Nicholas Taylor, commander-in-chief of the Kenborough forces, convened a Council of Warre at the Kenborough civic hall. He had been forced to accept that the Royalist garrison at Trewes Castle would continue to be a thorn in his side with continual harrasment to his lines of supply and sporadic attacks against his patrols unless the castle was attacked and the “nest of vipers driven out”.
His senior officers pointed out that the recent loss of a supply trayne carrying powder and shot from Derby (to yet another Cavalier raid) would leave the garrison pitifully short of ammunition if the proposed attack became a protracted affair, and suggested requesting the assistance of Sir John Gell and his garrison in Derby, “in the hope of delivering a swift victory and control of this strategically important fort”.
Sir John Gell was duly consulted, and not only agreed to the undertaking, but also persuaded Colonel Thomas Grantham, who was taking his regiment to join the investment of the Royalist held city of Lichfield, to detour and join him on the march eastwards through the Erewash valley.
On the morning of the attack, Taylor established his field headquarters between the Trewes road and the river Erewash, where both troops of the Kenborough Horse (Taylor's and Bing's), Jessop's, Wagstaff's and Hampden's regiments of foot and Hill's dragoons formed up and prepared to “march on”.
Seeing this activity, the Royalist garrison, made up of Sedgewick's and Harrison's horse, the Trewes Trayned Band, Blake's and Broughton's regiments of foot, sallied out from the castle and took up a defencive line on the hill, intending to cary the fight to the enemy.
With no sign yet of the trayne of artillery or Sir John Gell, the Kenborough men advanced in good order and deployed into line of battle.
Hill's Dragoons formed a firing line on the far right of the Parliamentarion line, but this exposed position saw them immediately come under attack from the Royalist cavalry facing them.
However it was at this moment that a loud cheering erupted from the Parliamentary line. Sir John Gell had arrived on the field via the Chertney Mill road!
The dragoons had been driven off by the cavaliers, but Colonel Bing's troopers had swiftly moved into position to oppose the Royalist horse, thereby preventing any outflanking manouver they might have attempted against the line of pike and shot. Lord Sedgewick in the meantime had held his nerve when hearing of the roundhead reinforcements arrival and had despatched his own troop of horse to delay the enemy at the bridge while he instigated an orderly retirement back to the castle gates.
Gell's horse managed to fight their way over the bridge, attempting to clear the road for the foot regiments to advance and prevent the Royalists reaching the safety of Trewes Castle.
It was a close run thing, but as the Parliamenarian forces closed the net around the beleaguered Royalists, all of the foot and the remains of the horse managed to return to the castle and the gates were closed.
With the castle surrounded, Sir John Gell (as the senior officer present) arranged a parley with the defenders, during which he explained that the trayne of artillery would be arriving within the hour and was expected to be deployed and in action against the fortification before the evening set in.
In the interests of avoiding uneccessary bloodshed, Lord Sedgewick was offered the terms of marching out “with colours and personal arms”, but NOT “bag and baggage” (ensuring that as much of the recently plundered powder and shot remained in the castle armoury as possible!)
This battle evolved as part of the ongoing campaign and provided the perfect excuse to make further inroads to my “projects list” as we continue to endure Covid19 lockdown - with no real sign of a return to work for our branch of the entertainment industry for some time to come!So, I set about painting up 2mm scale duplicates of my existing 28mm ECW units (and added Gell's and Grantham's regiments of foot, which will have their 28mm counterparts added to the collection in due course) and made myself a DIY 'Travel Battle' board from an offcut of plywood and grass mat which fits rather neatly inside an old Monopoly game box. Modular roads and river sections were cut from grass mat and felt, but looking at the photo's I think the roads need replacing, ah well, just add another project to the list – along with “Trewes Hill” which was made by sticking grass mat to a carved piece of foam core........ which warped when the glue dried!
Many thanks for visiting the blog, it's been a while since the last post here thanks for Tempus doing its Fugit thing.
2mm really is at its best when used for BIG battles, but I hope I've demonstrated here that it's just as usefull for fighting same sized engagements we would normally employ 28mm miniatures for, but on a TINY compact, portable “table”. Your thoughts and comments are as ever, most welcome!