Thursday 26th July 2007

After a hectic morning of last minute preparations for the Gathering Kate and I set off from Reigate at about 2.30 pm, just as it was starting to rain! The weather forecast was not good, particularly so for Oxfordshire and, as we neared the M25/M40 junction, the heavens opened. Torrential rain persisted until we reached the other side of Oxford and we decided to stop at Burford for a tea break. It was still raining, but only lightly, and we found a very pleasant little place for the cream tea that we knew we would not be getting on the Friday.

The previous week had seen rain and flooding across England on a scale unknown for over 200 years. Gloucestershire and Worcestershire had been particularly badly hit and, as a consequence, the Gathering arrangements were threatened. Howard J and myself had daily telephone conversations with a quickly established motto, “panic not!” We were in regular contact with the Fownes Hotel and with many delegates who were concerned to know what was happening. We were resolute that the programme would proceed, but if individual delegates wished to withdraw that was for them to decide. In the event 11 delegates cancelled, 8 because of the floods and 3 owing to illness. We were particularly sorry that Millicent and her party, Lucy Slater, Michael and Jen Cayley, Pamela and Jack Richards and Alan Green were unable to join us. The only element of the weekend programme that had to be cancelled was the Friday afternoon cruise on the river with a cream tea. This was because the river level was so high that a canoeist would not be able to navigate under the main road bridge across the River Severn, let alone a cruise boat and there were no submarines available!

So, returning to Burford, by the time we had finished our excellent cream tea, it had stopped raining and the sun had come out. We proceeded across the Cotswolds via Stow on the Wold and along our usual route to join the M5 near Tewkesbury. Here the traffic was moving very slowly on the northbound carriageway and we soon discovered why – the Avon had flooded to create a vast lake on the right of the motorway and everyone was slowing down to look! Once we had passed this spectacle, our journey to Worcester was unimpeded, and we arrived at the Fownes Hotel at about 6.00 pm in brilliant sunshine. We were greeted by Howard J, Mel and Dairne, and, unexpectedly, John and Sheila as well. Howard had arrived mid afternoon and was able to report on the flooding of the river in Worcester which he had now seen for himself. He had also met up with “Big Stuart”, otherwise known as “the other Stuart”, the new General Manager of the hotel who confirmed that all our arrangements were in order. The others had arrived just before us and we all agreed to meet in the bar at 7.45 for dinner at 8.00 pm. Kate and I checked in and found our room. We then went out for a walk to see the flooded River Severn for ourselves – quite a sight. The centre of the Worcester is well above the highest flood line and was therefore completely unaffected. The only problem we were aware of was that the cellars of both the Fownes Hotel, and the Diglis House Hotel, our venue for Sunday evening, were flooded and as a consequence neither was serving draught beer.

We duly met in the bar for bottled beers all round and we were joined by another unexpected couple, Gerry Dalton and Tom Wood from Australia, so were nine for dinner, and a very convivial evening was enjoyed by all. After dinner we refrained from going in search of draught beer at a local hostelry and retired at a respectable hour, a little tired after a long day and delighted to be in sunny Worcester!

Friday 27th July 2007

An early start to set up the rooms for our Gathering – the Board Room for the committee meeting, the library for the registration desk and the John Fownes Suite, a large conference room for displays, the Saturday morning conference and the DGS Annual Dinner on Saturday evening. By mid morning, everything was in place and we were all impressed with the facilities offered by the hotel, and the staff, led by Stuart Austin (Big Stuart) could not have been more helpful. Geoffrey and Jane arrived, closely followed by Pam and Dave, and Maureen, and so we were all set to start our committee meeting in the Board Room at 12 noon. In the meantime, Kate, Jane, Dave and Sheila opened the registration desk for business as delegates started arriving.

Absent from the 59th DGS Committee Meeting were Millicent, Michael Cayley and Ciaran, who was travelling by train from London and, in the event, did not arrive in time due to delays. To compensate for the absences, we were joined by Gerry, a member of Maureen’s Australian sub-committee, who made a valuable contribution to the meeting. The hotel laid on a splendid buffet lunch which was so plentiful that we shared it with the registration team and some of the arriving delegates. The plan was that it should be a “working” lunch but we took a short break as the pressure to conclude in time for the boat trip was no longer. The minutes of the meeting will record the details of our deliberations, but suffice it to say here that it was an extremely useful and productive meeting, spoilt only by there being three of our colleagues missing. Formal business was eventually concluded at about 2.30 pm and most of us then went on a tour of The Greyfriars, a beautiful Elizabethan town house in the heart of old Worcester, now owned and managed by the National Trust. It had not been possible to include this in our very full programme, so it more than compensated for the loss of the cruise.

We returned to the hotel with all too little time to make final preparations and change for the 7.00 pm informal reception in the John Fownes Suite. More delegates had arrived during the afternoon, some with tales of delayed journeys – but the good thing was that everyone that we expected had arrived – and the sun was shining. Someone up there was looking kindly upon us! The reception provided the opportunity to meet old friends, make new acquaintances and look at the many displays that had been set up around the room. At around 8.00 pm, people started to go through to the King’s Restaurant for dinner and Kate and I brought up the rear and enjoyed the company of Geoffrey and Jane Dalton, Rosemary and Charles Dow, and Gerald and Margaret Milner. During dinner Chris Pomery arrived (on schedule) and we found him a space at one of the dinner tables where he met the members of Genetic Family “B” and immediately started “earning his keep” as our DNA consultant. Following dinner, some were attracted back to the John Fownes Suite, others by the hotel bar, and a few retired early after a long and busy day. I still had some slides to sort out for the Saturday meeting and enjoyed the peace and quiet of an empty conference room after everyone had dispersed.

Saturday 28th July 2007

Another bright and sunny morning encouraged many to rise early and the dining room was busy for breakfast from 7.30 am. There were even rumours that some had ventured out for early morning walks along the canal towpath! Everyone had been exhorted to be in the John Fownes Suite by 9.15 am so that the proceedings could start on time. At 9.30 am precisely I opened our morning conference and welcomed everyone to Worcester and to the 2007 DGS Gathering. Special mention was made of those who had come from overseas, those attending their first DGS event, and also those unable to attend, in particular Millicent, and Lucy Slater who had made the suggestion some three years ago that we should come to Worcester. We then moved to the formal Annual General Meeting which all went according to plan. A full report will be available in due course when the minutes are published. Highlights of the meeting included a brief report from me, Mel’s treasurer’s report where the meeting gave approval to raising the subscription rate to £10 from 2008 (it has been £8 since 1990!), reports from the overseas secretaries and announcement of plans for future events. We have the Birr Gathering next year; Orange, New South Wales, Australia has been agreed for March 2009; and in 2010 we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the DGS with a gathering and AGM in Surrey. After that Yorkshire, America, Lancashire and even South Africa are on the list, taking us well into the next decade.

After the coffee break, I introduced our first guest speaker, Chris Pomery, the DGS DNA consultant. He gave us a comprehensive update on the Dalton International DNA Project, which included the discovery of another genetic family. Our project is one of the largest one-name DNA projects and we were complimented on the progress that we have made to date. However there is still much to be done and Chris concluded with a list of key actions for us. Probably the most important of these are to test male Daltons in known families around the English counties, and to concentrate on documenting the family trees that we have in a consistent and comprehensive way. Chris answered a few questions at the end of his presentation and we were delighted that he was staying with us for the whole weekend. This enabled all present, and particularly those in established genetic families, to interact with him informally and discuss the way forward for them.

