Lichfield and the Civil War
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Lichfield 1600 - 1699 - a simple view of the Cathedral and the houses around it. Anonymous.
William Salt Library SV-V.143g. By kind permission of the trustees of William Salt Library.
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The First Siege, 1-4 March 1643

Introduction 2
In the autumn of 1642, after the King raised his standard at Nottingham, effectively declaring war, Lichfield was garrisoned by Royalists, under the command of the Earl of Chesterfield, later assisted by Sir Richard Dyott.
Lord Brooke, owner of Warwick Castle, raised a regiment of foot soldiers in support of the Parliamentarian cause at this time, securing Warwickshire and capturing Stratford on Avon in February 1643. He was then ordered by Parliament to assemble further troops to attack Lichfield and Stafford.
On 1 March, around 1200 troops reached Lichfield from the south and next day marched into the city. Royalist troops regrouped in the Cathedral Close behind the defences and the Parliamentarians took over the town. Lord Brooke's troops settled to attack the Close from the south. Artillery (a demi-culverin, "Black Bess") bombarded the South gate. At this point in the siege, Lord Brooke was shot and killed - the tradition is that this was by "Dumb" Dyott, stationed in the tower of the Cathedral.
Reinforcements for the attackers arrived with Sir John Gell from Derbyshire. Initially, on 3 March, attacks on both the South and west gates were pushed back. At one stage, the advance included a human shield of members of some of the defenders' families.
Further reinforcements arrived with Sir William Brereton (from Cheshire) and his second-in-command Simon Rudgeley, a local Staffordshire man. On Saturday 4 March, a mortar device arrived from Coventry and was positioned in the garden of Sir Richard Dyott's house in what is now Market Street, overlooking Minster Pool. Although some early shots fell short, some of the shells (or "granadoes") did explode and the bombardment had its effect.
The garrison negotiated terms of surrender – effectively “free quarter” to those within the Close (exemption from being put to death). The Earl of Chesterfield was sent to London and imprisoned in the Tower. His troops were disarmed and allowed to go. Many headed for Stafford and the Royalist garrison there.
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