When the English Civil War was declared, Gainsborough in Lincolnshire lay in an area which supported Parliament, but the town itself had Royalist sympathies. The town was of strategic importance to both sides, sited as it was on a crossing of the River Trent, lying on important roads leading south and north. In March 1643 Sir John Henderson sent a raiding party from the Royalist base at Newark to capture Gainsborough for the King. The town was surrounded and quickly surrendered without any resistance.
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