in the Civil War
People Involved in Shropshire
BENBOW, JOHN (COLONEL) – Parliamentarian + Royalist
Born in 1610 at Newport, Shropshire. Originally a Parliamentary Lieutenant at the capture of Shrewsbury and promoted to Captain. He also took part in the capture of Beaumaris Castle in 1648 and is believed to have been wounded. In 1651, he changed sides and was promoted to Colonel in the King’s army. He was allowed to recruit in Shropshire to make up his regiment and captured at the Battle of Worcester. On September 30th of that year he was found guilty of Treason and shot on the Castle Green at Shrewsbury.
BRERETON, WILLIAM (SIR) - Parliamentarian
Born in 1604 at Handforth, Cheshire. Elected as Member of Parliament for Cheshire in 1628 and 1640. In 1641 helped to suppress the Irish Uprising. On the outbreak of civil war in England, he tried to seize Chester for Parliament, but was driven out by Royalist citizens. He returned to Cheshire in January 1643 and defeated Sir Thomas Aston at Nantwich on 28th January, which he then fortified and held as Parliament's headquarters in Cheshire. Appointed commander-in-chief of Parliament's forces in Cheshire, Shropshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire. Brereton developed an effective network of spies and agents and conducted a relentless military campaign against the Royalists in the region. In alliance with Sir Thomas Middleton, he captured Ecclesall Castle in Staffordshire in mid-August and then seized territory in Shropshire during September and October 1643, defeating the Royalist commander Lord Capel and confining his forces to Shrewsbury. Brereton and Middleton then advanced into North Wales, capturing Wrexham and several castles on the western side of the Dee estuary and thus threatening to blockade the Royalist stronghold of Chester. However, Brereton's forces were driven back into Cheshire by the arrival of the first wave of the King's reinforcements from Ireland. Brereton was defeated at Middlewich by Lord Byron on 26th December 1643. The following month, however, Sir Thomas Fairfax led a force of Yorkshire Parliamentarians across the Pennines to join forces with Brereton and defeated Byron at the battle of Nantwich on 25th January 1644. From the autumn of 1644, Brereton was occupied with the long-drawn-out siege of Chester, which was defended by Lord Byron. The siege was so important to the Parliamentary cause that Brereton was one of the few commanders allowed to retain both his military command and his seat in Parliament after the Self-Denying Ordinance of April 1645. After the surrender of Chester in January 1646, Brereton was involved in mopping up Royalist resistance in his region. Sir Jacob Astley surrendered the last Royalist field army to Brereton at Stow-on-the-Wold in March 1646 and he then went on to capture Ludlow Castle for Parliament on 9th July 1646.. After the First Civil War was over, Brereton was richly rewarded for his services to Parliament. He was given Eccleshall Castle in Staffordshire and acquired Croydon Palace, the former home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He declined to sit as one of the King's judges and played little part in events during the Commonwealth and Protectorate. At the Restoration, Croydon Palace was returned to Archbishop Juxon, but Brereton was allowed to remain there as a tenant until his death in 1661.
BROOKE, BASIL - Royalist
Born 1576 in Madeley, Shropshire. Ran an ironworks at Coalbrookdale until the outbreak of the civil war in 1642. Brooke was one of the leading English Roman Catholics of his time and was said to have had personal contact with King James I and King Charles I. In 1641, he was summoned by the House of Commons but fled and was arrested at York and imprisoned in London. Late in 1643, he was implicated in a plot to divide Parliament and the City of London authorities with a view to preventing the Scottish army taking part in the English Civil War. His correspondence was discovered and on 6th January 1644, he was imprisoned again. His estate was sequestrated in 1645 as a papist delinquent. He died on 31st December 1646, leaving debts of £10,000.
