Dorset born historian Mark Vine commemorates Parliamentary hero, Major Francis Sydenham, who lost his life during a Royalist uprising known as the Crabchurch Conspiracy.
370 years ago on this night, in February 1645, Dorset lost a hero ….. A man so true, so courageous, that his enemies genuinely lived in mortal fear of him.
Major Francis Sydenham, brother of the governor of Weymouth & Melcombe, Colonel William Sydenham, was at rest in his billet in Weymouth when one of two audacious Royalist attacks upon the main forts of the parliamentarian garrison took place at the Chapel Fort of St Nicholas, an old 14th century church which the ‘Roundheads had fortified and which strategically controlled the towns and quaysides with its guns.
The surprise attacks were by 60 Portlanders from the Royalist Garrison on the island and 60 more were simultaneously attacking the Fort upon the Nothe headland, both attacks being timed to begin at Midnight.
The King’s commander in Dorset, Sir Lewis Dyve was supposed to attack Melcmbe at the same time, having been…
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