Winceby


Location of Winceby. Date: 11th October 1643
Location: Winceby, Lincolnshire
Parliamentarian Commander: Lord Edward Montague, Earl of Manchester
Royalist Commander: Sir John Henderson
Victor: Parliament


Manchester had completed the capture of King's Lynn (Sep 16), and marched North to join Sir Thomas Fairfax and Colonel Oliver Cromwell in their siege of Bolingbroke Castle.

Sir John Henderson, royalist governor of Newark, then took a large body of horse to relieve the garrison at Bolingbroke.

He was discovered by a small party of horse under Fairfax (Oct 10), who were driven off. Manchester decided that, despite the odds, it would be better to attack before they arrived at Bolingbroke, where they could be trapped between the two forces. He sent his cavalry, under Cromwell and Fairfax to intercept Henderson.

They met at Winceby, and a cavalry duel began.

Cromwell charged first, leading his men to the attack. In the second defensive volley from the royalists, Cromwell had his horse shot from under him, and only rejoined the battle when he found another horse.

Meanwhile, the charge had disordered the royalists, but not broken them. Fairfax then lead a second charge into their flank. This charge had the desired effect, and the royalist force broke and ran.

Since there was no infantry support, the parliamentary forces had little to do but chase the fleeing royalists, and the casualties suffered by Henderson were heavy. In comparison, the parliamentary casulaties were very light.

This action ensured that the siege at Bolingbroke was not broken. It also reinforced Cromwell's reputation as a leader of cavalry.

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