Roundway Down

Royalist forces led by Henry Wilmot and John Byron encountered William Waller and his Parliamentary army at Roundway Down, near Devizes, on 13th July, 1643. Arthur Haselrig, commander of Parliamentary forces on the right, made the first charge but it was easily repelled by Wilmot's men. Waller attacked but failed to make any headway against the Royalist forces. Wilmot and Byron led a counter attack and the Roundheads were forced to flee. The battle at Roundway Down resulted in Parliament losing 1,500 soldiers and established that Charles II had full control over the West Country.

Primary Sources

(1) Richard Atkins, was a Captain in the Royalist army. On 13 July, 1643, he took part in the Royalist victory at Roundway Down. In this extract Atkins describes trying to kill General Arthur Haselrig, the leader of the parliamentary army at Roundway Down.

It was my fortune to charge Sir Arthur Hesilrige... He discharged his carbine first but at a distance not to hurt us... I then... discharged mine; I'm sure I hit him, for he staggered and wheeled off from his party and ran... I pursued him... and in six score yards I came up to him, and discharged the other pistol at him, and I am sure I hit his head... but he was too well armed all over for a pistol bullet to do him any hurt, having a coat of mail over his arms and a headpiece that was musket proof... I employed myself in killing his horse, and cut him in several places... the horse began to faint with bleeding, and Sir Arthur fell off. Then a group of troopers... charged and rescued him.