Timeline 1643: The Great Rebellion in Ireland

Timeline 1643

(Julian dates have been adjusted to modern time frame)

(Early January)

  • Colonel Ruthven bombards Saltash on the Cornish side of the River Tamar but is unable to capture the town

January 2

  • Petition from the Common Council of the City of London presented to the King at Oxford requesting his return to Westminster and assuring him of protection

January 3

  • London apprentices petition for peace at Westminster.
  • Peace petitions also in circulation in Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire
  • Covenanter leaders petition for the suppression of the King’s letter to the Scottish Privy Council denouncing Parliament

January 6

  • The Earl of Stamford arrives at Exeter to take command of Parliament’s forces in Devon

January 7

  • Prince Rupert mounts an unsuccessful attack on Cirencester

January 9

  • End of the first meeting of the Confederate Assembly of Kilkenny
  • The Marquis of Hertford arrives at Oxford with 2,000 recruits from Wales

January 10

  • The Scottish Privy Council considers the Covenanters’ petition and also the “Cross Petition” signed by Royalist nobles and lairds.
  • The Council votes to reverse its decision of 20 December 1642 and to publish a declaration by the English Parliament.
  • Covenanter leaders call for a meeting of the Scottish Parliament

January 11

  • King Charles commissions the Marquis of Ormonde, the Earl of Clanricarde and others to meet with Irish Catholic leaders in order to report to him on their complaints

January 12

  • The King and the Princes Charles and James review Royalist troops at Oxford

January 13

  • General Preston besieges Birr Castle in Co Offaly (King’s Co) in Leinster
  • The King’s reply to the petition of the Common Council read in London.
  • King Charles agrees to return to London on condition that the Lord Mayor and several named citizens are first placed under arrest.
  • His terms are rejected

January 15

  • Colonel Ellis seizes Chirk Castle in Denbighshire for the King

January 17

  • Two Parliamentarian ships laden with weapons, ammunition and money forced into Falmouth and captured by Cornish Royalists, enabling Sir Ralph Hopton to re-equip his army.

January 18

  • Hopton appointed commander-in-chief of the Royalist western army
  • Four Scottish commissioners appointed to go to the King and to the English Parliament to work for the abolition of episcopacy in England and the summoning of a meeting of divines of both kingdoms to discuss religious matters

January 19

  • General Preston and the Leinster army capture Birr Castle in King’s County.
    • Preston advances to Bannagher, which surrenders without a shot being fired
  • Battle of Braddock Down. Colonel Ruthven defeated by Cornish Royalists commanded by Sir Ralph Hopton.
    • Hopton’s victory secures Cornwall for the King

January 22

  • Hopton and Lord Mohun storm and capture Saltash near Plymouth

January 23

  • Sir Thomas Fairfax defeats Sir William Savile and captures Leeds

January 25

  • Sir Ralph Hopton resumes the siege of Plymouth.
    • Royalist forces occupy surrounding towns to seal off the city by land

January 26

  • General Preston captures Fort Falkland to complete the Confederate conquest of King’s County
    • Falkland, the Lord Deputy before Wentworth, ordered a fort to be built at Banagher “for the better support of that plantation and the security of the neighbourhood.” This fort was afterwards called Fort Falkland. The direction for the building was entrusted to Sir Arthur Blundell, a planter and captain of the garrison. The work was completed by the winter of 1624. Blundell declared that he spent £178 19s. 3½d. of his own money on the fortifications and applied to Falkland for repayment which he received after considerable delay

January 27

  • The Earl of Newcastle withdraws to York with most of the Royalist northern army

January 28

  • Sir William Brereton defeats Sir Thomas Aston at Nantwich, which he fortifies and holds as the headquarters of Parliament’s forces in Cheshire

January 30

  • Letters from the King to the Queen that were intercepted by Lord Fairfax in Yorkshire are read in Parliament.
    • The letters prove the King’s encouragement of Roman Catholics in the Earl of Newcastle’s northern army.
    • Parliament orders the letters to be printed

(Early February)

  • Viscount Ranelagh and Sir Charles Coote flee from Connacht towards Dublin

February 1

  • Parliamentary commissioners present peace proposals to the King at Oxford, calling for a disbandment of both armies

February 2

  • Taking advantage of Lord Stamford’s march south into Devon, Prince Rupert storms and captures Cirencester, essential for keeping Royalist lines of communication to the south-west open
  • Queen Henrietta Maria with a large store of weapons and money sets sail for England, accompanied by Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp. Her convoy is driven back by storms

February 3

  • The King presents his counter-proposals at Oxford, calling for a cessation of hostilities during the peace negotiations rather than disbandment

February 5

  • Battle of Rathconnel: Viscount Ranelagh and Sir Charles Coote (the younger) defeat General Preston when he attempts to prevent their withdrawal from Connacht to Dublin.

February 7

  • The House of Lords votes for a cessation of hostilities and the disbandment of both armies

February 9

  • Sir John Seaton storms and captures Preston in Lancashire for Parliament

February 11

  • Sir William Waller commissioned Major-General of the Western Association, comprising the counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Somerset

February 14

  • Houghton Tower in Lancashire surrenders to Parliamentarians from Preston, but sixty Parliamentarians are killed when a booby-trapped supply of gunpowder is set off

February 16

  • The Royalist Earl of Derby driven back from an attack on Bolton in Lancashire.

February 19

  • Parliamentarian forces seize Lancaster in Lancashire

February 20

  • Lord Herbert advances from south Wales towards Gloucester and defeats a Parliamentarian force under Colonel Berrow at Coleford in the Forest of Dean

February 21

  • Major-General James Chudleigh defeats the Royalists at Modbury in Devon to relieve the blockade of Plymouth

February 22

  • Sir Ralph Hopton orders his artillery back into Cornwall and withdraws to Tavistock
  • The Queen’s convoy finally lands at Bridlington Bay, Yorkshire
  • Prince Rupert leads 1,500 horse and dragoons out of Oxford to intercept Waller’s advance guard and an artillery train on its way to join Waller’s army. Informed by spies of Rupert’s movements, Waller recalls his forces.
    • Rupert attacks 200 of Waller’s troopers at Alton but withdraws after two Royalist charges are repulsed

February 23

  • Parliamentarian warships under Vice-Admiral William Batten bombard Bridlington, endangering the Queen
  • The Scottish commissioners meet the King at Oxford and offer to mediate with Parliament, but the King questions their authority to intervene in English affairs

February 24

  • Parliament passes an ordinance for raising money for the maintenance of the army by a weekly assessment, to be imposed on all counties in England

February 25

  • Lord Brooke defeats Colonel Wagstaffe at Welcombe Hill to secure Stratford-upon-Avon for Parliament