CAPEL, ARTHUR (LORD) - Royalist
Born in 1604 at Hadham, Hertfordshire. Elected Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire in 1640. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, Capel raised a regiment of horse and served in the King's lifeguard at the Battle of Edgehill. In 1643, despite his lack of military experience, Capel was appointed regional Lieutenant-General to govern and direct military operations in North Wales and the Northern Marches. This included Flint, Denbigh, Caernarfon, Merioneth, Montgomery, Angelsey, Cheshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire. He set up his headquarters at Shrewsbury in March 1643. Later that year, Eccleshall Castle was captured by Parliamentarians and they garrisoned Wem. Meanwhile, with the ending of the King's campaign against Gloucester, Lord Capel was reinforced with a further three regiments and a supply of munitions from Oxford. In mid-October 1643, Capel took to the field at the head of a force of around 4,000 men and six cannon. With most of the Parliamentary forces concentrated around Wem in Shropshire, Capel advanced from Shrewsbury on their headquarters at Nantwich in Cheshire. However, the advance faltered when the Royalists were attacked by troops from the Nantwich garrison at nearby Acton. On learning of the Royalist advance, Brereton and Middleton hurried back towards Nantwich with the bulk of their forces, leaving Colonel Mytton with a garrison of 300 foot at Wem. Capel fell back to Whitchurch then evaded the Parliamentarians to make a bold dash on Wem with the intention of overwhelming the garrison on 17-18 October. Although heavily outnumbered, Mytton's troops defended fiercely and Capel's attack was repulsed with heavy losses. With his army badly mauled and some of his best officers killed or taken prisoner, Capel fled back to Shrewsbury. After his defeat before Wem, Lord Capel shut himself up in Shrewsbury. His army had been seriously weakened in the attack and a popular local officer, Colonel Wynne, had been wounded. Lord Capel himself had become a laughing-stock and the butt of popular satirical ballads. One London news book (the equivalent of the modern newspaper) reported that Capel feared to leave Shrewsbury in case the townsmen barred the gates behind him. Lord Capel was recalled to the king’s headquarters at Oxford in December 1643. After the surrender of the Royalist army in 1646, Capel accompanied the Prince of Wales into exile but returned to England the following year. In 1648, he was involved in an uprising and captured after the siege of Colchester. He was sentenced for Treason and executed in London in March 1649.
CARELESS, WILLIAM (COLONEL) - Royalist
Born in 1610 at Brewood, Staffordshire. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, Careless raised a troop of cavalry and served as Captain in Thomas Leveson’s regiment. He commanded the garrison at Lapley House in 1643 and Tong Castle in 1644. He rejoined his regiment to serve with Prince Rupert at the siege of York and Battle of Marston Moor. Careless was captured by Parliamentary forces near Wolverhampton in December 1644. After his release, he lived in Holland for a time and then served as an office in the Spanish army. He returned to England in 1650 and in 1651 joined the army of Charles II on its march from Scotland. He was promoted to Major and fought in Lord Talbot’s regiment at the Battle of Worcester. After the battle, he arrived at Boscobel House and spent all day hiding in a nearby oak tree with King Charles II while Parliamentary troops searched the surrounding woodland. The following day he separated from the King and made his own way into exile in France. In 1656, he was promoted by Charles II to Colonel in the Kings Royal Regiment of Guards (later to become the Grenadier Guards). He was captured at the Battle of Dunes in 1658 and returned to England with King Charles II in 1660. He died in London in 1689.
CORBET, VINCENT (SIR) - Royalist
Born in 1617 at Moreton Corbet, Shropshire. Elected as Member of Parliament for Shropshire in 1640. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, Vincent was appointed as a Captain of Horse and became part of the garrison at Shrewsbury. He then raised a local regiment of cavalry, known as “Corbet’s Dragoons”, but this was always under-strength. Vincent does not seem to have been a very good commander and in January 1643, after a failed attempt to capture Nantwich, he was said to have fled by crawling away most shamefully on all fours, leaving the rebel force victorious. He then tried to hold Market Drayton with a force of 300 men but was driven away by the Parliamentarians. At the Battle of Naseby, Vincent led a regiment of foot from Shrewsbury and was involved in defending High Ercall, Bridgnorth and his house at Moreton Corbet Castle when they were besieged. Moreton Corbet was captured by the Parliamentarians in September 1644. He died in 1657. For more details of his regiment Click Here.
