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A forgotten massacre of Royalist forces during the Civil War has been uncovered, thanks to archival research by a University of Nottingham historian.
Dr David Appleby has found evidence suggesting that approximately 160 Royalist soldiers, and allegedly several women and children, were killed by Parliamentarian soldiers at Shelford Manor near Nottingham on 3 November 1645.
Dr Appleby uncovered the massacre while transcribing records for the Civil War Petitions project ( www.civilwar petitions.ac.uk), which seeks to preserve the surviving petitions for assistance by veterans of the Civil War and their families. Many of the documents include references to Shelford.
In a paper published in the journal Historical Research to mark the 375th anniversary of the massacre, Dr Appleby argues that Shelford was forgotten even after the Restoration because of lack of sympathy for the victims, who were largely French and Walloon Catholics from the Queen’s Regiment of Horse.
Dr Appleby said: “The subsequent burying of the Shelford story is perhaps a reflection of both sides’ shame and embarrassment at the bloodshed and viciousness of the supposedly ‘civil’ Civil War.”