The Fight in the North

Newcastle’s opponents in the North, were the Parliament commander in the North, Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax, and his son Sir Thomas Fairfax. The Fairfaxes had raised an army from Parliament supporters in the cloth manufacturing towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Sir Thomas soon gained a reputation of a determined officer in a series of small actions in defence of barricaded towns and for attacks on Royalist quarters. Newcastle marched against the Fairfaxes’ headquarters at Bradford and crushed their army at Adwalton Moor on 30 June 1643. Sir Thomas Fairfax retired on Bradford and defended it briefly, probably as a rearguard action to cover his father’s retreat, but the town was untenable and he broke out with his cavalry. Caught up in a running fight, Sir Thomas only had two officers and three Troopers left with him when he finally joined his father at Leeds. Sir Thomas’s wife, Anne, who had left Bradford with him riding behind one of his officers, was captured in the pursuit. The Fairfaxes abandoned Leeds and retreated to Hull. Ever the gentleman, Newcastle treated Lady Anne Fairfax ‘with all civility and respect’ and provided a cavalry escort and his own coach to return her to her husband in Hull. The Parliament’s Northern army had been destroyed and there was nothing to prevent Newcastle marching south if he chose to do so.

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