CRESSETT, EDWARD - Royalist
A distinguished officer who served on the King's Council of War before being killed in a skirmish near Bridgnorth in 1645.
CRESSETT, FRANCIS (SIR) - Royalist
Appointed Steward and Treasurer to King Charles I and was one of the men who tried to rescue the King from Carisbrooke Castle in 1648.
CROMWELL, OLIVER (LORD PROTECTOR) - Parliamentarian
Born in 1599 at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Elected as member of parliament for Huntingdon in 1628-29 and 1640-42. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, Cromwell raised a troop of cavalry but was too late to join the Battle of Edgehill. In 1643, he increased the troop to a full regiment, taking part in several skirmished in East Anglia and at the Battle of Gainsborough. By the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, Cromwell had been promoted to Lieutenant-General of cavalry under the Earl Manchester. He was entrusted with remodelling the army on a new national basis and, following extensive training, it became known as the New Model Army. The army was commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Cromwell was second-in-command. At the battle of Naseby in 1645, it smashed the Royalist army and Cromwell finished off the rump at the Battle of Langport. Cromwell only visited Shropshire once during the conflict in July 1645. A report stated "Lieutenant General Cromwell riding within twice pistol shot of the town of Bridgnorth, on Friday last to view it, making some stand to speak with his Officers that were with him, a brace of musket bullets, shot from the enemy’s works, hit a comet of his regiment with whom the Lieutenant General was then talking, but blessed be God the person aimed at escaped without any hurt." After a number of further skirmishes, Fairfax and Cromwell accepted the surrender of the Royalist army at Oxford in June 1646. When King Charles I tried to regain power in 1648, Cromwell put down an uprising in Wales and then beat a Scottish Royalist army at the Battle of Preston. Later that year, he was one of the men who signed the death warrant of King Charles I. Following the King’s death, a republic was declared and Cromwell was a member of the Rump Parliament. He was sent to Ireland in 1649-50 to put down the Irish Rebellion and became infamous for his brutality. When Charles II was crowned in Scotland in 1650, Cromwell led an army of invasion and beat the Scots at the battle of Dunbar. In 1651, Charles II marched south with a small Scottish army so Cromwell returned to England and beat them at the Battle of Worcester. On his return to Parliament, Cromwell was frustrated by their inefficiency so, in 1653, he marched into the Palace of Westminster with 40 musketeers and dissolved parliament. He was sworn in as Lord Protector and proceeded to rule along until his death in 1658. When King Charles II was reinstated, he had Cromwell’s body dug up and dismembered.
EARNLEY, MICHAEL (SIR) - Royalist
Born in 1599 at Calne, Wiltshire. Fought in Ireland during 1641-43 and held Connaught Castle for the King. Captured Hawarden Castle in December 1643 and appointed as Governor of Shrewsbury. Developed tuberculosis in 1644 and killed when the garrison was captured by Parliamentary forces on 22nd February 1645, apparently rising from his sick bed to resist.
FIELDING, BASIL (EARL OF DENBIGH) - Parliamentarian
Born in 1608 at Cannock, Staffordshire. Entered House of Lords in march 1629 as Baron Fielding. Served as a soldier in Holland and then appointed as British Ambassador to Venice 1634-38. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, he joined the Parliament side and led a regiment of cavalry at the battle of Edgehill. In April 1643 he became Earl of Denbigh, Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire and commander-in-chief of the Parliamentary army in Warwickshire and neighbouring counties.
He captured Oswestry in June 1644 bur resigned his command in April 1644 following the Self Denying Ordnance. Between 1645-67, he was one of the Commissioners who tried to negotiate with King Charles I. He supported the New Model Army in their dispute with Parliament but would have nothing to do with the trial of the King. During the Commonwealth he was a member of the Council of State and died in 1675.
