The bloodiest battle – Marston Moor (2nd July 1644)

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By 1644, the Civil War was entering its third year.

Until then, the conflict in the North of England had been dominated by a victorious Royalist Army led by the Marquis of Newcastle, but the intervention of a Scots Army of 20,000 men dramatically now changed the balance of power in Parliament’s favour.

By April, Newcastle’s once-dominant Royalist force was besieged in York and at the end of June the King was forced to despatch a force from the Midlands lead by Prince Rupert to relieve his northern capital.

On 1 July, Rupert outmanoeuvred the Scots Covenanters and Parliamentarians besiegers to relieve the city.

The next day, although outnumbered, Rupert’s force confronted the Scots and parliamentarian armies on Marston Moor, an expanse of wild meadow west of York. In the early evening, the Scots Covenanters and Parliamentarians launched a surprise attack beginning one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in Britain.

Professor Andrew Hopper of the University of Oxford takes up the story with Publisher Mike Gibbs.

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Andrew Hopper

Andrew Hopper

Professor of Local and Social History

Andrew Hopper is Professor of Local and Social History in the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He…

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Video Marston Moor: The Largest Battle Of The English Civil War The English Civil War: The Battle of Marston Moor 1644 (Animated map)

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