Lucy Hutchinson (16201681). Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson. 1906.
The Life of John Hutchinson 
At that time most of the gentry of the country were disaffected to the parliament; most of the middle sort, the able substantial freeholders, and the other commons, who had not their dependence upon the malignant nobility and gentry, adhered to the parliament. These, when the king was at York, made a petition to him to return to the parliament, which, upon their earnest entreaty, Mr. Hutchinson went, with some others, and presented at York;1 where, meeting his cousins the Birons, they were extremely troubled to see him there on that account. After his return, Sir John Biron being likewise come to his house at Newstead, Mr. Hutchinson went to visit them there, and not finding him, returned to Nottingham, five miles short of his own house. There, going to the mayor to hear some news, he met with such as he expected not, for as soon as he came in, the mayors wife told him, that the sheriff of the county was come to fetch away the magazine that belonged to the trained bands of the county, which was left in her husbands trust,2 and that her husband had sent for the country to acquaint them, but she feared it would be gone before they could come in. Whereupon Mr. Hutchinson, taking his brother from his lodgings along with him, presently went to the town-hall, and going up to my Lord Newark,3 lord lieutenant, told him, that hearing some dispute concerning the countrys powder, he was come to wait on his lordship, to know his desires and intents concerning it. My lord answered him, that the king, having great necessities, desired to borrow it of the country. Mr. Hutchinson asked my lord what commission he had from his majesty. My lord told him he had one, but he had left it behind. Mr. Hutchinson replied, that my lords affirmation was satisfactory to him, but the country would not be willing to part with their powder in so dangerous a time, without an absolute command. My lord urged that he would restore it in ten days. Mr. Hutchinson replied, they might have use for it sooner, and he hoped my lord would not disarm his country in such a time of danger. My lord contemned the mention of danger, and asked what they could fear while he was their lord-lieutenant, and ready to serve them with his life. Mr. Hutchinson told him they had some grounds to apprehend danger by reason of the daily passing of armed men through the country, whereof there was now one troop in the town, and that before they could repair to my lord, they might be destroyed in his absence, and withal urged to him examples of their insolence; but my lord replied to all, the urgency of the kings occasions for it, which were such that he could not dispense with it. It was in vain to argue with him the property the country had in it, being bought with their money, and therefore not to be taken without their consent; my lord declared himself positively resolved to take it, whereupon Mr. Hutchinson left him. There were in the room with him Sir John Digby, the high sheriff of the county, who was setting down the weight of the powder and match, and two or three captains and others, that were busy weighing the powder. By the time Mr. Hutchinson came down, a good company of the country was gathered together; whom Mr. Hutchinson acquainted with what had passed between him and my lord, and they told him that if he would but please to stand by them, they would part with all their blood before he should have a corn of it; and said, moreover, they would go up and tumble my lord and the sheriff out of the windows. Mr. Hutchinson, seeing them so resolved, desired them to stay below while he went up yet once again to my lord, which they did; and he told my lord some of the country were come in, at whose request he was again come to beseech his lordship to desist from his design, which if pursued might be of dangerous consequence. My lord replied, it could not be, for the king was very well assured of the cheerful compliance of the greatest part of the country with his service. Mr. Hutchinson told him, whatever assurance his majesty might have, if his lordship pleased to look out, he might see no inconsiderable number below that would not willingly part with it. My lord replied, they were but a few factious men; whereupon Mr. Hutchinson told him, since it was yet the happiness of these unhappy times that no blood had been spilt, he should be sorry the first should be shed upon my lords occasion, in his own country. My lord scornfully replied, Fear it not, it cannot come to that, the kings occasions are urgent and must be served. Whereupon Mr. Hutchinson, looking out at the countrymen, they came very fast up the stairs; and Mr. Hutchinson told him, however he slighted it, not one was there but would part with every drop of his blood before they would part with it, except he could show a command or request for it under the kings hand, or would stay till the country were called in to give their consent; for it was their property, and all had interest in it, as bought with their money for the particular defence of the country. Then my lord fell to entreaties to borrow part of it, but that being also denied, he took the sheriff aside, and, after a little conference, they put up their books and left the powder; when my lord, turning to the people, said to them, Gentlemen, his majesty was by some assured of the cheerfulness of this countrys affections to him, whereof I am sorry to see so much failing, and that the county should fall so much short of the town, who have cheerfully lent his majesty one barrel of powder, but it seems he can have none from you; I pray God you do not repent this carriage of yours towards his majesty, which he must be acquainted withal. A bold countryman then stepping forth by way of reply, asked my lord, whether, if he were to take a journey with a charge into a place where probably he should be set upon by thieves, if any friend should ask to borrow a sword he would part with it: my lord, said he, the case is ours; our lives, wives, children, and estates, all depend upon this countrys safety; and how can it be safe in these dangerous times, when so many rude armed people pass daily through it, if we be altogether disarmed? My lord made no reply, but bade the men who were weighing the powder desist, and went down. Mr. Hutchinson followed him down the stairs, when an ancient gentleman, that was sitting with my lord, came and whispering him, commended his and the countrys zeal, and bade them stand to it, and they would not be foiled. As they passed through a long room below, my lord told Mr. Hutchinson he was sorry to find him at the head of a faction. Mr. Hutchinson replied, he could not tell how his lordship could call that a faction which arose from the accident of his being at that time in the town; where, hearing what was in hand, and out of respect to his lordship, he only came to prevent mischief and danger, which he saw likely to ensue. My lord replied, he must inform the king, and told him his name was already up; to which Mr. Hutchinson answered, that he was glad, if the king must receive an information of him, that it must be from so honourable a person; and for his name, as it rose, so in the name of God let it fall; and so took his leave and went home. The rest of the country that were there, determined to give my lord thanks for sparing their ammunition, and locked it up with two locks, whereof the key of the one was entrusted with the mayor of Nottingham, the other with the sheriff of the county, which accordingly was done.4
In the meantime, at York, the king had sent the parliament a message, that he intended to go in person to Ireland, and to raise a guard for his own person, about West Chester, which he would arm out of his magazine at Hull. But the parliament, having before intercepted a letter of the Lord Digbys, sent to the queen from Middleburgh in Zealand, wherein he intimated, that, if the king would retire to some safe place and declare himself, he should he able to wait upon him from thence, etc. Upon this letter, and other presumptions, they suspected that the chief end of the kings going northward was to seize the magazine at Hull, and arm himself from thence against them; wherefore they sent a petition, for leave to remove that magazine to the Tower of London, and accordingly had sent Sir John Hotham thither to do it. Sir John prevented the Earl of Newcastle, whom the king had sent for the same purpose, to seize the magazine, and kept him out; at which the king was much incensed, and on the 23rd of April, 1642, went himself to Hull, attended with some noblemen, gentlemen, and soldiers, and demanded entrance; but the gates were shut; and Hotham, kneeling upon the wall, entreated the king not to command that which, without breach of trust, he could not obey.
In conclusion, the king not getting entrance, proclaimed Hotham a traitor, and sent a complaint of the affront to the parliament. The parliament justified Hotham. Many declarations about it were published on both sides, and many cross-commands; the parliament authorizing Hotham to issue out warrants to constables and other officers, to come in armed to the defence of Hull, the king forbidding it. The king meanwhile in the north, summoned divers of the nobility and gentry to attend him, and made speeches to them to desire a guard for his person, pretending danger from the parliament. He then began to entertain soldiers, and was much encouraged by the defection of divers lords and many of the Commons house, who forsook their trust and came to him at York; whereupon he called those who remained only a faction, a pretended parliament, and such names; but they continued still petitioning to him, and the well-affected and godly, in all countries, did the like, that he would return to his parliament. The papists all over England were high partakers with him and promoters of his designs, and all the debauched nobility and gentry, and their dependents, and the lewder rout of people; yet even of these there were some that had English hearts, who came in to the parliament; but finding afterwards that the advance of liberty and righteousness could not consist with riot and ungodliness, they forsook their party, and were content to be the kings slaves rather than divorce themselves from those lusts, which found countenance from both priests and princes on one side, and on the other were preached down by the ministers, and punished by the magistrates.
Towards the end of May,5 the parliament sent the king word, that if he would not disband his forces, and rely upon the laws and affections of his people for his security, as all good princes before him had done, they held themselves bound in duty to God and the peoples trust reposed in them, and by the fundamental laws, to employ their utmost care and power for securing the parliament and preserving the kingdoms peace. Whereupon they voted, That it seems that the king, seduced by wicked counsel, intends a war against the parliament, etc.
That whosoever shall assist him in such wars are traitors, by the fundamental laws of this kingdom, and have been so adjudged in two acts of parliament, II Richard II and I Henry IV; and that such persons ought to suffer as traitors.
