The Battle of Cropredy Bridge
Being a short account of the action
By Robert Giglio from ECWSA collections
The "smart battaile" at Cropredy Bridge, which was fought on Saturday, June 29th, 1644, was one of the Royalist highlights in the Civil War campaigns of that year. Fought only three days before the shattering Northern defeat of the hitherto invincible Prince Rupert at Marston Moor (July 2nd), by which it has been overshadowed, but the favorable consequences of this victory for the Cavaliers' fortunes in the South were of even greater far-reaching importance.

The events leading up to the battle will be discussed briefly, so you can understand the reasons why and how the battle was fought, but naturally the best way to study the battle, or anything in this period, is to obtain a few books on the period and battles yourselves. On June 6th, 1644, in a meeting between the Earl of Essex and Sir William Waller, it was decided by Essex that in addition to crushing the King's Army when it had slipped out of the Royalist capitol at Oxford as the two armies of Essex and Waller closed in, the task of relieving the town of Lyme Regis, which was besieged by King Charles' younger nephew, Prince Maurice, and his Army of the West, was of equally pressing importance. The Earl of Essex then decided that he would proceed with his army to relieve Lyme, while ordering Sir William Waller to continue pursuing the King's Oxford Army, and attempt to bring it to battle and crush it once and for all (it is important to note that at this time the King's Oxford Army was not as strong or large as it would later become prior to the battle of Cropredy Bridge). The Parliamentarian generals in London with extreme displeasure received the news of this decision, and on the June 13th they issued a positive command for Essex to return, but it was too late. The parting of Essex's and Waller's armies was to prove to be an advantage to the King. If Essex and Waller had continued to cooperate with both armies opposing the King's Oxford Army at the same time, it would have been almost impossible for the King's forces to have escaped destruction. Instead, the Parliamentarian chances of defeating the King in the field, the full importance of which was fully appreciated by Sir William Waller, was now reduced, since now only one army opposed the King's movements, and therefore it would be easier for the King to maneuver against only one foe.

In fact, since King Charles' Oxford Army was his chief asset, and when the two enemy Parliamentarian armies had began to approach too near to Oxford, against whose superior numbers he could not hope to make a good stand, he had been compelled to make his famous night march, thus dispersing his forces. The departure of Essex's Army into the West had enabled the King to concentrate his forces once more, and like a good strategist, he had not delayed to bring his whole army together at Witney. The King was now able and confident to seek out Sir William Waller and deal with him properly as the Royalist newspaper MERCURIUS AULICUS stated, "His Majesty being resolved that if Waller came to seek him, he should find him ready.""I doubt not that we shall render you a good account of our service. I praise God I find a great deal of cheerfulness in the Army....".

It should be note, however, that no matter what private feelings of chagrin Sir William Waller may have had about the Earl of Essex's decision about splitting the two armies, he was too good of a soldier, and too loyal to his cause, not to keep it to himself and concentrate on the work which lay before him. In fact, both Waller and Sir Arthur Heselrige wrote to the Committee of Both Kingdoms about this on the June 7th, where they stated, "We resolve to follow the King wherever an army can march." The importance of this letter was such that Heselrige himself was sent by Waller to convey them to London, arriving on the 10th of June. This no doubt prompted the response issued to the Earl of Essex by the Parliamentarian generals in London on the 13th. Although, in a letter to the Earl of Denbigh on the same day Waller and Heselrige wrote to the Committee of Both Kingdoms (June 7th), Waller was urging, "an universal conjunction of forces against the enemy", and his real bitterness betrays itself when he later refers to Essex's having "undertaken my task in the West".

It is extraordinary to think of the King's Army and Waller's Army being so close to each other throughout the weeks prior to the battle without encountering each other as Waller pursued the Royalists. In fact, the Royalists must have been aware of the proximity of Waller's Army, and felt that no time should be spent in giving him the slip. This is borne out by the King's actions on Saturday, 15 June, 1644, when he returned to Worcester, doubling back on his tracks like a hunted hare. Many of the foot were transported by boat down the River Severn to Worcester early that morning. Waller repaired Bewdley bridge so he could pursue, and sent a letter to Essex urging him to return with his army, but to no avail.

On June 24th, June Prince Charles met up with the King after recovering from measles. Doubtless, he was now thrilled to have recovered in time to be present at the impending battle he knew his father was looking to bring about.

