The Civil War
The Battle of Brentford
Roundheads and Cavaliers
Between 1642 and 1649 England was torn apart by a bloody civil war. On one side were King Charles I and his supporters the Royalists. Against them were the Parliamentarians, supporters of the rights and privileges of Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell.
They called each other by names we still use today. Soldiers who supported Parliament were called Roundheads by the Royalists. This refered to the shaved heads of the London apprentices who had actively supported Parliament in the months before the fighting began.
Soldiers who supported the King were called 'Cavaliers' - from the Spanish word 'Caballeros', meaning armed troopers or horsemen.
A local skirmish
In November 1642 there was a minor skirmish fought by the river near Syon House. Some of the inhabitants of Twickenham would have witnessed the incident.
A Parliamentary force attempted to move men and guns down river from Kingston bridge past Twickenham to reinforce two regiments in Brentford. They didn't know that Brentford had been captured by the Royalists the day before.