On the 1st November 1642, at Holman's Bridge just outside the town of Aylesbury, a battle took place between the Royalists under the command of Prince Rupert and the Parliamentarians, under the command of Sir William Balfore. Although vastly outnumbered, Balfore's troops defeated the Royalists, and the engagement became known as the Battle of Aylesbury.
Click on the following links to read two accounts of the battle:
In 1818 a large quantity of human bones were discoverd buried together near to Holman's Bridge. The condition and location identified them as being the remains of the men who had fallen in the battle. The bones were collected and deposited in a tomb in the churchyard of Hardwick, at the request of the late Right Hon. Lord Nugent, of Lilies, and the following inscription was engraved on the tablet:
"Within are deposited the bones of 247 Persons who were discovered A.D. 1818, buried in a field adjoining to Holman's Bridge, near Aylesbury. From the History and appearances of the place where they were found, they were considered to be the bones of those officers and men who perished in an engagement fought A.D. 1642, between the troops of K. Charles I., under the command of Prince Rupert, and the Garrison who held Aylesbury for the Parliament. Enemies from their attachment to opposite leaders and to opposite Standards, in the sanguinary conflicts of that Civil War, they were together victims to its fury. United in one common slaughter, they were buried in one common grave, close to the spot where they had lately stood in arms against each other. After the lapse of more than a century and a half their bones were collected, and deposited still in consecrated ground. May the memory of brave men be respected, and may our country never again be compelled to take part in a conflict such as that which this tablet records."
[Last updated: 8th November 2000 - Kevin Quick]