The King had planned to march to Daventry on June 28th, but on receiving information that Waller's Army was near Banbury, he changed his plans. It should be noted here that although the intelligence service on both sides in the Civil War is generally considered rudimentary, both the King and Waller seem to know every movement of each other's forces during these few weeks in June 1644.

The King then decided to march to Banbury to give Waller battle. At 10 AM the King's Oxford Army mustered on Castle Hill about one mile east of the town. It was so rainy and misty that morning that they could not discover the enemy. Later, when the weather cleared, they saw Waller's army drawn up in Hanwell Warren on the west side of the River Cherwell, about a mile in front of the King's forces, which were on east of the river. Since both armies were anxious to secure a place of advantage on which to fight, they both maneuvered for the possession of Crouch Hill (500 foot high hill 1 mile southwest of Banbury), but Waller's Army won the race and drew up upon it (they were on the same side of the river with the shortest distance to travel).

Now, as a typical 17th century tactician and possibly a wargamer, one would no doubt expect that when two relatively equal armies, neither overly reluctant to fight, maneuver in each other's presence for several days, you would expect the situation to be resolved with one of those formal battles of the period; horse on the wings, foot massed in the center. The battle of Cropredy Bridge was nothing of the sort, but could have been quite easily, especially during the evening actions, and the subsequent quiet day after, where both armies faced each other.

The situation on the morning of Saturday, June 29th, 1644, was that about 3 or 4 AM, the King's Oxford Army stood at the bottom of Crouch Hill on the eastern side of the River Cherwell near the town of Banbury, being faced on top of Crouch Hill by Sir William Waller's Army, which was on the western side of the river. King Charles was anxious to get Waller to "quit his strength" on Crouch Hill, since there was marshy ground just to the front of Waller's army, with hedges on each side, an obviously good defensive position, which Waller was famous for always choosing. Sensibly, the King realized that an attack on Waller's current position would be "more dangerous to attempt to force him thence", and finally after waiting until 8 am in vain for Waller to come down from his position to give battle, he decided once more to move in the direction of Daventry in order to "observe Waller's motion and to expect a fitter opportunity and place to give him battle."

The King's move met with success, as no sooner then they started their march, Waller's Army drew off from its high ground and parallel the Royalists on the other side of the river by marching along the road from Banbury to Southam, while the Royalists were marching along the road from Banbury to Daventry. Both armies were in full view of each other, being about 1-2 miles apart. Waller's last letter before the battle stated, "....that the King's Army is drawing up on the hill, most of the horse having fallen down towards Cropredy, whether it be to secure their retreat or to make their passage that way to fight upon more equal ground, is yet uncertain, but we shall quickly present haste will permit me to write no more."

The Royalists believed Waller would not attack them, due mainly because of the distance between the two armies. When the van of the King's Oxford Army were ordered to quicken their pace to cut-off a large party of rebel horse which were sighted about 2-3 miles away near Daventry, obviously attempting to join Waller's Army, this caused a large gap to appear in the army's column of march, as the rest of the army was unaware of the King's order.

This gap in the Royal Army was a large and dangerous one, which has been estimated as about a mile and a half between the center (just over the River Cherwell at Hay's Bridge) and the lead of the rear guard (which was just at the crossroads past the village of Wardington). It should never have been allowed to form. Waller was quick to seize his chance to swoop down upon the Royalists. His object was to cut-off the rear of the army, and to "bit the heel according to his custom."

Waller quickly split his army, with one force under Lt.-General John Middleton attempting to rush over Cropredy Bridge and cut-off the tardy Royalists from the front, while the other, led by Sir William Waller himself, was to cross the ford at Slats Mill and hit the rear of the army. The action began about 1 PM.

In fact, the Roundheads had been misinformed about the progress of the Royalist Army along the road to Daventry, and instead of cutting off the King's rear, they were to find themselves caught between two fires! Although the situation, in reality, developed more by accident than design, and certainly could have been quit a decisive move on the Parliamentarians part had it succeeded.

The battle began in earnest about 1 PM, when Lt.-General Middleton ordered his horse regiments to cross Cropredy Bridge and charge the rear of King's center, which was now cut-off from the front of the center that had already crossed Hays Bridge. Upon approach of the horse the Royalist dragoons guarding Cropredy Bridge immediately retreated. It was reported that the Parliamentarian horse charged the enemy, routed them, and then chased them about a mile to the village of Wardington, where the it seems the rest of the Royalist horse (Earl of Cleveland's Brigade) rallied and charged. It is assumed that the initial charge by the Parliamentarian horse was against the retreating Royalist dragoons, since the rest of the King's Army was supposedly on the road about a mile from Cropredy Bridge, although it is also possible that some independent troops of Royalist horse were in the fields near Cropredy Bridge as well.