Hereupon nine of the lords, that first went to the king, were summoned to return;6 who, sending a letter of denial, were, by the whole house of peers, sentenced to be incapable of ever sitting again as members of that house, or of benefit or privilege of parliament, and to suffer imprisonment during pleasure. Then the lord keeper, who had appeared firm to the parliament, and voted with them, for settling the militia by ordinance of parliament, run away to the king, after he had delivered up his seal, the day before, to one the king sent for it.7 The king, having this, issued out many proclamations, and among the rest, one that no man should obey the parliaments warrants about settling the militia. The parliament, on the other side, made ordinances forbidding all men to raise arms, by warrant from the king, without authority of parliament. And now they began to settle the kingdoms militia, both by land and sea, and made the Earl of Warwick admiral; which place the king had conferred upon Sir John Pennington, in the room of the Earl of Northumberland, and commanded my lord of Warwick to resign; but he chose to obey the parliament, and got the fleet at length wholly into his hands, and took a ship with ammunition coming to the king out of Holland. The parliament now, despairing of the kings return, made an ordinance for money and plate to be brought in for raising arms for the cause,8 which came in, in great abundance, upon public faith, and likewise horses and arms for the service. The king, who had received money, arms, and ammunition, which the queen had procured in Holland, by pawning the crown jewels, sent out commissions of array, to arm the people in all counties and mocked the parliament, using their own words, wherein they invited men to arm for the defence of the protestant religion, the kings person, dignity, and authority, the laws of the land, the peace of the kingdom, and privilege of parliament; and thus deceived many people, and got contributions of plate, money, and arms in the country. While these things were in transaction, the king made a solemn protestation before the lords, as in the presence of God, declaring that he would not engage them in any war against the parliament, but only for his necessary defence; that his desire was to maintain the protestant religion, the liberties of the subject, and privilege of parliament. But the next day he did some action, so contrary to this protestation, that two of the lords durst not stay with him, but returned to the parliament; and one of them, coming back through Nottinghamshire, acquainted Mr. Hutchinson with the sad sense he had discovering that falsehood in the king.
Now had the king raised an army of three thousand foot and one thousand horse, with which he went to Beverley, in order to besiege Hull.9 When he was within two hours march of the place, Sir John Hotham floated the country about it, and Sir John Meldrum, sallying out of the town, with five hundred townsmen, made the kings party retreat to Beverley. But, however, they beleaguered the town, into which the parliament sent a relief of five hundred men, by water, with whom Meldrum made another sally, routed the leaguer-soldiers, killed some, made others prisoners, took the magazine of arms and ammunition, which was in a barn, with their fire balls, and fired the barn. Hereupon the kings council of war broke up the siege, from whence the king went back to York, and about the middle of August came to Nottingham, where he set up his standard royal;10 and hither his two nephews, Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, came to him, and were put into commands. The king, marching through Nottingham, Derby, and Leicestershire, called together the trained bands, to attend him, disarmed those counties, and marched to Shrewsbury,11 and there set up a mint, and coined the plate that had been brought in to him. Here a great many men came in to him, with whom, marching into Warwickshire, he there fought his first battle at a village called Keynton;12 it not being yet agreed who gained the victory that day.
As the king, on his part, made this progress, so the parliament, on theirs, upon the twelfth of July, voted an army to be raised, and the Earl of Essex to be general of it. Divers of the lords, and several members of the House of Commons, took commissions, and raised regiments and companies under his command, who marched with his army of about fourteen thousand horse and foot to his rendezvous at Northampton, whither the parliament sent a petition to him, to be delivered to the king, in a safe and honourable way; the sum of which was, to beseech him to forsake those wicked people with whom he was, and not to mix his danger with theirs, but to return to his parliament, etc. The king, intending to make Worcester a garrison, sent Prince Rupert thither; the Earl of Essex, to prevent him, sent other forces, between whom there was some skirmish,13 but the prince left the town at their approach. My lord of Essex left a garrison in Northampton, put others into Coventry and Warwick, and went to Worcester. Here he made some stay, till the king marching from Shrewsbury, there was some apprehension of his going up to London; for which cause my lord left part of his artillery behind him, and followed the kings motions, which the king perceiving, took an opportunity, before his artillery and the foot left with it were come up to him,14 and resolved to give him battle, which was not declined on the other side, but fought with doubtful success, the circumstances whereof may be read at large in the stories of those things. The kings general was slain, and his standard was taken though not kept; but on the other side also there were many brave men slain and prisoners. My lord of Essex marched to Coventry; the king took up his winter quarters at Oxford,15 from whence Prince Rupert flew about the country with his body of horse, plundered and did many barbarous things; insomuch that London, growing into apprehensions of the kings army, the parliament called back the Earl of Essex to quarter about London;16 and he being returned thither, the king was advanced as far as Colebrooke, where he was presented with a petition from the parliament for accommodation, to which he answered, with a protestation to God, how much he was grieved for his subjects sufferings, and, in order to peace, was willing to reside near London, to receive their propositions, and to treat with them. As soon as ever the commissioners were gone, the king advanced, with his horse and artillery, towards London,17 and, taking the advantage of a great mist, fell upon a broken regiment of Colonel Holliss, quartered at Brentford, and killed many of them, and had destroyed them all, but that Brookes and Hampdens regiments, by Providence, came seasonably to their rescue; and then so many forces flocked with the general, out of London, that the king was enclosed, and the war had been ended, but that, I know not how, three thousand of the parliaments forces were called away by their procurement who designed the continuance of the war; and so the king had a way of retreat left open, by which he got back to Oxford, and the parliaments general was sent out again with their army; whose proceedings I shall take up again in their due places, so far as is necessary to be remembered, for the story I most particularly intend.
Before the flame of the war broke out in the top of the chimneys, the smoke ascended in every country; the king had sent forth commissions of array, and the parliament had given out commissions for their militia, and sent off their members into all counties to put them in execution. Between these, in many places, there were fierce contests and disputes, almost to blood, even at the first; for in the progress every county had the civil war, more or less, within itself. Some counties were in the beginning so wholly for the parliament, that the kings interest appeared not in them; some so wholly for the king, that the godly, for those generally were the parliaments friends, were forced to forsake their habitations, and seek other shelters: of this sort was Nottinghamshire. All the nobility and gentry, and their dependents, were generally for the king; the chief of whose names I shall sum up here, because I shall often have occasion to mention them. The greatest family was the Earl of Newcastles,18 a lord once so much beloved in his country, that when the first expedition was against the Scots, the gentlemen of the country set him forth two troops, one all of gentlemen, the other of their men, who waited on him into the north at their own charges. He had, indeed, through his great estate, his liberal hospitality, and constant residence in his country, so endeared them to him, that no man was a greater prince in all that northern quarter; till a foolish ambition of glorious slavery carried him to court, where he ran himself much into debt, to purchase neglects of the king and queen, and scorns of the proud courtiers. Next him was the Earl of Kingston, a man of vast estate, and no less covetous, who divided his sons between both parties, and concealed himself; till at length his fate drew him to declare himself absolutely on the kings side, wherein he behaved himself honourably, and died remarkably.19 His eldest son20 was lord-lieutenant of the county, and at that time no nobleman had a greater reputation in the court for learning and generosity than he, who was so high in the kings party, that the parliament was very much incensed against him. Lord Chesterfield, and all his family, were highly of the royal party; so was the Lord Chaworth. The Earl of Clare was very often of both parties, and, I think, never advantaged either. All the popish gentry were wholly for the king, whereof one Mr. Golding, next neighbour to Mr. Hutchinson, had been a private collector of the catholics contributions to the Irish Rebellion, and for that was, by the queens procurement, made a knight and baronet.21 Sir John Biron, afterwards Lord Biron, and all his brothers, bred up in arms, and valiant men in their own persons, were all passionately the kings.22 Sir John Savill, a man of vast estate, was the like: so were Sir Gervase Eyre, Sir John Digby, Sir Matthew Palmer, Sir Thomas Williamson, Sir Roger Cowper, Sir W. Hickman, Sir Hugh Cartwright, Sir T. Willoughby, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Thomas Blackwell, Markham, Perkins, Tevery, Pearce, Palme, Wood, Sanderson, Moore, Mellish, Butler, with divers others.23 Of the parliament men, Mr. Sutton, afterwards Lord Lexington,24 and Sir Gervase Clifton, forsook the parliament, went to the king, and executed his commission of array. Mr. William Stanhope left the parliament, and came home disaffected to them; whose eldest son was afterwards slain in the kings service. Mr. William Pierrepont,25 second son of the Earl of Kingston, was of the parliament, though he served not for his own country, to which notwithstanding he was an ornament, being one of the wisest counsellors and most excellent speakers in the house, and by him was that bill promoted and carried on which passed for the continuation of this parliament. He had a younger brother living at Nottingham, who coldly owned the parliament. Sir Thomas Hutchinson continued with the parliament, was firm to their cause, but infinitely desirous that the difference might rather have been composed by accommodation, than ended by conquest; and therefore did not improve his interest to engage the country in the quarrel, which, if he could have prevented, he would not have had come to a war. He was, however, clearly on the parliaments side, and never discouraged his two sons, who thought this prudential tardiness in their father was the declension of that vigour which they derived from him, and which better became their youth. It is true, they were the foremost in point of time and in degree, except a piece of a nobleman that was after drawn in, who owned the parliaments interest in their country. Mr. Henry Ireton, their cousin, was older than they, and having had an education in the strictest way of godliness, and being a very grave and solid person, a man of good learning, great understanding, and other abilities, to which was joined a willing and zealous heart in the cause and his country, he was the chief promoter of the parliaments interest in the county,26 but finding it generally disaffected, all he could do when the king approached it, was to gather a troop of those godly people which the cavaliers drove out, and with them to go into the army of my lord of Essex; which he, being a single person, might the better do. Mr. Hutchinson was not willing so soon to quit his house, to which he was so lately come, if he could have been suffered to live quietly in it; but his affections to the parliament being taken notice of, he became an object of envy to the other party.
