Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Pedro

1643 HEATH CIVIL WAR BATTLE

Recommended Posts

Anyone know just where the battle took place on 3rd April 1643 ? The new housing development opposite Morrisons has taken 'Heath' name but seem to recall reading somewhere that either Royalists or Parlimentarians crossed river at Latchford and came up on the blind side as it were - somewhere round by Ackers Lane/Road. Have been referred to a Victorian historical novel by James Grant 'Hollywood Hall' which mentions the battle and can apparently be downloaded - has anyone read it ? A friend had idea of a reenactment (Sealed Knot Society) in 1993 (350 years) but after the Bridge Street bombing was obviously inappropriate. Maybe it could be revived in conjunction with the annual festival.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know just where the battle took place on 3rd April 1643 ? The new housing development opposite Morrisons has taken 'Heath' name but seem to recall reading somewhere that either Royalists or Parlimentarians crossed river at Latchford and came up on the blind side as it were - somewhere round by Ackers Lane/Road. Have been referred to a Victorian historical novel by James Grant 'Hollywood Hall' which mentions the battle and can apparently be downloaded - has anyone read it ? A friend had idea of a reenactment (Sealed Knot Society) in 1993 (350 years) but after the Bridge Street bombing was obviously inappropriate. Maybe it could be revived in conjunction with the annual festival.

 

Pedro here is the link to the book you mentioned:

 

http://archive.org/details/hollywoodhallat00grangoog

 

when on the page clk on 'Read on Line' this will open up the book on adobe, if you then type in 'Stockton Heath' in the top search bar then enter it will mark all the places where the name occurs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was it a full scale battle or just a rearguard cavalry skirmish by Lord Derby's Cavaliers? :unsure:

 

Obs, only my opinion, due to the lack of information and comparing it with the battle of 'Redbank' at Winwick I would say that it was a skirmish, at Redbank there have been a large amount of artifacts ie. buckles, musket balls etc recovered, whereas Stockton Heath I am not aware of anything being found, after saying that, it has been described as a 'battle', perhaps cavalry rather than foot soldiers.

 

The book that Pedro mentioned "Hollywood Hall, a tale of 1715" by James Grant, Pub.1859. Is a romantic novel loosely based on historical data, personally I am not convinced that it represents historical accuracy, eg. around the time that the story took place 1715 a skirmish at 'Old Walton Hall' is mentioned, I doubt that was possible as the hall was built by the Greenall family between 1836 to 1838

.

Quote from "Village Voucher":-

In 1643, parliamentarian forces advanced from Northwich to attack Warrington. Troops were routed at the "Battle of Stockton Heath" as referred to in the 1859 novel 'Hollywood Hall' by James Grant: "A priory, situated in a wooded hollow, ruined and battered as the Royalists had left it in 1643, next caught my eye, when, riding rapidly on, I approached a wide waste common called Stockton Heath, past which the Mersey rolled amid swamps and morasses filled with rushes and willows."

 

The same novel frequently refers to Stockton Heath as a "waste" and makes numerous references to swamps nearby.

 

Not much changed then!!!

 

Here is a much more accurate description of "The Siege of Warrington" by James Kedrick M.D.

 

PRESENTED AS A TEXT WITH SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ORIGINAL AND WITHOUT EDITING.

 

I. — ^An Account of Warrington Siege, A.D. 1643; ani> of some

 

Manuscripts of that Period recently discovered at

 

Houghton Green, near Warrington,

 

By James Kendrick, M.D,

 

During the same winter {164J^-43), the Earl of Derhy is said to have

strongly fortified the town of Warrington, but in what its military defences

consisted we have no record. In a Puritan tract entitled "Manchester's

Joy for Derbie*s Overthrow, 1643," it is styled "a town of great strength:" —

the "outer walls" of the town are expressly mentioned by Edward Burghall

in his Diary entitled "Providence improved"* — and Mr Ormerod in his

"Civil War Tracts," already referred to, speaks of mud walls being thrown

up at Warrington, as at Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool, and Lancaster.

Moreover, one of the precepts found at Houghton Green, requires the

attendance of six carts with horses and drivers, and of ten able bodied men

with spades, for the repair of the works of Warrington garrison, after the

Siege which is the subject of our present enquiry. They cannot, however,

have been of great extent, since they have left no obvious remains to the

present day.

