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Battle of Gainsborough
The Armies and the Losses
The royalist force consisted of 30 troops of horse and dragoons from Newark, but only 16, including those from the Duke of York’s regiment, were used in the battle, so around 800-900 men. They were commanded by Sir Charles Cavendish.
On 27 July, Meldrum (from Nottingham), with three hundred horse and Cromwell (from Cambridgeshire), with six or seven troops of horse and some dragoons joined forces with a body of local troops from Lincolnshire at North Scarle, south of Gainsborough. The combined parliamentarian force comprised 24 troops of horse and dragoons, probably between 1,200-1,500 men. The force probably included Lord Willoughby’s regiment of horse and his regiment of dragoons.
During the battle General Sir Charles Cavendish was amongst the 360 royalists that were killed, either in the marshy ground by the River Trent, on the plateau known as Foxby Hill, or when being pursued by parliamentarian troops over the wider area. Other royalist commanders killed included, Lieutenant-Colonel Markham and Colonel John Heron, High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. The most notable parliamentarian casualty was Colonel Francis Thornhagh, a prominent horse commander in Nottinghamshire, having succeeded his father as colonel of the Nottinghamshire horse in April 1643, who, although badly wounded and captured in the initial skirmish, still managed to escape.