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Sensational Sources

Secret Code

 
SP16.510.80; secret code, August 31st 1645

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What do we know about this source?

Can you crack the code?

Ciphers use letters, numbers or symbols to replace individual letters and numbers of a message. Without a key to show how the cipher works, it is very hard to decode, as there are millions and millions of possible combinations.

If you can crack the code, that would be great, because then you can tell us what the letter says. We don’t know! Send your answers to education@nationalarchives.gov.uk

There are enough bits in ordinary English to tell that there is a war going on. Prince Maurice wrote that the Royalist town of Hereford was about to be attacked by Parliament’s forces. The rest of this document is a mystery, but even this scrap tells us that England was being torn apart in the 1640s.