 

But be this as it may, the possession of Warrington was considered of

such importance by Sir William Brereton,f one of the most successful of

the Parliamentarian leaders, that in the spring of 1643, bemg at Northwich,

in Cheshire, he requested Col. Assheton^ to send him 500 of the Manchester

forces from Wigan to aid his own troops in gaining the town of Warrington

from the Earl of Derby. On the morning of Easter Monday, the 3rd of

April, a small advanced body of Brereton's forces, under the command of

Captain John Ardeme, of Alvanley, approached the town on the Cheshire

side. The Earl of Derby, perceiving that their force was small, at onc<)

sallied out to attack them, and encountering them on Stockton Heath,

about a mile to the south of Warrington, a severe engagement took place,

in which many of the Parliamentarians fell. The timely arrival of Sir

William Brereton, with the remainder of his forces, alone prevented a total

rout, for the Earl judged it best to draw off Ins troops, retiring to the town

 

• Edward Burghall was Vicar of Acton, near Nantwich, Cheflhire. A manascript copy

of bis Diary ** Providence Improved" 30 pages folio, is in Uie British Musenm, (Add.

MSS. OBdl, p. 110.) and from this the quotations made use of in this paper haie been

carefully copied.

 

f Sir William Brereton, of Ilonford, Chesljire, baronet; a deputy lieutenant for the

County of Lancaster.

 

I Colonel Ralph Assheton, of Middleton, Lancashire. He had captured Wigan in con-

junction witli Sir John Seaton, on the Saturday previous, April 1st.

 

 

 

23

 

with many prisoners, and several of the enemy s colours. Under the guise

ci these colours the Earl contrived at four o clock in the afternoon of the

same day, to push forward a considerable body of his men, who crossing the

Mersey at the ancient Ford at Lachford, (See the adjoining Plan,) advanced,

by the route of Ackers Common, unsuspectedly upon the right flank of the

Cheshire troops, and he himself leaving the town by the bridge and causeway

at WHderspool, assaulted them so furiously in front, that with trifling loss

on his own part, he completely routed them, as the account states ''with

greate slaughter and little labor."

 

It is traditional that such of the Puritans as fell in the battle of Stockton

Heath, many in number, were interred in the burial-ground of the Chapel,

already alluded to at Hill-Clifl*. Others, probably disaflected Churchmen,

were buried at Budworth, five miles south of Stockton Heath, as we find in

the register of burials there, the following entries. —

 

1643. AprUl 6. Thomas ffirih de Barnton gardianus qui apud Stock-

tan Heath in prcdio occisus fuit tertio die mentis Aprilis d teptd, sexto

die ApriUs.

 

6. Johannes Amerie de Barnton eonstabtdarius qui prosUo eodem

die d loco d sepult, sexto die ejusdem Aprilis.

 

16. Thomas fil, Thomas Yewley sepul. decimo sexto die Aprilis.

 

20. Thomas Yewley de Aston qui periit oh vulneribus acceptis apud

Stockton Heath tertio die Aprilis sepult. vicesimo die ejusdem mensis,

 

22. Bicardus Ridgway de Budworth qui periit apud Stockton Heath

tertio die.

 

In connection with the period we are now considering, another interesting

tradition is current amongst the congregation who worship at Hill-cliff

Chapel. It runs thus : — ^That during the Civil War, a man and his wife,

members of their congregation, suffered martyrdom (impljring, I presume,

for their religious tenets,) by order of " a person liigh in authority at War-

rington.*' I have not yet been successful in finding any written record of

this occurrence, but it is singularly in accordance with a passage in *' Lan-

cashire's Valley of Achor,"* printed in the same year (1648), in which it is

Stated that the Royalists at Warrington killed ** a g(Hlly man and his wife

in their own house,'* which was in the adjacent country.

 

Notwithstanding the severe defeat sustained by Sir William Brercton at

 

• lU'priutcd iu Oriuerod'H « Civil War TmcU," {Chcth. Soc) \k 13m.

