Coordinates: 52°50′06″N2°04′01″W / 52.835°N 2.067°W
|Battle of Hopton Heath|
|Part of the First English Civil War|
The Battle of Hopton Heath
By J. T. Willmore after George Cattermole
|Commanders and leaders|
| Earl of Northampton † |
Sir Thomas Byron
| Sir John Gell |
Sir Willam Brereton
|1,200 ||1,400 |
The battle of Hopton Heath was a battle of the First English Civil War, fought on Sunday 19 March 1643 between Parliamentarian forces led by Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet and Sir William Brereton and a Royalist force under Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton. 
On 6 March 1643, Sir John Gell successfully captured the town of Lichfield in Staffordshire. Gell then decided that he would attack the Royalist stronghold at Stafford which protected the Royalist's supply route between the ports of Yorkshire and their capital at Oxford.  To capture such a garrison, however, Gell would need reinforcements and therefore he arranged to meet and combine forces with the cavalry of Cheshire commander Sir William Brereton. The two Parliamentary leaders decided to meet at Hopton Heath on the 19th of the month. Meanwhile King Charles had sent an expeditionary force under the command of the Earl of Northampton on a mission to take control of the West Midlands and Staffordshire. Northampton had joined forces with Royalist allies led by Henry Hastings at Tamworth and on 18 March they arrived at Stafford. 
On the morning of 19 March, Gell arrived at Hopton Heath. The Royalist forces became aware of the presence of the Parliamentarians mid-morning and shortly thereafter they began their preparations to advance to Hopton Heath. At 14:00 hours, Brereton arrived at the heath. The Parliamentarians took a position along a ridge on the northeast side of the field. In total, the Parliamentarian forces consisted of 1400 men including 700 infantry, 300 dragoons, and 400 cavalry. 
At 15:00 hours, the Royalists arrived and deployed in battle formation to the south of the Parliamentarians. Their combined forces consisted of 1200 men including 300 dragoons and 800 cavalry. Hastings led the initial attack with his dragoons and was successful at pushing the Parliamentarians back at the edges. An exchange of artillery fire began with the Royalists doing the most harm with their large 29-pounder known as "Roaring Meg."  
Northampton then led two cavalry charges aimed at the Parliamentarian's centre. Each time his attack was repulsed. On the second charge, Northampton was thrown from his horse into the Parliamentarian line where he was killed after refusing quarter. The Royalists regrouped and Sir Thomas Byron led a third charge against the Parliamentarians, but to no avail. Hastings tried to rally the Royalists for a fourth charge, but their energy was spent. At that time Brereton led a Parliamentarian infantry attack and pushed the Royalists back recapturing some of the field and artillery that had earlier been lost.   
At dusk the fighting ended and the Parliamentarians left the field. The battle was over, not to be resumed. Brereton returned to his headquarters in Cheshire and Gell left for Derby abandoning the attempt to capture Stafford.  Because of the nature of the cavalry charges against a Parliamentary force composed largely of infantry, the casualties were heavily one-sided; the Parliamentarians had 500 casualties as compared to 50 killed or wounded Royalists. 
After the battle, both sides claimed victory. The Parliamentarians believed they had won in that they held the field at the end of the day and had killed the Royalist's commander, the Earl of Northampton. The Royalists believed that they had won the battle in that they reoccupied the field the next morning and had captured eight artillery pieces. 
With respect to the control of Staffordshire, Stafford was now free of Parliamentarian threat. Henry Hastings and the Royalists immediately tried to retake Lichfield and its strongly defended Close on 21 March, but failed. Two weeks later, Prince Rupert entered Lichfield and surrounded the Close. On 21 April Colonel Russell and the Parliamentarian garrison surrendered. Lichfield would then remain a Royalist stronghold for the duration of the Civil War. 
The Battle of Roundway Down was fought on 13 July 1643 near Devizes, in Wiltshire during the First English Civil War. Despite being outnumbered and exhausted after riding overnight from Oxford, a Royalist cavalry force under Lord Wilmot won a crushing victory over the Parliamentarian Army of the West under Sir William Waller.
The First English Civil War battle of Lansdowne, or Lansdown, was fought on 5 July 1643, at Lansdowne Hill, near Bath, Somerset, England. Although the Royalists under Lord Hopton forced the Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller to retreat from their hilltop position, they suffered so many casualties themselves and were left so disordered and short of ammunition that an injured Hopton was forced to retire.
The Battle of Nantwich was fought on 25 January 1644 in Cheshire during the First English Civil War. In the battle, Sir Thomas Fairfax in command of a Parliamentarian relief force defeated Lord Byron and the Royalists.
Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton, styled Lord Compton from 1618 to 1630, was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1622. He became a peer by writ of acceleration in 1626 and by inheritance in 1630. He fought in the Royalist army and was killed in action at the Battle of Hopton Heath.
Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet was a British landowner from Derbyshire who acted as local Parliamentarian commander for most of the First English Civil War before resigning in May 1646. He was notorious for parading the body of his Royalist opponent through Derby after the Battle of Hopton Heath in March 1643.
The Battle of Winceby took place on 11 October 1643 during the First English Civil War near the village of Winceby, Lincolnshire. In the battle, a Royalist relieving force under the command of Sir William Widdrington was defeated by the Parliamentarian cavalry of the Earl of Manchester.
James Compton, 3rd Earl of Northampton FRS, was an English peer, politician and author, who fought for the Royalists during the First English Civil War.
Events from the year 1643 in England. This is the second year of the First English Civil War, fought between Roundheads (Parliamentarians) and Cavaliers.
The Battle of Sourton Down was a successful Parliamentarian ambush at Sourton Down, in South West England, on 25 April 1643, during the First English Civil War. After a failed attack on Royalist-held Launceston, the Parliamentarians fell back on their base at Okehampton, pursued by a Royalist army under Sir Ralph Hopton, who marched overnight, planning to attack the town at dawn.
Cornwall played a significant role in the English Civil War, being a Royalist enclave in the generally Parliamentarian south-west.
The Battle of Braddock Down was a battle of the south-western campaign of the First English Civil War. It was fought on open ground in Cornwall, on 19 January 1643. An apparently easy victory for the Royalists under Sir Ralph Hopton secured Cornwall for King Charles and confirmed Hopton's reputation as a commander. Hopton also gained respect for the mercy shown to his foe, of whom 1,500 were captured during and after the battle. The precise location of the battlefield is a matter of dispute, though English Heritage believe it to be within parkland at Boconnoc.
The First English Civil War started in 1642. By the end of the year neither side had succeeded in gaining an advantage, although the King's advance on London was the closest Royalist forces came to threatening the city.
1643 was the second year of the First English Civil War. Politically, the latter months of the year were the turning-point of the war. The King made a truce with the Irish rebels on 15 September which united against him nearly every class in Protestant England. Only ten days after the "Irish Cessation," Parliament at Westminster swore to the Solemn League and Covenant, and the die was cast.
The Battle of Burton Bridge was fought between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces at Burton upon Trent on 4 July 1643 during the First English Civil War. By the time of the battle, the town, which had at various times been held by both sides, was garrisoned by a Parliamentarian unit under the command of Captain Thomas Sanders and the town's military governor, Colonel Richard Houghton. The key river crossing at Burton was desired by Queen Henrietta Maria, who was proceeding southwards from Yorkshire with a convoy of supplies destined for King Charles I at Oxford. The Royalists, led by Colonel Thomas Tyldesley, launched a cavalry charge across the bridge which succeeded in defeating the Parliamentarians and capturing most of their officers, including Sanders and Houghton. The Queen's convoy proceeded on its way south to Oxford, with Tyldesley receiving a knighthood and a promotion in recognition of his victory. Burton changed hands several more times during the course of the war, before finally coming under Parliamentarian control in 1646.
The siege of Chester occurred over a 16-month period between September 1644 and February 1646 during the First English Civil War. In the engagement, Sir William Brereton and the Parliamentarians were ultimately successful in taking possession of the city and Royalist garrison commanded by Lord Byron.
The Battle of Montgomery took place during the First English Civil War of 1642–1646. On 17 September 1644, a Parliamentarian force commanded by Sir John Meldrum advanced to engage a Royalist army led by Lord Byron which was besieging Montgomery Castle in mid Wales. The battle was fought the next day. After the Royalists gained an initial advantage, the Parliamentarians counter-attacked and destroyed Byron's army.
Hopton is a village in the civil parish of Hopton and Coton and is within the English county of Staffordshire.
The Capture of Wakefield occurred during the First English Civil War when a Parliamentarian force attacked the Royalist garrison of Wakefield, Yorkshire. The Parliamentarians were outnumbered, having around 1,500 men under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, compared to the 3,000 led by George Goring in Wakefield, but successfully stormed the town, taking roughly 1,400 prisoners.
The Battle of Babylon Hill was an indecisive skirmish that took place between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces near Yeovil, in South West England, on 7 September 1642, during the early stages of the First English Civil War. The engagement occurred after a failed Parliamentarian siege of nearby Royalist-held Sherborne. After the Parliamentarians had retreated to Yeovil, a force of around 350 Royalists was sent to reconnoitre their movements. Under the command of Sir Ralph Hopton, the Royalist detachment established itself on Babylon Hill, on the outskirts of Yeovil.
Sir Thomas Byron was a Royalist officer during the First English Civil War. He had effective command of the Prince of Wales' cavalry regiment during the first year of the war, including at the Battle of Edgehill in late 1642. A few months later he led a charge during the Battle of Hopton Heath after the death of the Earl of Northampton, which helped the Royalists capture enemy artillery pieces. Byron was attacked by one of his own soldiers over a pay dispute in December 1643, and died from his wounds on 5 February 1644.