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Engraving of Lincoln
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Lincoln was the greatest prize to fall to parliament as a result of the Winceby victory.

It had been an intense fight but it had only lasted for fifteen or thirty minutes. Some 200-300 royalists were killed on the battlefield and more in the pursuit, with some 800 prisoners being taken, which Manchester sent to Boston.

Burne and Young, followed by various more recent authors, claimed the victory at Winceby for Fairfax. They were, for some reason, unwilling to grant Cromwell the recognition that the contemporary accounts make clear was his. This was due to him in two respects. It was not simply that it was the charge of Cromwell’s regiment of Ironsides alone that broke the royalists. It was also the attention he had given over the preceding months to equipping and training of the Eastern Association cavalry. As the royalist official report made clear, ‘their horse are very good, and extraordinarily armed…’.

The victory at Winceby saw the collapse of royalist control in Lincolnshire, the minor garrisons including Bolingbroke being surrendered or abandoned over the following six weeks including, finally, Lincoln itself. However the royalists were later to recover much of the ground they had lost after Winceby and so the Eastern Association army would have to mount a new campaign in Lincolnshire in 1644. But even though the impact of the battle was not long lived, the 11th October 1643 was still an important day for the parliamentarian cause. As Fairfax was in pursuit of the fleeing royalists at Winceby, his father was enjoying a similar success outside the walls of Hull, where his troops sallied out and drove Newcastle’s besieging forces into retreat, raising the siege of this key parliamentarian garrison. The victory at Winceby and the raising of the siege of Hull were the first signs that the royalist tide could be halted. In 1644 Hull would provide an important logistical base for the parliamentarian campaign in Yorkshire, but it was the Winceby victory that, with hindsight, one can see was the most significant event. It announced the arrival of Cromwell’s Ironsides on the national stage. The days of royalist cavalry supremacy were numbered. In the summer of 1644, at Marston Moor, the Ironsides would break Rupert’s cavalry, winning the largest battle of the Civil War, giving control of York and of the North to parliament and marking the beginning of the end for the royalist cause.


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