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

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The Battle of Naseby took place on June 14, 1645 in Naseby, Northamptonshire, and was crucial to deciding the fate of the three kingdoms [1]. It was fought between the Royalist forces, led by Prince Rupert, and the Parliamentarian forces, led by General Fairfax and aided by Cromwell [2]. The Independent forces of Fairfax and Cromwell combined to outnumber the Royalist army 15,000 to 9,000 [3]. While casualties were relatively light, the 4,000 veteran Royalist foot soldiers that were captured by the Parliamentarians turned the battle a decisive victory for the roundheads [4].

Fairfax and Cromwell rendezvoused at the Naseby windmill and then moved west so as to invite attack from Rupert [5]. Rupert fell for their trap and deployed his forces on the roundheads, but in the end the greater numbers and steadiness of fighting of the Parliamentarians prevailed, and the royalists were defeated [6]

Lost in the battle for the King was the core of a main field army [7]. These added to the already strong distrust the Parliamentarians had of Charles [8]. Even more so, they captured the king’s baggage train of 200 carts, 9,000 firearms, ten or twelve cannon, and the king’s papers of correspondence [9]. These papers revealed his plans for using Irish and foreign troops in future battles [10]. While Naseby did not end the Civil War by any means, it certainly made the outcome predictable [11].

  1. David Scott, Politics and War in the Three Stuart Kingdoms, 1637-49, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 96.
  2. Ibid.
  3. James Scott Wheeler, The Irish and British Wars 1637-1654: Triumph, Tragedy, and Failure, (London: Routledge, 2002), 135.
  4. Scott, 96.
  5. Richard Holmes, ed., Battlefield: Decisive Conflicts in History, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006),75
  6. Holmes, 76.
  7. Scott, 97
  8. Ibid
  9. Wheeler, 137
  10. Scott, 97
  11. Wheeler, 138