February 27

  • Major-General Thomas Ballard approaches Newark in Nottinghamshire with 6,000 Parliamentarian troops from Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Royalist defenders are driven back from outlying garrisons

February 28

  • Parliamentarian attack on Newark repulsed. Sir John Henderson leads a counterattack from within the town that drives Major-General Ballard’s forces away
  • Sir Ralph Hopton and the Earl of Stamford negotiate a cessation of hostilities in Devon and Cornwall, to allow both sides to re-organise their forces

March 1

  • Parliamentary commissioners at Oxford present revised terms for a cessation of arms to the King

March 2

  • The Marquis of Ormonde advances from Dublin with the intention of capturing Ross in Co Wexford to disrupt communications between the Confederate capital Kilkenny and the ports of Waterford and Wexford
  • Lord Brooke killed at the siege of Lichfield

March 3

  • Sir William Waller occupies Winchester in Hampshire with 400 dragoons and ten troops of horse

March 4

  • Ormonde’s advance towards (New) Ross delayed by the stubborn resistance of the defenders of Timolin Castle in Co Kildare
  • Royalist garrison at Lichfield surrenders to Sir John Gell
  • Waller’s forces defile the ancient monastery church at Romsey

March 6

  • The King replies to Parliament’s terms for a cessation; amongst other measures, he insists that naval commanders and governors of fortified towns be appointed by him

March 7

  • Prince Rupert attempts to capture the key port of Bristol, but a plot to open the gates for him fails and he is forced to withdraw to Oxford
  • Parliament issues orders for the fortification of London
  • The Queen arrives in York

March 9

  • Waller arrives at Salisbury in Wiltshire, where he seizes money, weapons and horses

March 11

  • Ormonde besieges (New) Ross in Co Wexford

March 14

  • Oliver Cromwell seizes Lowestoft in Suffolk for Parliament

March 15

  • Sir William Waller arrives at Bristol. His army has increased to around 2,000 men

March 16

  • Ormonde abandons the siege of (New) Ross on hearing news of the approach of Confederate reinforcements

March 17

  • Negotiations begin at Trim between representatives of the Confederates and the King’s representative the Earl of Clanricarde.
    • The complaints of the Irish Catholics sent to the King in the Remonstrance of Grievances

March 18

  • Battle of Ross (Balinvegga): the Marquis of Ormonde defeats General Thomas Preston and the Leinster Confederates when they attempt to block his withdrawal to Dublin
  • Parliament offers a compromise over the appointment of commanders of forts and ships, suggesting that they be nominated by the King but subject to approval by Parliament
  • The Earl of Derby storms Lancaster but is unable to capture the castle. His badly-disciplined troops plunder and burn the town

March 19

  • Battle of Hopton Heath, Staffordshire. The Royalist Earl of Northampton defeats Sir William Brereton and Sir John Gell, but Northampton is killed in action. Prince Rupert ordered to take command of Royalist forces in the Midlands.

March 20

  • The Earl of Derby captures Preston, Lancashire.
    • Blackburn also surrenders to the Royalists

March 21

  • Sir William Waller storms Malmesbury in Wiltshire.
    • Colonel Lunsford’s garrison surrenders early next morning
  • Oliver Cromwell occupies King’s Lynn in Norfolk to investigate rumours of the governor Sir Hammond L’Estrange’s disloyalty to Parliament

March 23

  • The King objects to Parliament’s terms for a cessation and proposes that commanders of forts and ships should be restored as they were before the outbreak of the war.
  • Charles Cavendish and Sir John Henderson with a force from Newark capture Grantham in Lincolnshire in a surprise attack

March 24

  • Waller surprises Lord Herbert’s Welsh Royalists at Highnam near Gloucester.
    • The Royalist cavalry flee and the infantry surrender
    • Waller secures Gloucester for Parliament and pushes west

March 25

  • Sir Hugh Cholmley, Parliamentarian governor of Scarborough in Yorkshire, defects to the King, delivering Scarborough Castle to the Royalists

March 26

  • Prince Rupert recaptures Malmesbury

March 27

  • Parliament establishes the Committee for Sequestration to confiscate the estates of all who gave assistance to the King

March 28

  • John Pym’s proposal to impose an Excise Tax on “superfluous commodities” rejected by the House of Commons
  • The Earl of Derby attacks Bolton in Lancashire for the second time, but is repulsed

March 29

  • Prince Rupert marches from Oxford for the Midlands, intending to open a route south for the Queen’s convoy at York

March 30

  • Battle of Seacroft Moor, Yorkshire. Lieutenant-General George Goring routs Sir Thomas Fairfaxas he withdraws from Tadcaster
  • The House of Commons orders the arrest of the Capuchins at the Queen’s Chapel in Somerset House
    • They also order the destruction of religious images in the chapel, including an altar-piece by Rubens which is thrown into the Thames

March 31

  • Sir William Parsons, Lord-Justice of Ireland, dismissed from office for his opposition to an alliance between the Royalists and the “Old English” gentry of Ireland.
    • The King appoints Sir Henry Tichborne to replace Parsons and work alongside Sir John Borlase

(Early April)

  • Sir William Waller advances into Monmouthshire; Prince Maurice sent from Oxford to counter Waller’s advance towards Wales

April 1

  • The Royalist town of Wigan in Lancashire sacked by Colonel Holland’s Parliamentarians

April 2

  • The Earl of Newcastle recaptures Wakefield in Yorkshire

April 3

  • Prince Rupert storms Birmingham
  • Action at Stockton Heath: Sir William Brereton attacks the Earl of Derby’s headquarters at Warrington.
    • Brereton is driven off, but Derby remains hemmed in at Warrington

April 4

  • King Charles appoints three noblemen as lieutenant-generals for Wales and the Marches:
    • Lord Herbert in south-east Wales,
    • Lord Capel in the north,
    • and Lord Carbery in the south-west
  • As Sir William Waller approaches Monmouth, the Royalist garrison withdraws to Raglan Castle
    • The Parliamentarians occupy Monmouth unopposed

April 5

  • Sir William Brereton’s second attack on Warrington repulsed
  • Sir William Waller captures Chepstow in Monmouthshire

April 8

  • Parliament rejects the King’s terms for a cessation and renews the original proposal for disbandment

April 10

  • Prince Rupert besieges Lichfield

April 11

  • Threatened by Prince Maurice, Waller withdraws towards Gloucester
  • Battle of Ancaster Heath, Lincolnshire. Lord Willoughby’s Parliamentarians are defeated by Charles Cavendish

April 12

  • The King offers his final peace terms, which are wholly unacceptable to Parliament
  • The Marquis of Hamilton granted a dukedom
  • Colonel Massie captures Tewkesbury where he is joined by Sir William Waller

