First Battle of Newbury, 20 September 1643

Battle in the English Civil War, following on from the siege of Gloucester. After a race that exhausted both sides, Prince Rupert managed to reach Newbury just two hours ahead of the earl of Essex, on 19 September, and blocked the road to London. Charles I probably had the larger army, but was dangerously low on ammunition. Prince Rupert recommended waiting until new supplies arrived, but was overruled, and the next day (20 September), Charles offered battle. Just as Rupert had expected, the Royalist musketeers soon ran out of gunpowder, and only Rupert's cavalry saved them from total disaster. Even so, the King's men were soon forced to retreat into Newbury, and suffered heavy casualties, including the death of Viscount Falkland, and the next day Essex was able to march by without real danger, the Royalist's now having no powder with which to stop him. Prince Rupert's cavalry made an attempt to harry the retreat, but with no success, and Essex was able to get his army back to London. This was the last major battle of the war to be fought entirely by Englishmen. Soon after this, Charles gained Irish help, and Parliament Scottish, and the politics of the struggle were made far more complex.
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.
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See Also
Books on the English Civil War
Subject Index: English Civil War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (10 April 2001), First Battle of Newbury, 20 September 1643, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_newbury1st.html

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