HERBERT, RICHARD (COLONEL) - Royalist
Born in 1604 at Chirbury, Shropshire. Elected as Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire in 1640. He was appointed Governor of Bridgnorth in 1642 and raised a foot regiment and a troop of cavalry at his own expense. In 1643, he graduated Master of Arts of the University of Oxford and became Governor of Ludlow. In July of that year, he and his regiment were with Prince Rupert at the capture of Bristol. In September 1644, his father Lord Herbert surrendered the family seat of Montgomery Castle, by negotiation, to Parliamentary forces led by Sir Thomas Myddelton. The older Herbert returned to London, submitted to parliament, and received a pension of £20 a week, while the Castle was subsequently destroyed. The younger Herbert was Governor of Aberystwyth in 1644 and of Newport in 1645,but he took the Negative Oath and on 6th March 1647 "petitioned to compound", with the result that he was fined £1,000 as the price of making his peace with parliament. When his father died on 20th August 1648, he inherited his father's titles but little else. He only got his father's horses. He was briefly a member of the House of Lords, until on 19th March 1649 it was abolished by an Act of Parliament. Herbert died on 13th May 1655 and was buried at Montgomery.
LANGHORN (COLONEL) - Parliamentarian
Helped Colonel Mytton to capture Shrewsbury with a party of 1,500 men from the garrisons of Wem and Oswestry.
LAVINGTON (COLONEL) - Parliamentarian
Helped at the siege of Bridgnorth. Initiated the excavation of a tunnel from the sandstone caves beneath St Mary’s Church and the Castle with the idea of blowing up the Royalists' store of gunpowder in the church. However, the town surrendered before the tunnel could be completed.
MARROWE (COLONEL) - Royalist
Governor of Chester. Besieged Oswestry in July 1644 but failed to capture it. Killed later that year in a skirmish with Parliamentary troops
MIDDLETON, THOMAS (SIR) – Parliamentarian + Royalist
Born in 1586 at Chirk, Denbighshire. Elected Member of Parliament for Weymouth & Melcombe Regis in 1624-25 and for Denbighshire in1625 and 1640-48. Thomas was the Parliamentarian counterpart of Lord Capel as regional Lieutenant-General to govern and direct military operations in North Wales and the Northern Marches. However, his appointment was in name only because the region was entirely under Royalist control. Even Middleton’s estate at Chirk Castle in Denbighshire was in enemy hands after its capture in a Royalist raid in mid-January 1643. When Middleton arrived in the region to take up his appointment in August 1643 with troops and artillery from London, he went to Nantwich in Cheshire to join forces with Sir William Brereton, the Parliamentarian commander of Cheshire, Shropshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire, to threaten the Royalists on the northern Marches. They besieged Eccleshall Castle in Staffordshire, which Lord Capel had garrisoned at the beginning of the war, and captured it on 29th August. Brereton and Middleton were then joined by Colonel Thomas Mytton with a regiment of foot from London and marched unopposed into Wem on 11 September, proceeding to garrison and fortify the town. In mid-October, Lord Capel took to the field at the head of a force of around 4,000 men and six cannon. With most of Brereton's forces concentrated around Wem in Shropshire, Capel advanced from Shrewsbury on the Parliamentarian headquarters at Nantwich in Cheshire. However, the advance faltered when the Royalists were attacked by troops from the Nantwich garrison at nearby Acton. On learning of the Royalist advance, Brereton and Middleton hurried back towards Nantwich with the bulk of their forces, leaving Colonel Mytton with a garrison of 300 foot at Wem. They missed Capel since he fell back to Whitchurch, then made a bold dash on Wem with the intention of overwhelming the garrison. After several skirmishes, Middleton also relieved the siege of Oswestry in July 1644. On 9th December 1644, he was obliged to resign his commission as a result of the Self-Denying Ordinance and was replaced by Thomas Mytton. Thomas opposed the King’s execution and was excluded from Parliament in 1649. He then changed sides and joined the Cheshire Rising in 1659. The uprising was defeated and Middleton forced to go into exile. He returned to England after the Restoration and died in 1666.
