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Battle Name : Naseby

Date(s) : 14 June 1645

Part of : The Civil Wars of the Three Kingdoms , The 1st English Civil War ,

Outcome : A victory for The Parliamentarian Army over The Royalist Army

Type of battle : Land


The almost complete destruction of the King's Oxford Army by the New Model Army, and the beginning of the end for his cause.

Although Prince Rupert's horse broke the Roundhead left wing they continued to the rear to harrass the baggage. The right, under Cromwell was more disciplined and following a successful charge against Langdale's horse on the Royalist left, a proportion of his troopers wheeled to take Sir Jacob Astley's foot in the flank. The routed Royalists were followed for many miles by pursuing roundheads to ensure the armys destruction.


1 mile north of the village of Naseby, between Naseby and Sibbertoft, 8 miles south-west of Market Harborough in Northamptonshire, England. (England)

More details

A this point in the war following the Royalist capture of Leicester, it was essential to both sides to meet and test each other in battle.

The Kings forces, falling back on Market Harborough, started for the royalish fortress of Newark. Sir Thomas Fairfax rushed the New Model Army to meet him and they caught sight of each other coming up the Naseby ridge. The Royalists had 4,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry and twelve guns, a total of 9,000. The Parliamentary force, under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, had 7,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and thirteen guns, a total of 13,000.

Both armies were drawn up with their infantry in the centre and their cavalry on the flanks, with a small reserve behind. In addition, the Parliamentarians also deployed a regiment of Dragoons under Colonel John Okey along the hedges to the west of the battlefield, covering the approach to their position. The battle began with successful cavalry charges by the right wings of both armies, but while Prince Rupert’s troopers pursued their opponents as far as the Parliamentary wagon lines, where they were beaten off by Musketeers, Cromwell exercised tighter control and after he had driven off Sir Marmaduke Langdale’s Northern Horse he led his second line in an attack on Lord Astley’s Royalist infantry which, despite its inferior numbers, was pushing back the Parliamentarian centre. At this point Charles could have launched his reserve and Langdale’s rallied cavalry in a decisive counter-attack into Cromwell’s flank, but was stopped by the Earl of Carnwath who grabbed the reigns of his horse, turned him around and famously said “Would you got upon your death in an instant?” In the ensuing confusion the reserve was not committed and the moment passed. Okey’s dragoons mounted their horses and joined in the attack on the Royalist infantry which, heavily outnumbered and beset simultaneously from three sides, surrendered , although at least one regiment fought on to the bitter end. After this, the remainder of the Royalist army broke and fled, abandoning its guns and baggage. 6,000 Royalists were killed, wounded or taken prisoner, plus all their guns were captured. Parliamentarian casualties only amounted to about 1,000.

Naseby was a Parliamentarian victory which destroyed the Royalist cause in the Midlands. As the north had been lost to the Crown the previous year at Marston Moor, the few troops remaining to the King were confined to the South and West and these were unable to stop the Parliamentary stem of victory. Naseby is considered by some to be the decisive battle of the war. Although the war dragged on for a further year, the result was no longer in doubt.

[Additional details supplied by Chris Auckland of Thomas Wentworths Regiment of the Sealed Knot]

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The Royalist Army

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The Parliamentarian Army

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