I was passed this document whilst at a lecture given by Professor Malcolm Wanklyn. He had come across it whilst doing work on the Parliamentarian officer list for Shropshire.
It seems rather large to be stored at Shrewsbury, which by 1659 had seen little military activity since 1651.
Could it be:
a) What was left from the general surrender of Royalist garrisons and field troops in 1646?
b) Left at Shrewsbury by Cromwell (pictured right in a Samuel Cooper painting) for safekeeping on his march south to Worcester in 1651? (I personally doubt this as Cromwell moved on Worcester from the east and was using a number of big calibre guns on the city before and during the battle. Most of the train remains with Monck up in Scotland)
c) What was left of the Scots train from their defeat at Worcester? Traditionally, it has been assumed that the Scots took leather guns into England. It’s been suggested to me that the Scots War Committee moved heaven and earth to drag guns out of northern garrisons to create a scratch train after losses at Dunbar. Artillery Officer Wemyss petitions Charles II about such actions
d) Part of the returning train from Cromwell’s Irish expedition? (Although, that perhaps would have arrived at Chester)
e) Enroute down the River Severn for deployment overseas?
The pieces are all of the Culverin type – so more of a field army train than a ‘pounding’ siege train. Although the two mortars and the petard would have had their uses in a siege.
What is obvious is that this is an inbound train due to the small amount of powder and lack of other materials normally associated with a train.
The investigation continues……….
Can you help Charles? Comment below with your ideas!