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A History of YALDING, Kent, England


 1643   THE CIVIL WAR. (BATTLE OF YALDING).

Apart from the main battles there were skirmishes between Parliamentary and Royalist supporters, over the length and breadth of the country, from Yorkshire to Exeter and along to Kent. Parliamentary scouts always kept Cromwell informed of developments. At about the 24th to 26th of July 1643 it was reported that:-
The insurrection in Kent, of which our Scout gave you the rise of, and incouragement unto, viz. a partie of horse that was to come from Oxford to joyne with them, is in part happily appeased by the Forces sent from London, being about 1800 foot, and two Troopes of horse, to whom joyned a few, but valiant Gentlemen of Kent. They could not agree the businesse by treatie at Sennocke (Sevenoaks), and thereupon the Kentish retreated towards Tunbridge, the Londoneres following them; who when they came within two miles of the Towne, heard Muskets goe off, and the bullets flie about their eares, but saw no enemy, for they had hid themselves in the Woods and Hedges, whereupon the Parliament Forces made severall shot at the Woods and Hedges which frighted them away, and then they drew into a body, about a mile and halfe from the Towne, which was no little joy to the London Boyes to see their Enemies faces, they discharged a little Drake or two, but to little purpose.
They then fell to their old way of Musket, with which they so pelted the Kentish men, that they gave ground more and more, so that at last they drove them into Tunbridge, and after two or three round bouts they got they Towne, and two hundred Prisoners in it, the rest fled, who were pursued by the Horse for sixe miles, and good execution was done upon them. The Parliament party lost sixe men, and the Enemy lost foureteene that were found dead, besides those they carried away. The Kentish lads were retreating towards the little Town of Yawling in the wilde of Kent.
The Parliament Scout report continues for the 26th / 27th of July 1643 and reads:-
One of our scouts has acquainted us with the resolute and discreet service of the worthy Knight, Sir Miles Levesey, which was performed at Yawling in the wilde of Kent: the care of those parts being committed to him.
Sir Miles understanding that a great number were gathered in and about the foresaid place, drew such forces of horse and foote as he had together, and planting his Ordnance for battering the Towne, drew neere himselfe with his power. His Ordnance were so planted, that hee might have beate the Towne upon the enemies heads, but being unwilling so to doe, if by treaty he could bring them to accord; hee summoned them, promising they should enjoy the benefit of the Parliaments Declaration, if they would submit and lay downe Armes.
They at the first were adverse, and not regarding the Parliaments Declaration, nor his power, but the pieces playing upon them, so affrighted them, that some of them fled, taking the benefit of the night, but were since apprehended, yet the major number stood upon their guard. He gave a false Alarme, which distracted them, which Sir Miles perceiving sent for two of the chiefe of them, who presently submitted, so forcible were his compassionate expressions to them.                                                                      Next