chapter  5
The creation of the New Model Army and the royalist defeat
Pages 27

The king’s withdrawal of his army to Oxford after recovering his artillery from Donnington Castle marked the end of a very long campaign season. Remarkably for the practice of warfare in the mid-seventeenth century, most of the major armies in Britain did not go into winter quarters. Instead, they operated through the winter of 1643-4. For example, the Scots crossed the Tweed on 17 January, beginning a slow advance that took them to York by mid April. Sir Thomas Fairfax campaigned vigorously in December and January in Cheshire and Lancashire and then moved east to Yorkshire. The Cavalier commanders Rupert and Newcastle spent the winter countering these moves. Similarly, the royalist Hopton and the parliamentarian Waller thrust at one another in Dorset and Hampshire during the winter and spring.