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War in West Riding

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The English Civil War in the West Riding of Yorkshire 1642 to 1645.

 A brief description of events for the period in question. I have used the more modern terms, infantry and cavalry instead of Foot and Horse. I have not attempted to describe the Battle of Marston Moor in any detail as this crucial, complex and well known battle is well covered elsewhere.

Chronology / Index

Part 1

22nd August 1642

23rd October 1642

7th December 1642

Charles I raises his standard at Nottingham. First Civil War begins.

First attack on Bradford.

Newcastle attacks Lord Fairfax at Tadcaster.


Part 2

18th December 1642

First siege of Bradford by Royalists under Sir William Saville.


Part 3

23rd December  1642

23rd January 1643

22nd February 1642

30th March 1643

Sir Thomas Fairfax arrives in Bradford.

Sir Thomas Fairfax storms Leeds.

Queen Henrietta Maria lands with her army at Bridlington.

Battle of Seacroft Moor. Goring’s cavalry attack Parliamentarian force on the march. Partial Royalist success.

Part 4

20th May 1643

Sir Thomas Fairfax storms Wakefield.

Part 5

22nd June 1643

30th June 1643

Queen Henrietta Maria arrives at Newark. Newcastle advances into the West Riding of  Yorkshire.

Battle of Adwalton Moor. Royalist victory


Part 6

1st July 1643


2nd July 1643

3rd July 1643

Sir Thomas Fairfax joins Lord Fairfax in Bradford. Second siege of Bradford begins.

Lord Fairfax and the  main part of his army break out and set off for Hull.

Sir Thomas Fairfax and Newcastle agree truce. Fighting resumes in the early evening.

Sir Thomas Fairfax and his force breaks out of Bradford. The beginning of the “Great Ride”.

Bradford taken by the Earl of Newcastle.


Part 7

3rd July 1643



4th July 1643


 11th October 1643 

Sir Thomas Fairfax and survivors arrive in Leeds and set off for Hull.

Cavalry engagement  at Selby between Sir Thomas Fairfax and his troopers and a large force of Royalist cavalry.  Sir Thomas Fairfax wounded in wrist.

Lord Fairfax and the remains of his army arrive at Hull.

Sir Thomas Fairfax and his remaining cavalry continue a fighting retreat to Barton-on-Humber. Conclusion of the “Great Ride.”

Sir Thomas Fairfax and his surviving troopers evacuated by ship to Hull.

Battle of Winceby in Lincolnshire. Victory for Parliament. Sir Thomas Fairfax leads decisive cavalry  charge. Decisive victory for Parliament and first major defeat for Royalist cavalry which is badly mauled.


Part 8

19th January 1644


3rd March 1644

25th March 1644   

Scottish army under Lord Leven invade the north of England in support of Parliament.

Battle of Nantwich in Cheshire. Royalists under Lord Byron defeated by Parliamentarians under Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Colonel Lambert and his Parliamentarian force take Bradford from Royalists.

Colonel Lambert defeats Royalist attempts under Colonel John Belasyse to retake Bradford.


Part 9

11th April 1644

18th April 1644

3rd June 1644

26th June 1644

Battle of Selby. The Fairfaxes and Lambert defeat a large Royalist force under Colonel John Belasyse

Scots and Fairfaxes army begin siege of York.

Parliamentarian army of the Eastern Association commanded by Oliver Cromwell completes the encirclement of York.

The Royalist army of Prince Rupert marches into Yorkshire from Lancashire to relieve York.


Part 10

2nd July 1644

4th July 1644

14th July 1644

Onwards to mid 1645

Battle of Marston Moor. Royalists routed by Allied army

Siege of York resumed by the Allies.

York surrenders.

Conclusion of hostilities in Yorkshire and the West Riding as  remaining Royalist strongholds fall one by one.


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