The Siege of York

In December 1642, the city came under the control of staunch royalist William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle, and for over a year York became a base for Royalists expeditions in the north. During this period, relations between the city and the royal garrison frayed considerably, as Newcastle demanded ever more money to pay his soldiers and strengthen the city’s defenses. The low point came when Newcastle rejected the City Council’s choice for Lord Mayor, and forced them to accept Sir Edmund Cooper, another ardent supporter of the King.

In the spring of 1644, one of the Marquess’s forays into the countryside ended in a disastrous encounter with Parliamentary forces, and the royalists were forced to fall back inside the city walls. Within weeks, three Parliamentary armies (one of which was Scottish) converged upon and laid siege to the city.

I’ll omit the story of how the siege ended, as these events are covered in The Midwife’s Story. But you can read two contemporary accounts of the seige here: An Exact Relation of the Siege before York or Newes from the Siege before York