White Horse of Edgehill

On October 23rd, 1642, the first battle in a war that would last four years commenced. It began as a beautiful Sunday afternoon in England. Between Edgehill and Kineton, the armies of Parliamentarians led by the Earl of Essex and Royalists led by King Charlies I and Prince Rupert of the Rhine met for the first battle in the English Civil War. Foot soldiers on each side shared glances yet not one fired a single bullet. Their hearts raced in anticipation. Who would make the first move? Essex had no intentions of attacking. However, the presence of the king riding from regiment to regiment with his entourage in tow helped provoke the duel. The battle was in full swing well in to the night. The frigged weather provided some wounded soldiers with hope they would survive. By morning, both parties reformed their armies but neither were willing to continue. Essex moved his men on to Warwick Castle and the King's army headed on to London. About 1,000 men lost their lives. There were no winners in this conflict. The Battle of Edgehill proved neither side would gain a swift victory.

After the blood was shed and each army had moved on, it was apparent some had been left behind. Witnesses reported seeing and hearing the battle continue. Those who had taken their final breath kept on fighting beyond the grave. King Charles I became intrigued by the reports and sent a Royal Commission to investigate. Printer Thomas Jackson even published a few of the tales in 1693. They too witnessed the phantom battle and even recognized a soldier or two. People traveled from all over to witness such a sight until it ceased all together. However, today people still hear the sounds of screams, shots, thunder of hooves and chinks of armour of battle are sometimes heard at night especially around the conflict's anniversary. The British phantom soldiers are the only ghosts recognized by the Public Records Office as a result of the Royal Commission's investigation.

As we know, human spirits are not the only ones roaming the earth. There are reports of animal ghosts as well. On the Edgehill battlefield, a particular white horse is often seen. This phantom horse gained such popularity that a road was named after it. The spectral has often been witnessed galloping across the fields. No one knows exactly who the horse belonged to. However, there are theories that either Prince Rupert (who survived the battle) or Captain Kingsmill (who died on the fields) may have owned it. We may never know who once possessed the majestic phantom white horse.
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tplast said…
I first heard of this ghost army in a Time Life Book "Phantom Encounters", part of the Mysteries of the Unknown. I saw a painting of it someone had made in said book. I've been intrigued by it ever since, mainly due to the fact that it was said the King's commissioners were sent to investigate and returned to say they, too, had seen the spectral scene.

Speaking of which, do you know if it is possible to access via the internet the Public Records Office copy of the King's commissioners' report? I would be very interested in reading that first hand account. Plus any others that other people at that time (1640s) had made. I've tried to find a copy of the pamphlet A Great Wonder in Heaven. But, no luck. Thank you.

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