Bourne Archive: FNQ: Civil War           Latest edit 11 Aug 2009.   

Interactive version ©2008 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive


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

Part 55. October  1902.

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

965 – Siege of Lynn, 1643. – A short account of the surrender of King’s Lynn to the forces of the Parliament is given by the chronicler of the party, John Vicars, in his Jehova-Jireh, 1644; a work from which we have previously given particulars of the fighting at Crowland. It is to be found in the second part of the Parliamentary Chronicle, p. 412.

Shortly after also, namely, about the 14th Septemb. 1643, came certain intelligence to London, that the brave and strong Town of Lyn-Regis, in the County of Norfolk which had been besieged for about the space of a moneth, by the Noble and as vertuous as valiant Earl of Manchester; and having been surrounded both by sea and by land, and much infested by our Ordnance from Old-Lyn, and utterly hopelesse of reliefe by that impious Popish Earl of New-Castle, and thus at last brought into much danger and distresse every way, and fearing now at last a terrible storming of the Town (which indeed was firmly resolved on, if not prevented by timely submission to this Noble Generall) and thereby to have their houses beaten downe about their eares, and the lives of themselves, their wives and children, brought into inevitable danger of destruction; They therefore resolved to surrender the Town and themselves into the most Noble Generalls hands, upon fair quarter and satisfactory conditions on both sides.

After desiring his readers to note that this success might be considered a compensation for the recent defeats at Bristol and Exeter, the chronicler proceeds:-

See I say, how the Lord hath already in a great measure revived our spirits and requited our late losses in the so easie winning of that strong castle of Ecclesal, and this happie surrender of the most strong Town of Lyn-Regis; for as the Parliament lost two or three Townes of consequence in the Western parts of the Kingdome; so by Gods might and good providence it hat both preserved another, there, even renowned Glocester, and yet another in the Eastern parts of as great importance (as affaires at that time stood in the Kingdom) as any of those lost, even, I say this Town of Lyn. It being a most impregnable place by natural situation, and a Maritime or Sea-Towne, which having in it a most brave Ship-harbour and had in it at the time twas taken 50. pieces of Ordnance, 20. barrels of powder, and store of Ammunition, and was at that time a mighty and onely interruption (as formerly touched) or the Noble Earl of Manchesters opposing of New-Castles Popish-army in those Northern parts, which now by Gods great mercie and goodness he hath a very brave and considerable Armie to atcheive in Gods due time.

The marginal notes accompanying the above are these:-

Lyn-Regis in the Countie of Norfolk besieged.” “Lyn surrendered to the Earl of Manchester.” “Gods fatherly affection, and tender dealing with his children.” “The great benefit and advantage the Parliament got by the surrender of Lyn-Regis.”                                    Ed.

There are chronologies of events nationally and nearer Lincolnshire, which might be useful in providing a context for the above information.