Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Battle of Darrington October 1642

After their successful raid on the outlying villages of Borchester and victory in the skirmish at Ambridge the Royalists resolved to seize the initiative.

Colonel Dancy reported that the defences of Borchester would only get stronger, the manor houses of Perivale, Leyton Cross and Lakey Green are already garrisoned and earthworks have been prepared. Reports from Borchester indicate that the populace is working on reinforcing he medieval walls with earthen ditches and ramparts. Herbert Gussett, the Earl of Gantham, decides to act swiftly.

The Royalists have three regiments of foot at their disposal, each around 800 men strong, although a shortage of weapons means the ratio of muskets to pike is the obsolete 1:1. Grantham's own regiment of Whitecoats are reinforced by Sir Charles Marchmain's regiment and another regiment consisting of the Felpersham Trained Band. The Royalists strength however, is in the eleven troops of horse they have mustered, all of whom, with the exception of Grantham's lifeguard of cuirassiers, are trained to charge at the gallop in the Swedish fashion reserving fire until contact. In all Grantham has almost 3500 men, around a thousand of which are mounted.

Electing to approach Borchester as directly as possible, he reaches Darrington after a two day march where, to the Royalist's surprise, they are confronted by a Parliamentarian army blocking their path.

The Parliamentarian Governor of Borchester, Edward Dighurst, has hurriedly organised and concentrated his forces to meet the Royalist threat. The defeat and Ambridge was a salutary lesson - he is aware that his cavalry are no match for the Royalists in the open field - but he has no intention of sitting in half finished fortifications waiting for the King's men to attack. Sir George Fortescue, a veteran of the wars in the low countries has been appointed Sergeant Major General and will lead four regiments of foot and 12 troop of horse in the coming battle. Numerically the Parliamentary forces have parity with their enemies, although the infantry are better equipped. It is these men, including the redcoats of the Borchester Trained Band and Dighurst's own regiment of Yellowcoats that Fortescue will depend upon...

300 point game of DBR scheduled for tonight

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