Our second guest speaker was Tony Spicer, an acknowledged expert on the Civil War and on the 1651 Battle of Worcester in particular. Tony gave us an excellent overview of the events leading up to the Battle of Worcester, the sequence of the battle itself and the aftermath. Interwoven into Tony’s talk were his thoughts on what our Walter Dalton might have been doing as the disastrous day for the Royalists unfolded. This included the implications of looking after and administering the royal pay chest and a highly plausible theory on the escape route taken by Walter and his family as they set out on their arduous journey to South Wales. Tony answered a few questions and promised that he would write up the parts of his presentation relating to Walter as an article for the DGS Journal. All too soon it was time to draw the morning’s proceedings to a close and invite delegates to partake of the excellent buffet lunch provided by the Fownes Hotel staff.

Sandy Cale and her colleague, Jocelyn, from Worcester Walks joined us at about 2.15 pm and we split up into two groups for the afternoon walking tour of the city, one with Sandy to end up climbing the cathedral tower, and the other for those not wishing or able to negotiate the 235 steps up a very narrow spiral staircase to get to the top. Kate and I went with Sandy and our route took us to the Guildhall, past where the Elgar Brothers ran their music business, then to the statue of Sir Edward Elgar and into the Cathedral to see the Elgar window. From there, down to the crypt, to see the memorial stone to John Dalton, who was Prebendary of the Cathedral in the 18th Century. Then out via the Chapter House to see Watergate, the entrance from the river into the cathedral precinct. We walked via Sidbury (the south gate into the city and the site of the final bloody moments of the battle, sometimes known as Sudbury) and the Commandery to Fort Royal, another key battle location held by the Royalists as Cromwell’s troops advanced from Perry Wood and Red Hill above. Back into the old city to see where Charles II hid before making his final escape from Worcester and eventually fleeing to France. Sandy got us back to the cathedral with a few moments to spare before our 4.30 pm appointment to climb the tower. About 12 intrepid delegates made it to the top to see magnificent views and enjoy a further informal talk from Tony Spicer who explained how the battle unfolded below on that fateful day over 350 years ago. The top of the tower was also a good vantage point to see other landmarks in the surrounding countryside and, of course, to observe the effects of the flooding in the local area.

Following the climbing of the tower, everyone had a well-earned and welcome break before being on parade at 7.00 pm for the pre-dinner reception. Paul Millington, Vice Chairman of the Guild of One Name Studies and our guest at the DGS Annual Dinner had already arrived by the time I went down just before seven to greet him. The assembled company enjoyed excellent champagne cocktails before sitting down for the dinner at 7.30 pm. Geoffrey said grace and we enjoyed another very good dinner thanks to the hard work of Big Stuart and his team. With the three-course meal over, toasts to the Queen, and to absent friends, and coffee served, I introduced the surprise entertainment – the Wigornia String Trio. Howard had suggested this as an innovation to our Gathering programme and had been responsible for finding the trio, who proved to be first class players with a varied selection of classical and popular pieces to suit all tastes. Their playing met with much acclaim and they were given a standing ovation before playing an encore. Howard’s innovation had been a resounding success! At this point we all needed a comfort break before I introduced the final elements of the evening’s programme – the formal introduction of and welcome to Paul Millington, who then spoke about the work of the Guild, and also demonstrated that he had done his Dalton homework by giving us some details of South African Dalton cricketers who he had found in Wisden. This was followed by a number of presentations to celebrate various milestones in the lives of some of our delegates (a golden wedding anniversary and several big “O” birthdays) and, of particular importance, a big thank you to Howard for all his hard work as conference organiser and coordinator. Finally, we came to the raffle with a wonderful array of donated prizes and proceeds of £120 collected, which will be sent as a charitable donation to the local flood relief organisations.

At this point, the formal proceedings of the evening drew to a close, but many delegates continued chatting and enjoying each other’s company. A number repaired to the hotel bar, where Ciaran and Collette entertained us with Irish music, played on the guitar and other instruments, and including Collette’s very fine singing. We were encouraged to sing along into the small hours – what a fitting end to a most enjoyable and action packed evening. All agreed that it had been the best ever DGS Annual Dinner. What are we going to do next year in Birr to cap it?!

Sunday 29th July 2007

A more leisurely start with most delegates lingering over their breakfast and the opportunity for me to catch up with those I had not yet had time to talk to. At 10.15, a substantial party walked over to the Cathedral for the 10.30 am Sung Morning Eucharist service. We were made to feel very welcome with reserved pews and a special mention as visitors to Worcester at the beginning of the service. The preacher was the Dean of Worcester, with whom I had corresponded about our Gathering. The cathedral setting was very special and it was a privilege for the DGS group to take part in this service.

On returning to The Fownes, we found our Commandery Coaches coach awaiting us for the tour to Lower Broadheath. We set off at 12.30 and the first stop was the old Powick Bridge across the River Teme, scene of the Parliamentarians forcing the fleeing Royalists back towards the centre of Worcester. This was early on the day of the battle. Then we went along to Malvern Link with fine views of the Malvern Hills and saw one of the houses where Elgar lived, before going on to Lower Broadheath and the Plough Inn for our Sunday roast lunch. Russell and his staff looked after us very well and it was just a short walk to the Elgar Birthplace Museum where we were welcomed and shown a short video about the life of Elgar. Following this we split into two groups to look around the museum and visit the birthplace cottage, all very interesting and well presented. After a cup of tea, our coach took us back to the hotel and there was another spell of free time and a last opportunity to look at the DGS displays before they were dismantled. Kate and I found time to walk along the canal towpath in brilliant sunshine, and work up an appetite for the evening buffet at the Diglis House Hotel, on the banks of the River Severn. We walked over to the Diglis at about 7.30 pm and enjoyed an excellent buffet supper in a private room leading onto the hotel garden with views over the river. Pam and Dave very kindly provided the wine with supper in celebration of their 30th wedding anniversary. Thank you Pam and Dave and congratulations on this milestone. We returned to The Fownes and the stalwart few (four Mr Daltons and Helen Smith) went in search of a nightcap in the old part of the city before retiring after another very enjoyable day.

Monday 30th July 2007

Our final communal breakfast and time to check out and settle our bills. Tony Spicer arrived at about 9.45 am and we organised the morning tour of places on the battlefield that cannot conveniently be reached on foot or by coach. Three car loads set out for the viewpoint on the south side of the city near the point where the Teme and the Severn join together and Cromwell built his Bridge of Boats. From the viewpoint, there was a good view across the battlefield west towards Powick and north towards the centre of Worcester. Tony then took us on to Red Hill where we walked to see where Cromwell’s troops based themselves and on to Perry Wood scene of another major skirmish between Cromwell and the Royalists. Tony told us the story of how Cromwell is supposed to have sold his soul to the devil in Perry Wood in exchange for the seven years to the day that he lived after the battle. With the whole battle now in perspective, we returned to the hotel for the final time and thanked Tony for his thoughtful and insightful talks over the weekend, which had enabled us all to gain a better understanding of how Walter Dalton had been involved in the Battle of Worcester. Food for thought indeed.

A final snack lunch for the remaining few at a local wine bar and then it was time to say farewell to our DGS friends and to Worcester and Kate and I set off for our week away touring to the Wirral, to Cumbria and home via Shropshire. What an excellent weekend Gathering it has been with so many happy memories.

Michael N Dalton

“The organisation of the weekend was superb, and just goes to prove it takes more than a few floods to stop the DGS!!

It was very nice to see the introduction of music into the evening’s entertainment on Saturday and the addition of Elgar on the Sunday, though not a "Dalton", made a very pleasant diversion from earlier years”.

