1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Edge Hill

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EDGE HILL, an elevated ridge in Warwickshire, England, near the border of Oxfordshire. The north-western face is an abrupt escarpment of the lias, and the summit of the ridge is almost level for nearly 2 m., at a height somewhat exceeding 700 ft. The escarpment overlooks a rich lowland watered by streams tributary to the Avon; the gentle eastern slope sends its waters to the Cherwell, and the ridge thus forms part of the divide between the basins of the Severn and the Thames. Edge Hill gave name to the first battle of the Great Rebellion (q.v.), fought on the 23rd of October 1642. Charles I., marching on London from the north-west, was here met by the parliamentary forces under Robert Devereux, earl of Essex. The royalists were posted on the hill while the enemy was in the plain before Kineton. But the rash advice of Prince Rupert determined the king to give up the advantage of position; he descended to the attack, and though Rupert himself was successful against the opposing cavalry, he was checked by the arrival of a regiment with artillery under Hampden, and, in the meantime, the royalist infantry was driven back. The parliamentarians, however, lost the more heavily, and though both sides claimed the advantage, the king was able to advance and occupy Banbury.