This Day in History: 1645-06-22

Leather CannonOn 22nd June 1645, as soon as the day dawned, Parliamentary forces made a strong attack upon the guard in the Low Church, which they entered with a hundred men. Another party went up the trenches of the besieged Royalists and so to the castle. The guard in the church compelled those who entered to retreat and those in the steeple gave the alarm to the Royalist garrison by ringing the bell. A continuous fire from the steeple and from the East Tower of the castle rendered the attempt of those who had entered the trenches useless and so they retreated to their works, carrying their dead and wounded with them. After some time, the cannon planted at Monkhill, and carrying a ball of eighteen pounds in weight, began to aim against the lantern of the steeple. In about an hour and a half, they aimed thirteen times but did no damage. The besieged Royalists, in order to preserve the church and to protect their guard, played their cannon from King’s Tower against the enemy’s works at Monkhill and at the fifth discharge dismounted the cannon of the Parliamentary forces. The remainder of the day was spent by the Parliamentarians remounting their cannon and throwing up works for its security. In the afternoon, the besieging Parliamentarians relieved all their guards and in the evening the besiegers conversed freely with the besieged and informed them of Cromwell‘s success and the almost final destruction of the forces belonging to His Majesty. The besieged Royalists considered this information as designed to induce them to surrender and still hoped that they should soon be relieved.