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Turnham Green, battle of

Turnham Green, battle of, 1642. Like Valmy in the French Revolution, the battle of Turnham Green had an importance out of all proportion to the actual fighting. Charles I's best hope of winning the Civil War was to bring it to a quick end before the superior resources of Parliament could be brought to bear. After the indecisive encounter at Edgehill on 23 October, the king resumed his leisurely march on London, giving his adversaries time to regroup. By the time he reached Brentford on 12 November, the remains of Essex's army had been reinforced by the trained bands, bringing it up to 24,000 men. After inconclusive negotiations and some skirmishing, Charles's advance came to a halt the following day at Turnham Green. Outnumbered and unable to use his cavalry, Charles retired to Oxford. He was never again as close to London until he was brought there for his trial in January 1649.

J. A. Cannon

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