From the reports, it seems that Lt.-General Middleton's plan was to initially attack with a two-pronged assault. The first was to be led by the horse, while the foot came up to capture the crossroads near the villiage of Wardington, supported by artillery, and holding the City of London Brigade (comprised of three foot regiments) in reserve. It seems that in fact the Parliamentarian horse, after achieving initial success, became disorganized, with elements splitting off to attack both the Royalists crossing Hays Bridge (front center of the King's Army), and the Royalist horse forming up directly opposite Cropredy Bridge (rear center of the King's Army), while the Parliamentarian foot continued to advance. The details of these developments will be discussed further on.

At about the same time as Lt.-General Middleton's division began the attack, Sir William Waller ordered the regiments of horse of his division to cross the ford at Slat Mill and charge the Royalist Army's rear. It was hoped by this bold, quick and dramatic pincer attack, that this would shock the rear half of the King's Army (the part that had not crossed Hays Bridge yet), and therefore cause it to rout with many losses. Unfortunatly for Waller, this was not to be the case.

After the horse of Middleton's division had cleared Cropredy Bridge, the foot regiments and artillery were ordered across for support. It seems that in their haste and possibly their inexperience, but no doubt obviously wanting to get the artillery set-up quickly, many of the Parliamentarian artillery crossed the bridge unsupported. This meant that while the artillery did in fact successfully set-up in time to fire at least one shot, the foot somehow lagged behind and were too slow in deploying. This was to be costly as they were not ready for the Royalist's reaction.

After their charge, the one squadron (4 troops) of Sir Arthur Hesilrege's Horse (the regiment was split into 2 squadrons of 4 troops each for the battle, and Sir Arthur was not present with his regiment, being at that time in London as a messenger for Waller to the Committee of Both Kingdoms), now decided to veer off make a hasty pursuit of the rear of the front center of the King's Army, which was at that moment just crossing Hays Bridge. Colonel Anthony Thelwall, the Royalist commander of 2000 commanded musketeers at this time, is given the credit for ordering the foot to make a stand, and where they "overthrew a Carriage to barricado the bridge and plated it with Musketiers".

It is assumed, therefore, that since Colonel Thelwall was in charge of the commanded musketeers, that these were the musketeers referred to as defending the bridge. Further, since a carriage was used as a barricade, we can also assume that the baggage train, which was in the front center of the army, was the last to cross Hays Bridge, and that the commanded musketeers were the closest unit, obviously acting as guards, and possibly even being last over the bridge itself or near to it. It should be noted that due to the large size of the commanded musketeers (2000) under Colonel Thelwall, this unit was probably split into two (or even possibly four squadrons) equal divisions, possibly one at the front of the baggage train, and another at the rear (or if 4 squadrons then 1 in front, 1 in the rear, and 2 equally distributed amongst the baggage train itself).

Another interesting item concerning Hays Bridge has arisen, one which according to Mr. Dave Ryan of Caliver Books/Partizan Press was quite common for all places where bridges were built, is the fact that normally bridges were built where the crossing was narrowest, and usually there would have been some sort of ford there previously. Therefore, Mr. Ryan suggests that the King's Army crossing Hays Bridge was also making use of a ford to the left (from the direction of its march) of Hays Bridge, with the foot crossing the ford while the artillery train and then the baggage train, with some foot, crossing the bridge itself. This would allow for the quicker crossing of the river, as seems to have happened, causing the gap in the King's Army to suddenly develop. Otherwise, it is quite logical to assume that if there was in fact no ford next to Hays Bridge, then the crossing would be a lot slower, in all likelihood causing somewhat of a bottle neck, and therefore the rest of the King's Army would have easily been able to react and close up before any gap occurred. Again, this is only speculation on the parts of Mr. Dave Ryan and myself, but seems highly logical.

In addition, Peter Young in his book on the battle relates this very fact when talking about Cropredy Bridge itself, in that there was supposedly a ford, like at most bridges, next to the bridge or else within a few yards of it. With regards to the size of Hays Bridge, lets assume that it is no wider than the length of the main part of a carriage (i.e., little bigger then from edge of the front wheels to the edge of the rear wheels when laid on its side, or roughly little more then about 4 marching horses width). This can be concluded from the fact that when the Royalist musketeers used the carriage to barricade the bridge, the Parliamentarian horse could not cross.

