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Jacob Astley was born in Norfolk in 1579. He gained military experience fighting in the Netherlands during the Thirty Years War. In 1638 Charles I appointed him as Governor of Plymouth.
On the outbreak of the Civil War Astley joined the Royalists. At Edgehill (October, 1642) he was given command of the infantry. He also fought at Newbury (August, 1643) and Naseby (February, 1645). Later that year Astley replaced Charles Gerard as commander of the Royalist troops in South Wales.
Astley was captured at Stow on the Wold on 21st March 1646 and was imprisoned until Charles I surrendered in Oxford in June 1646.
Sir Jacob Astley died in 1651.
Jacob Astley MP (1797 - 1859)
Sir Jacob Astley, 16th Lord Hastings (1797-1859) was the son of Sir Jacob Astley, 5th Bt. and Hester Browne.
Baptised: 13 November 1797 Event Place: Melton Constable, Norfolk, England
He matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, on 18 February 1817.
Jacob succeeded his father as 6th Baronet Astley, of Hill Morton, co. Warwick [E., 1660] on 28 April 1817.
He married Georgiana Caroline Dashwood (daughter of Sir Henry Watkin Dashwood, 3rd Bt. and Mary Helen Graham) on 22 March 1819 at St. George's Church, St. George Street, Hanover Square, London, England.
Children of Sir Jacob Astley, 16th Lord Hastings and Georgiana Caroline Dashwood
- Sir Jacob Henry Delaval Astley, 17th Lord Hastings b. 21 May 1822, d. 8 Mar 1871
- Sir Delaval Loftus Astley, 18th Lord Hastings b. 24 Mar 1825, d. 28 Sep 1872
Jacob held the office of High Sheriff of Norfolk from 1821 to 1822.2 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for West Norfolk between 1832 and 1837.
In 1841 the House of Lords announced that he was one of the co-heirs to the Barony of Hastings, which had been dormant since 1389 and abeyant since 1542. Astley was a descendant of Elizabeth, the daughter of Hugh Hastings, de jure 14th Baron Hastings, and he succeeded as 16th Lord Hastings [E., 1295] on 18 May 1841, after the termination of its abeyance by writ.
He passed away in 1859 at the age of 62.
Jacob Henry Astley Bt (1756 - 1817)
Jacob was born on 12 September 1756. He was the son of Sir Edward Astley, 4th Bt. and Rhoda Delaval.
He married Hester Browne (daughter of Samuel Browne) on 14 January 1789 at St. Margaret's, Lynn, Norfolk, England.
- Rhoda Astley (1790-1808), born 15 February and baptised at Melton Constable, 17 February 1790 died unmarried when her clothes caught fire sitting in front of the fire, and was buried 5 April 1808
- Anne Astley (1791-1833), born 23 February and baptised at Melton Constable, 25 February 1791 married, 26 October 1820 at St. Marylebone (Middx), Thomas Potter MacQueen MP (1792-1854) of Ridgmont House (Beds) and had issue two sons and two daughters buried at Melton Constable, 9 April 1833
- Editha Astley (1793-1871), born 17 June and baptised at Melton Constable, 18 June 1793 married, 23 March 1825 at St. Marylebone (Middx), Warden George Sergison (1801-68) of Cuckfield Park (Sussex) and later Liscombe Park (Bucks) and had issue one son and three daughters died 27 March 1871 administration of goods granted 10 August 1871 (effects under £12,000)
- Sir Jacob Astley (1797-1859), 6th bt. and later 16th Baron Hastings (q.v.)
