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""Cover-up" of Shelford Manor massacre, 1645" Topic

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GurKhan18 Nov 2020 2:00 a.m. PST

Research by a University of Nottingham Civil War expert has shone new light on a little-known massacre that took place in Nottinghamshire 375 years ago this month.

Dr David Appleby has been digging into historical archives to piece together a fuller picture of the shocking story of a Parliamentarian attack on a Royalist garrison at Shelford, on the River Trent near Nottingham.



Timbo W18 Nov 2020 2:55 a.m. PST

The end of the Queen's Regiment of horse.

arthur181518 Nov 2020 3:33 a.m. PST

Interesting, but it was not unusual for ECW garrisons that did not surrender before a final storm to be slaughtered in the fighting, nor for Parliamentary soldiers to be particularly ruthless when encountering Catholics.

The Parliamentary garrison of Hopton Castle, for example, which surrendered 'at discretion' after the defences were breached, were – with the exception of their commander, Captain Samuel More (or Moore) – stripped, killed and flung into a water-filled cellar.

KeepYourPowderDry18 Nov 2020 4:27 a.m. PST

Wasn't covered up(as the headlines state), Sydenham Poyntz wrote to the Speaker of the HoC about it link

GurKhan18 Nov 2020 5:40 a.m. PST

Well, the phrase "cover up" seems to refer not to the immediate reporting such as Poyntz's, but later attitudes:

Dr Appleby argues that the paucity of historical writing on Shelford was to all intents and purposes a cover up. The cover up, and the resulting social amnesia, were stemmed partly from serious divisions within the Royalist ranks about the recruitment of foreigners and Catholics in Charles I's armies.

There were few recorded mentions of the Shelford massacre in the decades that followed the Civil War years and even fewer as the centuries passed.

Though even Poyntz's report skates over the deaths of women and children apparently recorded elsewhere. What I am not sure of is what evidence there is for Appleby's suggestion that "their bodies (were) mutilated after death".

KeepYourPowderDry18 Nov 2020 6:05 a.m. PST

The full paper at is a lot less sensationalist in its use of language.

As seems to be the norm of the time of only really mentioning things that are out of the ordinary would imply that the deaths of women and children was quite normal for such a situation.

(Obviously a variation on the old adage of 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' might well apply here.)

The Appleby mutilation suggestion is quite interesting, certainly out of the ordinary.

mghFond18 Nov 2020 8:40 a.m. PST

Interesting stuff, for some silly reason I always assumed that the ECW was more of a gentlemens' war. Granted I have not read a lot about it.
That said $47 USD to read the academic paper is too steep for me.

Timbo W18 Nov 2020 11:07 a.m. PST

A lot of the time it was mgh, but there were several nasty incidents in England and Wales. This is in contrast to Scotland and especially Ireland where atrocities were far more commonplace.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2020 7:22 a.m. PST

Few civil wars are as polite after three years, and if a garrison holds out until someone has to storm the place, they take their chances. But this caught my eye:

"Dr Appleby said: "It is… perhaps a reflection of both sides' shame and embarrassment at the bloodshed and viciousness of the supposedly 'civil' Civil Wars."

A trained historian ought to know better than to impose 21st Century Western standards on the 17th Century. The deceased were a bunch of foreigners and they didn't surrender when they still might have. Someone on the royalist side might have been embarrassed over having foreign Catholics in the King's army, but I very much doubt anyone was ashamed of the massacre. Silence more often means no one thought it was worth talking about.

newarch19 Nov 2020 8:53 a.m. PST

Real viciousness was often reserved for people of the same nationality as their captors, witness Cromwell's treatment of English born Royalists at Drogheda.

People's religion or affiliation was more significant than their nationality during this period, which was only really slightly removed from the medieval era both in time and in the attitudes that people held.

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