This squadron of Heselrige's Horse, seeing their way blocked and manned by musketeers, with the closest friendly infantry about a half mile away (being now a half mile over Cropredy Bridge), decided to veer off from Hays Bridge and regroup with the approaching infantry.

The Earl of Cleveland, being in the center of the King's Army with his brigade of horse (consisting of his own, his son, the Lord Wentworth's, Col. Richard Neuills', Sir William Boteler's, and Sir William Clerke's Regiments of Horse), immediately upon seeing the Parliamentarian horse coming across Cropredy Bridge, drew up his brigade on a "riseing ground facing" Cropredy Bridge. He did not wait for orders from the Lt-General of Horse (Lord Willmont, who was with the rear guard of the army), instead he gave his own field word ("Hand & Sword") and then charged the body the Parliamentarian horse before they could charge him. This caused the Parliamentarian horse to retreat.

It was at this time, while on their way back from Hays Bridge, that the squadron of Heselrige's Horse saw that the Earl of Cleveland's sweeping charge had caused the Royalist horse to get behind the Parliamentarian foot, which now was forming up. This squadron of Heselrige's Horse, now being in the rear of the Earl of Cleveland's brigade of horse, was about to charge. It was at this time that the King's Lifeguard of Horse (being only 1 troop of 100 men at this time), had re-crossed the river at Hays Bridge, and was looking to charge the Parliamentarian foot.

The King realized what was happening by this time and immediately ordered the rest of the army that was over Hays Bridge to halt. He then formed-up up his own troop of horse (King's Lifeguard of Horse) on the rising ground just to the north of Hays Bridge. From this vantage point, the King could see that the enemy was preparing a second attack upon his rear (this was the Parliamentarian horse which the Earl of Cleveland had charged earlier). Accordingly, the King "Commanded the Lord Bernard Stewart to make hast to the assistance of the Rear, & by the way to attempt those 2 Bodies of the Rebel's Horse that faced his Majesty, his Lord attended by above 100 Gentlemen of the King's Troop (which is ever fullest in tyme of action) returned instantly over the Bridge & made haste towards those Two Bodies...who , by this time, seeing their fellows Routed by the Earl of Cleveland were advancing to Charge him in the flank, as he was following the execution".

After the Earl of Cleveland's first charge, he reformed his brigade of horse and "...made a little stand near a great Ash (under which his Majesty had not above half an hour before, been invited to stay & Dine)." Although, a Parliamentarian officer of Heselrige's Horse states that "His majesty was under a tree in the field not above Pistol shot [from] where we charged his horse, as some of our own men, and some of their prisoner affirm." This could be referring to the fact that the King was at the Ash not long ago, but if in fact he was there during the fighting at this time, then the King must have crossed back over Hays Bridge after his Lifeguard of Horse, and rode to observe and command the battle from the best vantage point. Therefore, this would make sense to have been near the famous "great Ash", and since the Earl of Cleveland was reforming his brigade of horse there as well, this would also put him in touch with the only horse nearby.

The Earl of Cleveland did not rest too long, as the Parliamentarian horse was advancing a second time, along with the foot. This was really the decisive action of the battle, and in this second charge the Earl of Cleveland was entirely victorious. A Parliamentarian officer of Heselrige's Horse admitted that "we were necessitated to retreat very disorderly". Walker relates that the Earl had perceived a "great Body of the Rebel's Horse of 16 Colours [16 troops] (& as many Colours [companies] of Foot placed within Hedges) all within Musket shot of him, this caused him suddenly to advance, the Rebels doing the like & having stoutly stood out their Musket & Carbine shot, he gave command to charge, & by his singular valour & resolution (seconded by the Officers of his Brigade) he routed all those Horse & foot & chased them beyond their Cannon all which (being eleven peices) were then taken, & 2 Barricadoes of wood drawn with wheels in each 7 small brass & leather Guns charged with case shot."

Mercurius Aulicus gives more details, stating that the Royalists "took all their 14 Peices of Ordnance, whereof 11 Brass; viz. 5 Sakers, 1 Twelve pound Peice, 1 Demiculverin, 2 Minions, 2 Three pound Peices, &v. besides Two Blinders for Muskets and Leather Guns."

