Charles ordered his force to march on London. But, Essex had left troops at strategic locations on the westward approach to London. Two regiments of Parliamentary foot held fortified positions at the village of Brentford – a strategic river crossing. Charles ordered Prince Rupert to take Brentford and a brigade of three royalist regiments were resupplied with ball, powder and match and ordered to attack. Rupert's cavalry and dragoons advanced to the outskirts of the village under cover of a thick early morning mist on the 12 November. The initial Royalist attack was repulsed by regiment of Parliamentarian foot around the house of Sir Richard Wynne, but Rupert ordered in a regiment of Welsh foot to press forward the attack. It is at this point we take up the penultimate encounter in this ECW mini campaign.
Note: I've since discovered from more reading that I have not replicated the Parliamentarian deployment or the scope of the battlefield as well as I could have. The action was fought more over the bridge on the side labelled as New Braynforde on the map below with the Parliamentarian foot falling back to a barricade on the bridge after the first skirmish at Sir Richard Wynne's house, and subsequently falling back to a second barricade across the road through New Brentford (behind their first position).
|Moses Glover's 1635 map of Brentford (source)|
Victory conditions / replacements:
Victory is awarded to the first commander who destroys two of their opponent's elements. For the Royalists any losses cannot be replaced at Turnham Green (the final battle of this campaign). All Parliamentarian losses are automatically replaced at Turnham Green reflecting the influx of foot received when the London Trained Bands were mustered.
If the Royalists win at Brentford they can set up the terrain for Turnham Green representing the fact that the parliament forces fell back in some disarry and not buying enough time for Parliament to pick a good position at Turnham. If Parliament win at Brentford then they can set up Turnhams terrain as they see fit as they bought themselves enough time to prepare. Thanks to 'Cromwell' of Fanaticus for help with fine tuning these victory conditions (and for developing the whole concept of this campaign).
|Prince Rupert's force (foreground) deployed on the outskirts of Brentford|
|Royalist troops (foreground) make their first contact with the parliamentarians defending the village of Brentford|
Rupert keenly aware that storming Brentford would be costly, ordered half of his cavaliers to sweep right of village to cut off the Parliamentarian line of retreat. Despite the steady advance of the Welshmen into the village, Lord Brooke's foot only gradually back into the town centre. Rupert sought to break the deadlock with a sudden charge of his remaining cavaliers down the main street - hurdling the Parliamentary barricades. Meanwhile, his dragoons flanked the village on the left.
The Battle of Brentford was a Royalist victory (0:2) with two Parliamentarian regiments of foot destroyed.