April 13

  • At Athy in Leinster, the Earl of Castlehaven defeats a British detachment under Colonel Crawford marching to raise the siege of Ballynekill
  • Prince Maurice blocks Waller’s advance towards Worcester and defeats him at the battle of Ripple Field.
    • Waller forced to withdraw to Gloucester
  • The Earl of Essex marches from Windsor with an army of 19,000 men to besiege Reading

April 14

  • Parliament rejects the King’s terms.
    • Parliamentary commissioners at Oxford instructed to abandon peace negotiations and return to London

April 15

  • Sir Arthur Aston defies the Earl of Essex’s summons to surrender Reading

April 16

  • Bombardment of Reading begins

April 19

  • The King gives his final rejection of the Scottish commissioners’ offer to mediate with Parliament.
    • He refuses to allow them to go to London
    • He rejects their request that a Parliament should be summoned in Scotland

April 20

  • Prince Rupert’s engineers detonate the first explosive mine used in England to breach the defences at Lichfield Close
  • The Earl of Derby defeated at Whalley Abbey in Lancashire by Colonel Shuttleworth.
    • Derby withdraws to the Isle of Man.
    • Parliamentarians control most of Lancashire

April 21

  • Lichfield surrenders to Prince Rupert.
    • He is immediately recalled south by the King to counter the threat from the Earl of Essex
  • The King appoints the Earl of Lanark head of a delegation of Scottish Royalist nobles to go to Edinburgh and work against an alliance between the Covenanters and the English Parliament

April 22

  • Colonel Oliver Cromwell occupies Peterborough in Cambridgeshire
  • Expiration of the truce between the Royalists and Parliamentarians in the West.
    • Major-General Chudleigh marches into Cornwall to attack Sir Ralph Hopton at Launceston

April 23

  • King Charles officially authorises the Marquis of Ormonde to begin negotiations for a cessation of hostilities with the Irish Confederates
  • Sir Ralph Hopton drives back Chudleigh’s advance at Beacon Hill near Launceston and pursues him back into Devon

April 24

  • The House of Commons orders the destruction of religious monuments and stained glass windows in Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s

April 25

  • Sir William Waller takes Hereford for Parliament
  • Action at Caversham Bridge. A Royalist relief force fails to relieve the siege of Reading
  • Sir Ralph Hopton surprised and routed at Sourton Down near Okehampton.
  • The Earl of Stamford sends a detachment to hold Bodmin for Parliament and concentrates his main force at Stratton
  • Colonel Oliver Cromwell joins forces with Sir Miles Hobart and Sir Anthony Irby in besieging Croyland in Lincolnshire, defended by a Royalist cousin Captain Cromwell

April 26

  • Reading surrenders to the Earl of Essex

April 28

  • Surrender of Croyland to Cromwell, Hobart and Irby

May 2

  • Sir Edward Hungerford summons Wardour Castle in Wiltshire.
    • In the absence of Lord Arundel, who is on campaign with Sir Ralph Hopton, Lady Arundel refuses to surrender
  • The Common Council of London orders the destruction of Cheapside Cross as an idolatrous monument

May 4

  • The Earl of Newcastle storms and captures Rotherham in Yorkshire

May 5

  • Court-martial at Oxford of Colonel Fielding for surrendering Reading
    • He is condemned to death, but later reprieved

May 6

  • The Earl of Newcastle storms and captures Sheffield in Yorkshire

May 8

  • Lady Arundel surrenders Wardour Castle to Sir Edward Hungerford

May 9

  • Lord Willoughby, Sir John Hotham and Colonel Cromwell rendezvous at Sleaford in Lincolnshire in preparation for an attack on Newark. TGCW

May 11

  • Lord Willoughby’s forces arrive at Grantham but make no further progress towards Newark.TGCW

May 12

  • The Scottish Privy Council votes to summon a Convention of Estates as the King will not allow a full Parliament. TSR

May 13

  • Royalists out of Newark attack Lord Willoughby at Grantham.
    • In his first independent action as a cavalry commander, Oliver Cromwell routs a Royalist force.

May 15

  • Colonel Thomas Pinchbeck arrives at Oxford with a large convoy of arms and ammunition sent by the Queen from the north.

May 16

  • Battle of Statton, Cornwall. Sir Ralph Hopton defeats Parliament’s western army under the Earl of Stamford.
    • The victory enables Hopton to secure Devon for the Royalists, with the exception of the garrison towns of Plymouth, Exeter, Dartmouth, Bideford and Barnstaple
  • The Earl of Lanark arrives in Edinburgh too late to prevent the decision to call a Convention

May 18

  • Captain Ludlow appointed commander of the garrison at Wardour Castle
  • Short of men to garrison the town, Sir William Waller abandons Hereford and returns to Gloucester

May 20

  • Parliamentarians from Manchester besiege Warrington in Cheshire.
    • They are later joined by Sir William Brereton and a large force from Cheshire
  • The second Confederate Assembly meets at Kilkenny

May 21

  • Sir Thomas Fairfax storms and captures Wakefield against heavy odds.
    • Lieutenant-General George Goring taken prisoner.
    • Lacking forces to garrison the town, Fairfax withdraws to Leeds

May 22

  • The King writes to the Duke of Hamilton authorising him to forbid the meeting of the Convention of Estates
  • Sir William Waller concentrates Parliament’s Western Association forces at Bath

May 23

  • The House of Commons impeaches Queen Henrietta Maria for high treason, on the grounds that she has brought arms and ammunition into the country in order to prosecute war against Parliament

May 27

  • Colonel Norris surrenders Warrington in Cheshire to Brereton’s Parliamentarians.
    • Sir George Booth installed as governor of Warrington

May 28

  • Sir William Waller advances on Worcester

May 29

  • Waller’s attack on Worcester repulsed by Colonel Samuel Sandys.
    • Waller withdraws to Gloucester on receiving reports that a brigade of horse from Oxford is marching to cut him off

May 31

  • Arrest of Edmund Waller and others involved in a plot to instigate a Royalist uprising in London
  • Sir Ralph Hopton advances to Honiton in Devon
  • William Prynne authorised to seize Archbishop Laud’s papers to search for evidence against him

(End of May)

  • The Earl of Antrim taken prisoner by Covenanter forces in Ulster.
    • His captured correspondence reveals details of a plan for a Royalist uprising in Scotland supported by an Irish Catholic army

June 1

  • The Scottish Privy Council meets in Edinburgh.
    • The Duke of Hamilton does not enforce the command forbidding the meeting of the Convention of Estates in case the order is disobeyed and the King’s authority weakened.

