Battle of Seacroft Moor
30th March 1643
Sir Thomas Fairfax had marched to Tadcaster to destroy the bridge over the river Wharfe, which controlled the main road westward. He failed and so fell back into the West Riding, pursued by a large body of royalist horse sent unde the command of George Goring to intercept him.
Fairfax's force was from the enclosed landscape of West Yorkshire and so was strong in musketeers. In an enclosed landscape they were a fromidable force but in an open landscape they were very vulnerable to cavalry attack. Although they managed to cross Bramham Moor safely, Fairfax's men began to straggle as they crossed Seacroft Moor, marching on the main road towards Leeds. Goring, rather than following the Parliamentary force, had moved onto Seacroft Moor via a more northerly route. Twenty troops of royalist horse descended on the smaller parliamentarian force and with only three troops of horse and few, if any, pikemen to protect his musketeers and clubmen from cavalry attack they were defeated.
Fairfax lost as many as 1000 of his infantry at Seacroft and in later years he would describe this as his worst ever defeat, with only a few cavalry reaching the safety of his father's main army at Leeds.
Name: Battle of Seacroft Moor
Type: major skirmish
Campaign: 1643 campaign for the north
War period: First Civil War
Outcome: royalist victory
County: West Yorkshire (Yorkshire: West Riding)
Terrain: unenclosed upland moor
Current land use: intensively built up
Date: 30th March 1643
Armies: Royalist: cavalry under George Goring; Parliamentarian: a mainly infantry force under Sir Thomas Fairfax
Numbers: Parliamentarian: mainly musketeers and just 3 troops of horse; Royalist: 20 troops of horse
Grid Reference: SE346360 (434649,436058)
OS Landranger map: 104
OS Explorer map: 289
For a location map CLICK HERE
- Cooke, Dave, The Forgotten Battle: The Battle of Adwalton Moor, Battlefield Press, Heckmondwike, 1996, p.9-10