Maidstone

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Maidstone, battle of, 1648. Although the Kentish royalists in 1648 had assembled an army of 11,000 men, they dispersed them among several towns, leaving only 2,000 in Maidstone. Sir Thomas Fairfax, after assembling a 4,000-strong parliamentary force, attacked the town on 1 June. Though heavily outnumbered, the defenders resisted fiercely, using their cannon to deadly effect in the town's narrow streets. Under heavy rain they were eventually overpowered. This defeat prompted most of the Kentish royalists to desert, while the remainder—fewer than 3,000—fled north to Chelmsford and Colchester.

Ian Gentles

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