June 2

  • Gathering of Parliamentarian commanders at Nottingham: Lord Grey of Groby, Lord Willoughby, Colonel Cromwell, Sir John Gell and Captain Hotham.
    • Cromwell’s plan to advance into Yorkshire to support the Fairfaxes is rejected

June 4

  • The Earl of Castlehaven defeats Lord Inchiquin’s lieutenant Sir Charles Vavasour at Cloghlea in Co Cork, inflicting heavy losses and capturing Vavasour himself
  • Sir Ralph Hopton’s army joins forces with Prince Maurice and the Marquis of Hertford at Chard in Somerset.
  • Royalist garrisons established at Taunton, Bridgwater, Dunster Castle then the main army moves towards Wells and Bath, where Waller’s forces are established
  • Queen Henrietta Maria sets out from York for Oxford with a force of around 3,000 men and an ammunition convoy

June 5

  • Letters read in the House of Commons detailing the King’s dealings with the Confederates in Ireland

June 6

  • John Pym reports on the discovery of Edmund Waller’s plot. The House of Commons resolves to implement an oath of loyalty in support of Parliament’s war against the Papists and Royalists. The “Peace Party” undermined
  • The House of Lords authorises the meeting of an Assembly of Divines to discuss reform the Church of England (without the assent of the King)

June 8

  • Sir William Waller occupies Bath

June 9

  • The Privy Council of Scotland agrees to consider an alliance with the English Parliament in view of the discovery of Lord Antrim’s plans for a Royalist uprising supported by Catholic troops from Ireland.
  • Elections for the Convention of Estates begin

June 10

  • King Charles gives permission for the Convention of Estates to meet in Edinburgh but forbids it from raising an army or recalling Scottish troops from Ulster
  • The Earl of Essex occupies Thame in Oxfordshire

June 12

  • Advance guard of the combined Royalist western army attacks Waller’s outposts at Chewton Mendip.
    • Prince Maurice wounded and briefly captured
  • Parliament passes an ordinance authorising the meeting of the Westminster Assembly to discuss reform of the Church

June 13

  • Battle of Clones: Sir Robert Stewart and the Lagan Army ambushes and defeats Owen Roe O’Neill’s Ulster army
    • The Ulster army was made up mainly of untrained, badly-disciplined recruits.
    • With fewer than 600 regulars and lacking supplies, weapons and ammunition, O’Neill was unable to contain Protestant forces in Ulster.
    • Relentless raids by Monro’s Covenanters and the Lagan Army forced him to withdraw from Ulster towards Connacht.
    • His forces were ambushed and defeated by the Lagan Army at Clones in June 1643 – after this setback, O’Neill moved into Co Meath to raid for supplies and to threaten Dublin from the north-west.
  • The Earl of Essex’s advance guard occupies Wheatley in Oxfordshire

June 14

  • Parliament passes an ordinance authorising a body of censors, without whose license nothing may be published

June 16

  • The Queen’s convoy arrives at Newark to complete the first stage of the march to Oxford

June 17

  • A detachment from Essex’s army advances on Islip near Oxford but withdraws without attacking
  • Prince Rupert leads a raid out of Oxford on Essex’s garrisons

June 18

  • Rupert’s force attacks Postcombe and Chinnor.
  • Action at Chalgrove Field in Buckinghamshire – John Hampden mortally wounded
  • Captain Hotham arrested at Nottingham

June 21

  • The House of Commons passes articles for the Queen’s impeachment on charges of high treason
  • The Queen’s convoy sets out from Newark for Oxford with Lieutenant-General Charles Cavendish in command of the military escort

June 22

  • First meeting of the Convention of Estates in Edinburgh
  • The Earl of Newcastle resumes operations in Yorkshire.
    • His forces storm and capture Howley Hall, the residence of Lord Savile

June 23

Sir Walter Erle with six hundred Parliamentarian troops from the Poole garrison besieges Corfe Castle in Dorset, defended by Lady Mary Bankes

June 24

  • Treaty negotiations between the Confederates and the Marquis of Ormonde begin
  • Captain Hotham escapes to Lincoln then joins his father at Hull
  • Death of John Hampden
  • A committee selected to define the powers of the Convention of Estates

June 25

  • Detachment of Royalist cavalry under Colonel Hurry sweeps around the rear of Essex’s army and plunders Wycombe, causing great alarm in London

June 26

The Convention of Estates votes to ignore the limitations on its powers imposed by the King. The Duke of Hamilton and Earl of Lanark withdraw in protest

June 28

  • The Convention of Estates orders that the documents captured from the Earl of Antrim should be forwarded to the Westminster Parliament
  • The Earl of Essex tenders his resignation after his leadership is sharply criticised; Parliament is unable to accept it
  • The Earl of Newcastle marches on Bradford

June 29

  • Colonel John Hutchinson appointed governor of Nottingham
  • Arrest of Sir John Hotham and his son for plotting to betray Hull to the Royalists
  • King Charles issues a proclamation prohibiting the meeting of the Westminster Assembly of Divines

June 30

  • Battle of Adwalton Moor, Yorkshire. The Earl of Newcastle defeats Ferdinando Lord Fairfax.
    • All of Yorkshire under Royalist control except the port of Hull.
    • The Fairfaxes are trapped in Bradford
  • Sir William Waller sends Major Dowet with 250 troopers to beat up the quarters of the western Royalist army at Beckington near Frome in Somerset

July 1

  • First meeting of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, authorised by Parliament to reform the English Church
  • Lord Fairfax breaks out of Bradford with most of the Parliamentarian army and marches for Hull via Leeds. Sir Thomas Fairfax stays behind to cover the withdrawal
  • Prince Rupert advances to Buckingham in anticipation of meeting the Queen’s convoy from the north and covering the last stage of her march to Oxford

July 2

  • Royalist attacks on Bradford repulsed
  • The Royalist western army secures the crossing of the River Avon at Bradford-upon-Avon in Wiltshire
  • Lieutenant-General Cavendish forces a crossing of the River Trent at Burton-upon-Trent to allow the Queen’s convoy to cross

July 3

  • Sir Thomas Fairfax escapes from Bradford with a small force.
    • Lady Ann Fairfax taken prisoner
  • Sir William Waller arrays his army on Claverton Down outside Bath.
    • Colonel Robert Burghill advances to attack Royalist outposts on the western side of the River Avon
  • The Earl of Newcastle occupies Bradford

July 4

  • Lord Fairfax arrives in Hull; Sir Thomas joins him that evening after a gallant fighting retreat from Bradford
  • Sir William Waller takes up his position on Lansdown Hill near Bath

July 5

  • Battle of Lansdown, Somerset. Sir William Waller narrowly defeated by the Royalist western army.
    • Death in action of Sir Bevil Grenville