Sir Thomas Hutchinson, a little before the standard was set up, had come to Nottingham, where his house was, to see his children and refresh himself; when, hearing of the kings intentions to come to the town, he, some days before his coming, went over to Owthorpe, his sons house, to remain there till he could fit himself to return to the parliament. One day, as Mr. Hutchinson was at dinner, the mayor of Nottingham sent him word that the high-sheriff had broken open the lock of the countrys ammunition, which was left in his trust, and was about to take it away. Mr. Hutchinson immediately went in all haste to prevent it, but before he came to the town it was gone, and some of the kings soldiers were already come to town, and were plundering all the honest men of their arms. As one of them had taken a musket, seeing Mr. Hutchinson go by, he said he wished it loaded for his sake, and hoped the day would shortly come when all such Roundheads would be fair marks for them. This name of Roundhead coming so opportunely in, I shall make a little digression to tell how it came up. When Puritanism grew into a faction, the zealots distinguished themselves, both men and women, by several affectations of habit, looks, and words, which, had it been a real forsaking of vanity, and an embracing of sobriety in all those things, would have been most commendable in them; but their quick forsaking of those things, when they were where they would be, showed that they either never took them up for conscience, or were corrupted by their prosperity to take up those vain things they durst not practice under persecution. Among other affected habits, few of the Puritans, what degree soever they were of, wore their hair long enough to cover their ears, and the ministers and many others cut it close round their heads, with so many little peaks, as was something ridiculous to behold; whereupon Cleaveland, in his Hue and Cry after them, begins,
With hair in characters and lugs in text, etc.
From this custom of wearing their hair, that name of Roundhead became the scornful term given to the whole parliament party, whose army indeed marched out so, but as if they had been only sent out till their hair was grown. Two or three years after, any stranger that had seen them, would have inquired the reason of that name.27 It was very ill applied to Mr. Hutchinson, who, having naturally a very fine thickset head of hair, kept it clean and handsome, so that it was a great ornament to him; although the godly of those days, when he embraced their party, would not allow him to be religious because his hair was not in their cut, nor his words in their phrase, nor such little formalities altogether fitted to their humour; who were, many of them, so weak as to esteem rather for such insignificant circumstances, than for solid wisdom, piety, and courage, which brought real aid and honour to their party. But as Mr. Hutchinson chose not them, but the God they served, and the truth and righteousness they defended, so did not their weaknesses, censures, ingratitude, or discouraging behaviour, with which he was abundantly exercised all his life, make him forsake them in any thing wherein they adhered to just and honourable principles or practices; but when they apostatised from these, none cast them off with greater indignation, how shining soever the profession was that gilt, not a temple of living grace, but a tomb, which only held the carcass of religion. Instead of digressing, I shall ramble into an inextricable wilderness, if I pursue this sad remembrance: to return therefore to his actions at that time.
When he found the powder gone, and saw the soldiers taking up quarters in the town, and heard their threats and revilings, he went to his fathers house in the town, where he had not been long before an uncivil fellow stepped into the house, with a carabine in his hand. Mr. Hutchinson asked what he would have; the man replied, he came to take possession of the house; Mr. Hutchinson told him, he had the possession of it, and would know on what right it was demanded from him; the man said, he came to quarter the general there; Mr. Hutchinson told him, except his father and mother, and their children, were turned out of doors, there was no room. The quarter-master, upon this, growing insolent, Mr. Hutchinson thrust him out of the house, and shut the doors upon him. Immediately my lord of Lindsey came himself, in a great chafe, and asked who it was that denied him quarter? Mr. Hutchinson told him, he that came to take it up for him deserved the usage he had, for his uncivil demeanour; and those who had quartered his lordship there had much abused him, the house being no ways fit to receive a person of his quality, which, if he pleased to take a view of it, he would soon perceive. Whereupon my lord, having seen the rooms, was very angry they had made no better provision for him, and would not have lain in the house, but they told him the town was so full that it was impossible to get him room anywhere else. Hereupon he told Mr. Hutchinson, if they would only allow him one room, he would have no more; and when he came upon terms of civility, Mr. Hutchinson was as civil to him, and my lord only employed one room, staying there with all civility to those that were in the house. As soon as my lord was gone, Mr. Hutchinson was informed by a friend, that the man he had turned out of doors was the quarter-master general, who, upon his complaint, had procured a warrant to seize his person; whereupon Mr. Hutchinson, with his brother, went immediately home to his own house at Owthorpe. About four or five days after, a troop of cavaliers, under the command of Sir Lewis Dives, came to Stanton, near Owthorpe, and searched Mr. Needhams house, who was a noted Puritan in those days, and a colonel in the parliaments service, and governor of Leicester: they found not him, for he hid himself in the gorse, and so escaped them. His house being lightly plundered, they went to Hickling, and plundered another Puritan house there, and were coming to Owthorpe, of which Mr. Hutchinson having notice, went away to Leicestershire; but they, though they had orders to seize Mr. Hutchinson, came not at that time because the night grew on. But some days after he was gone, another company came and searched for him and for arms and plate, of which finding none, they took nothing else.
Two days after Mr. Hutchinson was in Leicestershire, he sent for his wife, who was then big with child, to come thither to him; where she had not been a day, but a letter was brought him from Nottingham, to give him notice that there was a warrant sent to the sheriff of Leicestershire to seize his person. Upon this he determined to go the next day into Northamptonshire, but at five of the clock that evening, the sound of their trumpets told him a troop was coming into the town. He stayed not to see them, but went out at the other end as they came in; who, by a good providence for his wife (somewhat afflicted to be so left alone in a strange place), proved to be commanded by her own brother, Sir Allen Apsley, who quartered in the next house to that where she was, till about two or three days before all the kings horse that were thereabouts marched away, being commanded upon some service to go before the rest.
Mr. Hutchinson, in the mean time, was carried by a servant that waited on him, to the house of a substantial honest yeoman, who was bailiff to the lord of the town28 of Kelmarsh, in Northamptonshire. This man and his wife, being godly, gave Mr. Hutchinson very kind entertainment, and prevailed upon him to be acquainted with their master, who had just then made plate and horses ready to go in to the king, that had now set up his standard at Nottingham; but Mr. Hutchinson diverted him, and persuaded him and another gentleman of quality, to carry in those aids they had provided for the king, to my lord general Essex, who was then at Northampton, where Mr. Hutchinson visited him, and would gladly at that time have engaged with him, but that he did not then find a clear call from the Lord; and therefore, intelligence being brought of the kings remove, he was now returning to his wife, when unawares he came into a town, where one of Prince Ruperts troops was; which he narrowly escaped, and returning to his former honest host, sent a letter to his wife, to acquaint her what hazard he was in by attempting to come to her, but that as soon as the horse was marched away, he would be with her. This letter was intercepted at Prince Ruperts quarters, and opened and sent her. There was with Prince Rupert, at that time, one Captain Welch, who having used to come to Captain Apsley, and seen Mrs. Hutchinson with him, made a pretence of civility to visit her that day that all the princes horse marched away. They marched by the door of the house where she was, and all the household having gone out to see them, had left her alone in the house, with Mr. George Hutchinson, who was in her chamber when Captain Welch came in, and she went down into the parlour to receive him. He, taking occasion to tell her of her husbands letter, by way of compliment, said it was a pity she should have a husband so unworthy of her, as to enter into any faction which should make him not dare to be seen with her; whereat she being piqued, and thinking they were all marched away, told him he was mistaken, she had not a husband that would at any time hide himself from him, or that durst not show his face where any honest man durst appear; and to confirm you, said she, he shall now come to you. With that she called down her brother, who, upon a private hint, owned the name of husband, which she gave him, and received a compliment from Welch, that in any other place he had been obliged to make him a prisoner, but here he was in sanctuary; and so, after some little discourse, went away. When the gentleman of the house and the rest of the family, that had been seeing the march, were returned, and while they sat laughing together, at those that went to see the prince, telling how some of the neighbouring ladies were gone along with him, and Mrs. Hutchinson telling how she had abused the captain, with Mr. Hutchinson instead of her husband, the captain came back, bringing another gentleman with him; and he told Mr. Hutchinson, that his horse having lost a shoe, he must be his prisoner till the smith released him. But they had not sat long, ere a boy came in with two pistols, and whispered the captain, who desired Mr. Hutchinson and the gentleman of the house to walk into the next room, seized Mr. George, in the name of Mr. John Hutchinson. It booted not for them both to endeavour to undeceive him, by telling him Mr. John was still at Northampton, for he would not, at least would seem not, to believe them, and carried him away to be revenged of Mrs. Hutchinson, at whom he was vexed for having deluded him. So, full of wicked joy, to have found an innocent