Battle of Oswestry

The Battle of Oswestry took place during the English Civil War, and was fought in June/July 1644 by both the town of Oswestry's Royalist garrison and a Royalist relieving force against Parliamentarian troops led by Lord Denbigh.[1]

Battle of Oswestry
Part of the English Civil War

Remains of Oswestry castle
DateJune/July 1644
Location
Oswestry, Shropshire
Result Parliamentarian victory
Belligerents
Parliamentarians Royalists
Commanders and leaders
Lord Denbigh Sir Fulke Huncke
Strength
not known 300 horse
2,000 foot
(only part engaged)

In February 1644 the Royalist commander Prince Rupert moved to Wales to take up his new post of President of Wales. In May of the year, however, he marched with his available forces into Lancashire, leaving Oswestry garrisoned by a small force under the command of Colonel Edward Lloyd. The local Parliamentarian forces decided to take full advantage of the situation and in June, 1644 marched on Oswestry, a walled town defended by a stone castle, led by Lord Denbigh and Colonel Mytton.

The Parliamentarian cavalry were deployed in the rear to guard against any relief attempt whilst the 200 infantry moved up to attack the town. In their initial attack they captured the defended St Oswalds church which stood outside the town walls and then demolished the main gate of the town with cannonfire. The Royalist defenders withdrew to the castle and the Parliamentarians occupied the town. The following morning the Royalist garrison were persuaded to surrender. Lord Denbigh then set off in pursuit of Prince Rupert, leaving Colonel Mytton to garrison the town.

In view of the fact that the loss of Oswestry severed communications between Chester and Shrewsbury, Sir Fulke Huncke, the Royalist commander in Shrewsbury, felt obliged to recover the town and set off on a relief mission with 2000 infantry and 600 cavalry. Lord Denbigh, who had by now reached Cheshire, sent back Sir Thomas Myddelton with a force of cavalry to support the Parliamentarian defenders. Colonel Marrow led out the Royalist cavalry to intercept Myddelton's force, but was routed on 2 July by the Parliamentary cavalry at Whittington, some three miles from Oswestry.

Faced by the loss of his cavalry, Huncke was forced to return to Shrewsbury. Oswestry Castle was later destroyed by the Parliamentarians.

References

  1. "Oswestry, Shropshire, June-July 1644". BCW Project. Retrieved 15 April 2019.

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