This Day in History: 1648-05-18

Royalist Colonel John Morris (he served on both sides during the Civil War)  made an unsuccessful attempt to seize the castle by means of a scaling ladder on 18th May 1648. This ‘reckless’ endeavour failed, however, as Morris’s confederate, Corporal Floyd, had not, as promised, put a friendly guard on duty. The castle governor, Cotterell, subsequently pulled in those of the garrison who were sleeping in the town, and issued warrants for beds for a hundred men. Morris and Captain William Paulden then came up with a plan to disguise themselves and eight other soldiers as bed delivery-men and gain access and control of the castle . It worked and the castle guard were shut in the ‘dungeon’ on 3rd June. The only casualty was a wounded Governor Cotterell. A force of 300 men quickly garrisoned the castle.