Wednesday, 16 February 2011

English Civil War - Garrisons in the West Midlands

I have mentioned in previous posts about the highly complex political nature of the West Midlands during the English Civil War. The following list of local combatants (which can be easily found through any internet search) helps illustrate this point.

These commanders were all based within roughly a 10 mile radius of each other. If you are familiar with the places mentioned below, you will quickly realise just how complicated the region’s politics must have been, not just in terms of military but also personal allegiance. Even these garrisons were never really secure, for instance Rushall Hall was taken and subsequently lost by the Royalists whilst under the command of Prince Rupert.


The above map is actually to scale, the green box being approx 14miles sq.

The following list is by no means exhaustive.

Royalists:
Sir Thomas Leveson at Dudley Castle.

Colonel Lane at Bentley Hall, Walsall. 0.5 mile north west of Junction10 M6. Lane helped Charles II in his escape after the battle of Worcester.

George Hawe at Caldmore, Walsall. Caldmore is pronounced locally as 'karma'. Why? I have no idea.

William Hopkins at Oakeswell Hall, Wednesbury – the Hall was later the home of Jacob Epstein’s wife/muse Kathleen Garman.

Sir Thomas Holte at Aston Hall. North Birmingham. Located yards away from Aston Villa F.C.'s ground, Villa Park

Parliamentarians:
Sir Richard Leigh at Rushall Hall (1.5 miles north of Walsall).

Edward Dudley at the Greenhouse, Tipton (site of the Battle of Tipton Green, 12th June 1644). The house has long gone but its location was in the region of Mad O'Rourkes Pie Factory pub on Hurst Lane.

Simon Montford at Bescot Hall, Walsall (Junction 9 M6, opposite IKEA furniture store)

Thomas Parkes at Willingsworth Hall (half a mile to the west of Wednesbury)

Colonel John "Tinker" Fox (from Walsall but he commanded the garrison at Edgbaston House, Birmingham). Fox was such an irritant to the Royalists that he became their bogyman. It was later rumoured that he had even been the executioner of Charles I.