This Day in History: 1649-02-03

On 3rd February 1649, lawyer Thomas Margetts wrote from Pontefract to Captain Baynes (Parliamentary army officer and later MP for Leeds during the Commonwealth, being the city’s first MP) concerning the third siege of Royalist Pontefract Castle by the Parliamentarians: ‘ Little news here. Malignants talk much of the King’s death: well affected are well satisfied. Malignants plot privately to relieve this Castle, and are gathered together in woods as we are informed, but we have sent Parties to apprehend and prevent them. The enemy (Royalists) hold out resolutely in hopes of relief, but I believe would come to fair terms for they would have another summons. The Major- General hath now done disbanding…. Yesterday the enemy sallied forth to beat us out of our Trenches near Swillington tower, killed us one man and were beaten in again. Our mortar pieces have made some work among them….They have heard of the King’s death, and seem to be more resolute upon it, but I believe it will make some of them slink.’