Howard Dalton

“I have no Dalton ancestry. My connection with the DGS arises from my late wife, Morag Simpson’s interest in her Dalton ancestry. Her mother was one of the eight daughters of the Rev. William Edward Dalton. When Morag died in 1998, the Society kindly granted me honorary membership. Having been at many gatherings with Morag, I became friends with many of the members, some of whom have now passed on but others remain and it was the expectation of meeting up with some of these along with an attractive programme that drew me to Worcester. I did indeed meet up with old friends but it was a big disappointment that Lucy Slater and Pamela and Jack Richards couldn't make it. However, I made a new friend in Joy Goater, also connected with the Daltons by marriage and like me a senior member in terms of age. I thoroughly enjoyed the gathering, both the social functions and the talks and walks. I was particularly pleased that Tony Spicer started his talk by discussing Morag's account of Walter Dalton escaping with the royal pay chest after the battle at Worcester. She would have been happy about this.

After the walk to view the battlefield sites on the Monday morning, I took myself by train to Great Malvern, a town I had never before visited, before returning that evening to Leeds. I was much taken by this town particularly the fine priory church”.

Ian Simpson

“It was a different gathering with the possibility of floods and bad weather! However in the event the water was receding and the sun shone for what was a most interesting, informative and enjoyable Gathering from which I think we all gained much benefit. The wide ranging programme from AGM to Civil War to DNA and Elgar ensured it was certainly not dull! For me, as a direct descendant of Walter Dalton, the highlight was the concentration on the Battle of Worcester and to hear the authoritative talk by Tony Spicer then the opportunity to see some of the sites from the top of the Cathedral Tower and then visit them on the last morning. The success of the weekend was due in no small measure to the excellent organisation masterminded by Michael and Howard and the Hotel was an excellent venue”.

Sir Geoffrey Dalton

“The Dalton Genealogical Society AGM was held on the week-end of 28/29 July 2007 in the city of Worcester this year and it was an amazing time for those who were not frightened off by the floods. The only thing cancelled was the river trip and cream tea as the River Severn was about two feet below the bridge and the boat certainly couldn’t manage that. The lack of cream tea was probably an advantage as we ate so well the rest of the time and we had a good brisk two hour walk around the city instead. Amongst a few others I climbed the 235 narrow steps up to the top of the Cathedral for a spectacular view towards the Malvern Hills and over the flooded areas, which included the cricket pitch which was more like a lake. The Elgar tour was most interesting too and the house of his birth set in a beautiful rose garden”.

Maureen Collins, Sydney, Australia

“Kate and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the AGM in Worcester. Everyone made us feel very welcome. When we went for a stroll along the canal bank, whilst in Worcester, we found a block of three storey, recently built flats by the canal called Dolton's Wharf. So not all the Dalton's fled Worcester after the battle perhaps?”

Mike F Dalton

“Planning this trip reminded me of the movie "Planes, trains and automobiles"

From the start, it was a logistical nightmare as nothing seemed to fit together.

As the saying goes:- "Best laid plans"..............

TRAINS only left from London which for me probably meant another eight hours of travel after already having had a long flight from Australia.

BUSES which were supposed to be available from the airport didn't fit my arrival.

Hiring a CAR was the only option so you can imagine my horror when I heard about all the FLOODING in the area I was due to go to on top of the fact I had never driven in England let alone out of Heathrow Airport before.

All of my plans had been made around arriving in time for the "BOAT CRUISE" which as you all now know had to be cancelled due to the flood.

I am pleased to report the events over the weekend were excellent and all those who attended thoroughly enjoyed Worcester.

Thanks to Howard for all his work.”

Helen Smith, Sydney, Australia

“After a motoring tour of various parts of France, Scotland, Ireland, Eire, Wales and England, which included attending my son Keith’s wedding in Elgin, Tom and I arrived at Worcester driving the red Rover we christened “Wing and a Prayer”. We arrived on Thursday afternoon, 26th July 2007, one day ahead of schedule. We had planned on a day at Stratford on Avon but the torrential rain had returned so we drove straight to Worcester and the very pleasant Fownes Hotel. After several weeks of heavy rain and flooding Tom and I had become proficient at dodging the floods!

After we checked in we went for a wander around the lovely city of Worcester and back to our room for a rest and shower before dinner. Much to our surprise several DGS members had already arrived so we joined them for dinner in the dining room at Fownes.

On the Friday morning after a delicious breakfast we went off for another walk and I was back for the very interesting and informative committee meeting. The Friday afternoon river cruise was cancelled because of the high level of water in the Severn making it impossible for the boat to pass under the bridge, and so we were saved from the Cream Tea and the associated calories. Friday evening’s informal reception was a wonderful opportunity to meet other DGS members.

We both enjoyed the Saturday AGM. As well as the usual AGM items there was an interesting and up to date presentation on the Dalton DNA Project as well as a wonderful historic talk on the Battle of Worcester and the Daltons. After a buffet lunch we went off for an enjoyable guided walk around the city. We had a great evening at the Annual DGS Dinner including a surprise recital by a string trio and Tom was fortunate to win a bottle of Scotch in the charity raffle. In the bar area after the dinner we were treated to some Irish Folk music by Ciaran and Collette Dalton.

Sunday’s huge roast lunch at The Plough Inn was great and was topped off by the visit to the Elgar centre. After the Elgar tour it was back to the Fownes to prepare for supper, a cold buffet, at the Diglis House Hotel on the banks of the Severn. Unfortunately the river was not so beautiful because of the flooding and there was lots of mud and debris on the banks.

The Fownes Hotel had been used as a flood emergency centre only the week before our conference and the management and staff are to be congratulated for their efforts to make our DGS annual gathering a wonderful event.

Tom and I may never have the opportunity to travel to the UK again. Our great memories of the Worcester Gathering will live with us for many years to come and we look forward to seeing you all at Orange, NSW in 2009.

A big thank you to Howard, Michael and all the committee members who made the Worcester Gathering possible. Tom and I will long remember the saying “Panic Not”!

Gerry Dalton and Tom Wood, Queensland, Australia

“Margaret and I both enjoyed the events. I was particularly pleased to meet Ciaran in view of his article in the Journal about 'Some Irish Dalton Tombstones', which refers to a stone in a graveyard that I have seen and know of my family connections. I gave him a snapshot I took of the entrance to the old burial ground”.

Gerald Milner

“I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the delegates who attended the DGS Worcester 2007 Gathering. It was a great joy to prepare and I wish to thank Michael and Mel in particular for their support and encouragement. I still have Michael's words "Panic not!" ringing in my ears!
I am so glad that the schedule went smoothly considering the adverse weather conditions that preceded the weekend. We were blessed with fine weather and the beautiful city of Worcester and surrounding countryside. Special thanks go to Sandy Cale of Worcester Walks, Tony Spicer for his excellent talk and guided tour of the battlefield sites, Chris Pomery for his brilliant DNA update, and Joanne Chambers and the Wigornia Trio for their entertainment. A special mention must go to Collette and Ciaran for their impromptu late night get-together which added to the enjoyment and gave us a wonderful foretaste of Ireland 2008! Lastly, my thanks go to the Fownes Hotel and Stuart for looking after us so well”.

Howard J Dalton

“All I can say about Worcester is that the weather was arranged brilliantly and the itinerary SUPERB, (don’t tell the other organisers but it is the best one I have been to, thanks to you all who did the organising and pre look at the venues, etc.) Only comments I heard were that there was not enough time after AGM to chat properly, eat, and be ready for the next stint. One well known person said “thought all this going to places abroad is spreading it too much”. It was a good job the river afternoon tea did not take place, too full! I did wonder beforehand about this, as we older members now seem to be eating a little less! We do not burn our whatever off or have time to work it off to make us hungry. All this to bear in mind for next time.

