The Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester marked the end of the third and final uprising by those loyal to the royals. This time it was Charles I's son Charles II who had been in exile in France. He landed is Scotland on the 23rd of June 1650. Charles II was considered to be the King and ruler of Great Britain by the Scottish and was crowned as such in Scotland. In August of 1650 Cromwell's army defeated the scotts at Dunbar. Un-phased, the Scottish army with Charles II at its head crossed the English border on the 1st of August 1651, 21 days later he arrived in Worcester. He began making a stand there and fortified the city. 5 days later, on the 27th August, Cromwell arrived in Evesham and began looking for ways to limit Charles escape.
In an attempt to slow down Cromwell's army the Royalists destroyed part of the bridge in Upton on Severn South West of Worcester. Unfortunately the chink in their armour was a small plank left across the bridge. Major General Lambert's (Cromwell's No. 2) soldiers fought their way across. The distinctive "Pepper Pot" in Upton still bears many of the marks left by the skirmish.
It was the dawn of the 3rd of SeptemberT 1651. The Scots tohad taken up positions, protecting the Powick Bridge under the guise of Keith. The same bridge where the royalists had defeated the parliamentarians 9 years ago in the first bloodshed of the civil war. Whilst they were doing this Cromwell's forces used pontoon bridges to cross the river further east at the confluence of the Teme and the Severn. The parliamentarians under General Fleetwood, (an MP and married to Cromwell's daughter) began attacking east of the city where Montgomery's army defended. Meanwhile another parliamentarian detachment (under Deane) became bogged down in close combat trying to cross Powick bridge where the Keith's scottish troops defended.
Cromwell realising the problem, sent troops across the pontoons, back west along the river and attacked the Scots on the flank. the Scott's quickly retreated and Keith was arrested. Montgomery's army began falling back, their commander also became badly wounded at this point. The parliamentarians marched onto the city. Charles watched from the cathedral tower. He could see that Cromwell's army had become spread out and used the opportunity to attack them in Red Hill and Perry Wood (South of the city) from the gate in Sidbury. At this point it looked as though Cromwell's army might break, had Charles used the Scottish Cavalry located in the North of the city, the outcome may have been quite different, as it happens, he didn't and Cromwell reinforced the right flank of his army. Cromwell's highly professional New Model army quickly dispelled the attack and Hamilton, the scottish commander was wounded by a canon shot. Cromwell now took the vantage point of Fort Royal. Defeat now seemed imminent and Cromwell's forces closed in on Charles from three sides. Realising his defeat he quickly headed back to his headquarters located in the North East of the city in the Cornmarket, from here he escaped through St Martins Gate (Now a car park!). The Black and White building where he escaped from can be seen in the Images of Worcester, now know as the King Charles Inn.