The Battle of Hopton Heath

by Ellen Castelow

In the 17th century struggle for power between King and Parliament known as the English Civil War, the two sides again sought to establish control on the battlefield after wintering at home.

The armies clashed mid-afternoon on 19th March 1643 at Hopton Heath, just outside Stafford. Lying on the strategic supply route between the royalist capital of Oxford and the ports of Yorkshire, it was important to both sides to control Stafford and the Midlands.

In front of his 1,200 troops, mostly cavalry, the Royalist (Cavalier) commander, the Earl of Northampton led his forces out to confront a Parliamentarian (Roundhead) army 1,500 strong. Although Northampton was killed in action, the battle was indecisive in its outcome.

Click here for a battlefield map.

Key Facts:

Date: 19th March, 1643

War: English Civil War

Location: Hopton Heath, Staffordshire

Belligerents: Royalists and Parliamentarians

Victors: Indecisive

Numbers: Royalists 1,200, Parliamentarians 1,500

Casualties: Between 300 – 500

Commanders: Spencer Compton (Royalists), Sir John Gell (Parliamentarians – pictured at the top of this article)

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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