- Edward Astley (1799-1846), baptised at Melton Constable, 18 January 1799 educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1818) and St Mary Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1826) cornet in 11th Dragoons, 1822 admitted a freemason, 1823 DL for Norfolk, 1843 lived at Hotton in Namur province (Belgium) was unmarried and without issue found drowned in the R. Ourthe near his house in Belgium and was probably murdered, 4 April 1846 buried at Melton Constable, 21 April 1846
- Hester Astley (1800-67), born 29 September and baptised at Melton Constable, 3 October 1800 married, 16 June 1825 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Rev. Augustus Dashwood (1795-1863), rector of Thornage, younger son of Sir Henry Watkin Dashwood, 3rd bt., of Kirtlington Park (Oxon), and had issue two sons and one daughter died 31 August 1867 and was buried at Folkestone (Kent), 5 September 1867
- Sophia Astley (1802-07), born 6 May and baptised at Melton Constable, 7 May 1802 died young and was buried at Melton Constable, 18 October 1802
- Agnes Astley (1805-71), born 16 January and baptised at Melton Constable, 19 January 1805 married, 10 September 1825 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Rev. John Henry Sparke, rector of Gunthorpe (Norfk) and canon and Chancellor of Ely Cathedral, son of Rt. Rev. B.E. Sparke, bishop of Ely, and had issue died 30 July 1871 will proved 28 August 1871 (effects under £25,000)
- Lt-Col. Francis L'Estrange Astley (1810-66), born 27 February and baptised at Melton Constable, 28 February 1810 educated at Eton an officer in the Norfolk Yeomanry Cavalry (Cornet, 1833 Capt., 1853 Lt-Col.) lived at Burgh Hall, Melton Constable and after his second marriage at Chequers Court (Bucks) married 1st, 28 July 1836, Charlotte (1816-48), daughter of Nathaniel Micklethwait of Taverham (Norfk) and had issue four sons and two daughters married 2nd, 7 September 1854, Rosalind Alicia (d. 1900), daughter of Sir Robert Frankland Russell, 7th bt. and had issue five further sons died 9 April 1866 will proved 16 July 1866 (effects under £25,000).
He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Norfolk between November 1797 and 1817.
Upon the death of his father he succeeded as the 5th Baronet Astley [E., 1660] on 27 March 1802.
Jacob passed away in 1817.
1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Astley, Jacob Astley
ASTLEY, JACOB ASTLEY, Baron (1579-1652), royalist commander in the English Civil War, came of a Norfolk family. In 1598 he joined Counts Maurice and Henry of Orange in the Netherlands, where he served with distinction, and afterwards fought under the elector palatine Frederick V. and Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years’ War. He was evidently thought highly of by the states-general, for when he was absent, serving under the king of Denmark, his company in the Dutch army was kept open for him. Returning to England with a well-deserved reputation, he was in the employment of Charles I. in various military capacities. As “sergeant-major,” or general of the infantry, he went north in 1639 to organize the defence against the expected Scottish invasion. Here his duties were as much diplomatic as military, as the discontent which ended in the Civil War was now coming to a head. In the ill-starred “Bishops’ War,” Astley did good service to the cause of the king, and he was involved in the so-called “Army Plot.” At the outbreak of the Great Rebellion (1642) he at once joined Charles, and was made major-general of the foot. His characteristic battle-prayer at Edgebill has become famous: “O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me. March on, boys!” At Gloucester he commanded a division, and at the first battle of Newbury he led the infantry of the royal army. With Hopton, in 1644, he served at Arundel and Cheriton. At the second battle of Newbury he made a gallant and memorable defence of Shaw House. He was made a baron by the king, and at Naseby he once more commanded the main body of the foot. He afterwards served in the west, and with 1500 men fought stubbornly but vainly the last battle for the king at Stow-on-the-Wold (March 1646). His remark to his captors has become as famous as his words at Edgehill, “You have now done your work and may go play, unless you will fall out amongst yourselves.” His scrupulous honour forbade him to take any part in the Second Civil War, as he had given his parole at Stow-on-the-Wold but he had to undergo his share of the discomforts that were the lot of the vanquished royalists. He died in February 1651/2. The barony became extinct in 1668.
About Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading
Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading (1579 – February 1652) was a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.
