Course:History 344 Nasty Families/The First English Civil War/ Battle of Marston Moor

From UBC Wiki

The battle of Marston Moor, one of the many battles in England’s first Civil war was fought on July 2, 1644 between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. The Parliamentarians combined forces with the Scottish Covenanters led by Lord Leven. (1) It is widely believed that it is the largest battle that has been fought in England. The Royalist army, led by had approximately 18,000 men once Rupert and his soldiers joined forces for the battle and had just come from attacking York. (2) Newcastle, who at first resisted joining in on the battle, joined in with Rupert but not until some 12 hours after Rupert and his men had arrived. (3) The Royalists were at a disadvantage as the Parliamentarians, led by Lord Fairfax and Earl of Manchester had 27,000 men to their 18,000, however, Rupert had yet to lose a battle and Newcastle and his men had more than a year’s experience in warfare. (4)

The Scottish infantry crucially halted the Cavalier attack. (5) Meanwhile, Rupert’s horse was killed while he was on it and Rupert proceeded to hide in a bean field and Cromwell had to briefly retire from the battle due to a neck injury. (6) Fairfax, Cromwell, and Leslie launched an attack into the royalists right flank and rear while the Scottish infantry regiments joined Manchester’s attack on the east flank. The attacks were decisive and resulted in a victory for the Parliamentarians. (7)

The loss for the Royalists was great and both sides suffered great losses. While no accurate figures exist, it is estimated at 4,000 Royalists died and 2,000 of the allied armies. (8)

1 Frank Kitson prince Rupert: Portrait of a Soldier (London: Constable & Company Ltd, 1994), 154. 2 James Scott Wheeler The Irish and British Wars: Triumph Tragedy, and Failure (London: Routledge, 2002),108. 3 Tristram Hunt The English Civil War. At First Hand (London: The Orion Publishing Group LTD, 2002), 115. 4 Wheeler, 108. 5 Hunt, 117. 6 Hunt, 117. 7 Wheeler, 110. 8 Kitson, 199.