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Campus

EVENT: The battles of Arundel 1643-44

By ChiUni 09 Jan 2018

5pm, Academic Block 2.01

The Arundel Civil War campaign, over the winter of 1643-44, has been largely forgotten. Historians provide differing summaries of what happened, and who was involved. The aim of this study was to analyse eyewitness accounts and contemporary sources in order to identify participants, establish a timeline, and expand on the sketchy accounts of the action.  This process has produced evidence which challenges standard views of events.

It is doubtful that Sir Ralph Hopton captured Cowdray en route to Arundel. It is clear that Hopton, (credited with taking Arundel and the castle), stayed in the rear and that Colonel Joseph Bampfield was the main Royalist commander, with Colonel Edward Ford, (not Ford and Edward Bishop as is usually stated).  It also seems likely that the larger part of the parliamentarian attack to retake Arundel came from the west, not the north.

The final 19 day siege involved deployment of a 10,000 strong parliamentarian army. It is difficult to estimate casualties, but they were considerable because of the battle, siege, and the subsequent typhus epidemic which affected both sides. The lost location of mass burials is an intriguing enigma.

The conclusion of this research is that the Arundel campaign was larger and far more significant in its outcome than has been recognised. This defeat, together with that at Alton, prevented the planned royalist advance through Sussex into Kent in the spring of 1644 which, had it been successful, might have changed the course of the war. 

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