March 2nd to 5th, 1643. Any historian will instantly remember this date in Lichfield’s history, for this is the renowned Siege of Lichfield by Lord Brooke and Sir John Gell.
Lord Brooke had six troops of horse, 300 infantry, and a serious amount of cannon. Parliamentary cavalry force was located to the northwest side of the London Road, this now contiguous with the Birmingham Canal, known as Cromwell’s Meadows. The Royalists were entrenched behind earthworks between the cathedral and the pools. A gun known as Black Bess was located in Dam Street and on St Chad’s Day (relevant as this is to whom the cathedral is dedicated) March 2nd 1643, history records this as a Thursday, Lord Brooke receives a mortal wound in the forehead by a shot from the battlements of the cathedral. This remarkable or lucky shot, depending on which side you are on, was fired by a sniper rather cruelly known as Dumb Dyott.