MORE, SAMUEL – Parliamentarian
Born in 1593 at Linley, Shropshire. He was married to Katherine More but in 1616 he accused her of adultery and bearing four children with Jacob Blakeway, a neighbour. He removed the four children from their home and, four years later without their mother's knowledge, they were transported to America on board the Pilgrim Fathers' ship the Mayflower. During the civil war, he commanded a garrison of 31 men at Hopton Castle, one of the few castles to be held for Parliament in Shropshire. In 1644, it was besieged by a Royalist force of 500 men, led by Sir Michael Woodhouse. Samuel was offered quarter twice but refused. He finally surrendered when the Royalists had breached the castle walls and threatened to blow up the keep. He negotiated that the whole garrison should be allowed to march away without arms but Woodhouse reneged on the deal. Samuel More himself was taken to Ludlow and was later given his freedom in a prisoner exchange. The rest of the men, however, were tied back to back, had their throats slit and then dumped them in the moat. He died in 1662.
MYTTON, THOMAS (SIR) - Parliamentarian
Born in 1597 at Halston, Shropshire. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, Mytton was promoted to Colonel and raised a regiment of foot in London. In August 1643, William Brereton and Sir Thomas Middleton were besieging Eccleshall Castle in Staffordshire and they were joined by Mytton with a regiment of foot from London. After the fall of the castle, they marched unopposed into Wem on 11 September, and proceeded to garrison and fortify the town, with Mytton becoming the Governor. In mid-October 1643, Lord Capel led a Royalist force of 4,000 men and six cannon to capture Nantwich but the advance faltered when the Royalists were attacked by troops from the Nantwich garrison at nearby Acton. On learning of the Royalist advance, Brereton and Middleton hurried back towards Nantwich with the bulk of their forces, leaving Colonel Mytton with a garrison of 300 foot at Wem. Capel fell back to Whitchurch and then evaded the Parliamentarians to make a bold dash on Wem with the intention of overwhelming the garrison. Although heavily outnumbered, Mytton's troops defended fiercely and Capel's attack was repulsed with heavy losses. On 12th January 1644 he surprised the cavaliers at Ellesmere, capturing Sir Nicholas Byron, Sir Richard Willis and a convoy of ammunition. On 23rd June Mytton, in conjunction with Lord Denbigh, captured Oswestry, and succeeded in holding it against a royalist attempt at recapture. He was appointed Governor of Oswestry, and the newspapers were full of praise. On February 22nd 1645, Colonel Mytton and Colonel Langhorn, two very active officers in the parliament service, with a party of 1,500 men being the garrisons of Wem and Oswestry, surprised the town of Shrewsbury and captured it. To reward Colonel Mytton for his good service on this occasion, he was promoted to the rank of Major-General. On the passing of the Self-Denying Ordinance Sir Thomas Middleton was obliged to lay down his commission, and Mytton succeeded to his post as Commander-in-Chief of the forces of the six counties of North Wales and the Marches on 12th May 1645. He was also appointed High Sheriff of Shropshire on 30th September. In September 1651 he agreed to act as a member of the court-martial which sentenced James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby to death. He represented Shropshire in the first Protectorate parliament convened by Oliver Cromwell in 1654. Mytton died in London in 1656.
NEWPORT, FRANCIS - Royalist
Born in 1620 at Wroxeter, Shropshire. His career as a soldier did not last long as his first action was in the siege of Oswestry where he was captured by Parliamentarians in July 1644. He was then imprisoned until the Restoration. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire and died in 1708.
