The Armies & the Losses

The parliament army, under the command of Lord Fairfax, was weak in cavalry, had only four pieces of field artillery and just 3500 or 4000 regular troops, even after being reinforced by infantry from Manchester and stripping troops from various local garrisons. They were accompanied by a large number of ‘clubmen’ armed with makeshift weapons, but they would only be of value in the pursuit of a routed enemy. Fairfax’s army was thus far smaller than the royalist army of the Earl of Newcastle, which comprised at least 9000 and had a good balance between horse and foot. However, the vast majority of the parliamentarian infantry were apparently musketeers whereas Newcastle, despite his total numbers, had fewer musketeers than Fairfax. This would be a major factor in Fairfax’s favour and the outcome of this battle, more than many others, would be determined by the ability of the commanders in exploiting the advantages of the ground.

In the battle the parliament army lost 3 artillery pieces, 500 killed and 1400 captured, whereas on the royalist side the losses seem to have been very light.


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