The impromptu bar evening Ceilidh was great, more of it, especially in Ireland. Ciaran and Collette may have more of their music with them then. Perhaps those going may like to hear and note beforehand the songs they would like to hear – over to you.

I have made this comment previously, perhaps for Ireland a group, even small, could, and would like to, stay as a group for the following week and go around either in a mini coach or something else, just to see the place and places around, not necessarily connected to Daltons, just as a sight seeing holiday addition. It would be nice”.

Alicia Riley

“Thank you for the lovely time organised for us in Worcester. The professional approach always shows through and each time we attend a gathering, I think ‘How does Michael get everything to work so well?’

We loved the whole weekend and it’s always a delight to meet up with ‘the Clan’. The lectures were brilliant – loved Tony Spicer – he’s certainly very well informed and very amusing.

The Wellington boots Nicole lent me actually complained that they had been left standing in the wardrobe and didn’t get a chance to see the sights of Worcester! I was very glad I didn’t have to wear them! So heavy I think I’d have been sucked down ‘full fathom five’ and never again seen the light of day. One day, I’ll get this Dalton Gathering footwear right!”

Rosemary Dow

“It was great to meet old acquaintances and make new friends. The event was superbly organised although perhaps more time could have been set aside for informal talking amongst delegates. On a more humorous note, we will remember the sound of the swans’ feet slapping through the mud on the river walk which had become part of the river.

And I still haven’t got any money Howard!!”

Mel and Dairne Irwin

During the weekend Michael Neale and Kate Dalton took many photographs covering most elements of the weekend. A selection of over 100 of these will be found in the DGS Worcester 2007 Gallery – just follow this link:

In addition to being a photographic record, they attempt to capture the spirit and camaraderie of the gathering and we hope both delegates and this website’s wider audience will enjoy them. Inevitably there are gaps and, if you have any of your own photographs which you would like to add to the gallery, please email them to and we will upload them – the more the merrier!!

The 2007 Gathering and AGM in Worcester

Friday 27th to Monday 30th July

27 June 2007

The DGS Gathering and AGM for 2007 is being held in the attractive cathedral city of Worcester in the heart of England. The venue is The Fownes Hotel situated close to the cathedral and also to other historic buildings and the main shopping centre.

FRIDAY 27th July 2007

12 noon – 1.30pm DGS Committee Meeting in the Fownes Hotel Boardroom
from 12 noon Delegates check in and register at The Fownes Hotel reception in the usual manner. Access to bedrooms will be arranged as early as possible.
12 noon – 2.15pm

Adjacent to reception in the Library, the DGS Registration Desk will be open for delegates to pick up badges and information packs.

Light lunches will be available in the hotel bar.

2.15pm Make our way to the North Quay, Worcester either on foot (a 20 minute walk) or by car (parking adjacent to the quayside).
3.00pm – 5.00pm River Cruise. A very ‘English’ way to commence our weekend by taking a two hour genteel cruise along the River Severn whilst enjoying a cream tea and views of the Cathedral.
by 5.30pm Return to the hotel.
5.45pm – 7.00pm

DGS Registration Desk open again.


Informal Reception in the John Fownes Suite. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. Meet the DGS Officers and Committee, and other delegates. Displays of Dalton family history will be on view and a cash bar will be in operation.

Dinner will be available in the King’s Restaurant at individual tables on an informal basis. Reservations will need to be made at lunchtime.


SATURDAY 28th July 2007

from 7.30am

Breakfast at the hotel in the King’s Restaurant


Gather in the John Fownes Suite


Dalton Genealogical Society Annual General Meeting

details and agenda published separately


Break for coffee and biscuits


The Dalton International DNA Project

a presentation by Chris Pomery, DGS DNA Consultant

12 noon

The Civil War, the Battle of Worcester and the Daltons

a presentation by Tony Spicer


Buffet lunch in the John Fownes Suite.


A guided walk around Worcester starting from the hotel and lasting about two hours. Scenes of the Battle of Worcester in 1651 will be included with fascinating tales that lie behind the beautiful buildings and monuments, including a visit to the historic Commandery and a glimpse inside the Cathedral. Our theme will include the story of Walter Dalton of Curbridge who fought on the side of King Charles the Second.


Gather in the John Fownes Suite at the hotel for an informal reception.

7:30pm The Annual DGS Dinner in the John Fownes Suite followed by entertainment and a charity raffle.


SUNDAY 29th July 2007

from 7.30am

Breakfast at the hotel in the King’s Restaurant.


For those who wish to attend the Morning Service at Worcester Cathedral, this commences at 10.30am and is only a short walk from the Fownes Hotel. Alternatively the morning is free to relax or visit other attractions in the City of Worcester.


We board the coach at the hotel to travel to Powick Bridge, scene of the last major battle in 1651. From there we will travel on a scenic route with glimpses of the Malvern Hills to Lower Broadheath arriving at the Plough Inn at about 1.15pm for Sunday roast lunch.


Adjacent to the Plough Inn is the Elgar Birthplace Centre. This is the famed birthplace of the great composer, Sir Edward Elgar, who was born in 1857 and died in Worcester in 1934. The surrounding countryside was the inspiration for many of his greatest works. We will visit the birthplace cottage and the recently opened Birthplace Centre which houses many of his personal possessions and charts his life from humble beginnings to becoming Master of the King’s Music. The 150th anniversary of his birth is being celebrated throughout 2007.


After a cup of tea, we journey back by coach to the Fownes Hotel and the conclusion of our 2007 Annual Gathering.


For those staying over Sunday night, we have arranged an informal buffet supper at the nearby Diglis House Hotel, which is delightfully situated by the River Severn. We have the use of a private room with access to a charming riverside garden.


MONDAY 30th July 2007

from 7.30am

Breakfast at the hotel in the King’s Restaurant.

Departure from The Fownes Hotel (Rooms to be vacated by 11.00am).


Tour of the Worcester battlefield. Tony Spicer will lead a tour of key parts of the battlefield that have not been visited on Saturday or Sunday. Participating delegates will travel in cars to the various locations. Final details will be agreed on Saturday and the tour will conclude by 12 noon.


At the Worcester Gathering, during the Saturday afternoon walking tour we visited the Cathedral and, in the crypt, we saw the tombstone of John Dalton who died in 1763 and was Prebendary of Worcester Cathedral. DGS Librarian & Archivist, Michael Cayley wrote about John Dalton and his younger brother, Richard in an article entitled "Dalton Brothers of the Eighteenth Century" and published in the DGS Journal (Vol 46 Dec 06 pp 14-17). Here we reproduce the details about John Dalton.

When one thinks of well-known Daltons born in the 18th century, one recalls John Dalton the chemist, born in 1766. But there were two other prominent Daltons who were born much earlier in the century. They were brothers, the children of the Reverend John Dalton of Whitehaven in Cumberland, himself the son of Henry Dalton of Shap, Westmorland. He studied at Queen's College, Oxford, matriculating on 10 October 1692 at the age of 16. He moved to St Edmund's Hall, Oxford, where he gained a BA on 22 March 1696/7, and became vicar of Deane, Cumberland in 1705 and rector of Distington in 1712.

The elder of the two brothers was another John, baptised at Deane on 20 September 1709. He was educated at Lowther, Westmorland, before following his father and going up to Queen's College, Oxford in 1725. He obtained his BA on 20 November 1730. His father must have had good connections, for soon after John became tutor to Lord Beauchamp, son of the Earl of Hertford, later seventh Duke of Somerset. Horace Walpole, the gossipy - and not always accurate - letter-writer of the eighteenth century (and author of the Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto), alleges that Lady Luxborough, the half-sister of the politician the first Viscount Bolingbroke, and the Duchess of Somerset had affairs with him. If so, this did not stop him receiving the patronage of the Duke of Somerset.

