The town had a considerable part in the operations of the Civil Wars, being held at the outset by the Parliamentarians, and captured by the Royalists in 1644, but soon retaken by Sir Thomas Fairfax.
Isolated by the departure of the papal nuncio from Ireland in February 1649, he made overtures for alliance to Ormonde, and afterwards with success to Monck, who had superseded Monro in command of the parliamentarians in the north.
In this he was disappointed; but he continued to fight against the parliamentarians till August 1652, when a reward was offered for his apprehension.
Here Pym and Hampden and other leaders of the Parliamentarians were wont to meet in 1640.
A few days after her birth her mother left England, and provision for her maintenance having been made by Charles she lived at Exeter under the care of Lady Dalkeith (afterwards countess of Morton) until the surrender of the city to the parliamentarians, when she was taken to Oatlands in Surrey.