It seems that Lord Wilmot's brigade of horse also eventually made to back over Hays Bridge, as it was reported that they were involved in the fighting about this time as well. Lord Wilmot himself was twice wounded slightly (shot in the arm and a bullet grazed his hand), and was twice taken prisoner, once by Middleton himself. Although, on both occasions he was rescued by men of distinction. The first was Sir Frederick Cornmwallis, possibly one of the King's Lifeguard of Horse. The second was the Honorable Robert Howard, Lt.-Colonel to his brother Colonel Thomas Howard, who commanded a regiment of horse in Wilmot's brigade. Howard, who was only eighteen years old, was knighted for his gallant service in the battle that day.

Waller's division had a "steep hill to mount...not far from the top whereof the enemy was drawn up in a strong body...". This "steep hill" was the rising ground from Slat Mill, where we can assume along the road at its summit was where the rear of the King's Army was at that moment drawing up upon seeing Waller cross the ford at Slat Mill. In fact it was Lord Northampton who is given credit for repulsing the attack launched by the Parliamentarian horse after crossing the ford at Slat Mill. He charged with his brigade of horse (consisting of his own, the Lord Willmont's, Lord Percy's, and Col. Weston's Regiments of Horse). After a heated fight, this eventually caused the Parliamentarian horse to rout back across the ford, where it was noted that they were too exhausted to attempts a second charge.

As a result of this "lively action" of the Royalist rear guard, Waller's forces were forced to retreat back across the River Cherwell, and take up their previous position again on the high ground near Bourton. Waller did leave some foot and dragoons at Slat Mill to cover his retreat. In addition, while Middleton's forces were routed, they still held Cropredy Bridge, where he also placed some dragoons to guard it, supported by the City of London Brigade (of three foot regiments) which had never gotten into the battle.

It should be noted that Sir Bernard Astley's Tertia was already formed up and supported both the Lord Northampton's and the Earl of Cleveland's brigades of horse. Therefore, this body of foot regiments that made up the rear of the King's Army, must have been somewhere between these two brigades of horse, probably between the crossroads to the villages of Williamscot and Wardington, near to where the famous Wardington Ash stands.

By 3 PM the main part of the battle was over, and the "fair and very warm weather" had no doubt taken most of the fight out of the armies. By this time the rest of the King's Army had recrossed Hays Bridge, as the King was determined to gain possession of Cropredy, since he now had all of his forces drawn up just above it, and ordered an advance. The action lasted until evening, with hot engagements occurring during this time, as Waller stated, "There was hot service at Cropredy Bridge, which we made good against them."

It was during the action after the main part of the battle (after 3 PM), those Parliamentarians which had previously routed over Cropredy Bridge "...crying the fields lost, the fields lost", eventually reformed, but it was at this time that Kentish Regiment, and the City of London's Tower Hamlets Regiment, who were well rested since not being in the previous battle, performed their duties well enough to merit mention. It was reported that "but by Gods providence and the courage of the Kentish Regiment and that of the Hamlets, we go down two Drakes to the Bridge and staved them off bravely, and gave them so good play all day, that ere night they could not brag of their winning."

It seems that an officer named Birch encouraged the Tower Hamlets Regiment to put up such a gallant resistance, who "very honourably and stoutly made good the Bridge, kept back the enemy, and recovered three pieces of our Ordnance which we had lost; we having lost [referring to the early battle] some half a dozen small pieces besides, which were unadvisedly drawn over before the Foot were ready to march along with them, and the men running away with the Horse, we could not draw them back again".

Although while the Royalists failed to capture the bridge, they were very successful in quickly crossing the ford and taking full possession of the mill at Cropredy, but otherwise, since the King did not have full possession of the bridge, their attack is considered to have failed.

Then, just prior to the evening, most of the Royalist horse and foot were moved down to the river below the ford near Slat Mill and drawn up for battle. The Royalist artillery then started to fire on the Parliamentarian horse that were drawn up on Bourton Hill, which forced them to retire in disorder. Waller's few remaining artillery pieces, however, then retaliated by firing back on the Royalists. Some of the shots that were fired landed near the King, and supposedly the Parliamentarian Gunners were all shown "the mark by several perspective glasses". Then, with the approach of nightfall, the two armies, as if by mutual consent, fell silent, which should be expected, as they had been in combat about eight hours that day.

