Battlefields Trust Talk: Edgehill

Edgehill talk 01

16th November 2013, Banbury Museum.

Battlefields Trust Mercia region coordinator, Simon Marsh, gave a detailed and engaging analysis of the first major battle of the English Civil War, Edgehill (1642).

His account began with an examination of the Swedish and German (Dutch) infantry systems and how and why the Royalist commanders believed the Swedish system would benefit their army.

If there were any benefits to be had, however, they had dissipated by the time the infantry came into sight of the enemy as the formation proved too complex for the amateur  soldiers asked to employ it.

By the time battle was joined, the lead three Royalist tertia were presenting a single line ‘of nine bodies’ and the simple Dutch array was used thereafter.

In Simon’s opinion it seems there is no evidence to suggest that minor formation differences or doctrines played any decisive part in the conduct or outcome of the battle.

Edgehill talk 02(powder bottle cap from the fighting at Edgehill)

There was a small selection of finds on display from metal detecting on the battlefield which has helped identify the position and orientation more securely (and which places the battle nearer Kineton and with the armies rotated through 60 degrees compared with the traditional reconstruction) …

There was also some information circulated on the (lottery funded) Battle of Edgehill Information Hub which is particularly keen to hear from anyone whose family history connects them to the Banbury/Kineton area in the 17th century …

A thoroughly worthwhile talk to attend.   And there are two more to come … Cropredy on Jan 18th and Edgcote on Feb 22nd.  Details on the Museum’s News Page

Banbury Museum is a relatively modest facility, but what exhibits it has are well displayed. There was a good display on the evolution of the town and a nice couple of cases of 17th century military equipment.

It does boast a lecture theatre and a friendly cafe which served a pretty good cup of coffee – worth arriving early and having a light lunch next time, I suspect …

Edgehill talk 03

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