Control of Lincoln and its castle switched back and forth between the Royalists and Parliamentarians during the civil war

On 23 March 1644, Lincoln surrendered to Prince Rupert's troops. When Rupert left for Oxford, Sir Francis Fane (c1611-1681), whose family seat was Fulbeck Hall, near Grantham, was left as Governor with only a small force.


The Parliamentarian army, led by the earl of Manchester,  entered the lower city on 3 May 1644 - forcing the Royalists to retreat to the upper city and the castle. At first Manchester's advance on 4 May, up to the castle, was impeded by heavy rain. It was too slippery for the troops to crawl up the hill: the 'Mount whereon the castle stood being nere as steep as a house'.


Our Foot never left running till they

came to the top of the Hill, which would have been enough to tier

a Horse, being under their workes, we set up the Scaling ladders,

which they seeing left their fiering, and threw mighty stones upon

us from over their workes, by which wee received more hurt than

by all their shot; but all would not daunt our men, but up to the

top of the ladders they got, which proved too short most of them, to

reach the top of their Wals and Works, they being most of them as

high as London Wal, but yet they shifted to get up, which the enemy

perceiving, they had no spirit left in them, but betooke themselves

to their heels. 


Eventually, on 6 May, Manchester’s army managed to scale the walls of the castle with ladders. Within half an hour, they had taken control. A contemporary account described the siege:

Sir Francis Fane was arrested, and the victorious Parliamentarian soldiers rampaged and pillaged through the upper city. In Lincoln Cathedral, they smashed monuments and stained glass, and used the building to stable their horses.



Battles, Plots & Sieges

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