Both armies then continued to face each other the following day, Sunday, June 30th, like "snarling dogs", waiting for the other to quit the field first. It would have been quite a battle if either side had decided to attack, but with Waller's forces severely hurt and no doubt demoralized, and the King's forces low on provisions such as food and powder, neither army really did anything of importance that day.

In the evening the King received intelligence of the approach of 4000 foot and 500 horse from Buckingham under Sgt.-Major-General Richard Browne, finally endeavoring to join with Sir William Waller's Army. In fact, it was only on the June 26th, that Sir William Waller wrote a letter to the Committee of Both Kingdoms requesting "...that Major-General Browne and such forces of the [Eastern] Association as can be drawn into the field may march to Bedford...". That same day Major-General Browne also wrote a letter to the Committee of Both Kingdoms from his current deployment at Barnet, in which he stated that he was still awaiting orders to join Waller. Through no fault of his own, he was to prove too late.

The King, hearing of the approach of fresh troops, and knowing his army was in need of provisions and powder, then decided to quit the field, which was done on Monday, July 1st, at 4 PM. At the time both armies were unaware of the impending battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644), but to the soldiers of Waller's Army, it really did not matter, as that was in a different part of the country.

In fact "the defeat of that day at Cropredy was much greater than it appeared to be" and "it even broke the heart of Waller's Army". In truth the army sustained many more casualties than the Royalists, it was exhausted, had lost all of its artillery except for a couple of cannon it had recaptured, and the London troops were in mutiny to return home. Yet this very breakdown was in the long run to serve not King Charles, but his rebellious subjects, for Waller's 'Cri di Coeur' of the July 2nd, 1644 to the Committee of Both Kingdoms stated that, "Till you have an army merely your own that you may command it is in a manner impossible to do anything of importance", was to find its answer within twelve months in the creation of the New Model Army.

The Cavaliers of 1644 were content to draw sword for their King with little thought of earthly gain, but they were to have some reward when, following up their victory in Oxfordshire against Sir William Waller's Army, they then marched into Cornwall, and after a series of events eventually hemmed in the Earl of Essex's Army at Lostwithiel, and compelled it to surrender in the open field unconditionally. This successful campaign of 1644 for the King's Army gave the Royalists another winning year, and did a lot to reverse the feelings of losing the North forever to the King's cause by Prince Rupert at the battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644).

The scene of the engagement is the tranquil North Oxfordshire countryside, through which winds the infant River Cherwell. The first record of a bridge at Cropredy dates from the year 1312. The present all stone structure is a successor of the one so hotly contested in 1644, but the features of the landscape are essentially the same as they were three hundred and fifty years ago, and thus highly evocative. The bridge during the Civil Wars was indeed stone, but the upper part was not made of stone, instead it had a wooden railing. The topography of the battlefield is easily grasped by anyone that visits the area, and they will also find a particular pleasure in being able to visit the descendant of the actual Wardington ash under which King Charles I was "invited to dine" about a half hour prior to the battle.

The campaign leading up to the battle was productive of dramatic incidents, notable the celebrated night march of King Charles I from Oxford, when he stole Sir William Waller's thunder and made good his escape to the West. Nevertheless, he was closely pursued, and the twists and turns of the Royal hare made it an exciting few days. Sir William Waller's naive indignation at his repeated frustrations in his efforts to catch the King afforded a touch of light relief, as does his chagrin at the capture of his precious guns at the battle of Cropredy, which Sir William Waller never got over.

Royalist casualties for the battle

Col., Sir William Boteler
Col., Sir William Clerke
Sgt.-Major Panton
Cornet John Burrell, and plus possibly another colonel, lt.-colonel, and several other officers.
Maj. Edward Webbe of "the Kings own Regiment" (horse) was seriously wounded, captured and later died of his wound.

Lord Wilmot
Col. Neville
Capt. Nicholas Hatcher
Cornet Brooke
A Captain Boswell "had three of his fingers cut off, yet found a hand to bring off one of the Rebel's Colours."

Supposedly 60-80 other Royalists, along with 2 captains of horse, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 cornet, and 2-3 gentlemen.

Parliamentarian casualties for the battle

Around 700 total. This includes killed, wounded, captured, and deserters. The most killed were from the artillery train, where "most of the Canoniers were slain". It seems that only one Parliamentarian officer died, which was a cornet of horse, and a gentleman volunteer, a Dutchman named Master Cresey, was also killed.

