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In the thesis I found an account of the siege of Thurland Castle by a parliamentary force under the command of Alexander Rigby. He learned of an attempt by forces from Cumberland to raise the siege and taking part of his force marched to intercept them. The two forces met at Lindal in Furness.
Rigby's force comprised about 500 infantry, three small troops of horse and two drakes. Ninety percent of the infantry were musketeers, with c50 pikeman in attendance. The Royalist force was led by Sir William Harrington and consisted of c1500 men, all clubmen raised in Cumberland. Some contemporary accounts also credit the Royalists with three troops of cavalry. The action, such as it was lasted little more than half an hour. Seeing himself outnumbered, Rigby decided to be bold and ordered a general attack. His cavalry overwhelmed their opponents who fled from the field. Seeing this, the clubmen also decamped. Over 400 prisoners were taken by Rigby whilst he admitted to only two casualties, one of whom was wounded when he accidentally shot himself in the foot!
|The Royalist left|
Preston's Regiment (small)
West Furness Musketeers (small)
A second battalia was commanded by Colonel Pennington
The horse were led by Colonel Strickland
The Parliamentarian force had under Rigby's command
Detached pike company
Captain Nutter commanded the three troops of horse
The battlefield had the road from Barrow to Ulverston on it's eastern edge. Two areas of enclosures were separated by Lindal Common which provided some open terrain for the cavalry.
|An early Parliamentary success|
A roll for initiative was won by Harrington, who tried to advance; only one command roll was successful, with Preston's regiment moving forward. Pennington failed to get any of his clubmen units to move forward and rather surprisingly Strickland's men also failed to move. This hesitation seemed to inspire Nutter, who got all three of his units to push forward with some speed. However, Rigby's men seemed quite happy behind the hedges and content to await the Royalist infantry. The sight of the approaching Parliamentary cavalry galvanised Strickland's men, The troops of horse from Dacre and Egremont charged forward to be met by pistol fire from their opponents. Lancaster, who opposed Dacre fired a telling volley which disorganised the Royalist horse who were forced to fall back after making no impression in the melee. Egremont rode through the pistol fire but were worsted in the melee and also fell back. Fortunately for the Strickland, the Parliamentary cavalry were also disordered by the melee and could not follow up.
|The Eskdale clubmen cross the hedge|
On the Royalist left, Strickland managed to get his men organised and moved forward to renew the fight with Nutter's men. They had some success, but Nutter committed his reserve, the troop of horse from Salford and once again both sides fell back to recover. Pennington had by now managed to get his clubmen to advance, but they made slow progress. Rigby's Yellow musketeers decided to advance and get into musket range of the Royalists. Their first few volleys had no effect and this seemed to encourage Pennington to press on. The Allerdale clubmen charged forward, but were stopped by a closing volley which forced them to fall back. Gallantly, they rallied and charged again, only to suffer the same fate. This time the accumulated losses resulted in a rout and they played no further part in the battle. Pennington had tried twice to get the Eskdale clubmen to charge in support of their comrades, but each time they held their ground. Now that the Allerdale unit was broken, Eskdale decided to obey orders; ignoring the closing volley from the Yellow musketeers they charged home. Against the odds the musketeers prevailed and Eskdale had to fall back. Pennington had by now managed to get the Leath clubmen to move forward, but their stay was short. One volley from the Yellow musketeers was sufficient to break them and they fled from the field.
|The Allerdale clubmen attempt to charge home|
|The decisive charge by the Egremont troop of horse|
The scenario demonstrated the difficulty of handling a force with a large number of militia units.
- The difficulty of coordinating an attack
- The weakness of the clubmen due to feeble musketry and low melee value