In 1734 John Dalton took his MA, and in June that year he accepted a living being held for someone under age. In June 1741 he became a Fellow of Queen's College. As a priest he served at the fashionable church of St James, Westminster, and then, through the Duke of Somerset's influence, was appointed a canon of Worcester Cathedral in 1748. He became Prebendary of the Cathedral and was simultaneously rector of St Mary-at-Hill, London. On 26 February 1749 he married Mary Gosling, sister of a London alderman. He died at Worcester on 22 July 1763, and was buried in the cathedral.

The tombstone of John Dalton in the crypt of Worcester Cathedral

Like many clergymen of the period, John Dalton published sermons and moral epistles, but his chief fame is in the realm of literature. While tutor to Lord Beauchamp he rewrote Milton's masque Comus for the stage, with music by the great composer Thomas Arne. The work was staged a number of times over some years. In 1750 he heard that one of Milton's grand daughters, Elizabeth Foster, was in need of money and arranged a benefit performance for her: for this, Dr Johnson himself wrote a preface. But his main achievement was his own poetry, and in particular a poem about mines at Whitehaven which was greatly admired, and had a significant influence on the development of the poetry of landscape, and on Wordsworth. This poem is reproduced in the DGS Journal article.

John Dalton's younger brother Richard was born in about 1715. In 1739 he went to Italy to pursue his art studies. Over the next few years he produced some chalk drawings of classical statues and these are in the Queen's art collection. He came back to London in 1743, and then returned to Italy in 1747. In 1755 he was appointed to the prestigious post of librarian to the Prince of Wales (the future George III). He returned to Italy in 1758-9 to purchase items for Prince George's collection, and the collections of several other members of the aristocracy. Following George's accession to the throne, Richard made other purchasing expeditions to Italy, and he had a significant part in expanding the Royal Collection of art. He also played a major role in the establishment of the Royal Academy in London and was antiquary to the Academy from 1770 to 1784. In 1778, when the post fell vacant on the death of the holder, he became Surveyor of the King's Pictures, and did much to set the royal collection in order. He married Esther de Heulle in 1764. She was the wealthy widow of a Spitalfields silk-weaver, and died on 9 October 1782. His own death occurred nine years later on 7 February 1791 at his home in St James's Palace. A fuller account of the life of Richard will be found in the DGS Journal article.

By Michael Neale Dalton

Following the visit to Worcester by Michael Dalton and Howard Dalton in early May, we share a taste of what was to come at our Gathering at the end of July 2007.

Historic Powick Church, Worcester
The historic church in the village of Powick

Powick lies about two miles to the south of Worcester and it is here that the Royalists commenced their defence against the advances of Cromwell’s soldiers towards Worcester from the south. Colonel Pitscottie and 300 Highlanders were sent by Major General Montgomery to try and oppose Cromwell, but they were hopelessly outnumbered and soon had to retreat to Powick Bridge which spans the River Teme north of the village.

Tony Spicer and Howard Dalton, Powick Church, Worcester
Powick Church

Tony Spicer points out to Howard Dalton the indentations on the wall of the church tower made by the canon fire from Cromwell’s troops.

Powick Bridge, Worcester
Powick Bridge

This famous bridge was the scene of a major skirmish between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces following the retreat from the village. Eventually the Royalist troops were overwhelmed again and once the bridge was taken by Cromwell’s troops, the back was broken of the Royalist resistance and the Parliamentarians were able to advance into Worcester itself.

Worcester Guildhall
The Guildhall in Worcester’s historic centre

The present building was built in the early 18th century and replaced a 13th century timber framed structure. There is a statue of Queen Anne above the main entrance, and statues of Charles I and Charles II on either side.

Greyfriars Merchant's House, Worcester
The Greyfriars merchant’s house in the centre of Worcester

Built in 1480, with early 17th and 18th century additions, this fine timber-framed house was rescued from demolition after the Second World War and has been carefully restored and refurbished by the National Trust.

Pride of the Midlands
The “Pride of the Midlands” awaits our Friday afternoon river cruise

Elgar Window, Worcester Cathedral
The memorial window to Sir Edward Elgar in Worcester Cathedral

By Howard J Dalton

Howard writes about Elgar’s connection with Worcester in anticipation of the Worcester Gathering in July 2007 and the visit made by delegates to his birthplace.

This is an exciting year for Elgar enthusiasts as 2007 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of arguably Britain’s greatest composer. Celebratory concerts and events are being held across the country. Worcester was the birthplace of Elgar and where he spent approximately 55 of his 76 years gaining inspiration from the beautiful scenery of the Malvern Hills and the Three Cathedral cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester.

Edward William Elgar was born the fourth of seven children to William Elgar and Ann nee Greening. His father was born in Dover and moved to Worcester in 1841 with his career as a piano tuner. They married in 1848 and three children were born at 2 College Precincts, opposite the east end of the cathedral. Herefordshire-born Ann yearned for the country air and the family rented “The Firs”, a tiny cottage at Lower Broadheath, three miles north-west of Worcester. There Edward was born on 2nd June 1857.

Within a few years William Elgar and his family moved back into rooms above 10 High Street where he and his brother ran a music shop specialising in pianofortes.

Edward grew up amidst the famous Three Choirs Festivals and much later played in the violin section under amongst others the composer Dvorak. In his boyhood he helped his father in the music shop and accompanied him on his piano tuning rounds to the large country houses in the Malvern Hills. He left school at the age of fifteen and family finances meant that he had to find work in the offices of a local solicitor. This lasted only a year, and Edward decided to make music his career. He was a self taught composer and made money by giving piano and violin lessons. For a time he also had the somewhat strange title of ‘Bandmaster of the Attendants Orchestra’ at the Worcester and County Lunatic Asylum at nearby Powick! In 1885 he was appointed to take over his father’s post as organist at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church in the city.

It was through his violin teaching in Malvern that he met his future wife, Caroline Alice Roberts, daughter of Major General Sir Henry Roberts, of the Indian Army. They were married in May 1889 and a daughter, Carice, was born the following year. Shortly after they moved to London to try to further his career but very soon moved back to Worcester. After several years of hardship due recognition came to Elgar with his ‘Enigma Variations’ and the ‘Dream of Gerontius’. He became rapidly famous and was knighted in 1904 and received the Order of Merit in 1911. The occasion that meant more to him than any other was receiving the Freedom of the City of Worcester in 1905. As the procession made its way to the Guildhall Edward looked to the upper window of the shop of ‘Elgar Brothers’ and observed his proud elderly father looking down on the scene below.

Although he lived in various places he returned to his native city for the last ten years of his life as a Baronet and Master of the King’s Music. He died on 23rd February 1934.

Both Elgar and his wife are buried in the churchyard of St Wulstan’s Church in Little Malvern. The Elgar statue was unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1981 in Worcester High Street across from the Cathedral where there is a magnificent memorial window to the composer. His symphonies, choral, orchestral including the ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ Marches, and chamber works live on and are played throughout the world. It is indeed an exciting time to visit Worcester and the Elgar Birthplace Centre!

Tombstone Detail
Sir Edward Elgar with Worcester Cathedral in the background

Those who came to the Worcester DGS 2007 Gathering at the end of July were able to plan additional visits and tours before and after the Gathering weekend. Here is the information, assembled by our Chairman, Michael Dalton, about some of the places in and around Worcester of interest to delegates.