 

 

 

u

 

Stockton Heath on the 3rd of April, he appears still to have remained in

the neighbourhood of Warrington, for on the Wednesday following (April 6th)

we find him effecting a junction on the Lancashire side of the Mersey*

with the expected troops from Wigan, as I believe, under the command of

Colonel Richard Holland of Heaton. At 4 p.m. on this day the conjoined

forces, in the description of Burghall, ** beset the Town about, and fiercely

assaulted it, having gotten Sankey Bridge, a fair House of one Mr. Bridg-

man s, and some of the outer Walls, and within a short space of Time were

Hkely to have the whole ; which the Earle perceaving set the middle of the

Town on Fire, protesting hee would bum it all ere they should have it ;

which the Parliament Forces perceaving (seeing the Fire still increasing,)

to save it from utter desolation withdrew their Forces after they had been

there 8 dayes and more, and so departed for that time." I may remark in

passing that the *' fair House of one Mr. Bridgman*s" mentioned in the

above extract is still standing, though degraded to the rank of a tavern,

the '* Black Horse,** at Sankey Bridges, about a mile fix)m the town. The

initials and a date, " H. B. 1632,** are still visible on an oak beam in the

front of the house. — {See the adjoining Plate,) Its occupant at the time

of the Seige of Warrington was Edward Bridgman, a royalist, who in 1647

compounded with the Parliament for his estate by a fine of one hundred

poimda.

 

There are several other sources of information relative to this first assault

upon Warrington,! but as the second volume of the Chetham Society*s

Transactions has rendered them of easy reference, I shall introduce one

 

 

 

* At what point Sir William Brereton crossed the Mersey npon this occasion is

matter of conjecture. There it» no ford westward of Warrington except Hale, and this

was probably the route taken. He was certainly acquainted with it, and aware of its

importance in a military Tiew, for in May, 1645, when the Royalists under Rupert and

Maurice had reached Whitchurch on their way to attack Liverpool, he thus writes to the

Parliamentary commanders at Warrington : — " Gentlemen, — I am very glad to heart thai

you have taken soe good course to secure Hale Ford and Ronchome^ wch. I conceive must

be by casting up some sconces, yt I believe may doe. Ye enemy I am assured is ai ,

Whitchurch <tc. rfc."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting Alg: presumably Warrington's strategic position on the Mersey, made it a target. Heard the tale of Cromwell staying at the cottage in Church St and the firing of a cannon ball at the Parish Church, but never read any definitive accounts of it. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The civil war has always intrigued me, although I only know of the main battles etc. To see the local skirmishes described as above is quite fascinating. Great postings.

 

Happy days

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Algy - thanks for the Hollywood Hall novel link and SH battle/skirmish papers - looks like the fighting was around Ackers Lane area with Parliamenterians taking a beating but Brereton seems to have been a determined character and Royalists' Warrington HQ for Lancashire was surrendered a few weeks later in May 1643. Ironic that WW11 Victory celebrations for SH, Walton etc. were held on the field at Ackers in 1945 - well remember the free food and pop. The Walton Old Hall mentioned in the novel would have been the former property now Old Hall Close, further down Walton Lea Road than Walton Hall/Gardens. Old Hall predated the Greenalls' pile and for many years was occupied by a farm manager - after death of Lord D 1939 his widow Frances Lady D moved to Old Hall which was sold after her death to a local dentist who did a deal with builders Ashalls who built him a bungalow and developed the 'close' after demolishing the Old Hall house and outbuildings. Present Lord D's grandfather who inherited 1939 (his elder brother killed in a motor accident in Windsor Park)lived on the family's estate in Ireland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Algy - thanks for the Hollywood Hall novel link and SH battle/skirmish papers - looks like the fighting was around Ackers Lane area with Parliamenterians taking a beating but Brereton seems to have been a determined character and Royalists' Warrington HQ for Lancashire was surrendered a few weeks later in May 1643. Ironic that WW11 Victory celebrations for SH, Walton etc. were held on the field at Ackers in 1945 - well remember the free food and pop. The Walton Old Hall mentioned in the novel would have been the former property now Old Hall Close, further down Walton Lea Road than Walton Hall/Gardens. Old Hall predated the Greenalls' pile and for many years was occupied by a farm manager - after death of Lord D 1939 his widow Frances Lady D moved to Old Hall which was sold after her death to a local dentist who did a deal with builders Ashalls who built him a bungalow and developed the 'close' after demolishing the Old Hall house and outbuildings. Present Lord D's grandfather who inherited 1939 (his elder brother killed in a motor accident in Windsor Park)lived on the family's estate in Ireland.