General-of-the-Ordnance, James Wemyss, a Scot
Lt.-Colonel Jeremy Baines
Lt.-Colonel James Baker
Capt. Ramsey
Capt. Nathaniel Wert
Capt. William Hill
Lt. Perry
Lt. Thomas Goodwin
Cornet William, fifth Lord Caulwfeild, and Baron of Charlemont
Cornet Nichols
Cornet Linde
Cornet Blades

Sir William Waller's Army - Cropredy Bridge
Field Word - 'Victory Without Quarter'

Sir William Waller's Division
Sir William Waller, and "Skillful" Commander and General of the Southern Association of Parliament.
Col. Godrey Bosseville, Adjutant.

Sir William Waller's Division

Foot Regiments Coys Men Coat

Col. Andrew Potley, Commander
Sir William Waller's 4-5 350? Yellow
Sir Arthur Heselrige's
(Note: Heselrige was in London at this time)
5 350? Blue
Col. Andrew Potley's &
Col. James Holborne's
4? 316 Red
Col. Godfrey Bosseville's Warwick Foote &
Col. John Barker's Coventry Foote
10? 600 Red
Col. Edward Massey's
Gloucester Garrison Detachment
1? 100 Blue?
Col. Alexander Popham's 5 350? Blue
Sir Hardress Waller's 3 225 Yellow?
Sir Hardress Waller's 3 225 Yellow?

Horse Regiments Troops Men

Sir William Balfour, Commander

Sir William Balfour's Lifeguard 1 75 (Cuirassiers)
Sir William Waller's 9 360-400?
Sir William Waller's Lifeguard 1 75 (Cuirassiers)
Col. William Purefoy's 7 275?
Col. Richard Norton's 5 160?
Col. Richard Norton's Dragoons 2? 240?

Lt-General John Middleton's Division
Lt.-General John Middleton, "Above Average" Commander

Foote Brigades Coys Men Coat

Lt.-Colonel Jeremy Baines, Quarter-Master-General of Foot, Commander

Col. Samuel Jones'
Farnham Garrison Detachment
4-5 441 Green/Lined White
Sir William Waller's 5 450? Yellow
Col. Ralph Weldon's
'The Kentish Regiment'
9 600 Red
Col. Ralph Weldon's
'The Kentish Regiment'

9 600 Red

Foote Brigades Coys Men Coat

Major-General Sir James Harrington,
Commander of the City Brigade of London & Adjutant Commander of Foot

Col. James Houblon's
White Auxiliaries of the Borough of Southwark
7 600 Mixed/Buffcoats
Col. James Prince's 7 600 Mixed/Buffcoats
Col. James Prince's
Blue Auxiliaries of the City of Westminister
7 600 Mixed/Buffcoats
Col Francis Zachary's
Trained Bands of the Tower Hamlets

7 600 Mixed/Buffcoats

Horse Brigade Coys Men

Capt. John Butler, Adjutant-General, Commander
Col. Jonas Vandruske, Adjutant Commander

Sir Arthur Heselrige's
(formed into 2 equal Squadrons; Blue coats?)
[Note: Heselrige was in London at this time]
8 420?
Col. Edward Cooke's 3 160-240?
Col. Jonas Vandruske's 6 350?
Col. George Thompson's 6 320?
Sir Michael Livesey's
(Known as 'The Kentish Horse'; Red coats?)

5 250?

Artillery Coys Men Coat

Col. James Wemyss,
General of the Train of Artillery
1 Culverin, 1 Demi-Culverin, 5 Sakers, 2 Minions, 2 Bastard-Falcons, 2 Wooden Blinders (Mantlets, each with 7 small leather guns).
Sir William Waller's Firelocks 100 men (Blue coats?)
Sir Michael Livesey's Dragoons 1 Coy 120 men (Red coats?)

The King's Oxford Army - Cropredy Bridge
Field Word - 'Hand and Sword'
(Each foot brigade was divided into 3 divisions)

The Vanguard
(way North of Hay's Bridge)
Col. George Lisle, Commander, "the best foot officer"

Foote Regiments Coys Men Coat

Col. George Lisle's 8 270 ?
Sir Charles Lloyde's 9-10 409 ?
Col. Anthony Thelwall's 8 196 ?
Sir John Owen's 4 145 ?
Col. William Eure's 3 91 Blue?
Sir Thomas Blackwell's 4 86 Blue
Sir Theodore Gilby's
(ex. Col. John Belasyse's)
10-11 355 ?
Col. John Stradling's &
Col. Ashley's
10 351 ?
Sir Henry Vaughan's 6-8 258 ?