He came from an established Norfolk family, and was born at Melton Constable. His first experiences of war were at the age of 18 when he joined the Islands Voyage expedition in 1597 under the Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh to the Azores. In 1598 he joined Maurice of Nassau and Henry of Orange in the Netherlands, where he served with distinction, and afterwards fought under Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years' War. He was evidently thought highly of by the States-General, for when he was absent, serving under Christian IV of Denmark, his position in the Dutch army was kept open for him. He married a Dutch woman, Agnes Impel, who bore him two sons and a daughter.
In 1622 Astley joined the household of Elizabeth, daughter of James I of England and her husband Frederick, King of Bohemia serving as tutor to Frederick's son Prince Rupert.
Returning to England with a well-deserved reputation, he was in the employment of Charles I in various military capacities. As "Sergeant-Major-General" of the infantry, he went north in 1639 to organize the defence against the expected Scottish invasion. Here his duties were as much diplomatic as military, as the discontent which ended in the Civil War was now coming to a head. In the ill-starred Bishops' Wars, Astley did good service to the cause of the king, and he was involved in the so-called "Army Plot".
At the outbreak of the First English Civil War in 1642 he at once joined Charles, and was made Major-General of the Foot (infantry) - the cavalry was under the command of his former student Prince Rupert. His characteristic battle-prayer at the Battle of Edgehill has become famous:
Both sides' troops were poorly trained and both sides claimed the battle to be a victory, but the outcome was inconclusive and it would take a further three years of civil war before the Royalists lost to the Parliamenterians.
Astley was loyal supporter of the Crown throughout the First Civil War, while his own region of East Anglia was strongly Parliamentarian. His opposite number in the Parliamentarians was Philip Skippon, another Norfolkman. At Gloucester Astley commanded a division, and at the First Battle of Newbury he led the infantry of the royal army. With Ralph Hopton, in 1644, he served at Arundel and Cheriton. At the second Battle of Newbury he made a gallant and memorable defence of Shaw House. He was made a baron by King Charles, and at the Battle of Naseby he once more commanded the main body of the infantry. He afterwards served in the west, and with 1,500 men fought stubbornly but vainly at the Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold (March 1646), the last pitched battle of the First Civil War. He surrendered to the Parliamentarians with the words "Well, boys, you have done your work, now you may go and play - if you don't fall out among yourselves."
His scrupulous sense of honour forbade him to take any part in the Second Civil War, as he had given his parole at Stow-on-the-Wold but he had to undergo his share of the discomforts that were the lot of the vanquished royalists. He was imprisoned initially but able to retire to Maidstone. He died in February 1652. The barony became extinct in 1688.
Han kom fra en etableret Norfolk- familie og blev født i Melton Constable Hall . Hans første krigserfaringer var i en alder af 18 år, da han sluttede sig til Islands Voyage- ekspedition i 1597 under Earl of Essex og Sir Walter Raleigh til Azorerne . I 1598 sluttede han sig til Maurice af Nassau og Henry af Orange i Holland , hvor han tjente med udmærkelse og kæmpede bagefter under Frederik V, kurfyrsten Palatine og Gustavus Adolphus i Trediveårskrigen . Han blev åbenbart betragtet højt som generalstaterne, for da han var fraværende og tjente under Christian IV af Danmark , blev hans stilling i den hollandske hær holdt åben for ham.
I 1622 sluttede Astley sig til husstanden til Elizabeth , datter af James I af England og hendes mand Frederick, konge af Bøhmen, der tjente som vejleder for Frederiks søn prins Rupert .
Han vendte tilbage til England med et velfortjent ry og var i beskæftigelse af Charles I i forskellige militære egenskaber. Som " Sergeant-generalmajor " for infanteriet gik han nord i 1639 for at organisere forsvaret mod den forventede skotske invasion. Her var hans pligter lige så diplomatiske som militære, da utilfredsheden, der sluttede i borgerkrigen, nu kom på spidsen. I de dårligt stjernede biskopskrige gjorde Astley god tjeneste for kongens sag, og han var involveret i den såkaldte "Army Plot".