July 6

  • Sir Ralph Hopton temporarily blinded and paralysed in an ammunition explosion

July 7

  • Waller reinforces his army with troops from Bristol, then sets out in pursuit of Hopton’s Royalists making their way towards Oxford

July 9

  • Prince Maurice fights a rearguard action against Waller’s advance guard, enabling Hopton’s army to retreat into Devizes
  • The Earl of Essex writes to Parliament stating that the Parliamentarian army is inadequate and proposing that peace negotiations with the King should be resumed. This is widely interpreted as an indication of Essex’s unreliability
  • An ammunition convoy under the command of the Earl of Crawford sent from Oxford to reinforce the Western Army

July 10

  • Waller takes up a position on Roundway Down, overlooking Devizes
    • Prince Maurice, Lord Hertford and Lord Carnarvon break out of Devizes and ride to Oxford to secure reinforcements for Hopton’s beleaguered army.
      • The Parliamentarians besiege Devizes

July 11

  • Prince Rupert meets the Queen’s convoy at Stratford-on-Avon
  • The Earl of Crawford’s convoy is ambushed on the way to Devizes by a party of Waller’s horse under Major Dowett.
    • Most of the powder and ammunition captured

July 12

  • Rendezvous at Marlborough in Wiltshire between Prince Maurice and the cavalry brigades of Lord Wilmot, Lord Crawford and Sir John Byron

July 13

  • Battle of Roundway Down: Prince Maurice, Lord Wilmot and Sir John Byron inflict a heavy defeat on Waller who retreats to Bristol with the remnants of his army
  • King Charles and Queen Henrietta Maria re-united, making their rendezvous on the battlefield of Edgehill


  • Father Peter Scarampi arrives in Ireland as envoy to the Confederates from the Vatican.
    • Scarampi brings supplies of money, weapons and ammunition from the Pope

July 15

  • Prince Rupert marches from Oxford with three brigades of infantry and two brigades of horse and dragoons to join with the Western Army

July 16

  • Sir William Waller reviews his surviving forces on Durdham Down outside Bristol.
    • Leaving most of them to garrison Bristol, he withdraws to Gloucester and then to London

July 17

  • The King orders all loyal naval officers and seamen to sail to Falmouth in Cornwall, where a new Royal Navy is to be formed under the command of Sir John Penington
  • The artillery train leaves Oxford to join Prince Rupert’s army in the West

July 18

  • Sir William Brereton probes the outer defences of Chester but withdraws after two days
  • Pro-Royalist uprising in Kent; houses of rich Parliamentarians plundered in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks
  • Parliament receives a petition from the mayor, aldermen and Common Council of London requesting that the London militia be placed under the sole command of the Militia Committee under the direction of Parliament, rather than the Earl of Essex

July 19

  • Parliament issues Instructions to four commissioners to go to Edinburgh and negotiate an alliance with the Scots

July 20

  • Lord Willoughby captures Gainsborough in Lincolnshire for Parliament
  • Parliament receives a second petition regarding the command and organisation of the London militia and appoints a committee to discuss the matter

July 22

  • The Excise Ordinance passed by both Houses of Parliament, imposing a purchase tax on many common goods to raise war funds
  • Parliament appoints a committee headed by John Pym to investigate the grievances and complaints of the Earl of Essex and his officers

July 23

  • Prince Rupert joins with the western army before Bristol
  • Colonel Rich leads Parliamentarian troops in Kent suppress riots over taxation and religious changes

July 24

  • On the recommendation of Pym’s committee, Parliament resolves to settle arrears of pay in the Earl of Essex’s army, to raise new recruits and to reinforce his cavalry
  • Prince Rupert summons Bristol. Governor Nathaniel Fiennes refuses to surrender.
    • The bombardment of Bristol begins

July 25

  • Sir William Waller arrives in London to a hero’s welcome.
    • The defeat at Roundway Down is blamed upon the failure of the Earl of Essex to support him
  • Parliament orders Oliver Cromwell and Sir John Meldrum to support Lord Willoughby at Gainsborough, who is threatened by Lieutenant-General Charles Cavendish’s Royalists

July 26

  • Storming of Bristol.
    • After a day of fierce fighting, Colonel Fiennes surrenders the city to Prince Rupert

July 27

  • Sir William Waller thanked for his services by the House of Commons and recommended to the Earl of Essex as commander of the new forces to be raised in London. Essex deliberately delays issuing a commission to Waller.
  • Colonel Cromwell and Sir John Meldrum rendezvous with troops from Lincolnshire at North Scarle

July 28

  • Cromwell and Sir John Meldrum defeat Lieutenant-General Cavendish at Gainsborough but are unable to hold the town in the face of the approach of the Earl of Newcastle’s main army
  • The House of Commons appoints Colonel Cromwell governor of Ely
  • The Earl of Essex petitions the House of Lords for reinforcements and money to pay his troops.
    • He also requests an enquiry into the causes of the loss of the West

July 29

  • The Common Council approves the selection of Sir William Waller as commander of new forces to be raised in London
  • The House of Lords considers the Earl of Essex’s grievances and resolves that his army should be paid and reinforced and that a vindication of Essex’s conduct should be published
  • Colonel Massie and the principal officers of Gloucester write to Parliament appealing for troops, money, weapons and ammunition

July 30

  • Lord Willoughby surrenders Gainsborough to the Earl of Newcastle

July 31

  • Colonel Richard Norton’s attack on Basing House in Hampshire beaten off by the timely arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel Peake’s musketeers sent from Oxford supported by Sir Henry Bard’s cavalry

August 1

  • King Charles enters Bristol, to the popular acclaim of the citizens
  • The House of Commons votes £1,700 and orders Sir William Waller to organise the sending of supplies and men for the relief of Gloucester (none of the supplies voted arrive in time)

August 2

  • Parliament sets up a Council of War to advise on military questions
  • Parliament votes to raise an additional 4,000 foot and 500 horse for the Earl of Essex’s army. Essex to lead the army against the King’s forces in the West. Waller to command forces to be raised for the defence of London
  • Dorchester in Dorset surrenders to Lord Carnarvon without a fight

August 4

  • Lord Capel attacks Nantwich in Cheshire while Sir William Brereton is away in Stafford, but the attack is repulsed
  • Sir Walter Erle abandons the siege of Corfe Castle

August 5

  • Weymouth and Portland surrender to Lord Carnarvon

August 6

  • Advance guard of the King’s army arrives on the outskirts of Gloucester

August 7 (?)

