Siege of Worcester

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The Siege of Worcester took place in 1646, towards the end of the First English Civil War, when Parliamentary forces under the command of Thomas Rainsborough besieged the city of Worcester, accepting the capitulation of the 104 Royalist defenders on 22 July 1646.[1][2]

By 1646 the Royalist cause was in terminal decline. The Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold, the last pitched battle of the First English Civil War, was fought on 21 March 1646. The victorious Parliamenty forces then set about capturing the last of the Royalist strongholds. Exeter and Barnstaple fell to Lord-General Thomas Fairfax, and after accepting the surrender of Oxford on 24 June, Rainsborough took command of the Parliamentary forces besieging Worcester. During the months after the surrender of Worcester, all other Royalist strongholds fell to the Roundheads. The last to do so was Harlech Castle in Wales, which surrendered on 13 March 1647.[3]

The parliamentary forces placed their siege artillery on a small hill to the south-east of Worcester overlooking the Sidbury Gate, from where it was directed by the mathematician and master gunner Nathaniel Nye, whose scientific approach to artillery was later detailed in his 1647 book The Art of Gunnery.[4] The largest piece in their train was "Roaring Meg" — a mortar that fired 200 pound shots. From there they were able to damage severely the city's medieval walls. In 1651 shortly before the battle of Worcester the hill was fortified by the Royalists and the remains of those fortifications are now in the park known as Fort Royal Hill.[2][5]

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Coordinates: 52°11′N 2°13′W / 52.19°N 2.22°W / 52.19; -2.22