Battle of Newburn upon Tyne, 28 August 1640

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Battle that decided the Second Bishop's War. The Scottish army, under Alexander Leslie, earl of Leven, some 22,500 strong, crossed the Scottish border on 20 August, and headed for Newcastle. Opposing them was a much smaller English force, just over 3,000 strong, commanded by Lord Conway, and aided by amongst other Thomas Fairfax. The two sides came to face each other across the Tyne at Newburn, only four miles from Newcastle. The English posted guards on the fords, and then the two sides faced each other across the river, until eventually an English soldier fired at a Scottish officer watering his horse in the river, and the battle began. The English fire, directed at the Scottish camp, was quite ineffective, but the Scottish cannon was able to bombard the English defences. The English levy stood their ground for some time against the cannon fire, but when a small number of Scottish cavalry risked an attack, they abandoned their position, and Conway was forced to retreat to Durham, leaving the Scots free to move on Newcastle, which surrendered a few days later.
cover The English Civil War , Richard Holmes & Peter Young, an early work by one of the country's best known military historians, this is a superb single volume history of the war, from its causes to the last campaigns of the war and on to the end of the protectorate. cover cover cover

See Also
Books on the English Civil War
Subject Index: English Civil War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (14 April 2001), Battle of Newburn upon Tyne, 28 August 1640, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_newburn.html
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