 

Pedro, I must be slipping I forgot all about the 'Old Walton Hall' I even have a couple of photos of it somewhere, I shall root them out and post them.

There are some very good downloadable books (pdf) about Cromwell on the Internet Archive,

here is a link:-

 

http://archive.org/search.php?query=cromwell%27s%20letters

 

good reading, Pedro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Cromwell references Algy - looks like a lot of reading !! There is a farm on A49 at Whitley named Crimwell Pool Farm which was originally named Cromwell Pool Farm after Oliver and his army watered their horses there 1648. Name was changed after a tenant wanted a pedigree prefix for Shire horses and found Cromwell already existed (a bit like how I came to be Pedro) and with agreement of landlord name was changed to Crimwell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pedro, as promised a couple of photos of 'Old Walton Hall', not brilliant images but I don't think I have come across any others.

 

WaltonOldHall.jpg

 

 

WaltonOldHallreargarden.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice pic Algy - one has been removed but am guessing they are your's of old Walton on the new Parish Council website (if anyone can find it amongst all the other Waltons in UK !! Brought back many fond memories of annual fete at the Old Hall gardens (a tory bash I think) and Church choir carol singing for Lady Fances D in the Hall hall - pop and mince pies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice pic Algy - one has been removed but am guessing they are your's of old Walton on the new Parish Council website (if anyone can find it amongst all the other Waltons in UK !! Brought back many fond memories of annual fete at the Old Hall gardens (a tory bash I think) and Church choir carol singing for Lady Fances D in the Hall hall - pop and mince pies.

Pedro, I removed the photo as every now and then I have a sort out in my photobucket account as I accumulate so many that I get confused as to where everything is, however I have replaced it. These two were a batch I supplied to the person was was designing a new website for Walton so I'm fairly sure they were two of mine so to speak, in fact as far as I'm concerned anybody who wishes to download them can do so as strictly speaking they don't belong to me and are in the public domain. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was the Old Hall and it's gardens part of what is now Walton Hall and it's gardens Algy or was it somehwere else nearby ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was the Old Hall and it's gardens part of what is now Walton Hall and it's gardens Algy or was it somehwere else nearby ?

Does this 'ring a bell' Dizz, it should do as you could walk to there in about 10 mins.

Another clue perhaps - 'Old Hall Close'.

 

ScreenShot001.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you read Pedro's post on the 29th March Obs :wink::P

 

(It's the same post that I should have read again before asking where Walton Old Hall was yesterday :oops: )

 

Sorry for my stupidity Pedro and Algy :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So where exactly Alg, was this "battle"? :unsure: :unsure:

Obs, bare with me on this subject, as rather than simply say, between Wilderspool Causeway and Ackers Common, I feel it needs a bit more substantiating.

 

"Read on McTavish!" :wink:

 

The battle/skirmish took place to the east of the hamlet of Stockton Heath mid to south of Ackers Common, the following is an extract from the book by Arthur Bennett - "The Dream of a Warringtonian", in Bennetts 'Preface' to the book he writes the following:

 

Occasionally my authorities differ and I make no pretence to original research. But, in spite of it's imaginative form, the first six chapters of the story are, in all essentials, true; and according to the best available data, the old towns past was pretty much what I have painted it. May the future correspond as nearly with my dream's auspicious close!

ARTHUR BENNETT.

Warrington,

1st January 1900.

 

As the following text came from Chapter IV of the book, I see no reason to believe Bennett deviated from his statement.

 

"Have you not heard?" he said. "Why Colonel Assheton is laying siege to Warrington. He has planted his artillery upon Mote Hill, and is doing all he can - the sour-faced renegade - to bring the church about our ears."

"But what is all the fighting for?" I asked.

