Further Reading

Primary Sources

Royalist sources predominate for the battle of Brentford, but are less forthcoming about Turnham Green. The most useful are:

Ashmole MS830 fo. 293 (in the Bodleian Library):  This is reprinted in Turner’s History and Antiquities of Brentford (1922) and in the English Historical Review Vol 36 (1921).   This is a letter from M.S. (probably Matthew Smallwood) who was serving with Sir Edward Fitton’s (royalist) regiment which was involved in the assault on Brentford.

John Gwyn’s Memoirs:  Gwyn was a soldier in Sir Thomas Salisbury’s (royalist) regiment of foot and appears to be the primary source for the attack on Sir Richard Wynn’s house.

Historical Manuscripts Commission:  Calendar of the Marquess of Ormonde (New Series Vol II 1903):  This provides John Belasyse’s (royalist) account and gives interesting detail on the latter stages of Brentford, Turnham Green and the retreat.  Belasyse was a royalist regimental commander who had commanded a brigade at Edgehill.

Cornwall Record Office DDT (Tremayne of Heligan) 1609/1:  a letter quoting Lord Mohun, who was accidentally with the royalist forces at Brentford. It is dated 19 November 1642 and contains some interesting details.

Sir Richard Bulstrode's Memoirs and Reflections (1721) - Bulstrode served in the Prince of Wales' (royalist) regiment of horse.

Edgehill, Peter Young, (Windrush Press (1995)): is useful for its reprint of some of the relevant contemporary (royalist) accounts including ones from; Prince Rupert's 'Diary'; Sir Philip Warwick; and some extant royalist pay warrants from 16 and 18 November 1642.

Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon’s, History of the Great Rebellion is always useful, though he was in Oxford when the royalist army was at Brentford and Turnham Green and his accounts are therefore second hand.

Parliamentarian accounts are better for Turnham Green, but some provide useful insights for Brentford. The main sources include:

Historical Manuscripts Commission 29th Report Volume III (Portland MSS):  contains the official parliamentary dispatch of the battle of Turnham Green from the Committee of Safety in London to its counterpart in Herefordshire on 15 November 1642.

Edmund Ludlow's Memoirs are good on Turnham Green, though it is generally accepted his account has been modified by his publishers, incorporating information he did not include in the originals. Ludlow was present at Turnham Green.

The title page of the 1732 edition of Bulstrode Whitelocke’s Memorials of the English Affair which covers Turnham Green

The title page of the 1732 edition of Bulstrode Whitelocke’s Memorials of the English Affair which covers Turnham Green

The Diary of Bulstrode Whitelocke (Ed. Ruth Spalding, British Academy (1991)), although limited on Turnham Green it is quite useful.  The diary was also used as a basis for the later 'Memorials of the English Affair' (1682) which, whilst more expansive, also appears to have been added to by the publisher.

Bodleian Library, MS Don c.184, f29r.  This is a letter written in the week after Turnham Green that focuses on the outcome of Turnham Green and whether it was a missed opportunity for Parliament.

John Lilburne's accounts: can be found in in Cobbett's State Trials and British Library Thomason Tracts E314/2.  Lilburne served in Lord Brooke’s parliamentary regiment at Brentford and was captured there.

Other useful Thomason Tracts include parts of E74, E127 and E126.

The National Archives SP28/141B provides the accounts of the committee for wounded and maimed soldiers.  Part 3 provides details of soldiers captured at Brentford.

The National Archives SP28/2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and 4 hold the pay warrants for Essex’s army and Warwick’s force of volunteers from August – December 1642.  This provides useful detail on unit numbers.

Secondary Sources

Most books about the battle of Edgehill contain a few paragraphs detailing the battles of Brentford and Turnham Green, but the treatment is usually perfunctory.  The only published study of the battle of Brentford is   Chippendale’s -The Battle of Brentford (Partizan Press (1991)).  This is a solid account, but does not make use of all the sources.


One of the keys to understanding battles is a recreation of the historic landscape so that contemporary accounts can be better understood.

Brentford is fortunate as Moses Glover’s 1635 shows much of the battlefield.  This can be found in Chippendale’s book, in the Victoria County History for Middlesex and on this website, which is itself useful for describing topographic development in and around Brentford.  Roy Canham’s 2000 Years of Brentford (HMSO (1978)) also provides a useful commentary on this.  The London Guildhall Library MS10464A has the odd snippet which helps in understanding the landscape between Brentford and Turnham Green.

