During the First Civil War, 1642-6, David Hammond, Mayor of
Tenby, 1641-2, and his accomplice Deveraux Wyatt, held Tenby
for Parliament. They provisioned the town for a siege and carried
out emergency repairs to the North West and Quay gates.
In spite of these measures, a year later, in 1643, the town
was taken by the royalists. By the Spring of 1644 Tenby was
the only Royalist town of any consequence in Pembrokeshire,
and the community must have watched nervously as three Parliamentary
warships from Pembroke sailed menacingly into the bay. Soon
people were scurrying for cover as the town came under fire
from heavy cannon (see Tenby Museum for cannon ball exhibits
from this attack).
The outcome became even bleaker a few days later when five hundred
Parliamentary infantrymen, with support artillery under the
command of Col. Roland Laugharne, took up position outside the
walls. On the afternoon of March 7th 1644, the bombardment began
and continued for three days. By sunday the Northgate, which
was already in a poor state of repair, had been breached by
cannon fire and the government fatally wounded.
Hours later the Parliamentary troops marched into the town and
nearly three hundred men and their officers were taken prisoner.Four
years later an apparently dissulusioned Col. Laugharne, and
Col. Poyer, Mayor and commander of the fortress at Pembroke,
resentful of unpopular orders issued by a distant parliament,
changed allegiance and declared against Cromwell. A worried
Cromwell dispatched one of his senior military strategists with
clear orders to crush the revolt with all speed.
The garrison at Pembroke Castle held out against Cromwell for
a total of seven weeks. Poyer and Laugharne were captured and
sent to await trial by military court. It was decided that only
one rebel leader should die, and lots were drawn to determine
who this should be. On the site now occupied by Covent Garden
Market, Col. Poyer showing great courage and composure, was
executed by firing squad.