OATLEY, FRANCIS (SIR) - Royalist
On the start of the civil war, Francis enforced the raising Royalist armies in Shropshire through the Commissions of Array. He was captured by Parliamentarians at Apley House in February 1645.
OWEN, WILLIAM (SIR) - Parliamentarian
One of Shrewsbury’s bailiffs and appointed Sheriff of Shropshire in 1623. Although ostensibly a supporter of the Crown during the Civil War (he was among those captured in Shrewsbury after the town was taken by parliamentary troops in February 1645), he was let off surprisingly lightly by the Committee for Sequestration and paid only £314 to compound for his estates. His son Roger paid much more, £700. The reason for this leniency appears from papers put before the Committee which show that for two years before Shrewsbury's capture, Owen had regularly betrayed the plans of the Royalists in Shrewsbury to the Parliamentary garrison at Wem and had even offered Condover Hall as a garrison for the other side. There are obvious grounds to suspect that his collusion was behind the surprising ease with which the Parliamentary forces captured Shrewsbury after gaining access through St. Mary's Water Gate and the grounds of the Council House itself.
PENDEREL, GEORGE - Royalist
Was a Royalist soldier and fought at the Battle of Edgehill, before becoming a woodsman on the Boscobel estate. Assisted Charles II to hide after Battle of Worcester.
PENDEREL, HUMPHREY - Royalist
Miller on the Boscobel Estate. Assisted Charles II to hide after Battle of Worcester.
PENDEREL, JOHN - Royalist
Woodsman on the Boscobel Estate. Assisted Charles II to hide after Battle of Worcester.
PENDEREL, RICHARD - Royalist
Farmer at Hobbal Grange, Tong. Assisted Charles II to hide after Battle of Worcester.
PENDEREL, WILLIAM - Royalist
Caretaker at Boscobel House. Assisted Charles II to hide after Battle of Worcester.
PRICE, JOHN (SIR) - Parliamentarian
Captured Apley House for Parliamentarians in February 1645.
RUPERT (PRINCE) - Royalist
Born in 1619 at Prague. Became a soldier aged 14 and fought in a number of continental wars, becoming an experienced cavalryman. On the outbreak of civil war in 1642, Rupert joined his uncle King Charles I and was appointed General of Cavalry. He enjoyed initial success and was a major player at the Battle of Edgehill with his cavalry. After the battle, Rupert was sent to Ludlow where he installed a garrison in the castle. He was then used by the King at a number of skirmishes around Britain, including Shropshire, and fought at all the major battles. He was in charge of Ludlow Castle when it was captured by the Parliamentarians but managed to escape, not endearing himself to King Charles I. Rupert was captured at Oxford in 1646, when it was surrendered, and immediately banished with his brother Maurice. He then fought for the French army until 1648 when he joined King Charles II, initially as Admiral of his Navy. Following the defeat of King Charles II in 1651, Rupert fought in Italy and Germany until the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, when he returned to England. Charles gave him several titles but he was most active as Admiral of the Royalist Navy, with which he was closely involved in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of 1652-74. He died in 1682 at London.