Worcester and the County of Worcestershire lie at the centre of what is known as the Heart of England. To the north is Shropshire, to the north east Birmingham and the West Midlands, to the east Warwickshire, to the south Gloucestershire and to the west Herefordshire. The countryside across these counties is predominantly pastoral with gentle rolling hills, pretty old villages and meandering rivers. Birmingham is at the centre of a major urban area with substantial modern commercial and industrial development. This is in contrast to the remainder of the area, which has retained much of its charm from bygone days. The county towns of Worcester, Hereford, Gloucester, Warwick and Shrewsbury all offer much of historical interest to the visitor.

This cannot be a comprehensive guide to the area – it is simply a list of a few places to whet the appetite. If you have the time to explore, you will find many more.

Starting in the City of Worcester, the cathedral is not to be missed with its magnificent central tower which dominates the skyline, its long and imposing nave and its wonderful carved stonework and stained glass. Much of the building dates back to the 14th century and earlier. You should also visit the Guildhall, which was built on the site of the original old town hall in the 1720’s. This has a beautiful façade with a statue of Queen Anne above the main entrance and is still used as the city’s town hall. Not far from the Guildhall is The Greyfriars, originally built in 1480 as a guest house or hostelry for travellers. Now a National Trust property, it is one of the finest timber framed buildings in the county with a 69 foot long street façade and a large double doorway leading through a cobbled passage to an inner courtyard. You can also visit Royal Worcester, the famous china and porcelain manufacturers. At the visitor centre, you can look around the museum, go on a factory tour, see a film on how figurines are designed and manufactured and, of course, purchase Royal Worcester in the shop.

Hereford lies about 30 miles to the west and a little south of Worcester and is another county town boasting a very fine cathedral. It is most famous for the priceless Mappa Mundi, a 13th century map of the world with Jerusalem at its centre, which is displayed in the cathedral. The third major cathedral is at Gloucester, about 30 miles due south of Worcester, and this year in August will be hosting the famous annual Three Choirs Festival. Started nearly 300 years ago, this internationally renowned festival of classical music combines the choirs of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester cathedrals and each city hosts it in turn.

When you are in Hereford you should also visit the Old House. Built in 1621 this was one of a row of timber-framed buildings, and with its three gables is the only one surviving today. Originally a place where animals were slaughtered and meat sold, it became a saddlery and tackle shop, then a hardware store and then a bank. In 1928 Lloyds Bank presented it to the City and it is now a museum housing a fascinating collection of 17th century furniture.

Not far from Gloucester Cathedral are the Docks. In medieval times, Gloucester was a thriving inland port. In 1827 a 16 mile long ship canal was built to link the port to the Bristol Channel. In recent years the Victorian dockland brick warehouses have been restored and one of them now houses the National Waterways Museum, illustrating the story of Britain’s canals and well worth a visit.

Two other major cities must be mentioned – Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon. At Warwick, 35 miles to the east of Worcester, is Warwick Castle, one of the finest medieval castles in England. Built in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, the castle overlooks the River Avon. In 1572 Queen Elizabeth I was entertained there by Dudley, Earl of Warwick. Today it is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Stratford lies south west of Warwick and is of course the birthplace of William Shakespeare. You can visit the half-timbered house in Henley Street where he was born on 23 April 1564. In the nearby village of Shottery is Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582. The cottage where her family lived is a 15th century half timbered building with irregular walls, a high-pitched thatched roof, tall brick chimney stacks and tiny latticed windows. It is surrounded by a beautiful garden filled with traditional flowers.

Between Stratford and Warwick lies Charlecote Park, home of the Lucy family. The present house, which is now a National Trust property, was built in 1558 by Sir Thomas Lucy and designed in the shape of a capital “E”, in honour of Queen Elizabeth I. The grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown in the mid 18th century.

Worcester stands on the River Severn and upstream you will find Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury in Shropshire. In the south west corner of Shropshire, near the Welsh border is Ludlow, with its castle and the decorative, timber-framed Feathers Hotel dating from 1603. The surrounding countryside includes the Clee Hills and further north, near Church Stretton, the Long Mynd and Wenlock Edge provide more rugged terrain.

Hereford is on the River Wye and downstream you will find Ross-on-Wye, a beautiful old market town perched above the river, and a little further on Symond’s Yat, a high rock above the river with spectacular views in all directions. To the west are the Black Mountains on the border with Wales and nearby is Abbey Dore, founded in 1147 for Cistercian monks.

These are just a few ideas. I could have mentioned Ironbridge and Coalport in Shropshire, the homes of the Industrial Revolution and of another china manufactory. I could have mentioned the Cotswolds, which lie to the south east of Worcester and offer charming towns such as Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh and Bourton-on-the-Water. I have missed out Cheltenham, an elegant spa town with its classical terraces and pump room, and many more. If I have inspired you to take a closer look at your guide books and your maps, and plan to visit just one of the places I have mentioned, I will have achieved my purpose. The Heart of England has a rich heritage and it is worthy of your attention.

Tony Spicer spoke to us about the Civil War at our Worcester Gathering Conference on the morning of Saturday 28 July 2007.  Here you will find some biographical details about Tony, together with a selected bibliography covering some possible books that you might wish to read. These details have been assembled by our Chairman, Michael Dalton.


Tony Spicer

In the 1960’s Tony Spicer studied history at Bristol University and the London School of Economics where he wrote a dissertation for his Master’s degree on The Battle of Pottava, 1709.  He subsequently qualified as a solicitor and practiced in Worcester for over 20 years.  Reviving his interest in history later in life he joined the Battlefields Trust ( as a founder member in 1992.  Over the years Tony has organized a number of walks for the Trust.  Living as he does in Malvern, local battlefields such as Worcester and Evesham came to be walked most frequently and he has written a book about the Battle of Worcester (“The Battle of Worcester 1651” by Tony Spicer published in 2002 by Paddy Griffith Associates ISBN 0-9521488-5-4).


Tony will give a talk at the Gathering Conference entitled “The Battle of Worcester, 1651”.  In his talk he will cover aspects of the battle of particular interest to Daltons, including where they might have crossed the River Severn to escape to Wales, and further information about what might have happened to the royal pay chest.  He will then join us during the afternoon walking tour of the battlefield and be available to answer all our questions at the scene of the battle where the Daltons fought.


We are most fortunate to have secured Tony’s services and we look forward with anticipation to his contribution towards helping us to understand in more detail the trials and tribulations that the Daltons suffered on the battlefield and immediately after at the start of their flight to Wales.




Apart from Tony’s book already referenced above, there are many, many other books on the Civil War, which include detailed descriptions of the Battle of Worcester.  There are also other books, particularly about Charles II and about Oliver Cromwell which paint the picture of the Civil War and set it in the context of what was happening in England, and in Scotland, Wales and Ireland at the that time, both from the Royalist perspective and from the viewpoint of the Parliamentarians.  Here is a small selection from which you may wish to draw for pre-gathering reading (these are all books that are in my possession and I will be bringing them with me to Worcester for delegates attending the gathering to peruse).


“Civil War – The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638 - 1660” by Trevor Royle

first published in Great Britain by Little, Brown in 2004 and by Abacus in paperback in 2005.

 This compact volume includes illustrations and the Independent on Sunday described it as a ‘superb narrative history’ and refers to Royle as ‘a master storyteller’.  It is a vivid and dramatic account of these turbulent years and a ‘superbly drawn portrait of one of the greatest conflicts in our history’.


“The Life and Times of Charles II” by Christopher Falkus (with an introduction by Antonia Fraser)

originally published by George Weidenfeld and Nicolson Limited in 1974.

 This is a classic text published in a well known and respected series of books about each of the monarchs of England.  Known as ‘The Merry Monarch’, Charles II was the most popular of kings in his lifetime and has remained so in posterity.  But of course he was more than just a witty and tolerant king.  He ruled three kingdoms, England, Scotland and Ireland, at a time of crisis and in his youth he knew the bitterness of defeat and exile.  In the end he triumphed against the odds, having reached a low point in 1651 with defeat at Worcester.


