Civil War

In 1642 Royalist Dragooners were quartered in Haslington.

 In May of that year Prince Rupert of the Rhine, General of the Kings Horse and man of many talents came through the village recruiting fresh forces on his way to Rudheath. His meteoric military career was to end disastrously at the Battle of Marston Moor.

 On Christmas Eve 1643 a party of Royalist Soldiers attacked Barthomley where the population took refuge in the Church. The soldiers smoked them out and massacred them as they emerged giving no quarter.

 Around the end of January, 1644, Nantwich, which was the northern headquarters of the Parliamentarian Commander Sir William Brereton, had been relieved of a Royalist siege by Sir Thomas Fairfax’s army moving against the Royalist troops under Lord Byron and Major General Gibson. Hundreds of Royalist troops had been taken prisoner including surprisingly enough, 120 Irish women with long knives.

 A group of Royalists, having seen defeat for their side, took flight but the River Weaver was in flood at that time. Due to the flooding and absence of bridges, they would have had to have made their way through the melting snows across the fields generally north or south of Haslington to seek refuge.

 The most likely route would have led them past Wells Green and onwards through Quaker’s Coppice skirting Crewe Green to the south of Haslington.

 While Haslington Gap is steep-sided, the brook at the bottom is normally narrow and shallow but, at this time the local rivers and streams were flooded.

 The exhausted Royalists, weary from battle and faced with this physical obstacle, turned to fight the pursuing Parliamentarian troops rather than be trapped crossing the flooded brook.

 The fighting was fierce by all accounts, fanned no doubt by local feeling following the Battle of Nantwich, the siege of Crewe Hall and the massacre of Barthomley. The dead washed away by the flooded brook and the wounded lying in the melting snow caused the brook to run red for several days.

 Subsequently the hill became known as Slaughter Hill. Though whether this was on account of the battle or is possibly a corruption of Sloe Trees Hill is not known. It is a fact that Sloe trees certainly flourished there.

 1644 also heralded the discipline of Colonel Brereton who tried and executed a soldier named Parker for the killing of a Mr Browne of Haslington. He was hung at Nantwich and his body brought to Hasling­ton where it hung on the gallows on the heath.

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