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The Battle of Riby Gap

4 days after the famous battle at Naseby the Royalist Cavaliers and Cromwell’s Roundheads met in a field a mile north of the village of Riby

Parliamentary forces held most of Lincolnshire but an important stronghold was Newark and that was in Royalist hands.
Captain Wright set out from here with a cavalry patrol numbering some 250 horsemen ransacking and looting on the way in order to bolster much needed stores of food and always needed money for the war

After making their way through various villages they arrived at Caistor where they spent some time enjoying the fruits of their labours.
Their next idea was to set about Sir Edward Ayscough whose seat was at Stallingborough. It proved no match for the marauding Cavaliers and was duly ransacked.

Next stop was Grimsby but Captain Wright bottled GY fearing it too bigger task, so took a detour and set out for a softer target – namely Horncastle

When Colonel John Harrington heard of this he quickly put together a small force to intercept them and they met up at Riby,

Col. Harrington certainly didn’t lack in courage and fortitude but unfortunately he did lack in trained soldiers. He was outnumbered nearly 2:1 and his force comprised largely of hastily assembled local militia whereas the Cavaliers were all experienced soldiers.

It was an easy victory for Captain Wright and the Royalists, many of the Parliamentary forces were killed including their commander.
Some of those who fell were buried at Riby Church whilst Colonel Harrington and others, including a wounded Cavalier wounded and left to die named Pugson, were buried at Stallingborough Church

Feeling victorious Captain Wright headed for home but there was a sting in the tail, only 8 miles from the safety of Newark they were attacked by an experienced force of Parliamentarian soldiers and only 40 of the Royalist escaped with their lives and Captain Wright was ‘run through the face with a sword’ and the bodies of his men scattered.

 


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