The Siege of Colchester was a prolonged and tragic central episode of the Civil War that engulfed England in the summer of 1648. Royalist risings in Kent and Essex culminated in the seizure of the Essex town on behalf of King Charles I. Colchester was besieged by the New Model Army under its commander Sir Thomas Fairfax, and a prolonged siege led to the the civilian population being forced to eat horses, dogs, cats and even rats. Starved out, the garrison surrendered, and the Cavalier leaders, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, were shot on Fairfax’s orders for their rebellion. This account of a rarely recorded but important event in English history should not be missed by any of the many readers interested in the English Civil Wars.
SIEGE OF COLCHESTER or an event of the Civil War, A.D. 1648
A rare account of the central event of the English Civil War in 1648. The Siege of Royalist Colchester by the New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax illustrated the increasing savagery of the conflict, with civilians reduced to eating rats, and the Royalist leaders shot by firing squad after their surrender.