gentleman, whom he knew the bloodhounds were after, he went and informed the prince, and made it of such moment, as if they had taken a much more considerable person. The prince had sent back a troop of dragoons to guard him to them, which troop had beset the house and town, before Welch came in to them the second time; and, notwithstanding all informations of his error, he carried away Mr. Hutchinson, and put his sister into affright and distemper with it; which, when the women about her saw, they railed at him for his treachery and baseness, but to no purpose. As soon as he overtook the body of horse with his prisoner, there was a shout from one end to the other of the soldiers. Mr. Hutchinson, being brought to the prince, told him he was the younger brother, and not the person he sent for, which three or four of the Birons, his cousin-germans, acknowledged to be so; yet Welch outswore them all that it was Mr. John Hutchinson. The Lord Viscount Grandison, a cousin-german of Mrs. Hutchinsons, was then in the kings army, to whom she immediately dispatched a messenger, to entreat him to oblige her by the procurement of her brothers liberty, who, upon her imprudence, had been brought into that trouble. My lord sent her word, that, for the present, he could not obtain it, but he would endeavour it afterwards; and in the meantime he gave her notice that it was not safe for her husband to return, there being forty men left to lie close in the country, and watch his coming to her. So Mr. George Hutchinson was carried to Derby, and there, with some difficulty, his liberty was obtained by the interposition of my Lord Grandison and the Birons. They would have had him give them an engagement, that he would not take arms with the parliament; but he refused, telling them that he lived peaceably at home, and should make no engagement to do anything but what his conscience led him to; that if they pleased, they might detain him, but it would be no advantage to them, nor loss to the other side; upon which considerations they were persuaded to let him go. Immediately after his release, he went to London to his father, where his elder brother was before him; for as soon as he understood from his wife what his brother suffered in his name, he took post to London to procure his release; and there they both stayed till they received assurance that the kings forces were quite drawn out of the country, and then they together returned to Leicestershire, where Mrs. Hutchinson, within a few days after her brother was taken, was brought to bed of her eldest daughter; which, by reason of the mothers and the nurses griefs and frights, in those troublesome times, was so weak a child that it lived not four years, dying afterwards in Nottingham Castle. When Mr. Hutchinson came to his wife, he carried her and her children, and his brother, back again to his house, about the time that the battle was fought at Edge Hill. After this the two brothers, going to Nottingham, met there most of the godly people, who had been driven away by the rudeness of the kings army, and plundered upon the account of godliness, who were now returned to their families, and desirous to live in peace with them; but having, by experience, found they could not do so, unless the parliament interest were maintained, they were consulting how to raise some recruits for the Earl of Essex, to assist in which, Mr. Hutchinson had provided his plate and horses ready to send in.29
About this time Sir John Gell,30 a Derbyshire gentleman, who had been sheriff of the county, at that time when the illegal tax of ship-money was exacted, and was so violent in the prosecution of it, that he starved Sir John Stanhopes cattle in the pound, and would not suffer any one to relieve them there, because that worthy gentleman stood out against that unjust payment; and he had by many aggravating circumstances, not only concerning his persecution of Sir John Stanhope, but others, so highly misdemeaned himself that he looked for punishment from the parliament; to prevent it, he very early put himself into their service, and after the king was gone out of these countries, he prevented the cavalier gentry from seizing the town of Derby, and fortified it, and raised a regiment of foot. These were good, stout fighting men, but the most licentious, ungovernable wretches, that belonged to the parliament. He himself, no man knows for what reason he chose that side; for he had not understanding enough to judge the equity of the cause, nor piety or holiness; being a foul adulterer all the time he served the parliament, and so unjust, that without any remorse, he suffered his men indifferently to plunder both honest men and cavaliers; so revengeful, that he pursued his malice to Sir John Stanhope, upon the forementioned account, with such barbarism after his death, that he, pretending to search for arms and plate, came into the church and defaced his monument that cost six hundred pounds, breaking off the nose and other parts of it. He dug up a garden of flowers, the only delight of his widow, upon the same pretence: and then wooed that widow,31 who was by all the world believed to be the most prudent and affectionate of womankind, till, being deluded by his hypocrisies, she consented to marry him, and found that was the utmost point to which he could carry his revenge, his future carriage making it apparent he sought her for nothing else but to destroy the glory of her husband and his house. This man kept the diurnal-makers in pension, so that whatever was done in the neighbouring countries, against the enemy, was attributed to him; and thus he hath indirectly purchased himself a name in story, which he never merited.32 He was a very bad man, to sum up all in that word, yet an instrument of service to the parliament in those parts. I thought it necessary to insert this little account of him here, because there will be often occasion to mention him in my following discourse: and because, although there never was any personal acquaintance between him and Mr. Hutchinson, yet that natural antipathy which is between good and evil, rendered him a very bad neighbour to Mr. Hutchinsons garrison, and one that, under the name of a friend and assistant, spoiled our country, as much as our enemies. He indeed gave his men leave to commit all insolences without any restraint; whereas Mr. Hutchinson took up arms to defend the country as much as was possible from being a prey to rude soldiers, and did oftentimes preserve it both from his and other rude troops, which stirred up in him envy, hate, and ill-will against his neighbour. He was not wise in ordering the scouts and spies he kept out, and so had the worst intelligence in the world. Mr. Hutchinson, on the other side, employed ingenuous persons, and was better informed of the true state of things, so oftentimes he communicated those informations to the chief commanders, which proved the falsehood of his; and that was another cause of envy. Some that knew him well, said he was not valiant, though his men once held him up, among a stand of pikes, while they obtained a glorious victory, when the Earl of Northampton was slain; certain it is he was never by his good will in a fight, but either by chance or necessity; and that which made his courage the more questioned was, the care he took, and the expense he was at, to get it weekly mentioned in the journals, so that when they had nothing else to renown him for, they once put in that the troops of that valiant commander, Sir John Gell, took a dragoon with a plush doublet. Mr. Hutchinson, on the other side, that did well for virtues sake, and not for the vainglory of it, never would give anything to buy the flatteries of those scribblers; and when one of them had once, while he was in town, made mention of something done at Nottingham, with falsehood, and given Gell the glory of an action wherein he was not concerned, Mr. Hutchinson rebuked him for it, whereupon the man begged his pardon, and told him he would write as much for him the next week; but Mr. Hutchinson told him he scorned his mercenary pen, warning him not to dare to lie in any of his concernments, whereupon the fellow was awed, and he had no more abuse of that kind.
But to turn out of this digression into another, not altogether impertinent to the story which I would carry on. In Nottinghamshire, upon the edge of Derbyshire, there dwelt a man, who was of mean birth and low fortunes, yet had kept company with the underling gentry of his neighbourhood. This man had the most factious, ambitious, vainglorious, envious, and malicious nature that is imaginable; but he was the greatest dissembler, flatterer, traitor, and hypocrite that ever was, and herein had a kind of wicked policy; knowing himself to be inferior to all gentlemen, he put on a vizard of godliness and humility, and courted the common people with all the plausibility and flattery that could be practised. All this while he was addicted to many lusts, especially to that of women, but practised them so secretly, that they were not vulgarly taken notice of, though God, to shame him, gave him up to marry a wench out of one of the ale-houses he frequented; but to keep up a fame of godliness, he gave large contributions to puritan preachers, who had the art to stop the peoples mouths from speaking ill of their benefactors. By a thousand arts this fellow became popular, and so insinuated himself into all the gentlemen that owned the parliaments party, that till he was discovered some years after, they believed him a most true-hearted, faithful, vigilant, active man for the godly interest; but he could never climb higher than a presbyterian persecutor, and in the end, fell quite off to a declared cavalier.33 In Sir George Booths business, thinking he could sway the scales of a country, he raised a troop, brought them into Derby, and published a declaration of his own for the king; then ran away to Nottingham, and lost all his troops in the route there, and hid himself till the king34 came in, when he was rewarded for his revolt with an office, which he enjoyed not many months, his wife and he, and some of his children, dying altogether in a few days of a fever little less than a plague. This man, called Charles White, at the beginning of the civil war, got a troop of dragoons, who armed and mounted themselves out of devotion to the parliaments cause, and being of his neighbourhood, marched forth in his conduct, he having procured a commission to be their captain; but they, having stocks and families, were not willing to march as far as the army, but joined themselves to those who were already in arms at Derby.35
