Mary Hawtry was the daughter of Ralph Hawtry, Esquire of Ruislip, Middlesex, and Mary Altham
She married Sir John Bankes, who later became Attorney-General to King Charles I and Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
Sir John purchased Corfe Castle in Dorset in 1635.
In 1643 Sir John Bankes was ordered into battle in London and Oxford by the King.
In May, 1643, a force of Parliamentarians, consisting of 40 seamen, demanded surrender of the castle's four pieces of ordnance.
Mary refused and hit back with cannon fire and drove them away.
On June 28, over 500 parliamentarian troops began their first siege but they were held back by the fierceness of Mary and her small troop.
She was, however, betrayed by one of her officers, who, assisted the enemy to get in via a sally gate.
Brave Dame Mary is the story of the siege and of Mary's brave effort to withhold almost insurmountable odds to protect the Castle
Book Review:Brave Dame MaryThis is the story of the siege of Corfe Castle by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War.
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