This Day in History: 1645-05-18

On Sunday 18th May 1645, after prayers and sermon all men in the Royalist garrison were ordered to arms. Major Warde was ordered to stand on Neville’s Mount to see that no one gave any type of signal from the towers informing the besiegers of the proceedings in the castle. Meanwhile, Captain Smith with thirty men went out of the castle, up Denwell Lane to the outskirts of the back of Monkhill. They beat the enemy from there and cleared the trenches as far as the lowest works. Captain Flood and Ensign Killingbeck charged up to the top of Monkhill where they fired the houses and demolished the works of the enemy, being joined by Captain Smith and his men. Another party under Captain Munroe, consisting of seventy men, sallied out to the lowest works of the enemy and beat them from there. They next proceeded towards Monkhill, after having killed some of the enemy, and joined the other parties at Cherry Orchard Head near the New Hall. Lieutenant Gilbreth and seventy men were stationed at the Low Church and Major Warde and forty men lined the walls in the low barbican. These men were prepared to assist their friends in case the besiegers from the town and Baghill made an attack. The different parties succeeded in every direction and drove the enemy from all their trenches over St. Thomas’ Hill towards Ferrybridge. In this attack, the Parliamentarians lost about sixty men and as many wounded. By their return to the castle, the party had seized the hats and arms of those they had slain. They rifled their pockets and brought to the castle a quantity of swords, muskets, halberts, drums, saddles, spades etc. and in every trench was found a bag of powder and some match left by those who had fled. Although about sixty men were killed and the same number wounded on the side of the besiegers, there was only one dead and one taken prisoner on the side of the besieged. That night, the besiegers were observed to send two wagon loads of wounded men to Ferrybridge. The besiegers had their losses soon repaired by the arrival of considerable reinforcements both of foot and horse.