NANTWICH – 1643
The battle of Nantwich, commemorated every year on Holly Holy Day, was fought on 25th January, 1644. However, this much more serious conflict was, in fact, the second encounter between opposing forces to take place at Nantwich.
Records tell of a previous engagement at Christmastide the year before.
To quote, “upon Saturday, 28th January, then next following, Sir William Brereton, Commander-in-Chief of the Parliament forces in these parts, coming towards Nantwich, with reasonable good strength, to relieve the said town (being in great danger to be plundered and destroyed by the King’s Army) in this county, Sir Thomas Aston, with about five hundred horse of the King’s forces lying in wait for the said Sir William, and meeting with him, and all his carriages and forces he had, near the end of Aspell Street at Nantwich betwixt and Cheerbrooke (being more in number than the said Sir William) about four o’clock in the afternoon they joined battle, which continued very sore, and doubtful on both sides, until about 7 a clock in the night, it being so dark that they could not see one the other.”
Sir William, having a case of drakes upon carriage, ready charged, discharged the same upon the King’s party, which did some execution and so affrighted them, that they were all scattered and quite routed.
He took prisoner Captain Chomley (a base son of the Lord Chomley), Captain Bridgemann and officers and soldiers about one hundred; three score horse, with many arms, cloak bags and pillage, to the value of one thousand pounds, many wounded and some men and horse slain, the certain number could never be certainly know.
Sir William Brereton lost a lieutenant and had many wounded: so, (God giving him the victory) about 8 o’clock in the night, he entered the town, with great rejoicings of the inhabitants thereof, and the safety of the same, who gave all praise and glory unto God for his great mercies towards them.
Reference: The Letterbook of Sir William Brereton.