Battle of Alton, 13 December 1643

Battle during the Civil War that severely damaged a Royalist campaign under Sir Ralph Hopton that threatened Parliament's control of Sussex, and with it their main supply of Iron. Having failed to bring his Parliamentary opponent William Waller to battle, Hopton had put his troops into winter quarters at the start of December 1643, in four rather too widely spaced camps. The camp at Alton was commanded by Lord Crawford, who despite a warning from Hopton that Waller was likely to launch a sudden attack, was totally unprepared when that attack came. His men were only watching the main roads in Alton, and Waller marched 5,000 of his men down side roads, and by the time the alarm was raised they were on top of the garrison. Crawford immediately fled with his cavalry, leaving Colonel Richard Bolle, the infantry commander, to fight on. After a hard fought struggle around Alton Church that lasted over two hours, the Royalist force was destroyed, probably losing 700 men as captives alone, along with Bollie, who was killed towards the end of the battle.
cover The English Civil War , Richard Holmes & Peter Young, an early work by one of the country's best known military historians, this is a superb single volume history of the war, from its causes to the last campaigns of the war and on to the end of the protectorate.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (19 April 2001), Battle of Alton, 13 December 1643, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_alton.html


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