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  • Writer's pictureHaydn Wheeler

Goring's men were killed in a skirmish.

View from the village of Godmanstone, near Dorchester Dorset, seen here from Cowdon Hill.

At the end of February 1645 several of Royalist Goring's men were killed in a skirmish with the local villagers. The troops after being quartered in the village had made a enemy of the inhabitants by the plunder of their goods. Plundering was now becoming a call for unity in the county of Dorset and across the SW, for order to be restored. Goring and his troops ( known as "Goring's Crew") were noted for being undisciplined and causing havoc.

A letter in Perfect Occurrences, 26th September, to October 3rd, 1645, talks of Goring and his exploits later from Devon :

" Sir,—We hear from one that came from Tiverton that Goring plunders both friend and foe, especially of cattle, cloathes, and armes, and presseth the country to serve him, and hangs up men in almost every hundred to be examples (as he calles it), by which meanes he keeps down the club-men in Devonshire"

The start of tensions between garrisoned and passing troops with local inhabitants had come to a head. The need for the people with a no stake in the Civil War but calling for a peace and order was now apparent.

As was said by many.

"this was a quarrel between King and Parliament and not the people"

The gathering of, what was now in name Clubmen and after the atrocities put upon the inhabitants of Godmanstone was said to number 1000 the next day.

The focus was on this occasion on the Royalist troops, and among them the French and Irish mercenaries among Goring's Crew were seen as those that needed to be curtailed. This was to expand to a curtailing of all troops fighting for King or Parliament as the Civil War continued.

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