After the battle at Edge Hill, Sir John Digby, the high sheriff of Nottinghamshire, returned from the king, and had a design of securing the county against the parliament; whereupon he sent out summons to all the gentlemen resident in the country to meet him at Newark. Mr. Hutchinson was at the house of Mr. Francis Pierrepont, the Earl of Kingstons third son, when the letter was delivered to him, and another of the same to Mr. Pierrepont; and while they were reading them, and considering what might be the meaning of this summons, an honest man, of the sheriffs neighbourhood, came and gave them notice, that the sheriff had some design in agitation; for he had assembled and armed about fourscore of his neighbours, to go out with him to Newark, and, as they heard, from thence to Southwell, and from thence to Nottingham, through which town many armed men marched day and night, to their great terror. Mr. Hutchinson, upon this intimation, went home, and, instead of going to meet the sheriff, sent an excuse by an intelligent person, well acquainted with all the country, who had orders to find out their design; which he did so well, that he assured Mr. Hutchinson if he and some others had gone in, they would have been made prisoners; for the sheriff came into Newark with a troop of eighty men, with whom he was gone to Southwell, and was to go the next day to Nottingham, to secure those places for the king. Mr. Hutchinson immediately went with his brother and acquainted them at Nottingham with his intelligence, which they had likewise received from other hands. Although the town was generally more malignant than well affected, yet they cared not much to have cavalier soldiers quarter with them, and therefore agreed to defend themselves against any force which should come against them; and being called hastily together, as the exigence required, about seven hundred listed themselves, and chose Mr. George Hutchinson for their captain, who having lived among them, was very much loved and esteemed by them. The sheriff hearing this, came not to Nottingham, but those who were now there thus became engaged to prosecute the defence of themselves, the town, and country, as far as they could. They were but few, and those not very considerable, and some of them not very hearty; but it pleased God here, as in other places, to carry on his work by weak and unworthy instruments. There were seven aldermen in the town, and of these only Alderman James, then mayor, owned the parliament.36 He was a very honest, bold man, but had no more than a burghers discretion; he was yet very well assisted by his wife, a woman of great zeal and courage, and with more understanding than women of her rank usually have. All the devout people of the town were very vigorous and ready to offer their lives and families, but there was not half the half of the town that consisted of these; the ordinary civil sort of people coldly adhered to the better, but all the debauched, and such as had lived upon the bishops persecuting courts, and had been the lackeys of projectors and monopolizers and the like, they were all bitterly malignant; yet God awed them, that they could not at that time hinder his people whom he overruled some of their greatest enemies to assist, such as were Chadwick and Plumptre, who, at the first, put themselves most forward in the business. Plumptre was a doctor of physic, an inhabitant of Nottingham, who had learning, natural parts, and understanding enough to discern between natural civil righteousness and injustice; but he was a horrible atheist, and had such an intolerable pride that he brooked no superiors, and having some wit, took the boldness to exercise it in the abuse of all the gentlemen wherever he came.37 Sir Thomas Hutchinson first brought him into credit and practice in the country, it having pleased God to make him instrumental in the cure of Mr. George Hutchinson, who had in vain tried the skill of the best doctors in England against an epileptic disease, under which he laboured some years. Upon this occasion, Sir Thomas and both his sons gave him much respect, and this cure gave him reputation, and introduced him into practice in all the gentlemens houses in the country; which he soon lost again by his most abusive tongue and other ill carriages, and was even got out of favour with Sir Thomas Hutchinson himself, for some abusive scoffs given out against his lady. But Mr. Hutchinson and his brother, in pity to him, and in remembrance of what God had done through him, still owned him, and protected him a little against the bitter zealots, though it was impossible for his darkness and their light long to continue mixed. This man had seen enough to approve the parliaments cause, in point of civil right, and pride enough to desire to break the bonds of slavery, whereby the king endeavoured to chain up a free people; and upon these scores, appearing high for the parliaments interest, he was admitted into the consultations of those who were then putting the country into a posture of defence.38 Chadwick was a fellow of a most pragmatical temper, and, to say truth, had strangely wrought himself into a station unfit for him. He was at first a boy that scraped trenchers in the house of one of the poorest justices in the county, but yet such a one as had a great deal of formality and understanding of the statute law, from whom this boy picked such ends of law, that he became first the justices, then a lawyers clerk; then, I know not how, got to be a parcel-judge in Ireland,39 and came over to his own country swelled with the reputation of it, and set on foot a base, obsolete, arbitrary court there, which the Conqueror of old had given to one Peverel, his bastard, which this man entitling my lord Goring unto, executed the office under him, to the great abuse of the country.40 At the beginning of the parliament they would have prosecuted him for it, but my lord Goring begged of Sir Thomas Hutchinson to spare him, and promised to lay it down for ever; so from the beginning of the parliament he executed not that office, but having an insinuating wit and tongue, procured himself to be deputy recorder of Nottingham, my lord of Clare being chief.41 When the king was in town a little before, this man so insinuated himself into the court, that coming to kiss the kings hand, the king told him he was a very honest man;42 yet by flatteries and dissimulations he kept up his credit with the godly, cutting his hair, and taking up a form of godliness, the better to deceive. In some of the corrupt times he had purchased the honour of a barrister, though he had neither law nor learning, but he had a voluble tongue, and was crafty; and it is almost incredible that one of his mean education and poverty should arrive to such things as he reached. He was very poor, although he got abundance of money by a thousand cheats and other base ways, wherein he exercised all his life; but he was as great a prodigal in spending as knave in getting, and among other villanies which he secretly practised, he was a libidinous goat, for which his wife, they say, paid him with making him a cuckold; yet were there not two persons to be found that pretended more sanctity than these two, she having a tongue no less glavering and false than his. Such baseness he had, that all the just reproaches in the world could not move him, but he would fawn upon any man that told him of his villanies to his face, even at the very time. Never was a truer Judas, since Iscariots time, than he, for he would kiss the man he had in his heart to kill; he naturally delighting in mischief and treachery, and was so exquisite a villain, that he destroyed those designs he might have thriven by, with overlaying them with fresh knaveries.43 I have been a little tedious in these descriptions, yet have spoken very little in comparison of what the truth would bear; indeed, such assistants as these were enough to disgrace the best cause by their owning of it; but the truth of God being above the testimony of men, could neither receive credit from the good, nor discredit from the worst men; but they were not all such, who first offered themselves to carry on the Lords work with him of whom we chiefly treat. There was then dwelling at Nottingham a third son of the Earl of Kingston, a man of good natural parts, but not of education according to his quality, who was in the main well affected to honest men and to righteous liberty; a man of a very excellent good nature, and full of love to all men; but his goodness received a little allay by a vainglorious pride, which could not well brook that any other should outstrip him in virtue and estimation.44 Mr. Francis Thornhagh, the eldest son of Sir Francis Thornhagh, was a man of a most upright faithful heart to God and his people, and to his countrys true interest, comprehended in the parliaments cause; a man of greater valour or more noble daring, fought not for them, nor indeed ever drew sword in any cause; he was of a most excellent good nature to all men, and zealous for his friend; he wanted counsel and deliberation, and was sometimes too facile to flatterers, but had judgment enough to discern his errors when they were represented to him, and worth enough not to persist in an injurious mistake because he had once entertained it.45 Mr. Pigott was a very religious, serious, wise gentleman, true-hearted to God and his country, of a generous and liberal nature, and who thought nothing too dear to expose, nor too difficult to undertake, for his friend; one that delighted not in the ruin of his neighbours, but could endure it, rather than the destruction of religion, law, and liberty; one that wanted not courage, yet chose rather to venture himself as a single person than as a leader in arms, and to serve his country in counsel than in action; no man in his nature, and his whole deportment, showed himself more of a gentleman than he.46 There was one Mr. Widmerpoole, a man of good extraction, but reduced to a small fortune, had declined all the splendour of an old house, and sunk into the condition of the middle men of the country, yet had a perfect honest heart to God, his country, and his friend; he had a good discretion, and though older than all the rest, was so humble as to be content to come in the rear of them all; having through the declining of his family, the slenderness of his estate, and the parsimony of his nature, less interest in the country.47 To yoke with him, there was a very honest man, who could not be reckoned among the gentry, though he was called by the name of Mr. Lomax,48 he was in the strength and perfection of his age, a stout and an understanding man, plain and blunt, but withal godly, faithful to his country, and honest to all men. There lived at Nottingham, a man called Mr. Salusbury, who had very good abilities with his pen, upon which he was taken in to be their secretary; but he proved ambitious and froward, and being poor, when he was after made treasurer, fell into some temptation; but carried at first a fair colour of religion and honesty. There were they with whom Mr. Hutchinson was first mated, whose character it was necessary thus far to hint at, for the better carrying on of his story.
