At the start of 1643, the Royalist position in Cornwall was threatened by the advance from Devon of two parliamentary armies under the Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford and Colonel Ruthin. Sir Ralph Hopton, commanding the Cornish Royalists, whose most charismatic leader was Sir Bevill Grenville of Stowe, decided to strike at Ruthin before he could join forces with Stamford. Hopton found the Parliamentarians deployed on Braddock Down, near Boconnoc, midway between Lostwithiel and Liskeard on 19 January 1643.
Hopton launched his troops in a furious charge which swept all before it. Ruthin’s men fired barely a single volley at the advancing Royalists. Between 1,250 and 1,500 Parliamentarians were captured, together with their baggage train and ammunition, and as many as 200 were killed.
Cornwall was once more firmly in the hands of the Royalists, and Hopton marched into Devon and resumed the siege of Plymouth with his forces occupying surrounding towns to seal off the city by land. The Battle of Braddock Down had rejuvenated the Cornish Army and confirmed their faith in Hopton’s leadership.
The battlefield landscape remains to this day, dominated by the opposing slopes of Braddock Down. Although it was later drained and divided into smaller fields, it is still easy to imagine the grassy downland over which the battle was fought.