  • Owen Roe O’Neill defeats Lord Moore and government troops from Drogheda and Dublin at Portlester, Co Meath
    • This battle is sometimes dated 11 September
    • When British forces under Lord Moore tried to drive him out of Co Meath, O’Neill took up a defensive position at Portlester.
    • The British retreated when Lord Moore’s head was blown off by a cannon shot aimed, according to legend, by O’Neill himself.
  • Parliament’s commissioners arrive in Edinburgh to negotiate the Solemn League and Covenantbetween Parliament and the Scots
  • The House of Commons votes against the House of Lords’ proposals for re-opening negotiations with the King by 88 votes to 81. Seven peers (Portland, Northumberland, Conway, Holland, Bedford, Lovelace and Clare) leave Westminster in protest. The Earls of Holland and Bedford go to join the King at Oxford
  • The Earl of Essex sends a commission for Sir William Waller but only empowers him to command the London militia
  • Captain William Smith captures two ships from Bristol and the Royalist admiral Barnabas Burley at Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire. Parliament orders regular naval patrols of Milford Haven

August 7-9

  • Violent demonstrations at Westminster against the continuation of the war.
  • A peace demonstration by London women is suppressed by Waller’s regiment of horse

August 10

  • The King besieges Gloucester. Colonel Edward Massie’s resolute defence inspires the citizens of London to rally to the help of the beleaguered city
  • The Earl of Manchester appointed commander of Parliament’s Eastern Association army, with orders to block the Earl of Newcastle’s advance towards London from the north
  • Parliament passes an ordinance authorising the impressment of men to serve in its armies
  • Parliament’s commissioners in Edinburgh invite Scottish ministers to attend the Westminster Assembly to discuss reform of the English church
  • Sir Thomas Myddelton arrives with troops and artillery from London at Nantwich in Cheshire, where he joins forces with Sir William Brereton

August 13

  • Sir Hamon L’Estrange at King’s Lynn in Norfolk declares for the King after refusing to pay Parliament’s tax assessment.
  • The Earl of Manchester and the Eastern Association army march to besiege Lynn

August 15

  • A delegation sent from the House of Commons to Essex’s headquarters at Kingston to persuade him to extend Waller’s commission

August 16

  • Henry Marten imprisoned in the Tower of London and expelled from Parliament for making a speech openly hostile towards the Monarchy
  • Publication of the first issue of the Parliamentarian newsbook Mercurius Britanicus, commissioned in response to the Royalist Mercurius Aulicus, under the editorship of Marchamont Nedham and Thomas Audley

August 17

  • The Solemn League and Covenant ratified by the Convention of Estates

August 18

  • Mobilisation begins of a Scots army for possible service in England
  • The Earl of Carbery summons the gentry of Pembrokeshire to Carmarthen and persuades them to support him in securing the ports of Tenby and Pembroke for the King
  • The Earls of Holland, Bedford and Clare arrive at Oxford, having defected from Parliament. They go to Gloucester to offer their services to the King in person and are received with cold courtesy

August 19

  • The General Assembly of the Kirk appoints commissioners to attend the Westminster Assembly
  • The Common Council of London agrees to send a brigade of Trained Band and auxiliary regiments (the City Brigade) to relieve the siege of Gloucester with the Earl of Essex’s regular army

August 23

  • The Earl of Manchester besieges King’s Lynn
  • London Trained Band regiments begin mustering for the relief of Gloucester. FN

August 24

  • The Earl of Essex reviews his army on Hounslow Heath

August 25

  • Sir Thomas Fairfax abandons his base at Beverley in Yorkshire as the Earl of Newcastle’s main army marches to besiege Hull

August 26

  • Essex’s army and the City Brigade march for the relief of Gloucester
  • A copy of the Solemn League and Covenant received at Westminster and forwarded to the Assembly of Divines
  • The Convention of Estates authorises the formation of an army to be sent to England and commissions the Earl of Leven its commander. The Convention then adjourns until January 1644, leaving the Committee of Estates to govern Scotland in the interim
  • The House of Commons finally receives the Earl of Essex’s commission for the commander of the new army to be raised in London, but the name of the recipient is left blank. The House orders Waller’s name to be inserted

August 30

  • Sir William Brereton captures Eccleshall Castle in Staffordshire
  • The Mayor and corporation of Tenby in Pembrokeshire sign a declaration promising to obey the Earl of Carbery and refusing to assist Parliament

September 1

  • The Solemn League and Covenant discussed in the House of Commons
  • The Earl of Essex’s army marching for the relief of Gloucester arrives at Brackley Heath in Northamptonshire to rendezvous with the City Brigade and contingents from Bedfordshire and Leicestershire

September 2

  • The Earl of Newcastle besieges Hull
  • Surrender of Barnstaple in Devon to Prince Maurice
  • Colonel Middleton and Sir James Ramsay fend off attacks by Lord Wilmot’s cavalry on Essex’s army

September 4

  • The Earl of Stamford surrenders Exeter to Prince Maurice
  • Sir Ralph Hopton raised to the peerage as Baron Hopton of Stratton
  • Prince Rupert joins Lord Wilmot with most of the King’s cavalry but they are unable to hinder the Earl of Essex’s advance

September 5

  • Essex’s army arrives at Prestbury Hill five miles from Gloucester. The King’s army lifts the siege and withdraws to Sudely Castle

September 6

  • Essex’s army occupies Cheltenham

September 7

  • The Solemn League and Covenant before the House of Lords.
  • Scottish commissioners arrive in Westminster to finalise the alliance between Parliament and the Scots

September 8

  • The Earl of Essex occupies Gloucester

September 9

  • Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Myddelton advance into Shropshire and summon the county for Parliament

September 10

  • The Earl of Essex marches to Tewkesbury. He orders the construction of a pontoon bridge over the River Severn to convince the Royalists that he intends to march on Worcester

September 11

  • Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Myddelton seize Wem in Shropshire for Parliament and establish a garrison under the command of Colonel Mytton

September 12

  • The House of Commons orders the impressment of 500 men for Waller’s new army

September 13

  • The defenders of Hull open the sluices and cut the banks of the River Humber to flood the surrounding land

September 14

  • The Earl of Essex makes a feint towards Worcester then unexpectedly turns south, hoping to return his army to London and avoid a confrontation with the King’s army

September 15

  • The Cessation of Arms signed by the Marquis of Ormonde and Viscount Mountgarret of the Confederates. This results in a one-year cease-fire which allows English troops in Irish garrisons to return to England to fight for the Royalists
    • Despite the Cessation of Arms negotiated by the Marquis of Ormonde, the Ulster Scots refused to recognise the Cessation and continued to fight against the Catholic Irish.
    • The Confederate Assembly sent out an army against the Scots but commissioned the Earl of Castlehaven to command it rather than Owen Roe O’Neill.
      • Castlehaven’s Ulster campaign of 1644 was completely ineffective