Sir John Digby having notice that they had prevented him, by getting arms in their hands before, came not to Nottingham; where they, having now taken up the sword, saw it was not safe to lay it down again, and hold a naked throat to their enemys whetted knives. Whereupon, upon the parliaments commission for settling the militia sometime before, there having been three colonels nominated, viz. Sir Francis Thornhagh, Sir Francis Molineux, and Mr. Francis Pierrepont, they propounded to them to raise their regiments. Sir Francis Molineux altogether declined; Sir Francis Thornhagh appointed his son for his lieutenant-colonel, and began to raise a regiment of horse, with whom many of the honest men that first enlisted themselves with Mr. George Hutchinson, became troopers. Mr. John Hutchinson and his brother were persuaded to be lieutenant-colonel and major to Colonel Pierreponts regiment of foot;49 and accordingly Mr. George Hutchinson had immediately a very good standing company of foot, formed out of those townsmen who first came in to list under him. Mr. John Hutchinson had a full company of very honest, godly men, who came for love of him and the cause, out of the country. It was six weeks before the colonel could be persuaded to put on a sword, or to list any men, which at length he did, of substantial honest townsmen; and Mr. Poulton, a nephew of Sir Thomas Hutchinson, a stout young gentleman, who had seen some service abroad, was his captain-lieutenant. There were two companies more raised, one under Captain Lomax, and another under one Captain Scrimpshire. The first thing these gentlemen did was to call home Captain White with his dragoons, raised in Nottinghamshire, to the service of his own country; for Sir John Gell, at Derby, had received from Hull a regiment of grey coats, who were at first sent down from London, for the assistance of that place, when the king attempted it. They also sent to the Earl of Essex, to desire that Captain Ireton, with a troop of horse which he had carried out of the country into his excellencys army, might be commanded back, for the present service of his country, till it was put into a posture of defence; which accordingly he was, and was major of the horse regiment. They sent also to the parliament, and received from them a commission, with instructions, whereby they were empowered to levy forces and to raise contributions for maintaining them; with all authority for seizing delinquents, sequestering, and the like. The committee appointed were the parliament-men that served for the county, Mr. Francis Pierrepont, Mr. John Hutchinson, Mr. Francis Thornhagh, Mr. Gervase Pigott, Mr. Henry Ireton, Mr. George Hutchinson, Mr. Joseph Widmerpoole, Mr. Gervase Lomax, Dr. Plumptre, the mayor of Nottingham, Mr. James Chadwick, and Mr. Thomas Salusbury. Then did neighbouring counties everywhere associate for the mutual assistance of each other; and the parliament commissioned major-generals who commanded in chief, and gave out commissions to the several commanders of the regiments. Nottinghamshire was put into the association with Leicestershire and other counties, whereof Lord Grey of Grooby, eldest son of the Earl of Stamford, was commander-in-chief, and from him the gentlemen of Nottingham took their first commissions.50
The high sheriff and the malignant gentry, finding an opposition they expected not, wrote a letter to Mr. Francis Pierrepont and Mr. John Hutchinson, excusing the sheriffs force, that he brought with him, and desiring a meeting with them to consult for the peace of the country, security of their estates, and such like fair pretences;51 which letter was civilly answered them again, and the treaty kept on foot some fourteen days, by letters signed by the Lord Chaworth, Sir Thomas Williamson, Mr. Sutton, Sir Gervase Eyre, Sir John Digby, Sir Roger Cooper, Mr. Palmer, Mr. John Millington. At length a meeting was appointed at a village in the country on the forest side, where Mr. Sutton should have met Mr. John Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson came to the place, but found not Mr. Sutton there, only the Lord Chaworth came in and called for sack, and treated Mr. Hutchinson very kindly; when Mr. Hutchinson, telling my lord he was come according to appointment, to conclude the treaty which had been between Nottingham and Newark, my lord told him he knew nothing of it. Whereupon, Mr. Hutchinson being informed that some of my Lord Newcastles forces were to be in that town that night, and that Mr. Sutton was gone to meet them, and conduct them into the country, returned to Nottingham, where he received a kind of lame excuse from Mr. Sutton for his disappointing of him, and for their bringing strange soldiers into Newark, which they pretended was to save the town from the plunder of some Lincolnshire forces. But Mr. Hutchinson, seeing all their treaties were but a snare for him, would no longer amuse himself about them; but being certainly informed that Henderson, who commanded the soldiers at Newark, if he were not himself a papist, had many Irish papists in his troops, he, with the rest of the gentlemen, sent notice to all the towns about Nottingham, desiring the well-affected to come in to their assistance; which the ministers pressing them to do, upon Christmas-day, 1642, many came to them, and stayed with them till they had put themselves into some posture of defence.52
As soon as these strange soldiers were come into Newark, they presently began to block up and fortify the town, as on the other side, they at Nottingham began works about that town; but neither of them being yet strong enough to assault each other, they contented themselves to stand upon their own defence. The Earl of Chesterfield had raised some horse for the king, and was in the vale of Belvoir with them, where he had plundered some houses near Mr. Hutchinsons; whereupon Mr. Hutchinson sent a troop of horse in the night, for they were not strong enough to march in the day, and fetched away his wife and children to Nottingham.
The preservation of this town was a special service to the parliament, it being a considerable pass into the north, which, if the enemy had first possessed themselves of, the parliament would have been cut off from all intercourse between the north and south; especially in the winter time, when the river Trent is not fordable, and only to be passed over by the bridges of Nottingham and Newark, and up higher at a place called Wilden Ferry, where the enemy also had a garrison.53 The attempting to preserve this place in the midst of so many potent enemies, was a work of no small difficulty; and nothing but an invincible courage, and a passionate zeal for the interests of God and his country, could have engaged Mr. Hutchinson, who did not, through youthful inconsideration and improvidence, want a foresight of those dangers and travails he then undertook. He knew well enough that the town was more than half disaffected to the parliament; that had they been all otherwise, they were not half enough to defend it against any unequal force; that they were far from the parliament and their armies, and could not expect any timely relief or assistance from them; that he himself was the forlorn hope of those who were engaged with him, and had then the best stake among them; that the gentlemen who were on horseback, when they could no longer defend their country, might at least save their lives by a handsome retreat to the army; but that he must stand victorious, or fall, tying himself to an indefensible town. Although his colonel might seem to be in the same hazard, yet he was wise enough to content himself with the name, and leave Mr. Hutchinson to act in all things, the glory of which, if they succeeded, he hoped to assume; if they failed, he thought he had a retreat. But Mr. Hutchinson, though he knew all this, yet was he so well persuaded in his conscience of the cause, and of Gods calling him to undertake the defence of it, that he cast by all other considerations, and cheerfully resigned up his life, and all other particular interests to Gods dispose, though in all human probability he was more like to lose than to save them.
Note 1. The petition is printed under the following title: A Petition presented to the Kings Majesty at York, the 1st of April, by the inhabitants of the county of Nottingham, and the county of the town of Nottingham, subscribed by four thousand five hundred and forty hands of knights, esquires, gentlemen, freeholders, and the mayor, aldermen, and other inhabitants of the town of Nottingham. The royalists of the county replied to this petition by a joint letter to the knights serving for the county, urging them to join and comply with the king. It was signed by Sir John Digby and eighty knights and gentlemen, and is reprinted in the old Parliamentary History, xi, 256. See, on the presentation of the petition, Joseph Widmerpooles Letter in Appendix III. [back]
Note 2. On the date of this attempt to obtain possession of the powder, and the question of the truth of Mrs. Hutchinsons narrative, see the discussion in Appendix V. [back]
Note 3. Eldest son of the Earl of Kingston, and brother of two Mr. Pierreponts mentioned in this work; this nobleman was afterwards created Marquis of Dorchester, and will be spoken of under that title in the sequel. In the diary mentioned in the preface, the dialogue between Lord Newark and Mr. Hutchinson is set down at full length, and as it may be an object of curiosity to some of our readers, it is here inserted.
