General George Monck once described the Royalist horse as “a rabble of gentility”. Modern research has largely dispelled this image of the King’s cavalry. However the description seems at first sight appropriate to the body of cavalry known as the “Northern Horse”. Formed from those elements of the Marquis of Newcastle’s Northern Royalist Army which elected to continue to fight after the crushing defeat at Marston Moor (2 July 1644) during the next 15 months the Northern Horse swept across much of England and Wales , becoming increasingly notorious in the process. United and reorganised by their commander, the formidable Sir Marmaduke Langdale, the Northern Horse, whilst professing loyalty to the King, increasingly followed their own agenda, of renewing the war in the North, sometimes at the expense of the wider Royalist cause. This book looks at the origins and composition of the Northern Horse, the characteristics of its officers and men, their motivation and behaviour, and their impact on those they encountered. It examines their chequered fighting record, a subject of debate even among contemporaries. It will deal with their victories, notably their epic relief of Pontefract in March 1645, and their controversial role at such encounters as Naseby and Rowton Heath. The book makes extensive use of contemporary sources, some used here for the first time. Extensively illustrated, including specially commissioned artwork and maps, ‘Rabble of Gentility?’ will be welcomed by readers interested in the history of the British Civil Wars, living history enthusiasts, wargamers and model makers, and those interested in the history of Northern England in the 17th century.
RABBLE OF GENTILITY The Royalist Northern Horse, 1644-45 “Century of the Soldier” Series
The “Northern Horse” were the die-hard remnants of the Horse of Newcastle’s Army who continued in arms after Marston Moor. The mere fact of their continued existence after the destruction of Newcastle’s army is testament to their stubbornness, and John Barratt gives a good analysis of the reasons behind their continued existence as a fighting force. The book is well illustrated with some useful maps and some very good colour plates.
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