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Siege of Lincoln May 1644

During the first English Civil War, Lincoln was besieged by Parliamentarian forces of the Eastern Association of counties, between the 3-6 May 1644. They were under the command of Edward Montague 2nd Earl of Manchester.

On the first day the Parliamentarian forces took control of the lower part of the City forcing the Royalist defenders to retreat uphill to the Castle and Cathedral area. An attack on the Castle was delayed due to heavy rain, however on the night of the 6 May the Roundheads managed to storm the Castle using scaling ladders. Despite the ladders being too short and with the Royalist army throwing boulders down upon them they managed to scale the walls and take control of the Castle within half an hour.

There were casualties on both sides, the Parliamentarians had about 40 wounded and 8 dead, the Royalists had around 50 killed and between 100 officers and up to 800 soldiers taken prisoner. Among the prisoners were Sir Francis Fane of Fulbeck the Governor of the Castle, and Sir Charles Dallison a former Recorder of Lincoln.

Victorious, the Parliamentarian army rampaged through the upper part of the city smashing monuments and stained glass at the Cathedral.

Following the capture of Lincoln, the Earl of Manchester ordered that a bridge of boats be built over the River Trent at Gainsborough, this allowed Oliver Cromwell and 3,000 horses to cross, while two regiments of infantry guarded the bridge.

Manchester stayed in Lincoln until about 22 May while preparations were made for him to link up with the besiegers of York.

With the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Lincoln Castle finally ceased to be a military stronghold.

Written and researched by Visitor Experience Officer, Vanessa.