A View of Worcester c.1779

  • 19 Jan 2012
  • Pictures of Worcester and Worcestershire
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The City of Worcester was in all probability, built by the Romans to curb the Britons, who dwelt beyond the River Severn. They planted towns and cities all along its east bank, just as they had done in Germany, along the south side
of the River Rhine. The City was seated upon an easy ascent from the Severn, over which lay a bridge with a tower upon it. It was anciently fenced with lofty Roman walls.

Worcester is the capital of Worcestershire, and is situated 111 miles from London. It was chosen by the Britons as a place of strength security, owing to its proximity to a fordable part of the river Severn, and on the confines of thick forest. It was seized by the Romans, and was probably a fortress town to secure Roman conquests on the west side of the river.

During the civil war, Worcester was the first city to openly declare its support for the King, and on the 22nd of August 1651, Charles II arrived at the head of a Scottish army of 12,000 men. Six days later Cromwell arrived at Red Hill at the head of 17,000 men, where he set up his headquarters. He was soon joined by forces led by Fleetwood, Lambert and Harrison, whose soldiers swelled his ranks to 30,000 men. In the ensuing battle, the Parliamentarians were beginning to give way when reinforcements arrived over the Severn, overwhelming the Royal forces.

Cromwell put the entire garrison to the sword and gained possession of the city. The King however escaped with Lord Wilmott, whilst the citizens of Worcester made a last stand at the town hail, without success, and the city was eventually given up to plunder. Cromwell described his success as a "crowning mercy" and in token of his joy for the victory, ordered a sixty gun ship which was soon after launched at Woolwich, to be named "Worcester".

Paul Sandby R.A.