Monday, June 18, 2012

A Miraculous Discovery - The benefits of working with Local Studies

One of the great benefits the Wakefield Museum project is the bringing together of two fantastic local history resources – the museum collections and the local studies library. Last week we looked through the studies store to see what we could use to complement the museum collections on display and found something amazing!

This pamphlet  “A Miraculous Victory” was published in May 1643 and tells the story of a daring night time raid on Wakefield during the English Civil Wars. Thomas Fairfax (later the Commander in Chief of Parliament's New Model Army) stormed through Wakefield from Stanley down Northgate and into the Bullring taking prisoners, guns and ammunition belonging to King Charles I.

A Miraculous Victory - 17th century pamphlet held in Wakefield's Local Studies collection
The War area at Wakefield Museum will focus on different wars fought or endured by Wakefield’s residents and the first display will feature the English Civil Wars. There were three major events in Wakefield, from a skirmish at Walton Hall, the fighting in the streets of Wakefield and the siege of Sandal Castle, which led to its destruction. Using this pamphlet from Local Studies with examples of cannon balls, swords and the armour worn by Colonel Bright, one of Fairfax’s officers on the night time attack, will not only bring together collections but give a bigger view of what happened in our town. 

Colonel Bright's armour - Colonel Bright was involved in the attack detailed in the pamphlet

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