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Account of the Battle of Aylesbury by Lord Nugent


The small garrison of new raised Militia at Aylesbury had been moved to some quarter which was more closely threatened, and the town and the rich pastures which surrounds it were left unprotected. Thither Prince Rupert marched with a force of some thousands of horse and foot, and, after some days past in securing for the King's use much of the produce of the Vale and despoiling and laying waste much more than he secured, entered and possessed himself of the town. Here after one more day of free quarter in Aylesbury, during which the inhabitants were made to suffer all sorts of outrages from the soldiers, he received intelligence of the approach of a brigade of the Parliament's troops from Stony Stratford. Rupert, probably afraid of attempting a defence within the walls of a place, however well adapted by its situation for defence, where the townsmen were all his enemies, and having in his front a country over which his cavalry could act with great advantage, left there but a troop of horse and two companies of foot, and marched out with all the rest of his force to meet the advancing enemy. But he had not gone further than the brook, about half a mile to the northward of the town, where there was no passage but a bad ford, swollen by the rains, when he found himself checked by Balfore's horse and foot in column, on the opposite bank. After the first volley or two, Rupert charged across the ford, and, breaking through Balfore's two first lines of infantry, plunged into the centre of his horse, who were flanked on the right by Charles Pym's troop. And here a sharp conflict began. Sir Lewis Dives came up with the Prince's reserve, and Captain Blanchard with Balfore's; the musketry of the foot, the carbines and petronels of the cavalry, swords, and poleaxes all doing their work of death, and the soldiers of all arms mixed and fighting in one close and furious throng. It lasted thus but a few minutes. The King's troops were driven back across the stream, and Rupert rallied on the other side, only to lose more men from the fire, and to receive a charge in return, which drove him back in confusion towards the town. In vain did the troops hurry down to his support. The townsmen rushed forth upon his rear, with whatever arms haste and fury could supply to them, and Rupert began his retreat towards Thame, before the mingled troops and populace, who, however, after slaughtering the hindmost for above a mile, did not venture further to pursue among the enclosures, a force still superior to their own. In this action some hundreds of Rupert's men fell, and of the Parliamentarians above ninety.


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