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Action at Tadcaster

Battle Name : Action at Tadcaster

Date(s) : 06 December 1642 - 07 December 1642

Part of : The Civil Wars of the Three Kingdoms , The 1st English Civil War ,

Outcome : A victory for Royalist Forces over Parliamentarian Forces

Type of battle : Land


The Earl of Newcastle assaulted and took Tadcaster from Lord Fairfax


Tadcaster, 10 miles west of York. Yorkshire, England (England)

More details

The Parliamentarian forces of the North under Lord Fairfax attempted to secure the valuable cloth towns of the West Riding by advancing on Leeds, and finding it uncontested were encouraged to move further forward to Tadcaster where their forces were concentrated.

A council of war decided that the position was too exposed and a withdrawal was planned, but royalists from York attacked before moves could be made.

During the morning of the 6th, The Earl of Newcastle planned to attack the works from the east, while his Leiutenant, the Earl of Newport with horse and dragoons attacked from the west. Newport failed to arrive, but Newcastle decided to attack anyway.

At around 11 in the morning, his main body of 4,000 men advance on the works, but were repulsed by well timed volley fire from the defending Roundhead musketeers. The battle then flowed back and forth throughout the day with the Cavaliers at one point taking and occupying several houses in the town and using them as a strongpoint, only for Fairfax's troops to re-take and fire the buildings to prevent a re-occupation. Breaches in the works were made, but as it grew dark around 5:00pm the Cavaliers withdrew to fields nearby to await the morning.

That night, although losses among Fairfax's defenders had been light, ammunition was very short, and the position was precarious, a retreat on Selby was ordered. The following day Newcastle occupied the town, capturing a few who had been left behind

As Fairfax had retreated south instead of west, the West Riding was now open to Newcastle, who promptly occupied Pontefract, cutting off the western Parliamentarians from the Roundhead port and arsenal of Hull.

Casualty figures

Royalist Forces

Number engaged :

Casualties :
100 (2.50%)

Parliamentarian Forces

Number engaged :

Casualties :