Hey For Old Robin! The Campaigns And Armies Of The Earl Of Essex During The First Civil War, 1642-44

Scott, Chris
Turton, Alan
Date published: 
March 2017

‘Hey For Old Robin!’ was the cry of the Earl of Essex’s army during the First Civil War as, contrary to modern popular belief, Robert Devereux was well-liked by the men he led. This book fills a gap in the literature of the civil wars – taking up the challenge to write a new history of Essex and his army and examining the often repeated view that he was a cautious dullard with little military skill. Authors Christopher Scott and Alan Turton, both well-known and published military historians, present a more balanced view of Parliament’s first Lord General – bringing him out of the shadow of Cromwell. In doing so, they are not afraid to bite the bullet of period and modern criticism of Essex as a strategist and tactician, as well as his reported failings as a man. Based on primary research – including site visits to scenes of his triumphs and disasters – they trace the story of the early campaigns, beginning with Edgehill; then Brentford and Turnham Green; the relief of Gloucester and the retreat to Newbury; the siege of Reading, the Thames Valley campaign; the disaster of Lostwithiel; and the rebuilding of the army for Second Newbury. Illustrated with a wealth of seldom-seen contemporary engravings of Essex’s officers and friends, and newly-commissioned maps (as well as uniforms, cornets and colour plates), this work is of great use to anyone with an interest in our civil wars – including academics, local historians, re-enactors and wargamers.