Taken Yesterday at the Battle of Maidstone Re-enactment. I called it 'Truth' as this was the Parliamentarian's watchword in the battle.
The 1st June 2008 marked the 360th anniversary of the Battle of Maidstone when Lord General Fairfax, in one of the bloodiest and hard fought battles of the Civil War, defeated the Royalist insurgents under the Earl of Norwich. He had been on his way up country to protect against an imminent invasion from the Scots when rebellion broke out in Kent. Canterbury, Rochester, Sittingbourne, Faversham and Sandwich were seized by the Royalists and so the loyal Parliamentarian, Fairfax, was ordered back down South to deal with the immediate threat coming closer to London.
By the evening Fairfax had secured the outer defences and stood before Maidstone itself, intending to storm the town the following morning, however later on that night heavy skirmishes broke out, amid heavy rain Fairfax decided to make a general assault. The Royalists resisted in a series of furious street battles, but their barricades were gradually overwhelmed and the defenders were driven back through the town to make a stand at Gabriel’s Hill. Repeatedly the Royalist cannons fired, but under the leadership of Farifax the Parliamentarians maintained their cohesion and continued to inch forward.
During a pause in the fighting the Parliamentarian arm shouted their watchword ‘Truth’ and charged the guns before the Royalists could reload. Within minutes they were overlwhelmed as the rest of Fairfax’ men came over the hill. The Royalists retreated up Week Street but continued to hold their opponents in check for more than an hour with disciplined musket fire. Finally they were driven into St Faith’s churchyard making a courageous last stand before finally surrendering in the early hours of Friday 2nd June.
1400 Royalists were taken prisoner, 300 were slain. Parliamentary losses were 80 killed, most losing their lives on Gabriels Hill.
Thanks as always for your time, your comments/thoughts are very welcome.
Regards - Sarah x