Monday, 2 September 2013


The preserved foundations of Beverley Gate in the heart of the bustling shopping centre at Hull in East Yorkshire bear a plaque which testifies to the first overt act of The Civil War on St. George’s Day in 1642.

A panel in the so called Plotting Room at Ye Olde White Harte pub in Silver Street tells of the events of 23rd April, 1642  :
 ‘Whilst Sir John Hotham, the Governor of Hull, was giving a dinner party he received an intimation from the King that His Majesty, who was then only four miles from the town, deigned to dine with him that day. The Governor, filled with surprise at the unexpected news, retired to his private room (since called The Plotting Room) and sent for Alderman Pelham, the M.P for the Borough. It was then resolved to close the gates against the King and his followers and a message was dispatched to his Majesty informing him of the decision.The soldiers were called to arms, the bridge drawn up, the gates closed and the inhabitants confined to their houses.About 11 o’clock the King appeared at Beverley Gate but the Governor refused to allow him to enter the walls.  The King then called upon the Mayor but that official fell upon his knees and swore that he could not assist as the gates were guarded by soldiers.  Whereupon the King, after much strong discussion and proclaiming Hotham
a traitor, withdrew to Beverley.’
Ye Olde White Heart
The Plotting Parlour

A poignant signature scratched on the lead lining of the font in Burford Parish Church recalls an incident of mutiny within Cromwell’s New Model Army.  It reads :


1649. PRISNER’


He was one of the supporters of 'The Levellers', a group of radicals who were crushed by Cromwell.   On May Day 1649 the army had reached Salisbury on its way to Ireland when eight soldiers refused to go any further until their complaints were satisfied.  They wanted a levelling of the ranks within the army and an end to Cromwell’s campaign in Ireland, as well as the considerable back pay owed to them.  Several hundred troops ended up deserting, eventually meeting up with more comrades in Banbury.  The upshot was that they were defeated by loyal troops and imprisoned in Burford Church, the only building in the area big enough to contain them.  Three of their leaders were court martialled on the spot and sentenced to death.  On the morning of 17th May the majority were taken up onto the church roof so that they could watch whilst Cornet Thompson, Corporal Church and Private Perkins were put against the church wall and shot.
Burford Church

In 1664, Royalist Sir William Ingilby of Ripley Castle had raised a troop of horsemen from the Ripley district and had joined the King’s army in the battle. Sir William was also accompanied by his sister who was known as 'Trooper Jane' and disguised as a man she wore a full suit of armour. The Ingilby’s had managed to escape back to Ripley and must have been most alarmed when Cromwell arrived at their gate demanding admission. Jane quickly hid her brother in a secret priest’s hideaway in the castle and then admitted Cromwell who insisted on staying overnight in the castle. Jane granted his wish on the understanding that she would remain armed with two pistols and Cromwell was allowed to sleep in the castle library with Jane standing guard.

Ripley Castle 
Oliver Cromwell billeted his troops and stabled his horses in All Saints church at Ripley after the  battle. He had pursued the losing Royalist’s after the battle and reached Ripley by nightfall.

Ripley Church

Several Royalist prisoners were executed against the rear wall of the church where bullet marks are still evident today.

The bullet marks 

Before he left Ripley, Cromwell is said to have had a carved inscription added to the church memorial and tomb of a former Sir William Ingilby which can still be seen today. It reads:
degenerating the rhyming inscription on the memorial praising Sir William.


Sir Richard Graham of Norton Conyers Hall near Ripon in North Yorkshire also fought for the King at the Civil War Battle of Marston Moor. Graham was wounded in the battle but his horse returned him safely home and even tried to take Sir Richard up the stairs to his bed chamber. A scorched hoof print is still visible on a landing at Norton Conyers.




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