"the news of Chalgrove Field"
Merton College
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumMerton College - Credit: M.L. Costa

The Battle of Chalgrove Field was fought in Oxfordshire during the English Civil War (1642-1651). It was considered a victory for the Royalists.


During the English Civil War, King Charles I (1600-1649), who was ultimately defeated and beheaded by the Parliamentarians, took refuge in Oxford, temporarily setting up court in the city.


Ironically, although Judas College is thought to have been based on Merton College, Merton was the only college to have sided with the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. Thus, members of the college moved to London while the king was in residence in Oxford, and the buildings of Merton were commandeered by the Royalists to house some of the king’s courtiers.