At the outset of the English civil war in 1642, Plymouth was a Parliamentarian stronghold. At the beginning of 1641, Royalist forces under Sir Ralph Hopton had put renewed pressure on the town, occupying surrounding towns to leave it isolated. In February, a Parliamentarian force under Major-General James Chudleigh had forced the Royalists into retreat, but they had since returned to put the town under further siege. This time, Parliament aided Plymouth from the sea, and eventually, on 22nd December, the Royalists abandoned their siege again.
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