Bourne Archive: FNQ: Civil War         Latest edit 12 Aug 2009.   

Interactive version ©2006 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive


Fenland Notes and Queries. Edited by Rev. W.D. Sweeting, Rector of Maxey.

Part 66. July 1905.

This quarterly periodical took the form of a forum in which people sent in questions about the history, ecology and so on of the Fens and the region’s environs and others replied with some sort of answer. Some ‘answers’ seem to have been spontaneous, so qualifying as ‘notes’.

Seventeenth Century Civil War.

1113.          Serges, in Lincolnshire [A response to the query in article] (1105). – There is a copy of this pamphlet in the British Museum Library, among George III’s books. It has a title followed by a blank page, and 6 pages of text. These relate to various places. The portion of the title concerning Serges is this: ---

“Wherein is declared how ten Cavaliers were taken neere Serges in Lincolnshire, with 3. ships and great store of  treasure, and brought to London on Tuesday the sixth of September, 1642.”

The account of the occurrence is given in the text in these words: ---

From Boston.

Information is given from Boston, that on Thursday last a Thousand men were raised on that side of the country, for to apprehend ten Cavaliers which were landed at Serges neere Boston; with 3. Ships wherein was great store of treasure, severall Trunks being landed, and they drawing up their Ordnance to guard it, it is conceived that they were pursued by the Earl of Warwicke, and forced to strike in there to secure themselves.

There is however nothing to enable us to identify the exact spot where this brilliant achievement, the capture of ten Cavaliers by a thousand men, took place. Possibly Serges is the name of some manor, or place-name, or estate, which would be looked for in vain in any Gazetteer.

It will be seen from the above extracts that the quotations given in Hotten’s catalogue are by no means exact.  Ed. [This remark refers to article 1105.]

I have looked carefully on the Ordnance Map (one inch scale) of the coast near Boston, reaching up to Gibraltar Point by Wainfleet, and cannot find any place at all resembling “Serges.”


[This booklet was a printed one (a facsimile of the title page appears on page 5 of GarnerA1) but the report will have passed in a manuscript form at some stage in its travels. Having seen some of the handwriting and spelling in old documents, I suggest that Serges is sufficiently similar to Skegness for that place to be a likely candidate. Consider Ske gness. If the writer had intended Scegnes, the c and first e could easily have been misread as ‘er’.  In some hands c, e and r are rather alike. At this period, Skegness might well have been written Sceges . Pity the poor type-setter but see also 29 August 1642. RJP]

Chronology, Civil War in Lincolnshire