“King Charles II” by Antonia Fraser

published by Book Club Associates in 1979 by arrangement with Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

 This is another classic text by Antonia Fraser herself, which offers important judgements and reassessments on central questions about the reign of Charles II.  The narrative is described as exciting and compelling and it shows all the skills which have secured Fraser’s place as one of the foremost biographers of our time.


“Civil War” by Taylor Downing & Maggie Millman

originally published by Collins & Brown in 1991.

 This book was prepared to accompany a six part television series on Channel Four in the UK.  The TV series and the book sets out to tell of the events and themes of the war:

-                                                         Why men were fighting and what was at stake

-                                                         The battle of ideas

-                                                         The legitimacy of political authority

-                                                         The conflict between the role of the army and the state.

It re-creates the experience of war from the perspective of those who lived through the tumultuous years of the 1640’s and early 1650’s, when at times one man in every ten was under arms and when father could be at war with son.


There are many other texts and a contemporary article in the issue of History Review just published for this month (March 2007) is entitled “The Cromwellian Protectorate”.  Written by Graham Goodlad, it surveys the variety of interpretations offered by historians of Cromwellian rule in the 1650’s.  This serves to illustrate that debate about the facts of the Civil War and its aftermath continues to be very lively and I hope that, in some small way, our interest and debate at Worcester in July can make a further contribution to understanding what happened on the battlefield in 1651.


Much material has been written about the Civil War, a particularly fascinating period of British history that started in 1638 during the reign of Charles I.  The Battle of Worcester in 1651 was a key turning point that heralded the end of the War and the start of the Commonwealth and Protectorate Period with Oliver Cromwell becoming Lord Protector in 1653, a position he held until his death in 1658.  In 1660 Charles II was restored as monarch. Here Michael Dalton drew together the historical context of the Battle of Worcester as the DGS prepared for its 2007 Gathering in this historic city in July.


Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, the Scots recognized his 19 year old son as King Charles II and agreed to support his claim to the throne in return for political concessions. David Leslie an experienced and skilful officer was appointed to raise an army for Charles.


Following defeat at Dunbar in September 1650, by a smaller but far more experienced army led by Cromwell, Leslie had retired to Stirling. Cromwell had initially withdrawn to Edinburgh before attempting and failing to draw Leslie into open battle. After Charles was crowned King of the Scots, at Scone, he took command of the army appointing Leslie as his Lieutenant-General. Charles led an army some 12,000 strong into England in August 1651.


As he advanced through the northern counties Charles expected his army to be joined by thousands of loyal supporters, eager to join the cause. Not only did the expected recruits not materialize but many of the Scottish stragglers were mopped up by parliamentarian troops who dogged their steps all the way. Despite this Charles continued to head south and less than three weeks later arrived at Worcester. The rapid march had taken its toll on the troops and Charles decided to rest in the city and allow time for other supporters to join him. Perceiving that Charles’s next move would be against London, Cromwell with some 28,000 troops, moved to cut off his route to the east at the same time as blocking passage to the west, from where the expected reinforcements were to come.


The Battle of Worcester was fought at Powick Hams and Fort Royal on 3rd September 1651 and signified, at the end of the day, the final battle between the Parliament armies and the Royalist armies led firstly by Charles I against the Earl of Essex and then his son Charles II with mostly Scottish regiments against Oliver Cromwell during the nine years of a bloody and civil conflict.  An outline of the days leading up to the battle, and the battle itself follows:


30th August:


Cromwell arrives at Spetchley, home to the Berkeley family, to create a line of attack which extends from Elbury Hill (now Elbury Park) to Bund’s Hill near the Ketch Inn, a distance of some two and a half miles. Parliamentary troops are already established on Red Hill and in Perry Wood. Lieutenant General Fleetwood positions at Powick near the Teme Bridge. Meanwhile General Lambert arrives up river to the Teme confluence with the Severn with boats to build a bridge across the Teme.


31st August:


Cromwell orders guns to be placed on Red Hill and in Perry Wood and to fire on Worcester as a distraction while the boat bridge is being constructed.  Major Knox for the Royalists leads his Scottish regiment up Red Hill to try and quiet the guns and another sortie is led to Bund’s Hill. Knox runs into General Fairfax’s regiment and falls into a trap. The sortie to Bund’s Hill is similarly indisposed.  This was due to a Worcester spy named Guise who learnt of the sorties and reported them to Cromwell’s armies. He was later caught, tried and hung.


2nd September:


Lambert finishes the boat bridge across River Teme. Plans are laid to attack the Scots on the next day. Lambert returns to his regiment at Upton upon Severn.


3rd September:


The Duke of Hamilton is in charge of Fort Royal with the main body of Scots; Lord Rothes has a strong detachment on the Castle Mound; and the whole of the Scots Brigade of horse is positioned on Pitchcroft under the command of General Leslie.  General Montgomery heads the Scots on the Powick Hams with Keith’s brigade on Powick Bridge where Prince Rupert defeated Fiennes in 1642 (the first official civil war battle). Piscotty’s Highlanders are stationed near the bridge of boats at the Temes mouth, with Dalziel’s brigade in reserve at Wickfield on the high ground overlooking the Teme Bridge


General Lambert, with Dean, marches from Upton in the early morning to Powick. A small skirmish takes place at Powick (evidence of this can be seen on Powick church tower). The Scots are driven back to the bridge which is held by Keith. Lambert manages to cross the Teme via the boat bridge but is repulsed by Piscotty and his Highlanders. Again Lambert attacks and this time he is more successful driving the Scots slowly back towards Worcester. This, in turn, forces Keith to abandon his Bridge stance or risk being cut off on his left flank. Lambert and Dean owe their success to Cromwell receiving news of the Royalist stance and sending three Brigades across the boat bridge to attack from the west side of the Teme.  Leslie is still positioned on Pichcroft with his Brigade of Horse refusing to move and go to the aid of Piscotty and Keith. Piscotty escapes into Worcester through St.Johns but Keith is taken prisoner by Dean.


Meanwhile, back in Worcester, Charles is atop the cathedral tower watching progress. He then quickly moves into evasive action and marches a troop of horse and foot up the London Road towards Red Hill and the Parliamentary positions. The Duke of Hamilton is similarly disposed but, leading a column of his own regiment, goes up to Perry Wood, disposes of some musketeers hiding behind the hedge along the lane, charges on the canon and captures them. Charles’s attack on Red Hill was also successful in driving the Parliamentary line further back up the hill. Again, if Leslie had moved his horse and consolidated the general push by the Royalists then history may well have been changed.


The Parliament troops rally again and force another attack. Cromwell hears of the lack of support and rushes his three brigades back from supporting Lambert and inspires his men to fight on against the Scots. Hamilton is running out of powder and shot. All along the Parliament lines the Scots are falling back. One last attempt by Hamilton results in his own fatal wounding. Cromwell advances quickly taking the advantage. Sir Alexander Forbes is struck down from his command of the Fort Royal and the King’s Standard is torn down.


Meanwhile, the rest of Cromwell’s men make good between Fort Royal and Sidbury Gate taking not only the Scots flank but now their rear. Cromwell orders the Fort Royal guns to be turned on Worcester while his men fall on the easy prey of the now disordered Scots fugitives who are struggling to get through the narrow Sidbury Gate. Cut off, they are easily cut down in the mass slaughter (to be compared with Charles’s father at Naseby and his great Uncle at Culloden), which takes place around Sidbury and up Red Hill.