SOLDIERS – Roundhead & Royalist
There was little to distinguish the two armies physically. The Roundheads wore an orange scarf and the Royalists a red one. Roundhead soldiers tended to be better armed while Royalists borrowed from the trained bands and the contents of private armouries. Skilled men would have become musketeers, new recruits, especially young strong labourers, would have carried pikes 12–18 feet long and Sergeants carried a halberd. Both armies advertised ‘constant’ pay and in 1642 a musketeer’s pay in the Royalist army was 6 shillings per week. Of course the constant pay was never achieved and was a source of grievance, and later mutiny. By 1649, the pay for an infantryman in the New Model Army had fallen to 8d per day – the same rate as an agricultural labourer. The lack of wages, the conditions of service and responsibilities at home led to widespread desertion, even after the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642. Brereton, the Parliamentarian commander for Cheshire and later Shropshire, wrote that the new soldier rarely “had much mind to fight, but was glad to take any occasion to haste home”. Thus, without regular pay and provisions or proper equipment, both armies plundered the towns and countryside. The Royalists had the worst reputation for this. During September and October 1642, Charles I and his entourage and 4,000 troops were stationed at Shrewsbury. One commentator wrote: ‘Our country is now in a woeful condition, by reason of the multitude of soldiers daily billeted upon us, both of horse and foot… all the county over 12-14 miles of Shrewsbury are full of soldiers… they take men’s horses, break and pillage men’s houses night and day in an unheard manner; they pretend quarrel with the Roundheads as they call them, but for aught I see they will spare none if they may hope to have good bounty’. The plundering continued throughout the war. A house could be plundered by both sides if the occupant was believed to be neutral. It ranged from petty theft to wholesale pillaging after a victory. A garrison in a private manor house would get all its provisions from the surrounding countryside and the same source would also have to feed the opposing force if the garrison was besieged. In 1642, Charles I recruited 20 men from Myddle, of which 14 were killed. Some of these are reputed to be copper miners from Pim Hill Mine and they left a pile of ore that was never reclaimed.
STUART, CHARLES I (KING) - Royalist
Born in 1600 at Dunfermline, Fife. Succeeded his father James as King in 1626. King Charles I started the civil war on 22nd August 1642, by raising his standard at Nottingham, and he then travelled to Shropshire with his army of around 4,000 men. He arrived in Wellington on 19th September and raised his standard again in the Market Square. Charles stayed in a building that stood in what is now Crown Street, next to the former Crown Inn (now the premises of Wellington News). Most of his army camped at Orleton Park, where he spoke to them the following morning in what became known as the Declaration of Wellington. “Be not afraid, I would to God my poor Subjects suffered no more by the Insolence and Violence of that Army raised against me (though they have made themselves wanton even with Plenty) than you shall do by mine, and yet I fear I cannot prevent all Disorders. I will do my best, and this I will promise you; no Man shall be loser by me, if I can help it.” He went on to promise to live and die with his followers and declared that the men could not fight in a better quarrel. He pledged to defend the Protestant religion established in the Church of England, maintain the just privileges and freedom of Parliament and to govern by the known laws of the land consented to him by that Parliament. The declaration was held to be so important that the Royal Mint stamped it’s slogans on the reverse of the 10/- silver coins
Charles and his army then marched to Shrewsbury, where he stayed at the Council House. He was joined by his two sons Charles and James, Prince Rupert and great numbers of noblemen and gentlemen. A general muster was held on the Gay Meadow on 28th September 1642and he established a mint in the town. With the exception of a few days' absence at Chester, Charles stayed at Shrewsbury until the 12th of October. When he had been considerably reinforced, he marched to Bridgnorth and stayed there until October 15th. He then proceeded to Oxford and won the Battle of Edgehill on his way. Charles made Oxford his headquarters and mostly stayed there to direct operations. In the Spring of 1644, Charles again spent a few days in Shropshire, on his way from his winter quarters at Oxford to Leicester. He arrived at Chetwynd, near Newport, on the 17th of May and there he stayed three nights. He then travelled to Beaten, near Market Drayton, where he stayed two nights before travelling onwards to Leicester.
Charles visited again following his defeat at the Battle of Naseby in 1645. After the battle, he had fled to South Wales and then arrived at Ludlow on August 6th. “His Majesty came to Ludlow, attended only with 42 horse, as puny a guard for a martial Prince as his poor present of £20 in a pewter basin at Monmouth. He stayed there not above an hour, but he went thence with three troupes of horse of the town, who attended him to his fresh imprest men, raised by Gerard, who quartered together with Prince Maurice's and Colonel Vaughan's forces within 16 miles of Worcester. At his Majesty’s view of them when drawn up before him, he made a speech for their encouragement, telling them the danger he was in if they did not stand by him; promising them great rewards, and the like; but all this would not prevail with many of the country men, but away 12 of them rushed to his goats and cows and cowsheds, which caused his Majesty (because he loved his countrymen) to send out a proclamation for martial law to be executed on those who should run away, or any of the 12 country men taken must go to heaven on a string.” In the evening, Charles reached Bridgnorth, where he only stayed one night and the next day travelled to Oxford. Following defeat at the Battle of Rowton Heath in Cheshire in September 1645, and the capture of Chester itself, Charles fled towards Newark and passed through Shropshire. He had been obliged to avoid the garrisons at Oswestry and Shrewsbury, arriving at Bridgnorth late on September 29th. He stayed here two nights and on 2nd October travelled onwards to Lichfield.