You must have dropped from some high planet not to know," he said. And then told me how the Parliament was in revolt against the King; how Charles had meant at first, to raise his standard in "the good old town," and how the Earl of Derby had assembled here a body of twenty thousand troops with that in view; but how his envious enemies had whispered black suspicions in the monarch's ear, and so persuaded him to raise the flag at Nottingham instead; how from the town the Earl had sallied forth on various sieges, and from time to time had succeeded, but had often failed; how he had fortified it to the best of his ability with rude mud walls; and how, but lately, he had routed a body of Roundheads under aptain Arderne, capturing their standards, and securing many prisoners, on Stockton Heath. He added that the Timely coming of Sir William Brereton, with reinforcements, had alone prevented their complete discomfort. The Earl, it seemed, had then retired; but at four o'clock, had sent a body of his soldiers forth again by way of the old ford at Latchford, carrying the captured flags; and, thanks to these they managed to cross Ackers Common unsuspected, and had fallen suddenly upon the right flank of the foe, the Earl himself departing, meanwhile, by the Bridge, and marching swiftly up the Causeway to attack them simultaneously in front, and so completely routing them, "with greate slaughter and little labor". The slain, I found, had been interred in the *old burial-ground upon the hill, and some at Budworth several miles away.

 

* Hill Cliffe old cemetery.

 

The map is from Arthur Bennet's book.

The coloured route lines I have added and may be, and probably are, totally incorrect, although the battle would definitely have taken place in the area covered on the map. I'm more than happy for someone to accurately correct them.

 

001.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant map Algy - it's looking like the clash of 'heads' was around Lumbrook underbridge (before the canal of course). Can anyone suggest why I have had to sign in twice in last three days to reply on forum ? am I being hacked ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant map Algy - it's looking like the clash of 'heads' was around Lumbrook underbridge (before the canal of course). Can anyone suggest why I have had to sign in twice in last three days to reply on forum ? am I being hacked ??

I scanned the map from the book, I managed to find and purchase an original one from an American ebay site for a few pounds whereas uk book shops wanted upwards of £100+, 'robbery', it's a good clean copy but rather delicate around the binding and unfortunately wouldn't stand loaning out.

 

Post Gary or Dizz/Peter (Moderators) about your problems in signing in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's quite difficult to imagine the terrain of the period, given subsequent building (canal etc), I think the course of the river Mersey was different too? Battles of the period were generally fought from opposing high ground, but this one sounds like an encounter battle, where terrain may not have been a key feature of their dispositions. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's quite difficult to imagine the terrain of the period, given subsequent building (canal etc), I think the course of the river Mersey was different too? Battles of the period were generally fought from opposing high ground, but this one sounds like an encounter battle, where terrain may not have been a key feature of their dispositions. :unsure:

 

I would say your quite correct obs as it sounds as if the Earl of Derby sent out a scouting party under the captured banner's from a previous skirmish with the Roundheads and when they encountered the right flank of the Parliamentary troops they probably withdrew sending a message back to The Earl's headquarters in Church Street, from which he then marched with his Royalist troops over the Bridge and along Wilderspool peeling of eastwards across land that is now Loushers Lane and met the Roundheads somewhere around Lumb Brook to Ackers Road as they descended from the higher ground near Bridge Lane where they would have been exhausted after the long march from Northwich.

I'm afraid it is all conjecture though as the history of the event remains very fragmented. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be interesting to learn which side the Town supported? I've heard that we were a bit like the Italians, and supported whichever side was in Town! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: your earlier post where you say it is difficult to imagine the terrain of the period Obs .

 

The 1859 novel Algy mentioned called 'Hollywood Hall' (by James Grant) mentions the battle and and has a decription of the area.

 

Whether it is a true representation is unclear as like Algy says the novel was written some 200 years on from the battle but I recon it's pretty likely as most of the land around here was waste land and the little hamlet ot Stoken/Stocken (now Stockton Heath) was clearly a very barron area with not much going for it at one time.

 

It is described in the novel as being.....

 

"A priory, situated in a wooded hollow, ruined and battered as the Royalists had left it in 1643, next caught my eye, when, riding rapidly on, I approached a wide waste common called Stockton Heath, past which the Mersey rolled amid swamps and morasses filled with rushes and willows.[9]"

 

The same novel frequently refers to Stockton Heath as a "waste" and makes numerous references to "swamps nearby."

 

Not much has changed in all the centuries then as Stockton Heath in it's present form often seems like bit of a "waste" and "Swamp like" especially at weekends too.... nowt but boozers and drunken and argumentative "roundheads" looking for a arguement and a punch up ...... OUCH :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×