The story of the battle of Turnham Green and how 'the sack of London' was prevented by Londoners. As Charles I's army marched on the capital in the autumn of 1642, Nehemiah Wallington, a wood-turner living near London Bridge, wrote in his journal, 'those cruel cavilers doe so plonder & pillage & commit Rapin & use such cruelty that the poore people are caused to fly from house and home to save their children'. Most Londoners shared his fears that city would be pillaged and burnt by the king's supporters, who had been vilified in the London press and from the pulpits. Londoners had willingly joined the Earl of Essex's army that summer but had failed to stop the advance of the king's army. The capture and sack of Brentford, so close to their city, confirmed their worst fears, for their own safety and that of their families. London would be next. At Turnham Green the Civil War that had pitched Englishman against Englishman came to London. On 13 November thousands of volunteers streamed out of the city to join the army and the most ferocious battle in London's long history began. The outcome would mark a turning point in the conflict that had split the nation.
Stephen Porter is an acknowledged expert on London's history. His other books include The Great Plague (`An excellent introduction' Sunday Telegraph), London: A History in Paintings & Illustrations ('Glorious... brings London vividly to life' Simon Jenkins) & Pepys's London ('A compelling, lively account' BBC History Magazine). He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Royal Historical Society. After twenty-five years living in the capital he now lives in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Simon Marsh has been a civil servant in London for over twenty years. He has strong research interests in the military aspects of the civil wars and has lectured on the first Civil War and the Kentish rising in 1648 at the National Army Museum. An active member of the Battlefields Trust, he is chair of its Mercia region. He lives in Buckinghamshire.
Acknowledgements 1. The Crown and the Capital 2. Raising the Armies 3. The Opening Campaign 4. Preparations in London 5. The Royalist Advance on London 6. Surprise at Brentford 7. Turning the Tide at Turnham Green 8. The Aftermath 9. The Significance of London's Defence Notes Bibliography List of Illustrations Index