Thursday 19 August 2021

The Storming of Tiverton Castle

An account of the storming of Tiverton Castle in 1645 from the 1870 book A Life of the Great Lord Fairfax, Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Parliament of England by Clements Robert Markham, on page 255:

The general's object was to confine Goring to the right bank of the Exe, and for this purpose it was first necessary to capture the town and castle of Tiverton. Massey was sent to summon the garrison, which was commanded by Sir Gilbert Talbot, a cavalier notorious for cheating at bowls and cards. At about noon on October 18 Fairfax arrived in person, with about 6,000, men having left detachments at Silverton and Colomb John. Talbot refused to surrender; so the general held a council of war in Peter Blundell's school, and gave orders to erect batteries on an eminence called Skrink Hills, commanding the castle and church, with the intention of storming as soon as a breach was made. But a chance shot broke the chain of the drawbridge during the forenoon of the 19th, the bridge fell, and the soldiers rushed in. The garrison fled from their guns, and the governor shut himself in his chamber, and waved a white flag out of the window. About 200 prisoners were taken, and a strange accident happened in the nursery. Mrs Caricke, the nurse, was carrying one of the little Talbots in her arms, when a cannon-shot struck and killed her, but did not hurt the child.

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