Mr. Hutchinson asking who were above, was told that the lord-lieutenant, my Lord Newark, was there, to whom he sent his name and desired to speak with him; and being come up, found in the room, where the powder was weighing, my Lord Newark, the sheriff Sir John Digby, and two or three captains: Mr. Hutchinson, addressing himself to my lord only, spoke to him: H. My lord, hearing that there was some question concerning the countys powder, I am come to kiss your lordships hands, and to beseech you that I may know what your desires and intents are concerning it? N. Cousin, the king desires to borrow it of the country, to supply his great necessities. H. I beseech your lordship, what commission have you to demand this? N. Upon my honour, I have a commission from his majesty, but it is left behind me; but I will engage my honour it shall be repaid the country. H. Your lordships honour as an engagement, would be accepted for more than I am worth; but in such an occasion as this, the greatest mans engagement in the kingdom cannot be a satisfaction to the country. N. The kings intents are only to borrow it, and if the country will not lend it, he will pay for it. H. My lord, it is not the value of the powder we endeavour to preserve, but in times of danger, as these are, those things which serve for our defence, are not valuable at any price, should you give as many barrels of gold as you take barrels of powder. N. Upon my faith and honour, cousin, it shall be restored in ten days. H. My lord, such is the danger of the times, that for aught we know, we may in less than four days be ruined for want of it; and I beseech your lordship to consider how sad a thing it is in these times of war, to leave a poor country and the people in it, naked and open to the injury of every passenger; for if you take our powder, you may as well take our arms, without which we are unable to make use of them, and I hope your lordship will not disarm the country. N. Why, who should the country fear? I am their lord-lieutenant, and engaged with my life and honour to defend them! What danger are they in? H. Danger! yes, my lord, great danger; there is a troop of horse now in the town, and it hath often happened so that they have committed great outrages and insolencies, calling divers honest men puritans and rogues, with divers other provoking terms and carriages. I myself was abused by some of them, as I passed on the road. I chanced to meet some of these gentlemen, who, as soon as I was past, inquired my name, and being told it, gave me another, saying among themselves, that I was a puritan and a traitor; as two or three honest men that came behind told me. Besides, your lordship may be far off, and we ruined before you can come to us, being unarmed, and not able to defend ourselves from anybody, and this country being a road through which, under the name of soldiers, rude people daily pass from the north to south, and terrify the country; which if they knew to be naked and unarmed, they would thereby be encouraged to greater insolencies and mischiefs. N. The kings occasions are such, and so urgent, as I cannot dispense with it for any reasons, but must needs have it. H. I hope your lordship will not deny that the country hath a right, interest, and property in it. N. I do not deny it. H. Then, my lord, I hope his majesty will not command it from them. N. No, he doth but desire to borrow it. H. Then, I hope, if he do but desire to borrow it, his majesty hath signified his request to those that have interest in it, under his hand. N. Upon my honour he hath, but I left it behind me. H. I beseech your lordship, then, that you would not take it away till you have acquainted the country with it, who only have power to lend it; and if your lordship be pleased to do this, I will engage myself that by to-morrow at twelve of the clock, that part of the country who have interest in the powder shall all wait on your lordship, and give you their resolutions. N. The kings occasions cannot admit of that delay. H. I beseech of your lordship, yet be pleased to consider the dangerous consequence of taking it without the countrys consent, and be pleased but to stay till they can come in. N. That time is more than his majestys necessities can dispense withal. With that Mr. Hutchinson went down stairs, where by that time a good company of the country were gathered together, to whom Mr. Hutchinson told what my lord had said to him, and they desired him that he would but stand to them, and they would part with every drop of blood out of their bodies before he should have it; and said besides, that they would go up and break my lords neck and the sheriffs out of the windows; but Mr. Hutchinson desired them to stay below, till he had once more spoken to my lord, and then, taking only one or two more with him, went up and spoke to my lord. H. My lord, I am again, at the request of the country, that are below, come to your lordship, and do once more humbly beseech you to consider the business you are about, before you proceed further in it, for it may prove of dangerous consequence if you go on. N. Cousin, I am confident it cannot, for the country will not deny this to the king. H. Its very probable they will not, if your lordship please to have patience till they can be called in, that they may be acquainted with his majestys desire. N. His majesty is very well assured of the willingness and cheerfulness of the greater part of the country to it. H. My lord, I do not know what assurance his majesty hath of it, but if you please to look out of this window (pointing to the countrymen below in the streets), you will see no inconsiderable number gathered, who, I fear, will not be willing to part with it. N. Those are but some few factious men, not to be considered. H. My lord, we have been happy yet, in these unhappy differences, to have had no bloodshed, and I am confident your lordship is so noble and tender of your country, that it would very much trouble you to have a hand in the first mans blood that should be spent in this quarrel. N. Cousin, it cannot come to that, fear it not (this was spoken very slightly and contemptuously), his majestys occasions are urgent, and must be served. (With that, the country came very fast up, which when the cavalier captains saw, they slunk down.) H. Why then, my lord, I must plainly tell you, not one here but will lose every drop of blood in his body, before he will part with one corn of it, without your lordship can show either a command or a request for it under his majestys hand and seal, or that the country be called together to give their free consent to it, for we have all property and interest in it, being members of this county, and it being bought with our money, for the particular defence and safety of the same. My lord desired to borrow part of it, but that being denied, he turned to Sir John Digby and took him to the window, where, after he had whispered with him a while, Sir John Digby laid down his pen, ink, and paper, with which he had been taking an account of the powder, match, and bullet. The countrymen desired my lord aloud, that he would not take away their powder out of the country; upon which, turning to them, he thus spoke: Gentlemen,His majesty was assured by some of the cheerfulness of this countrys affections to him, which I am very sorry to see them so much failing in, and that the country should come so much short of this town, which hath cheerfully lent his majesty one barrel of powder, but it seems he can have none from you; I pray God you do not repent this carriage of yours towards his majesty, which he must be acquainted withal. A countryman, standing forth, asked his lordship this question, Whether, if he were to take a journey into a place where probably he might be set upon by thieves and robbers, and having a charge about him, if any friend should ask him to lend his sword, he would part with it and go himself without? My lord, the case is ours; our wives, children, and estates, all depend upon this countrys safety; and how can it be safe in these dangerous times, when so many troops and companies pass through and commit outrages and abuses among us, if we have not arms and powder wherewith to defend us? My lord made no reply, but bade the men whom he had employed to weigh up the powder desist; and so went down the stairs. Mr. Hutchinson followed him, and as he went, an ancient gentleman, who was with my lord, whose face and name were both unknown to him, came to him and said these words: Stand to it; Ill warrant you, gentlemen, it is well done. And as they passed through a low room my lord took Mr. Hutchinson aside, and said, N. Cousin, I must acquaint the king with this. H. My lord, it is very likely you must, being employed upon his majestys service, give him an account. N. Nay, cousin (smiling), I mean not so but I must acquaint him, and I am sorry I must, that you are the head and ringleader of a faction, whereby you hinder his majestys service. H. My lord, I do not conceive how this can be a faction, I speaking only, out of the noble respect and honour I bear your lordship, in private to you, to prevent a mischief, the sense of these men, who I perceived were come to know by what authority, and why, their powder, which is their proper goods, and only means of safety in these times of danger, should be taken from them; and if it were a faction, I am not the head of it; I, accidentally coming to town from Sir John Birons last night, and neither knowing nor imagining any of this business, was this morning importuned to wait on your lordship, at the towns hall, by many countrymen, who informed me you were taking away their powder out of the country. N. Cousin, if you can answer it I shall be glad of it; but I will assure you I must let his majesty know. H. If his majesty must know it, I am very happy I spoke to none but your lordship; who, I am confident, is so noble, that you will neither add nor diminish anything to my prejudice; and then I am confident the justness and reasonableness of what I have said, with my own innocency in speaking it, will bear me out. N. I, cousin, but your name is up already. H. It may be so, my lord; and I believe those that set it up had no good wishes to me; and as it rose, so, in the name of God let it fall; for I know my own clearness and innocency in anything that can be objected against me. N. Well, cousin, well; I am glad of your good resolution. And so my lord left him. The gentlemen of the country that were there, upon consideration, what they should do with their powder, determined to return my lord thanks for sparing it and to lock it up with two locks, whereof the sheriff should have one key, and the mayor another; which accordingly was done; but Mr. Hutchinson came no more to my lord.J. H. 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Note 4. How my lord may have reported this matter to the king signifies little; but he probably remembered as a kindness Mr. Hutchinsons interposition between him and the more rough arguments of the countrymen; for there appears to have existed, on all suitable occasions, an intercourse of friendship during the remainder of their lives.J. H. [back]
Note 12. Commonly called Edge Hill tight. Both king and parliament claimed the victory but our authoress shows rather more candour than either. The kings main design of marching to London was, however, frustrated, and therefore the parliament might be most properly termed gainers.J. H. [back]
Note 14. By reason of the suddenness of his march and diligence to follow the kings army, he had left behind two regiments of his foot, one under the command of Colonel Grantham, the other of Colonel Hampden, together with eleven troops of horse, behind but one days march, and left to bring on the artillery, which was seven pieces of cannon with great store of ammunition.May, Long Parliament, p. 257. [back]
Note 16. Essex came to Westminster on November 7th, and received the thanks of the Parliament. [back]
Note 17. November 12th. The general rendezvous mentioned a few lines later, took place at Turnham Green on Sunday, November 13th. The troops occupying Kingston, being called away to join the main body, the kings retreat was left free; in the words of May a fatal door was opened to let out the enclosed king. [back]
Note 18. William Cavendish, Earl and afterwards Marquis (27th October 1643), and Duke (March 16, 1664) of Newcastle. See his Life by his second wife. The Duchess says he raised himself a volunteer troop of horse, which consisted of one hundred and twenty knights and gentlemen of quality, p. 6, ed. 1906. [back]
