Storming of Farnham Castle

The Storming of Farnham Castle occurred on 1 December 1642, during the early stages of the First English Civil War. Sir John Denham held Farnham Castle in Surrey with 100 men for the Royalists. On 30 November, a Parliamentarian army commanded by Sir William Waller approached the castle and demanded its surrender. Denham refused as the Parliamentarians had not brought any artillery with which to bombard the castle. The inexperienced Royalist army shied away from fighting, hiding behind the castle's defences rather than firing at their enemy, which allowed Waller's army to get close enough to attach a petard to the gates, and blow them to gain entrance. Once the Parliamentarians had entered the keep, the garrison surrendered; Waller captured over £40,000 worth of plunder, along with gunpowder and shoes.[1] Denham was held as a prisoner in London until March 1643, when he was released to join the King in Oxford. He retired from military life, and is best remembered as a poet.[2]


  1. Manganiello 2004, pp. 197–198.
  2. Kelliher, W.H. (2015) [2004]. "Denham, Sir John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/7481.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)


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