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Turnham Green – Londoners’ victory 

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The Battle of Turnham Green was arguably, one of the turning points of the English Civil War. It was also something of a non event.

 

According to contemporary records, the merchants of London provided transport for food to be taken to the Parliamentary troops, prepared by the women of London, and the citizenry also travelled out to watch the battle. 

But, whether through fear, or reluctance to take on the population of the capital, the King's forces held back. There was a stalemate till evening, when the Royalists retreated towards Oxford where the King had established his headquarters. It was the only time in the Civil War that King Charles came close to retaking control of his capital city without which he could not hope to win.  

Today Turnham Green tube station marks the spot where the parliamentary forces stood. A small park remains in a conservation area in fashionable Chiswick. The battlefield itself is lost under urban development. 

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When the King headed back towards the capital that autumn, his forces had some early success; they took Brentford, sacked the town and captured the populist leader John Lilburne.

But then events turned. Londoners rallied to a call to take up arms against their King. What they lacked in weapons or training, they made up for in numbers. The Parliamentary forces that gathered on Chelsea Field to march to Turnham Green totalled 24,000, compared with the Royalist forces of 13,000.

According to contemporary records, the merchants of London provided transport for food to be taken to the Parliamentary troops, prepared by the women of London, and the citizenry went out to watch the battle.

But, whether through fear, or reluctance to take on the population of the capital, the Royalist forces held back. There was a stalemate till evening, when the Royalists retreated towards Oxford where the King had established his headquarters.

 

It was the only time in the Civil War that King Charles came close to retaking control of his capital city without which he could not hope to win.

Today Turnham Green tube station marks the spot where the parliamentary forces stood. A small park remains in a conservation area in fashionable Chiswick. The battlefield itself is lost under urban development.

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