Hopton, Ralph (Sir)

 Born     Born At  
 Died     Buried At  
Sir Ralph Hopton was an experienced army officer who fought on the side of the Royalists for King Charles I. Hopton was badly injured at the battle of Lansdowne Hill when, after the battle was over, an ammunition cart exploded near him. Hopton was blinded temporarily.


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Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1643 Jul 5  Battle of Lansdowne Hill
 This battle was fought along a steep sided ridge near Bath. The Parliamentarians were led by Waller. The Royalists were led by Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir Bevil Grenville. Waller took advantage of the high ground and the Royalist suffered serious casualties as a consequence. The Royalists managed to reach the top of the hill and Waller moved his men back behind a defensive wall. Waller waited until the dark of night then moved his army off the battlefield. Sir Bevil Grenville was killed in the fighting and the day after the battle Hopton was seriously injured, suffering temporary blindness, when an ammunitions cart exploded.[1] 
 Jul 10  Royalists cornered at Devizes
 The Royalists were badly affected by the injuries suffered at Lansdowne Hill especially when Hopton was injured by the ammunitions explosion. Waller took advantage of the Royalist army's weakened state and chased them to Devizes where they took refuge.[1] 
 Jul 13  Battle of Roundway Down
 Once Charles learnt that Hopton was being held at Devizes, he sent Wilmot to meet up with Prince Maurice and put together a Royalist army to free the town. The Royalists and Parliamentarians met at Roundway Down just north of Devizes. Wilmot was able to drive the Parliamentarians back towards the top of a steep slope where, as the Parliament army fell, many were killed. The slope is now known as Bloody Ditch.[1] 
1644 Mar 29  Battle of Cheriton
 Parliamentary forces lead by William Waller defeated the Royalists lead by Lord Hopton and the Earl of Forth at Cheriton in Hampshire.[2] 
1646 Jan 19  Fairfax captures Dartmouth Castle
 Only days after Hopton had taken charge of the Royalist forces in the south-west, Fairfax attacked and took the castle at Dartmouth capturing many guns and many prisoners.[2] 
 Feb 16  Battle of Torrington
 Fairfax caught up with Hopton who was in North Devon at Torrington. The attack by Fairfax drove Hopton from the town and captured many of his men. Hopton managed to escape into Cornwall with several thousand horsemen but his men were demoralised and had started to desert him.[2] 
 Mar 13  Hopton surrenders
 On March 13/14 Hopton finally surrendered to Fairfax at Truro. Charles, the Prince of Wales, had escaped earlier, sailing first to the Scilly Isles and then to Jersey in the Channel Islands.[2] 

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