Eve of the Battle

On the 17th June 1643 Essex sent out 2,500 men to Islip on Sir Samuel Luke Scout Master General’s intelligence that it was unguarded and offered a way into Oxford.  3,000 Royalist horse who were stabled at Bletchingdon three miles away were soon lining the ridge, which deterred the Parliamentarians from advancing.  Without a shot being fired Essex’s men returned to camp very weary, those out of Chinnor having marched 40 miles.

On the same day Prince Rupert commanded that his men by ready to march from Magdalen Bridge at 4pm.   His strength was near 2,000 men comprising of:

  • About 1,000 Horse under three Regiments, namely:

    • His Highness the Prince of Wales Regiment commanded by Sergeant-Major Daniel.;
    • His Highness’s own Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel O’neale to which was added his Highness’s fair Troop of Lifeguards commanded by Sir Richard Crane.
    • The third and last Regiment was General Percy’s, commanded by himself.

  • Of Dragooners some 350 under my Lord Wentworth their Sergeant- Major General drawn altogether out of his Lordships own Troop, Prince Rupert’s Regiment, Sir Robert  Howard’s, and Colonel Washington’s Regiment were commanded by Colonel Innes.

  • Of foot there were between 400 and 500 commanded men without Colours led by Colonel Lunsford.

  • The van of this greater Party was a lesser Party commanded by Sergeant Major Legge made up of the Prince of Wales’ Regiment with 100 other commanded Horse and some fifty Dragooners under Lieutenant-Colonel Lisle. These marched like a forlorn hope a distance before the greater Party.

Prince Ruperts army set out on a slow march for Chiselhampton Bridge, arriving about 7pm.   Camoy’s Court by Chiselhampton Bridge being visited by Prince Rupert and the other officers.

At dusk, the refreshed and rested Royalist troops prepared to march into no man’s land on their way to raid Chinnor.  With this little Army without any ordnance by one a clock next morning (18 June) the Prince was in Latchford lane and could see guards with lighted match lining the walls of Tetsworth church.  Some shots were fired but the Prince passed by without returning fire.  However from this time forward they had the alarm and warning by it throughout all their quarters.  By three in the morning they were at Postcombe.  There lay a Horse Quarter of Rebels who having little time to mount were stormed by the Dragooners.  Some pistols with other horsemen’s arms and horses were taken together with nine prisoners and one Cornet of Colonel Morley’s of Sussex.  The Royalists advanced along the Icknield Way towards Chinnor and by five in the morning had surrounded the village.

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