The Battle of Roundway Down

by Ellen Castelow

The Battle of Roundway Down was fought on 13 July 1643 and is considered one of the key battles in the English Civil War.

The Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller were besieging the Wilshire town of Devizes when they learned that a Royalist cavalry force some 1,500 strong, commanded by Lord Wilmot, had been despatched from Oxford to reinforce the town.

Waller quickly abandoned the siege and marched his troops to Roundway Down, hoping to defeat Wilmot before he could reach Devizes.

Although Waller held the superior higher ground, it was the heavily outnumbered Royalists that attacked first.

Under fire from the guns and musketeers of the Parliamentarian infantry and artillery, the Royalist cavalry charged the hill.

The Parliamentarian ranks, shaken by the charges, finally broke and fled, Wilmot’s Royalists had secured the greatest cavalry victory of the entire English Civil War.

Key Facts:

Date: 13th July, 1643

War: English Civil War

Location: Near Devizes, Wiltshire

Belligerents: Royalists and Parliamentarians

Victors: Royalists (costly victory)

Numbers: Royalists around 3,800, Parliamentarians around 4,300

Casualties: Royalists unknown, Parliamentarians around 1,500.

Commanders: Lord Hopton and Lord Wilmot (Royalists – Lord Wilmot pictured to the right), Sir William Waller and Sir Arthur Haselrig (Parliamentarians)

Location:

The Battle of Lansdown Hill

More Battles in the English Civil War:

Battle of Edgehill 23 October, 1642
Battle of Braddock Down 19 January, 1643
Battle of Hopton Heath 19 March, 1643
Battle of Stratton 16 May, 1643
Battle of Chalgrove Field 18 June, 1643
Battle of Adwalton Moor 30 June, 1643
Battle of Lansdowne 5 July, 1643
Battle of Roundway Down 13 July, 1643
Battle of Winceby 11 October, 1643
Battle of Nantwich 25 January, 1644
Battle of Cheriton 29 March, 1644
Battle of Cropredy Bridge 29 June, 1644
Battle of Marston Moor 2 July, 1644
Battle of Naseby 14 June, 1645
Battle of Langport 10 July 1645
Battle of Rowton Heath 24 September, 1645
Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold 21 March, 1646

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