My good pal Lincolnshire Tom just sent me the link to a talk on the Battle if Winceby this evening at 19:30 BST. I’ve signed up.
I logged onto the Winceby talk earlier this evening and found it very informative. The speaker, Dr Jon Fitzgibbons of the University of Lincoln. was clear, and spoke slowly - very useful if you were taking notes. He opened with the statement that Oliver Cromwell died of his wounds on 11 October 1643. Pause. In fact what Dr Fitzgibbons was referring to was a letter from Sir William Widdrington, the Royalist governor of Lincoln, to the Earl of Newcastle, giving an account of the battle wherein Widdrington reported that Colonel Cromwell had been killed. Indeed Cromwell’s horse was shot from under him and despite getting up, the future Lord Protector was seen to be knocked down by (some believe) by Sir Ingram Hopton. This set up a counter-factual question….which was left hanging.
Dr Fitzgibbons set the battle in the strategic context (Lincolnshire being a border ‘no man’s land’ between the Parliamentarian Eastern Association and Northern Royalists; the siege of Hull, the various sieges of Lincoln, Gainsborough and Newark). He also mentioned this was the first battlefield collaboration between Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax, a significant and successful partnership.
A lot of attention was given to the possible location (noting the uncertainty) and discrepancies over the numbers engaged and the casualties reported by different elements of both sides. Dr Fitzgibbons did note that, to his knowledge, there has been no archaeological digs on the favoured site to discover whether there was physical evidence.
Overall very worth listening to (during the first half I was driving). There some clear maps showing context, pre-battle operations and possible tactical moves during the battle. I didn’t stick around for any Q&A as I had a pre-booked swimming session with a limited time. All good stuff.
Next up in these Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology talks is one on the folklore around harvests. That’s very tempting for me. I suppose these webinars are one of the side benefits of lockdown. It means Yellowbellies in far flung places can get to hear these things.