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

From UBC Wiki

The Second Battle of Newbury was fought on October 27, 1644 at Donnington Castle. The battle was considered a manoeuvre driven battle as opposed to the common pitched battles of the civil war. It was a joint effort by three parliamentary armies under the commands of Essex, Waller and Manchester in an attempt to overtake the King at Newbury.[1]

The plan for the parliamentary forces was to engage in a wide movement towards Prince Maurice's position at Speen Hill, a flanking manoeuvre that brought the forces out of the reach of the castle's artillery fire. The force was led by Waller and Cromwell as Essex was absent due to illness and was made up of members from all three armies. Manchester was to hold an attack at Shaw when the fight began at Speen Hill. Unfortunately there was no coordination due to the lack of a strategic overseer to orchestrate the attack.[2]

The attack on Speen Hill was successful after the Royalist forces held out for a time they were completely pushed back and forced to retreat, however Manchester had not commenced to Shaw House. The royalist forces were able to bring their cavalry against Waller's advance to stop him. Eventually Manchester attacked but it was too late and his attack was stopped.[3]

The king was fleeing towards Newbury when Waller gave pursuit and was shortly joined by Cromwell but the parliamentary forces were eventually repulsed, accepting heavy losses at Shaw House but maintaining complete success at Speen Hill[4]

Both armies ended with heavy losses and both viewed themselves the losers as the parliamentary forces were forced to halt their attack and the King was forced to retreat.[5]

  1. Walter Money, The First and Second Battles of Newbury and the Siege of Donnington Castle During the Civil War, 1643-6, (Leonaur Ltd., 2010), 159.
  2. Ibid., 164.
  3. Ibid., 165.
  4. Ibid., 170.
  5. Ibid., 175.