The Battle of Winceby
by Ellen Castelow
During October 1643 at the peak of the English Civil War, Parliamentarian troops were laying siege to the Royalist stronghold of Bolingbroke Castle.
Under the command of Sir John Henderson, a Royalist force of around 2,500 cavalry and dragoons set off from Lincoln to relieve the besieged garrison.
En-route to Bolingbroke the Royalists were intercepted by a similar sized force of Parliamentarian cavalry, close to the hamlet of Winceby in Lincolnshire.
In a battle that lasted little more than half an hour, Oliver Cromwell first lured the Royalists from the defensive position they were holding before leading a charge directly into the enemy ranks. Yet another famous name, that of Sir Thomas Fairfax, then joined the melee to complete the Parliamentarian victory.
The defeated Royalists fled the field, but were pursued and hunted down by the Parliamentarian cavalrymen for the remainder of the day.
This short but decisive battle witnessed not only the first important victory for Cromwell’s cavalry, but also the first action that he fought side by side with Fairfax. Together they would eventually lead the Parliamentarian New Model Army to complete victory in 1645-46.
Date: 11th October, 1643
War: English Civil War
Location: Winceby, Lincolnshire
Belligerents: Royalists and Parliamentarians
Numbers: Royalists 2,500, Parliamentarians around 5,000 (circa 3,000 cavalry, 2,000 infantry)
Casualties: Royalists around 1,000, Parliamentarians around 20
Commanders: Sir William Widdrington (Royalists), Oliver Cromwell (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|