John Boys

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John Boys (1607 – 8 October 1664) is best known as the Royalist captain who was the Governor of Donnington Castle in Berkshire during the English Civil War.

Boys was born in at Bonnington, in Kent, the eldest son and heir of Edward Boys of Bonnington, by Jane, a daughter of Edward Sanders (of Northborne). He was baptized at Chillendon, on 5 April 1607.

Defence of Donnington Castle

Donnington Castle is located north of the town of Newbury. It was garrisoned in 1643 for King Charles I and commanded the road from Oxford to Southampton, and the road from London to Bath. It was from 1643 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel John Boys who spent £1,000 on earthworks to strengthen the defences.

A division of the Royalist Regiment of the Earl Rivers consisting of 200 foot, 25 horse and 4 guns under the command of John Boys, 'a professional soldier from Kent', were put into Donnington Castle and held the castle from 1643 until 1 April 1646.

On 31 July 1644 Donnington Castle was attacked by a division of the New Model Army of 3000 horses and dragoons, under the command of Lieutenant-General John Middleton, without any artillery support who attempted to compel a surrender from Boys, but the Parliamentary army was repulsed with the loss of at least 300 men.

About a month later, on 29 September, Colonel Jeremy Horton began a 12 day blockade laying siege to Donnington, having raised a battery at the foot of the hill, near Newbury he was able to shatter the southern towers of the...
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