Battle of Rowton Heath, 24 September 1645

Parliamentary victory toward the end of the Civil War. After defeat at Naseby, Charles I had been wandering in an attempt to find a safe base. After a short stop in south Wales, he had decided to move north to join the victorious Montrose in Scotland. As he approached Chester, the news from the besieged city, his last port and connection to Ireland, was bad, and so he decided to relieve the siege. With his own guards Charles entered Chester from the unguarded Welsh side on 23 September, while Sir Marmaduke Langdale took the northern horse to Rowton Heath, two miles south east of the city. The Royalist plan was for Langdale to attack the besiegers in the rear, while the garrison sallied, catching them between two forces. Unfortunately, Poyntz, with 3,000 horse, had been chasing Charles for some days. Early on 24 September he reached Langdale's position. Langdale had the best of an initial fight, but neither side had the strength to win a decisive victory, nor could they safely march away. It was Poyntz who broke the deadlock, getting a message to the besiegers, who sent him the extra troops he needed. Fighting began again in the afternoon, and Langdale's men, now outnumbered, fled back toward Chester, where they now became mixed in with the rest of the besieging army as well as a force about to sally from the Royalist garrison. While Charles watched from the city walls, his cavalry was forced to flee away from the city and cut down. Although Charles himself was not endangered, Chester was no longer a safe base for him, while Montrose had been defeated at Philliphaugh, removing Scotland as an option. The net was closing around the beleaguered king.
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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Books on the English Civil War | Subject Index: English Civil War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (25 April 2001), Battle of Rowton Heath, 24 September 1645, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_rowtonheath.html

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