chapter  5
9 Pages


Arthur, Lord Capel, was born the heir of one of the richest squires in Essex and Hertfordshire. By 1640 he was the foremost man of that latter county, and its leading MP. In 1641 he joined the nascent Royalist party in Parliament, and Charles rewarded him with a peerage.1* On the coming of war he became one of the King’s foremost supporters and high in his favour, being made one of the Council of War2 and colonel of a horse regiment.3 His appointment as LieutenantGeneral was public knowledge by 15th March4 and by 23rd March he was in Shropshire to take up his command.5 He had been despatched from Oxford with his own horse and sixty barrels of gunpowder, match and bullets to make that command more effective. With him was a veteran soldier, Michael Woodhouse, who had been commissioned as commander of his foot forces but whose specific mission was to raise a new foot regiment to reinforce the field army.6