Garrisons in Shropshire during the Civil War, 1642-1648

Jun 8, 2012 by

Today’s undiscovered literary treasure is  GARRISONS IN SHROPSHIRE DURING THE CIVIL WAR 1642-1648 first published in 1867 – a little book relating to places in Shropshire England, where Garrisons were placed during the struggle between Charles the First and the Parliament.  When I picked up Garrisons in Shropshire  I had absolutely no idea about the where, what or how of it.  Books like this humbly remind me that while one’s school education may be for a finite amount of time, learning is a lifelong process and joy. The Shropshire area is a county in  the west midlands of England bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, Worcestershire to the south east and Herefordshire to the south. (Interesting to note that  Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury Shropshire!)  The extracts contained in Garrisons in Shropshire during the Civil War 1642-1648 were not originally made to be viewed as a book and were chiefly taken from the Collection of Civil War Papers in the British Museum.   Garrisons in Shropshire is actually a very entertaining read, especially if you are enamored with history in any way.  Garrisons (a body of troops stationed in a fortified place) were churches, castles, farms etc.  Here’s a wee bit to give you the flavor of this book: “Roger Corbet, of Mereton, the descendants of the Hoptons, of Hopton, still remain in Hepefordshire. The Castle and its appendages again passed by an heiress to a branch of the Wallops, of Hampshire, and Mr. Henry Wallop, one of the fiercest of the republican party was its owner, when the Civil War broke out, and it was one of the first of the Parliament Garrisons in Shropshire. Extract from a Journal kept by Samuel More, Esq., to whom had been given the command of the Castle.  ‘I went to Hopton Castle, as my memorty serves me on the 18th of February, 1644, which was the Sabbath day at night. The same night the enemy came before it, who, facing us with a body of horse first, within an hour sent a body of foot, who approached the outer walls (we not being able to hinder them, because the work did not flank, being an old wall made round) and burnt the lodging where E.. Steward lay — they brought ladders to scale the walls, but upon our killing three of them, they sent Mr. Sutton to tell me the Prince desired the delivery of the Castle. I sent word that I understand no message that comes without drum or trumpet, and on the Friday following they retreated, and went out of the towne, but kept courte of Guard near to us with horse and foot ; at this time we were but 26 men in all, and we set to making some works, in which we were as industrious as any men could be, Major Phillips advised to send for more men to Brompton Castle, and they sent us 12, who meeting with the enemy, six of them at that time went back, but afterwards we had about eight men in all 31 men. The Friday fortnight after the first assault, they marched as we guessed about 500 horse and foot, and entered the town ; thereupon they sent a summons by a drum, subscribed by Sir Michael Woodhouse, who demanded the Castle in the name of Prince Rupert ; my answer was that I kept it by authority of Parliament, and by the consent of the owner, Mr.Wallop, for King and Parliament ; and that night they approached part of the wall about two hours before day, and made a breach, which our sentinels discovering, gave the alarm, and there we fought with the enemy at push of pike, throwing stones and shooting ; and some of them, reported being 200 got into the breach, where we killed many, among the rest Captain Vaughan, then we repulsed them, and took six muskets, ten pikes and clubs, which they call roundheads, and after this repulse they marched away. About a week Chancellor Robert Vauglian, Esq. of Burlton Hall after they returned again ; next day came in carriage of cannon, baskets and such tilings, and in the night three pieces of ordnance, by Monday eight of the clock, there came a drum, and summoned the delivery of the Castle, which if we did not yield before shooting one piece of ordnance we must not expect quarter, we returned the same answer as before, and as soon as it came, they shot at us, and continued shooting with culverine, and doing culverine from nine till five. They shot 96 shots at our outer wall, and made a breach, which we defended for the space of two hours at least, so we gave them a repulse with the loss of one man that was killed, and three or four that were hurt, but they lost, as they said afterwards 150 of theirs.”   Garrisons in Shropshire during the Civil War 1642-1648 is a fascinating little read, telling the stories behind each garrison used in Shropshire during the civil war.  Enjoy, and Keep Reading!



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