Ved udbruddet af den første engelske borgerkrig i 1642 sluttede han sig straks til Charles og blev udnævnt til generalmajor for foden (infanteri) - kavaleriet var under kommando af sin tidligere studerende prins Rupert. Hans karakteristiske kampbøn i slaget ved Edgehill er blevet berømt: "O Herre, du ved, hvor travlt jeg skal have denne dag. Hvis jeg glemmer dig, skal du ikke glemme mig", som han straks fulgte med ordren "Marts videre, drenge! "
Begge siders tropper var dårligt uddannede, og begge sider hævdede, at slaget var en sejr, men resultatet var ikke afgørende, og det ville tage yderligere tre års borgerkrig, før royalisterne tabte for parlamentarikerne .
Astley var loyal tilhænger af kronen gennem den første borgerkrig, mens hans egen region East Anglia var stærkt parlamentarisk. Hans modsatte nummer i parlamentarikerne var Philip Skippon , en anden Norfolkman. Ved Gloucester befalede Astley en division, og i det første slag ved Newbury førte han infanteriet i den kongelige hær. I 1644 tjente han sammen med Ralph Hopton i Arundel og Cheriton . Han var ikke til stede i Cheriton, skønt hans søn, Bernard, sandsynligvis var der, da hans fodregiment bestemt var der. I det andet slag ved Newbury lavede han et galant og mindeværdigt forsvar af Shaw House. Han blev gjort til en baron af kong Charles, og i slaget ved Naseby befalede han endnu en gang infanteriets hoveddel.
Derefter tjente han i vest og kæmpede med 3.000 mænd stædigt men forgæves i slaget ved Stow-on-the-Wold (marts 1646), det sidste slag i den første borgerkrig. Han overgav sig til parlamentarikerne med ordene "Nå, drenge, I har udført Deres arbejde, nu kan I gå og lege - hvis I ikke falder ud imellem jer".
Hans omhyggelige følelse af ære forbød ham at deltage i anden borgerkrig , da han havde givet sin prøveløsladelse ved Stow-on-the-Wold men han var nødt til at gennemgå sin andel af de ubehageligheder, som de besejrede royalister lod til. Han blev fængslet oprindeligt, men i stand til at trække sig tilbage til Maidstone . Han døde i februar 1652. Baronien uddød i 1688.
Sir Jacob Astley
Sir Jacob Astley, who served as Sergeant Major General of the English army in the Second Bishops’ War, was a highly-experienced professional soldier who later served as Sergeant-Major General of the infantry of the Oxford Army during the First Civil War. Biographies can be found online at British Civil Wars, Wikipedia and Wikisource DNB . He served as a soldier from the age of 18 beginning with an expedition to the Azores under Sir Walter Raleigh and the Second Earl of Essex, then on the continent for Prince Maurice of Nassau, Frederick V the ‘Winter King’ of Bohemia (brother in law to King Charles I and father of Prince Rupert), Christian IV of Denmark and Gustavus Adolphus and is said to have tutored Prince Rupert.
He was appointed Sergeant Major General (commander of the infantry) and raised regiments of foot for both Bishops’ Wars. In the First Civil War he again led the King’s Infantry, from Edgehill where he prayed “O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me.” and promptly followed with the order “March on, boys!” to the defeat of the ‘Old Foot’ at Naseby. He was created 1st Baron Reading in November 1644. Clarendon noted that he contributed little to the Royalist Councils, possibly due to deafness, but remarking on his appointment as Sgt Maj General thought him ”a man as fit for that office as Christendom yielded”.
After Naseby, Astley was sent to Wales and the Marches, replacing the unpopular Charles Gerard. In September 1645 his son Sir Bernard Astley, a brigadier of the Oxford Army, was mortally wounded at Bristol. By March 1646 Astley had somehow managed to raise an army of 3000 out of remnants of regiments, reformados and garrison troops. In the final battle of the First Civil War he was defeated at Stow-on-the-Wold by Brereton and Morgan. Sitting down on a discarded drum he told his captors “You have now done your work and may go to play, unless you will fall out among yourselves”. After a short imprisonment at Warwick Castle he retired to Kent, taking no part in the Second or Third Civil Wars.
