentarians
combatant2=Royalists
commander1=Earl of Essex
commander2=King Charles I
strength1=24,000Royle p. 206]
strength2=7,000-12,000fact|date=May 2007
casualties1=very few
casualties2=very few

The Battle of Turnham Green occurred 13 November 1642 near the village of Turnham Green, at the end the first campaigning season of the First English Civil War. The engagement resulted in a standoff between the Royalist army of King Charles I and the much larger Parliamentarian army under the command of the Earl of Essex. In successfully barring the way to London to the Royalist army, the Parliamentarians gained an important victory because the standoff forced Charles and his army to retreat to Oxford for secure winter quarters.

After the Battle of Edgehill (23 October) King Charles I captured Banbury (27 October) and was greeted by cheering crowds as he arrived in Oxford on 29 October. Prince Rupert swept down the Thames Valley, capturing Abingdon, Aylesbury and Maidenhead, from where he attempted to capture Windsor though failed due to Parliamentary strength there. After this, many officers wanted to open peace negotiations, contrary to Rupert’s desire to carry on to London, but the king agreed with the officers and so the Earl of Essex managed to overtake them and reach London with his Parliamentary army by the 8 November.This was Charles' first major battle in the civil war.

Prelude

On the 12 November Rupert with a large cavalry detachment stormed Brentford and then proceeded to sack the town. This action encouraged those Londoners who feared for their property to side with the Parliamentarians.Royle pp. 202-207] On 13 November Essex's army with the London trainbands and other London citizenry, assemble as an army of about 24,000 on Chelsea Field and advanced to Turnham Green in the vicinity of the main body of the Royalist army.

Battle

The Royalist army of 7,000-12,000 were short of ammunition and probably too small to attack the 24,000 strong Parliamentarian army. Also the King was advised that to engage such an oddly assorted army containing what was obviously a large contingent of armed civilians, would not endear him to London, and it was too early in the war for the Royalists to contemplate taking London without the support of a sizable part of London's population.

With the end of campaigning season close at hand, Charles decided not to press the issue and withdrew. So after a slight cannonade, the Parliamentarians secured a victory without engaging in the battle, which was fortunate for them, as many of their number had never seen a battle before and were not used to army discipline formations and deployments. John Hampden, with something of the fire and energy of his cousin, Oliver Cromwell, urged the Earl of Essex to turn both flanks of the Royal army via Acton and Kingston; experienced professional soldiers, however, urged Essex not to trust the London men to hold their ground, while the rest manoeuvred. Hampden's advice was undoubtedly premature. A Battle of Worcester (1651) was not within the power of the Parliamentarians of 1642. In Napoleon's words: "one only manoeuvres around a fixed point",Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition article "GREAT REBELLION" Section "4. Battle of Edgehill"] and the city levies at that time were certainly not, "vis-à-vis" Rupert's cavalry, a fixed point.

Aftermath

Charles (once more contrary to Rupert's advice) retreated back up the Thames Valley towards Oxford (losing the possible chance for a flanking movement through loyal Kent), where Charles set up his headquarters for the rest of the war. Never again during the Civil War would the Royalists come as close to capturing London and without London they could not win the war.

References

* Royle, Trevor. "Civil War: The wars of the Three Kingdoms", Pub Abacus 2006; (first published 2004); ISBN 978-0-349-11564-1 they went home

Further reading

* Plant, David. [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/military/1642-edgehill.htm 1642: First campaigns of the English Civil War] , The British Civil Wars & Commonwealth website

Footnotes


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Turnham Green — infobox UK place country = England map type = Greater London region = London population = official name = Turnham Green constituency westminster = post town = LONDON postcode area = W postcode district = W4 london borough = Hounslow dial code =… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Brentford (1642) — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Brentford partof=the First English Civil War date=November 12, 1642 place=Brentford, Middlesex result=Royalist victory combatant1=Royalists combatant2=Parliamentarians commander1=Prince Rupert… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Marston Moor — Part of English Civil War The Battle of Marston Moor, by J. Barker …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Edgehill — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Edgehill partof=the First English Civil War date=October 23, 1642 place=Edge Hill, Warwickshire result=Inconclusive combatant1=Royalists combatant2=Parliamentarians commander1=Charles I of England,… …   Wikipedia

  • Edgehill, Battle of — ▪ English history       (Oct. 23, 1642), first battle of the English Civil Wars, in which forces loyal to the English Parliament, commanded by Robert Devereux, 3rd earl of Essex (Essex, Robert Devereux, 3rd earl of, Viscount Hereford Lord Ferrers …   Universalium

  • First English Civil War — The First English Civil War (1642–1646) was the first of three wars known as the English Civil War (or Wars ). The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and… …   Wikipedia

  • Chiswick — For other uses, see Chiswick (disambiguation). Coordinates: 51°29′33″N 0°15′48″W / 51.4925°N 0.2633°W / 51.4925; 0.2633 …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex — Infobox Person name = Robert Devereux image size = 150px caption = Portrait of Robert Devereux 3rd Earl of Essex birth date = birth date|1591|1|11|mf=y birth place = death date = death date and age|1646|9|14|1591|1|11|mf=y death place =… …   Wikipedia

  • Hounslow — /hownz loh/, n. a borough of Greater London, England. 203,300. * * * ▪ borough, London, United Kingdom  outer borough of London, part of the historic county of Middlesex. It lies in the valley of the River Thames (Thames, River), on the western… …   Universalium

  • Oliver Cromwell — Cromwell redirects here. For other uses, see Cromwell (disambiguation). For other people named Oliver Cromwell, see Oliver Cromwell (disambiguation). Oliver Cromwell Portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.