Throughout all of this Charles is still outside the city walls trying vainly to rally his troops from the entrance to the Commandery. An attack from a Parliament horseman almost altered the whole course of history, but misses in his attempt to cut Charles down. One William Bagnall sees the King’s plight and drives an ox cart between the Commandery entrance and the city walls stopping the horseman and allowing Charles to effect an escape. He makes for his quarters in the Corn Market but not before Fleetwood attacks across the river bridge, up Broad Street into Mealcheapen Street, thus cutting off the Scots rear to the west and the Bridge Gate. The Forgate to the north had been built up, Cromwell is in control of Sidbury to the south and the Friars Gate was already in the control of the victorious Parliament troop.


The only exit left now is St.Martin’s Gate which adjoins Charles' quarters. The Lord Wilmott finds a horse and brings it to the rear entrance of what is now the Swan With Two Nicks Inn. Colonel Corbett with his troopers effect entry though the front of the house leaving Charles only just making his escape through St.Martin’s Gate, along a lane to Barbourne Bridge, across the river and onto the Kidderminster Road heading north.


William Guise, the man responsible for informing Cromwell of the surprise attack to his Red Hill position by 1500 Royalist soldiers, was hanged from the sign of the Golden Cross Inn along Broad Street the next day. However, Cromwell rewarded his widow with the sum of £200, a large sum at the time, with an annuity of the same amount. Seven years later to the day, namely 3rd September 1658, Cromwell died leading to the Royalist story and legend that Cromwell sold his soul to the devil in Pirie Wood for a victory and seven years of his life.


London Road was constructed in the 18th century as a turnpike road. The ancient medieval road lies to the south and can be traced most of the way by a line of two adjacent parallel lanes running from Cromwell Avenue and into Blake Street and follows the natural gradient of the hill. Two large cuttings were made to ease the hilly gradient for the coaches to and from London. The first was at Wheatsheaf Hill, so called after an inn of the same name half way up the hill, and cut through part of the defences of the old Fort Royal. The second is at Red Hill and cut through the southern tip of Pirie (now Perry) Wood. Pirie Brook flowed down from the tip of Pirie Wood and because it once crossed the road is now channelled below the road through a pipe.



The information assembled here has been taken from various websites which readers may wish to consult for further details.  These include:


The UK Battlefields Resource Centre, created by the Battlefields Resource Centre


Scot-Wars Scottish Military History & Re-enactment


British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate 1638-1660


In addition to information on the worldwide web, there is of course a wealth of published material which readers may wish to consult.  It is hoped to review some of the books and articles published about the Civil War, and the Battle of Worcester in particular, in a forthcoming issue of “Daltons in History”.

This article was written by the late Mrs Morag Simpson, for many years a DGS committee member, and originally published in DGS Journal Volume 6 in 1976.  It describes the role played by various members of the Dalton family in the Civil War and particularly at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

The Civil War and its aftermath proved somewhat of a disaster for the Dalton family.  The Senior Thurnham Line lost Colonel Dalton at the Battle of Newbury in 1644.  John Dalton of the Yorkshire branch died of wounds in the same year.  The Irish Daltons of County Westmeath were broken as “territorial magnates by the Cromwellian devastations” (1).  Perhaps, however, the Junior Thurnham Line paid the highest price in the Dalton support of the Royalist cause.  The main calamity, which befell this branch of the family, is associated with the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and its consequences.

Walter Dalton (1603-1666) the head of the Junior Dalton Line, played an active part in the Civil War.  He fought at Newbury in the regiment of his cousin Colonel Dalton (2).  Not deterred by Cromwell’s victory and the death of the King, he joined the invading Scottish army led by Charles II.  A family tradition is that either he was the Paymaster of the Army or he was associated with that office (3).  With Walter went his younger brothers Charles (1605-1651) and William (1614-1651), together with other relations and friends.

The Scots and their supporters proved no match for the military genius of Cromwell and the Royalist army was routed at the Battle of Worcester in September 1651.  The fight was an exceedingly bloody business even for the Civil War and many Royalists were killed including both Walter’s brothers, Charles and William.  According to one source “at the battle there were ten (Dalton) brothers, cousins and uncles killed” (3).

According to a verbal family tradition, Walter and a relation Rowland escaped from the field, laden with the royal paychest (4).  He hastily collected his wife and young children to make a get away to South Wales.  The journey lasted into the winter and the conditions were so harsh that three of Walter’s children died – Thomas aged 8, Ormonde aged 6 and Walter aged 3 (3).  The youngest child James, aged 1, survived and became the ancestor of the Junior Dalton Line and the American Daltons of Salt Lake City.

One interesting point is the identity of the Rowland who escaped from Worcester with Walter.  In the writer’s opinion he was Rowland Vaughan one of the Vaughan family of Golden Grove, Carmarthenshire, who were ardent Royalists.  It was to the Vaughan area of South Wales that Walter fled and in the course of time Walter’s son James married Rowland Vaughan’s daughter, Joyce.

Who were the Vaughans of Golden Grove?  They first came into prominence in the reign of the Welsh Henry VII, when Hugh Vaughan was responsible for attained lands in Wales.  He used this position to amass land for his family and acquired the estate of Golden Grove.  The possessions of the Vaughans continued to grow in the next reign with the acquisition of former monastic lands and judicious management.  The Vaughans were also engaged as sleeping partners of South Wales ship owners, both in legal foreign trade and in smuggling and free booting.  Their more respectable activities also flourished; they provided Members of Parliament and Sheriffs for South Wales and their final triumph was the elevation of Sir John Vaughan to the Earldom of Canberry.  This Sir John “after much supplication became the Comptroller of the Prince of Wales’s Household in 1614” (5).  Sir John, the first Earl of Canberry was cousin to Rowland Vaughan.

Walter and his surviving family settled down at Pembrey near to the seat of the Earl at Golden Grove.  His financial position appears to have been satisfactory and he sent his son James to the Inns of Court in London where he qualified as a barrister-at-law.  James, probably through both the Vaughan and Dalton connections, acquired the post of Receiver for the Duchy of Lancaster, which was held in turn by his eldest son John.  Another son Richard became Sheriff.

It is obvious that the Civil War had a rather devastating effect on Walter and his family.  The number of male Daltons was drastically reduced and the young James’s chances of survival could not have been rated high in the hard winter of 1651/52.  Yet the family adapted itself, survived and then rebuilt both its numbers and its socio-economic position – quite a remarkable feat in a troubled period of English history.


(1)  “Irish Families” by Edward MacLysaght (published in Dublin in 1957)

(2)  “The Dalton Book” by Edith Leaning (published privately 1951)

(3)  Printed Family Pedigree prepared by Sir Llewelyn Dalton, the writer’s uncle (reproduced in DGS Journal Volume 6 published 1976)

(4)   Recounted by the writer’s aunt, Mrs G E M Druce, who was told the story in her turn by her grandmother, Eliza Maria Dalton (nee Allies).  Eliza Maria Allies married her first cousin  John Neale Dalton and was brought up on accounts of the Dalton experiences in the Civil War.  Her husband’s great grandfather, James Dalton, was a grandson of the boy James who survived the flight from Worcester.  For details of the descendants of James Dalton and Joyce Vaughan see DGSJ Vols 2 and 5.

(5)  “The Gentry of South West Wales 1540-1640” by H A Lloyd (published by the University of Wales Press, Cardiff 1968)


The writer’s account differs considerably from that of Mrs Leaning (2).  She puts the flight to Wales seven years earlier after the Battle of Newbury in 1644.  This would seem too early in view of the ages of Walter’s three sons who perished on the journey.  Ormonde and Walter were not yet born in 1644 (3).  The verbal tradition is emphatic that the Battle of Worcester was the great calamity to befall the Daltons.