On May 5th 1646, Charles surrendered himself to the Scottish army at Newark and his army surrendered at Oxford on June 24th. The Scots eventually handed him over to Parliament on January 30th 1647 and, despite being imprisoned, he continued to plot for the restoration of his reign. He was placed on trial by Parliament on January 20th 1649 and beheaded on January 30th.
STUART, CHARLES II (KING) - Royalist
Born in 1630 at London. As Prince of Wales, he fought in the civil war and was at the Battle of Edgehill. He was made Commander of the Royalist Army of the West Country but this was in name only. In 1646, as things began to go badly for the Royalist cause, he left England and lived in Jersey, France and finally Holland. When his father was executed in London on January 30th 1649, Charles became his successor but was not crowned since he was in exile. In 1650, the Scots indicated that they would support him in return for his support in introducing the Presbyterian religion in England. He agreed to this and arrived in Scotland on 23rd June, to the dismay of Parliament in England. Oliver Cromwell was sent to invade Scotland and he defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar on 3rd September. Charles travelled north to avoid Cromwell and was crowned as King of Scotland at Scone on January 1st 1651. He then marched south with a small army but was caught by Cromwell and defeated at the battle of Worcester on 3rd September. Charles managed to escape via Boscobel House and left England for France on October 13th. Once again in exile, he persuaded Spain to pay for the raising of 5 regiments of foot plus some cavalry, which formed the basis of the post-Restoration British Army. Following the death of Cromwell in 1658, there was no strong leader for the Parliamentary cause and a sort of chaos reigned. Parliament eventually negotiated with Charles for his return and this was ratified in the Declaration of Breda on 4th April 1660. Charles finally arrived in Dover on 25th May and entered London 4 days later. He was not actually crowned as King of England until 23rd April 1661. Although Charles had agreed to pardon many Parliamentarians in the Declaration, he excluded 50 from this who had been instrumental in his father’s execution. Of the ones still living nine were executed and the rest imprisoned. His reign was made difficult by the Great Plague in 1665 and the Fire of London in 1666. He died on 2nd February 1685.
WALLOP, HENRY - Parliamentarian
Installed a Parliamentary garrison of 31 men at Hopton Castle under Samuel More.
WHITMORE, THOMAS (SIR) - Royalist
Captured by Parliamentarians at Apley House in February 1645
WHITMORE, WILLIAM (SIR) - Royalist
Captured by Parliamentarians at Apley House in February 1645
WOODHOUSE, MICHAEL (SIR) - Royalist
In 1644, commanded a Royalist force of 500 men besieging Hopton Castle. Samuel More’s garrison numbered around 30 men, and the end result of such an action was inevitable. More was offered quarter twice but refused. He finally surrendered when the Royalists had breached the castle walls and threatened to blow up the keep. He negotiated that the whole garrison should be allowed to march away without arms but Woodhouse reneged on the deal. Samuel More himself was taken to Ludlow and was later given his freedom in a prisoner exchange. The rest of the men, however, were tied back to back, had their throats slit and then dumped them in the moat.
WOLFE, FRANCIS - Royalist
Owner of Madeley Court. Hid Charles II in barn after battle of Worcester.
WYNN, HUGH (COLONEL) - Royalist
Commanded Denbighshire regiment and wounded near Wem in 1643.