The often forgotten Battle of Aylesbury was fought on the 3rd of November 1642. It was much more than just a skirmish in the margins of the English Civil War. The winter food supply of London was at stake.

Aylesbury - John Hampden Statue
Aylesbury – John Hampden Statue

Often ignored and rarely understood, the forgotten Battle of Aylesbury was much more than just a skirmish. It was key to seizing and holding London. Its importance lay in an early attempt to ‘weaponise’ food. Parliament announced its victory to Londoners as ‘Good and Joyful News out of Buckinghamshire’.

By the end of the battle, some 247 men lay dead around the ford at Holman’s Bridge. If nothing else, this number is an indication of the seriousness of the fighting.

This website includes historical notes on the battle at: The Battle of Aylesbury 1642. These explain the background to the battle, the strategic importance of the Vale of Aylesbury and the battle’s place as a prelude to the Battle of Brentford.

The King’s Head in Aylesbury is worth a visit. It is an extraordinary inn, owned by the National Trust and run by Chiltern Brewery. It is a ‘hidden gem’ dating back to 1445, complete with cobbled yard, gatehouse, great hall and priest hole.

Both Henry VI and Henry VIII visited. The inn has a chair that was once used by Oliver Cromwell. The Protector probably sat on it when he stayed and received the thanks of Parliament after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Aylesbury - the King's Head Inn
Aylesbury – the King’s Head Inn

For those with an interest in the Civil War, or simply a love of historical fiction, ‘God’s Vindictive Wrath’ includes an account of the Battle of Aylesbury. It also includes the battles of Edgehill and Brentford. There are more signed copies in Waterstones Aylesbury, as well as copies at Bucks Libraries. Thanks all for a very good visit and enjoy!

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