The Armies of Sir Ralph Hopton

The Royalist Armies of the West 1642-46

Laurence Spring

By using contemporary sources this book not only looks at the armies of Sir Ralph Hopton from 1642 to 1646, but also the raising and equipping his men and the campaigns they served in.
Date Published :
January 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Century of the Soldier
Illustration :
25 b/w illustrations, 9 b/w maps, 8 pages color plates, numerous tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336516
Pages : 220
Dimensions : 9.8 X 7.1 inches
Stock Status : Available


Nothing sums up the tragedy of the English Civil War more than the friendship between Sir Ralph Hopton and the parliamentarian general Sir William Waller as “this war without an enemy.” Hopton was one of the first commanders to support the king and helped secure Cornwall for the Royalist Cause.

In fact, Sir Ralph Hopton commanded three armies during the Civil War; the first was made up of the famous Cornish infantry, which would become the backbone of the Royalist war effort in the West. This army was absorbed into Prince Maurice’s army after the fall of Bristol to the Royalists in July 1643. His second army was raised during the autumn of 1643 and was disbanded to reinforce the King’s Oxford Army after the battle of Cheriton. Finally, Hopton commanded the remnants of the royalist army in the West during the death throes of the Royalist cause in 1646.

By using contemporary sources this book describes the life and death of a soldier during the Civil War. Chapters include recruitment, clothing, equipping and training of Hopton’s armies as well as his campaigns, including those of Prince Maurice, Sir Richard Grenville and George Lord Goring. It also looks at the divisions within the royalist high command which ultimately lost King Charles the war. It also looks at what happened to these soldiers once the fighting was over.

About The Author

Laurence Spring studied at the Universities of London and Aberystwyth. He is also a qualified archivist, and has worked for many years at the Surrey History Centre. He has researched the early seventeenth century for many years and has written on various aspects of the English Civil War. He has also written many books on the Russian Army during the Napoleonic Wars as well as several articles for the “Surrey in the Great War” website. Since he has an archival background he prefers to search through archives looking for various interesting facts for his books, rather than relying on printed sources, which give a vivid insight to the subject and are not mentioned in secondary sources. Using this method, he has found evidence that contradicts the established ‘facts’ on many subjects.


"There is a quite amazing amount of research that has gone into this volume, by an expert on the English Civil War. […] This is another good volume in this fine Helion series."

- Miniature Wargames

"His nuts and bolts description of the Royalist regiment is useful for readers wanting to peek behind the generalist curtain, and his superior use of limited sources is supported by tables, charts, maps, and some attractive colour plates of soldiers."

- Wargames Illustrated

"For players who wish to represent the Royalist army during Hopton's campaigns, the book is invaluable, with chapters dedicated to clothing, arms & armour, and regimental colours…"

- Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy

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