The Names of all the Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, Sergeant Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Ensigns, Preachers, Chirurgeons, Quarter-masters, Provost Marshals, under his Excellency the Earl of Northumberland, Captain General for this Expedition 1640. Taken according to the Muster Roll after the Armies Retreat from Newcastle into York. 2)
•Sir Jacob Ashley, Colonel •Sir Nicholas Selvin, Lieutenant Colonel •Bernard Ashley, Sergeant Major.
Captains. •Sir William Udall •Robert Townsend •James Baynton •William Bellowes •Robert Rushell •Edward Astley St. Johns.
Lieutenants. •William Lower •Michael Bedolph •Edward Fowles •George Slatford •Devereux Gibbons •John Haslewood •Isaac Cobb •Theodore Paleologus •Thomas Colbie •Henry Somerster
Ensigns. •Edward Courtney •Bray Knight •Francis Gay •Walter Neale •Peregrine Tasburgh •Hugh Pomeroy •Edward Nelson •Charles Thompson •George Fuller
•Preacher, John Kowland •Chirurgeon, John Austin •Quarter Mastrr, Rawlins •Provost Marshal, Paul Knight.
Astley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient roots of the Astley family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Astley comes from when the family lived in Warwickshire, where they founded the town of Astley. The name is local a transliteration of the name is east leigh, or east wood. 
Astley is a district chapelry, in the parish and union of Leigh, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire.  "Astley Hall, or Damhouse, situated in the township of Tyldesley, but on the borders of that of Astley, was built in 1650 by Adam Mort, from whom it has passed to his descendant and present representative, Mrs. Ross, lady of Col. Malcolm Nugent Ross, who has greatly enlarged the mansion." 
Astley is also a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of the county of Worcester. "An alien priory of Benedictine monks was founded here by Ralph de Todeni, in the reign of William I. it was annexed to the college of Westbury, in that of Edward IV., and given, at the Dissolution, to Sir Ralph Sadleir." 
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Early Origins of the Astley family
The surname Astley was first found in Warwickshire at Astley, a village and parish within the North Warwickshire district. There are other locals through Britain, but this seems to be local from which the family are descended. The name can be "traced to Philip de Estlega in the 12th of Henry II, and in the female line from the Constables of Melton-Constable, which estate came into the family be the second marriage of Thomas Lord Astley with Edith, third sister and coheir of Geoffrey de Donstable, in the time of Henry II." 
"A short distance to the north of the church [in Astley, Warwickshire] is a mansion, erected in the sixteenth century, on the site of a more ancient baronial castle: in the interior are a chair and table, which, according to an inscription, were those used by Henry, Marquess Grey and Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey, when concealed in a hollow tree in the vicinity." 
Astley Castle, the original seat, descended by an heiress to the Greys of Ruthin.
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Early History of the Astley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Astley research. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1295, 1579, 1652, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1595, 1642, 1659, 1660, 1639, 1729, 1667, 1739, 1692, 1760, 1729, 1802, 1756, 1817, 1797, 1859, 1662, 1625, 1688, 1687, 1772 and 1821 are included under the topic Early Astley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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Astley Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Astley has appeared include Astley, Astlee, Astlie, Astly and others.
Early Notables of the Astley family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Jacob Astley, Lord Astley (1579-1652), English Royalist, the second son of Isaac Astley of Melton Constable, Norfolk. "During the first civil war Astley is a notable figure. He was among those 'hurt' at Edgehill (13 Oct. 1642.) He commanded a division at the siege of Gloucester. When Essex, after relieving that city, had fought the battle of Newbury (20 Sept. 1643), and had continued his retreat to London, Sir Jacob possessed himself of Reading. In 1644 he assisted Lord Hopton in the capture of Arundel (soon retaken by Waller), and shared in.
