Saturday 9 June 2018

Captain Morgan's Cannon

The Siege of Chester was a siege of the First English Civil War, between February 1645 and January 1646, with an intermission during the summer of 1645.

From the beginning of the war, the city of Chester was held by forces loyal to Charles I of England. It was first besieged in late 1644, but was relieved in March 1645 by Prince Maurice. With fighting continuing around Cheshire, the siege was not pursued again in earnest until September 1645, continuing ferociously until the following January. At the Battle of Rowton Heath in September, Charles himself failed to lift the siege, suffering a disastrous defeat.

Throughout the siege, which varied considerably in intensity, the garrison was commanded by Lord Byron, who in the final months strongly defended the city against great odds. In January 1646 (1645, old style), faced with the starvation of the inhabitants, Byron was persuaded to surrender, and the city was occupied by forces of the New Model Army under Sir William Brereton.

During the siege, the Royalist Captain Morgan placed guns on a newly constructed watch tower, now called Morgan's Mount. Skeletons were found here beneath the walls when the Chester Canal was dug a century later. 

After the Battle of Rowton Heath in September of that year, a gun on the Mount was destroyed by Parliamentary forces.  The watchtower was originally named the Raised Square Platform, and is said to have been named later after the Royalist Captain William Morgan, or his son, Edward.


  1. HIstory is fascinating, exhibits like this make it come alive.

  2. May some day all of the earth's resources be put to better use than for war weapons! (..."turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles" as the prophet Isaiah expressed it...)

  3. I wondered why there was an intermission in the first civil war. Perhaps they just wanted to get the crops in. Summer holidays hadn't been invented!

  4. With a cannon that size, I would have expected bigger balls....


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