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

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The Battle of Torrington was fought on February 16, 1646 at Torrington in Devon and would signal the end of Royalist resistance in the western country during the First English Civil War.[1]

The battlefield was set at night during heavy rainfall where the Royalist forces were commanded by Hopton and the parliamentary forces were commanded by Fairfax.[2]

Initially there were constant skirmishes between the cavalry of both sides but each skirmish ended with the parliamentary forces favour. On the 16th Fairfax marched in force and established himself very close to Hopton's position. During the night a recon force was unintentionally brought into a fight which resulted in a general attack once reinforcements moved on their position.[3]

The struggle did not last long as Hopton and the Royalists were pushed back, Hopton rallied his cavalry but was unable to hold off the parliamentary forces long without footmen assistance in the narrow streets. Furthermore, Hopton's remaining supplies at the church exploded and Hopton was forced to retreat.[4]

After Hopton had gathered his remaining forces he only retained 1200 foot soldiers, many of his soldiers had gone home or joined the enemy. Hopton retreated to Stratton where Fairfax aimed to make short work of his remaining forces as he wanted to pursue the Prince.[5]

  1. Samuel Rawson Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War, 1642-1649: 1644-1647, (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1889), 435.
  2. Ibid, 434.
  3. Ibid., 435.
  4. Ibid., 436.
  5. Ibid.