Another 145 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Astley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Astley migration +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Astley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Edward Astley, who arrived in New England in 1627 
- William Astley, who landed in Maryland in 1679 
- Charles Astley who settled in New England in 1684
Astley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Astley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- T J Astley, who landed in Texas in 1850 
- Christopher Astley, who settled in Newcastle, Del. in 1852
Astley migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Astley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Samuel Astley, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
Astley migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Astley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Edward Astley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870
- Charles Astley, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
Contemporary Notables of the name Astley (post 1700) +
- Richard Paul "Rick" Astley (b. 1966), English pop singer from Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, best known for his song "Never Gonna Give You Up" which was a number 1 hit single in 25 countries in 1987
- Horace Astley (b. 1882), English footballer who played for Crystal Palace as a forward (1905-1907)
- Philip Astley (1742-1814), English equestrian, circus owner, and inventor, regarded as being the "father of the modern circus"
- Justin Astley (b. 1983), English former professional snooker player from Darwen, Lancashire
- John Emmanuel "Joe" Astley (1899-1967), English footballer
- Sir Frances Astley (1859-1939), English nobleman, head of Atlantic College, 4th Baronet Astley
- Sir John Dugdale Astley (1828-1894), 3rd Baronet of Everley, MP for Lincolnshire North 1874-1880
- Sir John Astley (1687-1772), 2nd Baronet of Pateshull, Member of Parliament (MP) for Shrewsbury 1727-1734 and Shropshire 1734-1772
- Jacob Astley (1654-1688), 3rd BaronAstley of Reading, an English peer
- Edwin Thomas Astley (1922-1998), British composer, born in Warrington, Lancashire, best remembered for his theme music for the television show The Saint
- . (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
The Astley Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Justitiae tenax
Motto Translation: Justice preserves.
The Royalist's last battle: Stow-on-the-Wold
Charles I was desperate after a series of defeats had wiped out his army. He needed reinforcements from Ireland, but had to secure the port at Chester to have any hope of getting them into England.
Beseiged in Oxford and with no army to call on, he instructed veteran soldier Sir Jacob Astley to raise a force in the West Midlands and Welsh Borders.
Despite having little money to buy recruits, Astley managed to raise a credible force from garrisons across the Midlands. He started his return march to Oxford with 3,000 men.
Parliament knew of his plan and stationed forces in front, on his right flank and to his rear.
Recognising the danger all around, Astley outfoxed his opponents. He sent a small diversionary force towards Evesham, but marched the bulk of his men back and then across the River Avon, avoiding the enemy all around.
Astley raced on, reaching a village just outside of Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire. His Parliamentary pursuers were engaging his soldiers at the rear, slowing Astley's progress and allowing two more Parliamentary armies to link up ahead of him.
Realising that he could not avoid a battle, Astley looked for a favourable spot to fight on his terms.
He settled on a ridge of high ground that would give his inexperienced troops a strong defensive position.
Parliament's soldiers attacked uphill, but their superior numbers allowed them to challenge from all sides.
Astley repulsed them twice, but his lines were broken and the Royalist's began a fighting retreat towards Stow, with some soldiers slipping through their opponents' ranks and fleeing.
The two sides fought a running battle through the streets, with Astley finally surrendering in Stow's marketplace.
Of the 3,000 men who had marched with Astley, around 1,600 were taken prisoner. Those who had fled fared worst, with many chased down and killed by Parliament's mounted infantry.
Lord Astley, who was 66 and had spent more than 40 years fighting for his country, was offered a barrel to rest on. His defeat meant that there were no more Royalist field armies and the Civil War was lost.
Recognising that Parliament's military victory was complete he told his captors: "You have done your work, boys, and may go play, unless you will fall out among yourselves."
His words proved prophetic. In the years that followed, Parliament, Cromwell and the New Model Army could not agree on their vision for a new Britain, and the monarchy would return.
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