Sir Bevil Grenvile, 1596-1643, Royalist General

Successful Royalist infantry commander in Cornwall. A member of Parliament from 1621 until 1640, he served Charles I in the First Bishops War, before becoming one of his staunchest supporters in Cornwall in the early part of the Civil War. His importance was demonstrated on 17 August 1642, when a Royalist levy on Bodmin Racecourse produced a mere 180 men, mostly Grenvile's tenants. In the autumn of 1642, Grenvile's support was key to the acceptance of Sir Ralph Hopton as the Royalist commander in Cornwall. Grenvile raised a regiment of infantry, with which he served Hopton well in a series of battles in Devon and Cornwall. At the battle of Braddock Down (19 January 1643), Grenvile led the Royalist infantry in the charge that won the battle, while at Sourton Down (25 April 1643), a battle fought at night after the Parliamentary forces surprised Hopton's men, Grenvile played a key part in a stand amongst the Royalist guns that saved their army from destruction. At the battle of Stratton (16 May 1643), Grenvile had join command of one of three columns whose attacks dislodged the Parliamentary forces from a strong position. However, he made his name at his final battle, Lansdown (5 July 1643). The Royalists were faring badly, until Grenvile led the Cornish infantry in a charge against strong Parliamentary positions on Lansdown Ridge. After three failed assaults, his men finally reached the ridge, and formed a square, where they came under severe fire, which killed Grenvile. However, his men held, and the Royalists won the day. The loss of Grenvile was a serious blow to the Royalist cause in Cornwall. As an important Cornish landowner and MP for 19 years, he had proved a solid base of support for Charles, and also a determined leader of infantry.

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. (12 April 2001), Sir Bevil Grenvile, 1596-1643, Royalist General,

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