The Battle of Chippenham 1643 - royalists of the King's Western Army are caught on the road to Oxford
The Battle of Chippenham 1643 – royalists caught on the road

Two brilliant days at the Battle of Chippenham 1643 re-enactment – pikes, blackpowder and books. Thank you to all!

The Battle of Chippenham

Although victorious, the King’s Western Army lacked ammunition after the brutal Battle of Lansdown Hill. Their situation was made worse the next morning when captured powder was lost in an explosion that badly burned Sir Ralph Hopton.

Unable to follow up their success, the Western Army continued its march towards Oxford. However, they were pursued and caught at Chippenham by Sir William Waller and Parliament’s army of the Western Association, on 8 July 1643.

The Western Army turned back over Chippenham Bridge to face its pursuers. The two armies faced each through the night and next morning, in the fields to the west of the town, in a standoff broken by skirmishes.

On the afternoon of Sunday 9 July 1643, the Western Army withdrew back through Chippenham and continued its march. However, lacking enough good cavalry to counter Waller’s horsemen on the open Wiltshire plain, the Western Army was forced to turn off the Great Road towards London and head south for Devizes.

Waller and his Parliamentary horse caught the straggling Western Army again at the village of Rowde. A rearguard defended the ford long enough for Hopton’s army to drag itself into Devizes. But it could go no further.

The Siege of Devizes followed. Hopton’s foot remained trapped in Devizes while Prince Maurice and his cavaliers broke out, only to return with reinforcements from Oxford that met Waller on Roundway Down. But that is another story.

English Civil War Re-enactment

Chippenham hosted a brilliant English Civil War re-enactment, with two days of clashing pikes, musket volleys, drums and cannon fire on Monkton Park and the Island.

With thanks to the English Civil War Society, Sir Marmaduke Rawdon’s Regiment of Foote and the Baggage Trayne for a great living history event.

An English Civil War musket volley during the Battle of Chippenham 1643 re-enactment
An English Civil War musket volley

English Civil War Historical Fiction

If you are interested in the Battle of Chippenham, you might enjoy The Keys of Hell and Death. This English Civil War novel includes an account of the battle. Publication day will be 4 June 2024. Historical notes on the battle will also be on this website shortly after the launch.

In the meantime, you might also enjoy God’s Vindictive Wrath, the first in the Divided Kingdom series. If you do, there is a free ebook short story available to download from this website. Desecration sits between the two novels and is set during the Storming of Winchester in December 1642. I hope you enjoy them all.

The assembled Wiltshire mayors for the Battle of Chippenham 1643 and God's Vindictive Wrath, an English Civil War novel
The assembled Wiltshire mayors

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