Turnham Green is more problematic.  The London Guildhall Library and London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) contain maps and documents which enable an idea of the landscape to the west, south and east of Chiswick common field to be developed.  The Guildhall sources are MS 11816 f231-3, MS 25632 f213, map case 260 and map case 305.  The key LMA document is ACC531/66, Survey of the Manor of Sutton Court in Middlesex in Elizabeth 32 (ie 1590) which provides details of the fields around Sutton Court which can then be matched up with later maps.  Detail on the nature of enclosure between Turnham Green and Acton is more difficult to find.  Rocque’s 1746 map of London and its environs is also useful, though not entirely trustworthy.



Alnwick U.1.6/20 (Household accounts of Syon House 20th January 1642/3 to 20th January 1643/4)

Ashmole MS 830 folio 292-293

A True and Perfect Relation of the Barbarous and Cruell Passages of the Kings Army at Old Brainceford, 1642

Bodleian Library, MS Don c.184, f29r

British Library, Thomason Tracts E242/11 A Perfect Diurnal of the Passages in Parliament, 1642

British Library, Thomason Tracts E127/19 The Valiant Resolution of the Seamen Under the Command of the Earle of Warwick, 1642

British Library Thomason Tracts E127/21 Certaine Speciall and Remarkable Passages … 12-18 November 1642

British Library, Thomason Tracts E127/24 A declaration and manifestation of the proceedings of both armies, 1642

British Library, Thomason Tracts E127/35, Speciall Passages and Certain Informations from Severall Places…Tuesday 15 November - Tuesday 22 November 1642

British Library Thomason Tracts E314/2 Innocency and Truth Justified, 1645

British Library Thomason Tracts E73(4) God In the Mount or a Continuation of Englands Parliamentary Chronicle

Commons’ Journal Vol II

Complete Collection of State Trials, Cobbett London 1809 Vol IV pg 1270-1470 The Trial of Lt Col John Lilburne 24-26 October 1649 at the Guildhall

Cornwall Record Office DDT (Tremayne of Heligan) 1609/1

Diary of Bulstrode Whitelocke, Ruth Spalding (Ed), British Academy 1990

Diary of John Rous, incumbent of Santon Downham, Suffolk, from 1625 to 1642, Mary Anne Everett Green (Ed), Camden Soc., LXVI, 1856

The London Guildhall Library Pam 1137 Speciall Passages and Certain Information from Severall Places (Tues 8 November - Tuesday 15 November 1642), 1642

London Guildhall Library MSS 10464A, folio 41

Historical Collections Part 3 1642-1644 Vol II, John Rushworth, 1659

Historical Manuscripts Commission 29th Report Volume III (Portland MSS)

Historical Manuscripts Commission:  Calendar of the Marquess of Ormonde Vol II New Series (1903) A Brief Relation of the Life and memoirs of John Belasyse Written and Collected by His Secretary Joshua Moore

Historical Notices (Vol II), Nehemiah Wallington, 1869

History of the Great Rebellion - Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon,Oxford University Press, (dates various)

Life of James II (Vol I) - Rev J S Clarke, 1816

Lords’ Journal Vol V

Memorials of the English Affair - Bulstrode Whitelock, 1682

Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow - Edmund Ludlow, 1668

Memoires of the Reign of King Charles I - Sir Philip Warwick, 1701

Memoires of the Lives, Actions, Sufferings and Deaths of those noble, reverend and excellent personages that suffered by death, sequestration, decimation or otherwise for the protestant religion, and the great principle thereof, allegiance to their soveraigne, in our late intestine wars, ... and from thence continued to 1666. With the life and martyrdom of King Charles I, David Lloyd. Canon of St. Asaph, 1668

Military Memoirs of the Great Civil War: Being the memoirs of John Gwyn - John Gwyn (Ken Trotman) 1987

Royalist Ordnance Papers, ed. Ian Roy, Oxfordshire Record Society, 2 Vols (1964, 1975)

Somer’s Tracts (Vol V), ed. Walter Scott, 1809

The National Archives SP28/2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4

The National archives SP28/141B part3 – accounts of the committee for wounded and maimed soldiers

The English Civil War: A Contemporary Account Vol 2 1640-1642 - Edward and Peter Razzell (Eds) (Caliban Books), 1996

The Life and Death of the Illustrious Earl of Essex, Robert Codrington, 1646

Walter Yonge’s Diary of Proceedings in the House of Commons 1642-1645, Christopher Thompson (Ed), 1986


Battle of Brentford - Neil Chippendale, Partizan Press (1991)

Edgehill - Peter Young Windrush Press (1995)

Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars 1638-1651 - Charles Carlton, Routledge (1992)

History of the Great Civil War, S R Gardiner, 1894

Memorials of John Hampden: His Party and his Times, Lord Nugent, 1880

The Edgehill Campaign and the Letters of Nehemiah Wharton - Stuart Peachey, Partizan Press (1997)

The Great Civil War - Alfred H Burne and Peter Young, Windrush Press (1998)