A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

ECW Campaign - Week 1

Lady Porteous, waiting for the merchant to bring tapestry samples
For the Royalist army, the big news of the week was the arrival of the wife of Lord Porteous, who is a considerable personage in her own right, since before her marriage she was Lady Harriet Stanley, younger sister of the Earl of Derby, and thus a very major celebrity in the Catholic Royalist circles of Lancashire. Within two days she had requisitioned a very elegant house in the centre of Lowther, and had had her husband's belongings and furnishings moved out of his rather humble apartment at the back of the Guildhall. She has also ordered that the Town Guard should no longer be drilled in the gardens opposite the new house, since the noise upsets her dogs, and disturbs her needlework in the afternoons.

The Royalist army is comfortably established in Lowther, which is on the south side of the River Arith, and in the fortress of Erneford, which lies in a loop in the river, on the north bank. Between these two places there is a single crossing at Cark Ferry, and a unit of firelocks has been stationed in the ferry house there. Immediately to the south lies the market town of Midlawton, also a prosperous place, though it has no walls or defences of any form, and there is a sizeable body of foot troops garrisoned there, billeted on the townspeople - a situation which has produced less trouble than was expected. The civilian population have coped well with the material demands of the soldiery, and are generally well disposed to having so much protection and so much of the King's treasury on their doorstep.

Over at the western end of the Royalist position, Sir Roderick Broadhurst has a substantial detachment of horse, including a unit of dragoons - this is the force which has caused so much loss and inconvenience to supporters of Parliament (and everyone else) in the Furness area of the Lonsdale Hundred.

Since it takes just over a week for news of any sort to travel right across our map, the Royalists are unaware of the movement of the Army of Parliament, to the south...

Fernbeck House
Parliament. Sir Henry Figge-Newton has identified that he needs, as a priority, to secure a number of places which have full granaries and hay-barns, to replenish his baggage train for the march ahead. Accordingly, he has established his personal and army HQ in the very luxurious Fernbeck House, and has a small mixed force with him. The main army is advancing north near the western edge of the map, beyond the river, under the command of General Aspinall, the overall 2-i-C. Aspinall has sent the cavalry ahead, where they have secured the ungarrisoned estate of Ringrose House, which is capable of some measure of defence, and - further north - the rugged old castle at Hoskett, which has been abandoned for some years but is still in a decent state of repair. The foot are following behind, and making a thorough job of emptying the stores, inns and larders of the little towns of All Hallows and Harthill. The woods near Harthill Lake were a favourite hunting venue of the King's in more peaceful times, so the soldiers have taken special care to make sure that any concealed luxuries on the estate have been discovered and put to good use.

Sir Henry Figge-Newton is also inspecting his
new residence - settling in nicely at Fernbeck
Hoskett Castle today - the river in the foreground has moved somewhat
since the 17th Century, and has swallowed the course of the old road
Mounted messengers have been sent by loyal subjects of the King at Ringrose, to warn Lord Porteous of the approaching danger, so the Royalists should know of all this by the end of next week.

Soldiers of Hawkstone's and Burdett's regiments bicker good-naturedly
about choice of billets in All Hallows
Of the respective reinforcements for the two armies, nothing more is known, but both sides are led to believe that their overall strength might eventually be more than doubled.




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