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All About the Battle of Worcester Society

More than two hundred years ago, Worcester was visited by two future Presidents of The United States. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were deeply impressed by the city’s role in the English Civil War. Referring to Fort Royal Hill, Adams said that ‘all England should come in pilgrimage to this hill once a year’. Now The Battle of Worcester Society hopes to place a statue of the men in Fort Royal Park. The Society’s chairman Richard Shaw tells us more.

Can you tell us more about these men?

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson drew up the American Declaration of Independence and later became the second and third Presidents of the United States. They came to Worcester to see for themselves where the outcome of the civil war was decided. Writing about it afterwards, John Adams described Worcester as ‘the ground where liberty was fought for’ and rebuked the locals for not knowing more about this. We decided the men’s visit should be remembered and want to place a statue of the men in Fort Royal Park, paid for by donations. To do this, we need permission from both the city council and English Heritage.

How might the statue look?

Kenneth Potts, who created the statue of Edward Elgar in the High Street has already created a maquette (scale model) of how the statue might look, with Adams and Jefferson gazing out across the city skyline.

Back in the summer I was sprucing up an information board in Fort Royal Park when an American gentleman wandered over and began chatting to me. He was absolutely bowled over by the fact he was standing on the same spot as Adams and Jefferson, two men who played such a key part in creating the United States! I do think this statue would really put Worcester ‘on the map’ for many tourists.

Tell us more about The Battle of Worcester Society

We have around 100 members from all around the world. Over the past year I’ve met people from Melbourne, Massachusetts and Toronto. One was a novelist who is writing three books about the civil war while another is a genealogist who is studying how Scottish soldiers from the battle of Worcester were taken prisoner and then sent abroad to work as indentured servants.

During 2016 we held a number of talks on subjects as diverse as women’s role in the civil war to the treatment of soldiers’ battle injuries.

One story that caught my eye was that of Captain James Hind, who fled after the battle, but was returned to Worcester where he was tried before being hung, drawn and quartered. I approached a lady called Cryssa Bazos who had written about this, and offered to pay her travel expenses if she would come and give a talk to us. She replied straight away that she would be delighted to come, but that she lived in Toronto! However, she was due to come to Oxford for a conference and so she gave us a talk during her visit. We hold our talks at The Commandery and hope to hold more of these events in 2017.

For more details about The Battle of Worcester Society and to enquire about membership, you can email Christine Shaw (seashells84@sky.com) or visit the society’s website:

www.thebattleofworcestersociety.org.uk

The image shows how the statue might look in the park (courtesy of The Battle of Worcester Society)