Horse Brigade Coys Men

Sir Humphrey Bennet, Commander

Sir Humphrey Bennet's 9 360
Sir George Vaughan's 2 80
Sir Edward Waldegrave's 2 211
Col. Andrew Lindsey's 3 100
Sir Edward Ford's 4 120
Col. Edmund Peirce's 2 100

The Front-Center
(over Hay's Bridge)
King Charles I, Capt-General of Army
Lt-Gen. Patrick Ruthven, Earl of Forth & Brentford,
the Lord General, Adjutant-General of Army

Foote Regiments Coys Men Coat

Col. Thomas Blagge's Tertia

King's Lifeguard of Foote 9-10 350 Red
The Lord General's Regt. 8 300 Red
Sir Jacob Astley's 8 217 Red?
Sir Henry Bard's 5 176 Grey
Duke of York's 10? 500? Red
Sir James Pennyman's 11 479 Blue?
Col. Henry, Lord Percy's 5 400 White
Sir Lewis Dyve's 7 500 Blue?
Col. Anthony Thelwall's
(Commanded Musketeers)

N/A 2000 Mixed

Horse Regiments Coys Men

Lt.-General Henry, Lord Wilmot, Commander

King's Lifeguard of Horse 1 100
The Lord General's 7 300
Prince Maurice's 7 300
Col. Thomas Howard's 7 300
Col. Gerrard Croker's 2 100

Artillery Train Coys Men Coat

Col. James Wemyss,
Col. Henry, Lord Percy,
Baron of Alnwick,
General of the Train of Artillery
1 Culverin, 1 Demi-Culverin, 6 Sakers, 10 Falcons & Minions
King's Lifeguard Firelocks 1 Coy 80 men (Red coats)

Wagon Train

Capt. Henry Stevens
Baron of Alnwick

30 Wagons

The Rear-Center
(near village of Wardington)
Earl of Cleveland, "Excellent commander"
Sir William Boteler, Adjutant

Horse Regiments Coys Men

Earl of Cleveland's 6 225
Lord Wentworth's & Prince Charles' 4 100
Col. Richard Neville's 6 200
Sir William Boteler's 5 150
Sir William Clerke's 6 110
Col. James Hamiliton's 6 160
Sir Nicholas Crispe's 2 80
Lord Wentworth's Dragoons
(Guarded Cropredy Bridge, Red Coats?)

1 75?

The Rear Guard of Foote
Sgt.-Major-General, Sir Jacob Astley
General of the Foote, "Excellent" Commander

Foote Regiments Coys Men Coat

Lord Hopton's 5 300 Blue
Sir Allen Apsley's 4 300 Red
Col. John Talbot's 9 420 Yellow
Col. Francis Cooke's 3 150 Blue?
Sir Bernard Astley's
(ex. Lord Hertford's)
3 150 Red?
Col. Matthew Appleyard's
(ex. Sir Charles Vavasour's)
8 450 Yellow
Col. Henry Shelley's 2 100 ?
Sir John Paulet's 9 450 Yellow
Sir William Courteney's 7 300 ?

The Rear Guard of Horse
James Compton,
3rd Earl of Northampton, "Good commander"
Col. Thomas Weston, Adjutant

Horse Regiments Coys Men

Lord Wilmot's 6 250
Lord Percy's 7 300
Col. Thomas Weston's 3 100
Earl of Northampton's 7 250
Col. George Gunter's &
Sir Allen Apsley's
2 100


The background concerning the troops lists, brigades to which they belong, strengths, coat colors, experience, and initial deployment prior to the battle, as well as other details of the battle itself, is based upon a variety of contemporary sources. These included such original manuscripts of Sir Edward Walker's account of the campaign. At the other extreme, we can follow the marches of the soldiers in the Auxiliaries regiments of London serving under Sir William Wallar in an especially trying wet season, from the diary compiled during the campaign by a subordinate officer, Richard Coe. This together with Brigadier Peter Young's 'Cropredy Bridge', plus information from Caliver Books/Partizan Press, has enabled the battle to be fully understood. I am currently writing a 'Wargamers Guide to the Battle of Cropredy Bridge', to be eventually (whenever I finish it!) published by Caliver Books/Partizan Press, which will include updated information and army lists on the battle as well.

© Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002 The English Civil War Society of America. All rights reserved.