September 16

  • King’s Lynn in Norfolk surrenders to the Earl of Manchester
  • After a night march from Tewkesbury, the Earl of Essex scatters the Royalist garrison at Cirencester and captures supplies and ammunition

September 17

  • The Earl of Essex’s army at Swindon, the King’s army ten miles to the north-east at Alvescot.
    • The Parliamentarian army is eight miles closer to Newbury than the Royalists

September 18

  • Action at Aldbourne Chase.
    • Prince Rupert hinders the Earl of Essex’s return to London, enabling the main Royalist army to block his route home at Newbury
  • The Earl of Carbery summons the trained bands of Pembrokeshire to a rendezvous at Haverfordwest, where the Mayor and leading citizens declare for the King

September 20

  • First battle of Newbury.
    • After a day of fierce fighting during which Viscount Falkland, Lord Carnarvon and Lord Sunderland are killed, the King decides to withdraw his army, leaving Essex’s route home open

September 21

  • At Aldermaston in Berkshire, Prince Rupert’s cavalry attacks the rearguard of the Earl of Essex’s army as it withdraws towards London

September 22

  • Oliver Cromwell crosses the River Humber and brings a store of muskets and gunpowder to the defenders of Hull
  • The Earl of Essex’s army occupies Reading
  • Accused of cowardice and treachery by his political enemies, Nathaniel Fiennes requests a public enquiry into the circumstances of his surrender of Bristol

September 24

  • Royalist assault led by Lord Crawford on Poole in Dorset is repulsed

September 25

  • The Solemn League and Covenant signed by members of the House of Commons and the Assembly of Divines.
    • They swear to preserve the Church of Scotland and to reform the churches of England and Ireland.
    • The signing of the Covenant secures a military alliance between the English Parliament and the Scottish Covenanters
  • The Earl of Essex evacuates Reading. Essex returns to London ahead of his main army, where he is warmly received by Parliament

September 26

  • Sir Thomas Fairfax with twenty-one troops of horse crosses from Hull to the Lincolnshire side of the Humber estuary to join forces with the Eastern Association
  • In Finsbury Fields, the Earl of Essex and a delegation of MPs review the Trained Band regiments that had remained in London. Essex loudly acclaimed

September 28

  • The London regiments arrive home from the Gloucester campaign to a jubilant welcome
  • The Committee of Estates orders a general muster of all men aged between 16 and 60 from whom shire colonels are to select troops for the Army of the Covenant

September 29

  • The King’s council of war at Oxford resolves to form two new armies.
    • Lord Hopton is appointed commander of a new western army to advance on London through Wiltshire and Hampshire;
    • Lord Byron is appointed commander of a new army in Cheshire to regain Lancashire and assist the Earl of Newcastle in Yorkshire.
    • Both armies to be reinforced by troops returning from Ireland

September 30

  • Colonel James Wardlaw arrives to take command at Plymouth with 500 men to reinforce the garrison

(End of September)

  • Scottish troops occupy Berwick-on-Tweed

(Early October)

  • The Royalist Sir William Ogle captures Winchester in Hampshire in a surprise attack

October 3

  • The Royalists re-occupy Reading, where Sir Jacob Astley is appointed governor

October 5

  • Sir John Meldrum arrives with 500 foot from the Eastern Association to reinforce the defence of Hull

October 6

  • Prince Maurice captures Dartmouth in a surprise attack. He then marches to reinforce the siege of Plymouth

October 7

  • The Earl of Essex threatens to resign his commission unless the House of Commons agrees to ratify his seniority over Waller. The proposal is carried the following day

October 9

  • Sir William Waller surrenders his independent commission to the Earl of Essex
  • The Earl of Manchester joins Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell at the siege of Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire
  • Royalist assault on the defences of Hull driven back

October 11

  • Battle of Winceby, Lincolnshire.
    • First co-operative action between Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax who rout Sir John Henderson’s Royalist cavalry and open the way for the recovery of Lincolnshire for Parliament
  • Sir John Meldrum attacks the Earl of Newcastle’s siege-works at Hull.
    • The Parliamentarians overrun the forts and haul off several siege cannon

October 12

  • The Earl of Newcastle abandons the siege of Hull

October 13

  • The commissioners of the Kirk, the Committee of Estates and the English commissioners in Scotland sign the Solemn League and Covenant

October 15

  • A Royalist force under Sir Lewis Dyve captures Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, commanding the main road from London to East Anglia and the north.
    • A proposed march on Reading by the Earl of Essex and the London regiments is diverted to Newport Pagnell
  • Remaining members of the House of Lords take the Solemn League and Covenant


  • Lord Capel advances from Shrewsbury to attack the Parliamentarian garrison of Nantwich in Cheshire but his forces are repulsed by the Nantwich garrison

October 17

  • Prince Maurice falls ill with typhus
  • Lord Capel attempts to recapture Wem in Shropshire but his forces are driven off by a token garrison under Colonel Mytton

October 18

  • Lord Capel’s army retreating from Wem is caught at Lee Bridge by Sir William Brereton and severely beaten

October 19

  • The King appoints the Marquis of Ormonde Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
  • Parliament resolves to proceed with the impeachment of Archbishop Laud

October 20

  • Lincoln surrenders to the Earl of Manchester

October 23

  • The first English regiments to be released from service in Ireland by the Cessation land at Minehead in Somerset.

October 24

  • Sir John Byron raised to the peerage as Baron Byron of Rochdale
  • The Royalist newspaper Mercurius Aulicus publishes a declaration of loyalty secured by the Earl of Carbery from the gentry of Pembrokeshire and the corporation of Pembroke

October 25

  • A brigade of London Trained Band regiments arrives at Windsor to join forces with Sir William Waller

October 27

  • The Earl of Newcastle created a Marquis

October 28

  • As the Earl of Essex approaches, Sir Lewis Dyve abandons the Royalist garrison at Newport Pagnell because of inadequate supplies, despite Prince Rupert’s urgent requests to strengthen the garrison
  • At Andover, a detachment of Waller’s horse routs 100 horse from Winchester commanded by Sir Humphrey Bennett

October 30

  • Detachments of the Earl of Essex’s army occupy Newport Pagnell and St. Albans

October 31

  • The London Brigade under the command of Sir James Harrington advances to Waller’s headquarters at Farnham in Surrey


  • Alasdair MacColla raids the Western Isles of Scotland and captures Colonsay

(Early November)

  • Lord Hopton takes the field in the south with his new army, including troops recently arrived from Munster

November 1

  • Parliamentarian commissioners appointed to accompany the Scottish army
  • Sir William Waller reviews his forces at Farnham in Surrey

November 2

  • Members of the Scottish Privy Council sign the Solemn League and Covenant; the names of councillors who refuse to sign sent to the Committee of Estates

November 3

  • Waller marches for the Royalist stronghold of Winchester but is delayed by bad weather

November 4

  • Sir William Waller commissioned major-general of the revived Southern Association army (Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

November 5

  • Lord Hopton at Andover in Hampshire to rendezvous with the Earl of Crawford and Colonel Gerard’s cavalry brigade from Oxford.
  • The Royalists march to secure Winchester.
  • Waller abandons his march on Winchester and diverts his forces to attack Basing House

November 6

  • Waller summons Basing House, but is refused

November 7

  • Waller’s first attack on Basing House frustrated by bad weather
  • Third Confederate General Assembly begins (continues until 1 December)
  • Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Myddelton advance from Nantwich to march into north Wales.
    • The Cheshire Parliamentarians are joined by a contingent from Lancashire.

