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Battle of Chalgrove Field
Part of the First English Civil War
Date18 June 1643
LocationBetween Chalgrove and Chiselhampton, Oxfordshire
Result Royalist victory
Royalists Parliamentarians
Commanders and leaders
Prince Rupert Sir Philip Stapleton
Colonel John Hampden +
1000 cavalry [1] 1150 cavalry and dragoons[1]

The Battle of Chalgrove was a small battle during the English Civil War in the county of Oxfordshire. It took place around 09:00 hours on the morning of 18 June 1643 in Chalgrove Field, northeast of Chalgrove in Oxfordshire. It was a minor Royalist victory and is notable for the mortal wounding of Parliamentarian Colonel John Hampden, who died six days later of his wounds.


Acting on information from Colonel John Hurry, who had recently defected from the Parliamentarians, Prince Rupert took 1,800 men on the night of 17 June on a raid to harass the Earl of Essex's army and attempt to capture his payroll of £21,000.[2] On the morning of 18 June, Prince Rupert's force surprised and destroyed Parliamentarian garrisons at Postcombe and Chinnor.[3] The pay convoy evaded Rupert, and Parliamentarian troops led by Sir Philip Stapleton and Colonel John Hampden pursued Rupert back towards Oxford. At Chalgrove, about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of the city, Rupert ordered his infantry ahead while his cavalry set an ambush.

The battle

The Parliamentarian horse closed quickly before the ambush could be set, leaving the two sides separated only by a large hedge. Leading the charge, Rupert

... set spurs to his horse, and first of all, in the very face of the [enemy], lept the hedge that parted [him] from the Rebells.[4]

The Royalist troopers quickly followed and routed the Parliamentarians in the short, sharp engagement which followed. During this fight, John Hampden was mortally wounded in the shoulder (some sources claim by two carbine balls, others by shrapnel from his own pistol exploding).[5]


John Hampden retired to Thame where he died six days later.[3]

Poor Hampden is dead ... I have scarce strength to pronounce that word.

Anthony Nicholl, M.P., on hearing the news.[6]

Following Chalgrove, Colonel Hurry led another raid a week later which swept around Essex's army and plundered Wycombe. This led to sharp criticism of Essex in London, and he offered his resignation, which was refused.



  • Public Domain Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) "Hampden, John" Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press 
  • Guest, Ken; Guest, Denise (1996). British Battles. London: Flamingo. ISBN 0-00-470968-3. 

Further reading

Coordinates: 51°40′12″N 1°04′12″W / 51.67°N 1.07°W / 51.67; -1.07

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