Selby, battle of

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Selby, battle of, 1644. In the spring of 1644, the royal army in the north, under Newcastle, was at Durham, to prevent a junction of the Scots with the parliamentary forces under the Fairfaxes. But on 11 April John Bellasyse, holding Selby, south of York, was badly defeated, lost 1,600 men and all his guns, and was taken prisoner. York, the king's northern capital, was in imminent danger and on 13 April, as soon as he heard the news, Newcastle struck camp and moved south to hold the city. Rupert's attempt to relieve York later in the summer led to the crushing royalist defeat at Marston Moor. Selby was the stone that started the avalanche.

J. A. Cannon