November 9

  • Sir William Brereton forces the crossing of the River Dee at Holt Bridge and advances into north Wales
    • A Royalist garrison remains in Holt Castle but Brereton’s forces enter Wrexham unopposed that night

November 10

  • Colonel Ravenscroft surrenders Hawarden Castle to Brereton

November 11

  • Parliament introduces a Great Seal of its own and annuls all commissions made under the Seal held by the King
  • News of the Parliamentarian invasion of north Wales reaches Oxford
    • King Charles orders Lord Byron to muster forces to reinforce the region

November 12

  • Waller’s second attempt to storm Basing House driven back.
    • The London regiments refuse to obey orders
  • Brereton’s forces capture Flint Castle

November 15

  • Waller’s army withdraws to Farnham; Hopton relieves Basing House
  • Surrender of the town and castle of Mostyn to Brereton’s forces

November 16

  • Further regiments from Ireland reinforce the Royalist garrison at Chester.
  • Five regiments of foot and one of cavalry arrive by sea from Leinster at Mostyn in Flintshire under the command of Major-General Sir Michael Erneley and march to reinforce Chester. Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Myddelton withdraw from north Wales, leaving only Hawarden Castle garrisoned
  • Royalist assault on the northern defences of Plymouth driven back
  • The Scottish Lords Hamilton, Morton, Roxburgh, Kinnoull and Lanark declared “enemies of religion” for refusing to sign the Covenant

November 17

  • King Charles appoints the Earl of Carbery governor of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire

November 19

  • The Confederates nominate seven delegates to negotiate a permanent treaty with the King at Oxford

November 22

  • A detachment of Major-General Erneley’s Irish Royalists besieges Hawarden Castle

November 26

  • Lord Hopton’s army advances to Odiham in Hampshire, seven miles from Waller’s headquarters at Farnham

November 27

  • Hopton advances to Farnham, but withdraws when Waller refuses to be drawn into a battle

November 28

  • Final military arrangements of the alliance between Parliament and the Scots are agreed:
    • The Scots are to raise an army of 18,000 foot, 2,000 horse and artillery at Parliament’s expense.
    • Parliament promises not to make any peace treaty without consulting the Scots

November 30

  • Despite previous objections, the House of Lords agrees with the Commons that Parliament should have its own Great Seal
  • Lord Byron arrives in Shrewsbury with 1,000 horse and 300 foot from Oxford to reinforce the Royalists in north Wales and the Marches

(Early December)

  • Further regiments arrive at Chester from Ireland

December 4

  • The Committee of Estates divides itself into two parts.
    • The Marquis of Argyll leads the part designated to accompany the Army of the Covenant

December 6

  • Lord Byron arrives in Chester with reinforcements from Oxford and orders to take command of the troops returning from Ireland
  • Parliament’s new Great Seal used for the first time to seal the patent of the Earl of Warwick as Lord High Admiral of England
  • A Royalist detachment under Sir Edward Ford and Colonel Bampfield occupies the town of Arundel in Sussex and besieges the castle

December 7

  • Surrender of the Parliamentarian garrison at Hawarden Castle

December 8

  • John Pym dies of cancer

December 9

  • Arundel Castle in Sussex surrenders to Lord Hopton

December 11

  • Colonel Richard Norton, governor of Southampton, attacks the Royalist garrison at Romsey

December 12

  • Lord Byron marches from Chester against the Parliamentarians of Cheshire with a veteran army of 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse
  • Sir William Waller musters his forces at Farnham Park and persuades the London Brigade to stay with him for another week before returning home
  • The Royalist advance into Sussex halted at Bramber, defended by Captain Temple.
    • The Royalists retreat to Arundel

December 13

  • Waller storms the Royalist garrison at Alton in Hampshire in a surprise attack
  • Captain Steele surrenders Beeston Castle in Cheshire to Captain Sandford of Lord Byron’s army; Steele subsequently condemned and shot at Nantwich for surrendering the castle

December 15

  • State funeral of John Pym at Westminster Abbey

December 16

  • The Duke of Hamilton arrested upon his arrival at Oxford
  • The London Brigade leaves Waller’s army and marches for home

December 17

  • An initial attack on Nantwich by Byron’s forces is beaten off
  • Reinforced by units from Kent and Sussex, Sir William Waller advances from Farnham against Hopton’s forces in Sussex

December 18

  • The Royalist besiegers of Plymouth begin a heavy bombardment of the northern defences, to no avail

December 19

  • Lord Byron commissioned Field Marshal of all Royalist forces in Lancashire, Cheshire, and the six counties of north Wales.
  • Lord Capel returns to Oxford

December 20

  • Gainsborough surrenders to Sir John Meldrum
  • Waller’s forces attack Arundel, storming the outer defences and capturing the town. The castle besieged

December 22

  • King Charles denounces the alliance between Parliament and the Scots and summons all members of the Lords and Commons to attend a new parliament to be convened at Oxford
  • The Royalists abandon the siege of Plymouth

December 24

  • A company of Parliamentarians massacred at Barthomley Church in Cheshire by Lord Byron’s forces

December 26

  • Lord Byron defeats Sir WIlliam Brereton at Middlewich in Cheshire. Brereton retreats to Manchester

December 27

  • Lord Hopton advances from Winchester to Petersfield to relieve the siege of Arundel

December 28

  • A court martial finds Nathaniel Fiennes guilty of “improperly surrendering” at Bristol.
    • He is sentenced to death, but the sentence is later revoked by the Earl of Essex

December 29

  • The armies of Hopton and Waller face one another on North Marden Down near Arundel.
    • Finding himself heavily outnumbered, Hopton withdraws
  • Sir Thomas Fairfax ordered by Parliament to reinforce Sir William Brereton and the Cheshire Parliamentarians


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