October 23 - 1642 - The Battle of Edgehill
The English Civil War was not seen by either the Royalist or Parliamentarian side as a war that would last too long. Open warfare broke out because King Charles I of England didn't call a Parliament for 11 years, until he needed money to fight a war in his other Kingdom, Scotland. Once called, Parliament attempted to impose many restrictions on Charles in the realms of politics, religion, and especially taxation. Charles tried to ignore them, to little effect. Yet it appeared neither side wanted a large scale military conflict. By 1642, the relation between King and Parliament broke down enough for each side to begin raising armies. The Royalists had an advantage in military leaders, while Parliament was able to get armories and weapons caches. In August of 1642, Charles raised his Royal Standard at Nottingham, essentially declaring war. Deciding to move towards London, Charles' army encountered a Parliamentary army at Edgehill in Warwickshire. The Royalists began with a successful cavalry charge, but the Parliamentarians countered with their infantry. Ultimately, the battle was a stalemate, which led to more inconclusive fighting that would go on for years.