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 (Roundheads) under Sir William Waller were besieging the Wilshire town of Devizes when they learned that a Royalist (Cavalier) 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.
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)
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|