Note 19. Clarendon tells an amusing story of the Earl of Kingstons parsimony.Rebellion, vi. 59. [back]
Note 20. Lord Newark, before spoken of. In Collinss Peerage, under the title of Duke of Kingston, there are cited singular proofs of this noblemans learning.J. H. [back]
Note 21. Mr. Golding should rather be called one of the collectors for raising the contributions of the Roman Catholics for carrying on the late war against the Scots. See Rushworth, III, ii, 1603. Mr. Golding is mentioned by Rushworth as one of the collectors for Leicestershire. [back]
Note 22. Lloyd in his Memoirs of Excellent Personages, p. 487, gives a brief account of Sir John Biron. He was one of the best soldiers in the kings service, but his skill was sullied by cruelty. In the winter of 1643 he was appointed Field Marshal of Cheshire, Shropshire, and North Wales, and held out in Chester till February 1646. In one of his letters he thus relates the capture of a church occupied by the parliamentary troops: I put them all to the sword, which I find the best way to proceed with these kind of people, for mercy to them is cruelty. There are many of his letters in the Clarendon correspondence, and in Cartes collection of original letters and papers. He was succeeded in the title by his brother Richard in 1652. [back]
Note 23. These names, and those of others not here mentioned, are to be found annexed to the letter to the knights of the shire, in reply to the petition of the county, which has been before mentioned. [back]
Note 24. Robert Sutton, born 1594, died 1668, created Lord Lexington in 1645. He was one of the leaders in the defence of Newark, and after its surrender paid £5,000 to compound for his estates. Major-General Whalley writes of him in 1655: He is in this county termed the devil of Newark; he exercised more cruelty, as I am informed, than any, nay, than all that garrison against the parliament soldiers, when they fell into his power.Thurloe Papers, iv, 364. [back]
Note 25. From this gentleman the present Earl Manvers is descended. Mr. Sanford in his Studies and Illustrations of the Great Rebellion (p. 400) thus describes his position in character: William Pierrepont, if any value is to be attached to the general testimony of his contemporaries of all parties, was a man of very superior mind and remarkable soundness of judgment. In his family he was distinguished by the soubriquet of Wise William; and the title appears to have had a positive as well as a relative signification. Yet, personally, we know next to nothing of him; and his influence on public events, whatever its extent, seems to have been a still more silent one than that of Hampden. He was always greatly respected and consulted on great crises by men of the most opposite tendencies; but his opinion seems to have been as often rejected as followed, and his own political conduct is marked by no little indecision and some inconsistency. We may, perhaps, conclude that the aid of his calm and dispassionate judgment was sought by many of the leaders of the parliament, rather as a means of opening up any subject thoroughly to their own minds, and as a pledge of moderation to others, than with any purpose of being entirely guided by his judgment, or of carrying practically into effect the exact line of policy he recommended. In his religious opinions he belonged to the party of tolerance, and ranked himself with Vane and Cromwell; on civil questions he frequently took a less decided and practical view. Pierrepont was member for Great Wenlock. [back]
Note 26. On June 30th, 1642, Henry Ireton was nominated captain of the horse troop, and George White captain of the foot company of the forces of the town of Nottingham, and on the first of July, on the petition of the Mayor of Nottingham, and of Ireton himself, leave was given to the latter to carry down arms for the service of the town.Journals of the House of Commons. [back]
Note 27. The portraits of the parliamentary leaders in Vicars Englands Worthies (1647), and Ricrafts Survey of Englands Champions (1647), supply an excellent illustration of this statement. Not one man is represented with short hair. [back]
Note 28. It is customary, in Nottinghamshire, to call every village of any size a town.J. H. [back]
Note 29. The narrative contained in the manuscript note-book, preserved in the British museum, commences at this point. [back]
Note 30. See the note in Appendix VI, on the character of Sir John Gell, and the truth of the charges here brought against him. [back]
Note 31. Mary, daughter of Sir John Radclyffe of Ordsal.Collinss Peerage. [back]
Note 32. There are more puppets that move by the wire of a Diurnal, as Brereton and Gell, two of Mars his petty-toes, such snivelling cowards, that it is a favour to call them so.Cleveland, Character of a London Diurnal. [back]
Note 33. There is a letter extant from Cromwell to the Earl of Clare, June 16, 1646, in which he speaks disparagingly of White. I do admire your lordships character of Major White; its to the life. I can with some confidence speak of it being no stranger to him. He is of a right stamp in this, that he would have the honestest men disbanded first, the other being more suitable to his and the common design. The general will instantly order the Nottingham horse to Worcester.Report on the MSS. of the Duke of Portland, ii. 137. [back]
Note 34. By the king is here meant Charles the Second; the Rebellion under Sir George Booth having taken place in 1659, after the death of Cromwell.J. H. [back]
Note 35. On October 31, 1642, Sir John Gell marched to Derby, and there began to give out commissions. Some five days after Captain White came to him out of Nottinghamshire, with a company of dragoons, consisting of about twenty-seven, but before he departed he made them up one hundred and forty, all well armed, under the command of the said Sir John Gell.Gells True Relation, Glovers Derbyshire, vol. i, Appendix, p. 52. [back]
Note 36. John James was mayor for 16412. The aldermen about this time were William Gregory, William Nixe, Richard Hardmett, Toplady, Robert Burton, and William Drury. Burton was voted unfit to continue an alderman on Aug. 13, 1644.Nottingham Records, v. 223. [back]
Note 37. It said of him, in Thorotons History of Notts, He was a person eminent in his profession, of great note for wit and learning, as he had formerly been for poetry, when he printed a book of epigrams: a species of composition which the more it pleases the reader, the less it renders the author beloved. This inclination to sport with the feelings of others was not at all likely to recommend him to Mr. Hutchinson, nor make him a good associate in weighty and serious business.J. H. Dr. Plumptre died on June 23, 1660. An account of him is given in Baileys Annals of Nottinghamshire, p. 869. See also Woods Fasti under the year 1656. [back]
Note 38. Doubtless many adhered to the parliaments side merely on a civil and political account, and these would naturally unite with the independents, as having no inclination to support the pretensions of the presbyterians. It is said by Clarendon, that many deists took part with the independents; and it is not improbable that Dr. Plumptre might have an inclination at least to scepticism, as sarcasm was his talent, and for this he was termed an atheist by Mrs. Hutchinson, who was a rigorist. After the deaths of Colonel Hutchinson and Dr. Plumptre, there began a great friendship between their families, which lasted many generations. Charles, the half-brother of Colonel Hutchinson, and his successor in his estate at Owthorpe and in the borough of Nottingham, was guardian of Dr. Plumptres son, and is represented by Thoroton to have executed his trust with great fidelity. The Editor has in his possession several pieces, in verse and prose, written by the late Dr. Charles Hutchinson, in favour of the last Mr. Plumptre, who represented the town of Nottingham, and in vindication of him against a party headed by Langford Collin, Esq., a lineal descendant of Colonel Hutchinsons master gunner, who will be spoken of hereafter: they are all in a jocose or satirical style; but one of them, a short advertisement, which too well described Mr. Collin, was deemed libellous, and cost Dr. Hutchinson £500, which was well repaid by Mr. Plumptres obtaining for him a kings living of £350 per annum. At this time Mr. Plumptre and Mr. Hutchinsons families were of the Whig or Hanover party, Mr. Collin of the Tory or Jacobite.J. H. [back]
Note 39. There is a mention of Chadwick in Straffords Correspondence. Laud was induced to recommend him to Strafford for a second barons place in the Exchequer. Strafford replied, Mr. Chadwick is not held here so fit as yet for the bench: nay the chief baron hath a very mean opinion of his judgment in his own profession.Strafford Letters, i. 268299. [back]
Note 40. On this history of the court of the Honour of Peveril, see Briscoes Old Nottinghamshire, first series, p. 91. Nottingham had been exempted from this court by the charter of Edward II. in 1321. It was purchased from the Eland family by a branch of the Hutchinson family which settled at Basford, and by this unworthy branch, as Mr. Hutchinson calls it, it was allowed to fall into disuse. The king revived the court in 1638, for the benefit of Lord Goring. At the opening of the Long Parliament, its jurisdiction again came to a stop. In 1658 Whalley attempted to restore it, but on a letter from the corporation of Nottingham the design was given up. On August 1, 1659, there was read in the House of Commons, the humble petition of divers of the inhabitants of the counties of Nottingham and Derby, against setting up a Court of Record and Court of Equity in the county of Nottingham, by the steward of the Honour of Peveril. It was referred to a committee, of which Colonel Hutchinson was one. A petition against Colonel Chadwick had also been presented on February 13, 1657 (Journals of the House of Commons). [back]
Note 41. On February 2, 1642, Lord Clare was elected Recorder, and on July 14 he appointed Millington his deputy, and Chadwick to supply the place till Millington should come.Nottingham Records, v. 203, 205. [back]
Note 42. Mr. Bailey gives the following extract from the Hull Book of Nottingham, which explains the incident alluded to. The king arrived at Nottingham on July 21, 1642. July 21, 1642. This company (i.e. the mayor and corporation) do hold it fitting to present the prince with fifty pounds in gold and a purse; and Mr. Chadwick, at the request of the company, is content to prepare a speech to the princes highness, and to present the same purse and gold. [back]
Note 43. Major-general Whalley gives a much more favourable character of Chadwick. The business for ejecting ministers goes on very well in Lincolnshire; I had almost forgot to tell you that Colonel Chadwick is very forward to serve his highness in this business both at Nottingham and Derby, being recorder for both the towns, and being very able and well-esteemed of, even amongst honest and godly men, as far as I can hitherto learn. Certainly it was not a true character that was given of him to his highness.Letter to Thurloe, November 17, 1655. [back]
Note 44. Mr. Francis Pierrepont, who will frequently be mentioned again in the course of the story, when it will be clearly seen that Mrs. Hutchinson here speaks with candour, or rather favour of him, though he was her husbands opponent.J. H. [back]
Note 45. Colonel Thornhagh is often mentioned by other writers, and always with praise in his military capacity, in which only he was known to the public. Mrs. Hutchinson here delineates with a masterly hand a frank, open, unsuspecting, amiable soldier. The family of Colonel Thornhagh continued to nourish in the county of Nottingham so late as the year 1750, at which time one of them represented the county; they are believed to be now extinct in the male line, and their possessions to have centered in a female who was the lady of Francis Ferrand Foljambe, Esq.J. H. [back]
Note 46. Mr. Pigott survived Colonel Hutchinson about five years. He was summoned to parliament by Cromwell, but it is very uncertain whether he condescended to sit or not to sit. Thoroton, in his History of Nottinghamshire, says of him that he was a person of great parts, natural and acquired; he was sheriff of the county in 1669, and died presently after the summer assizes; at which time, being in mourning for his daughter Mary, wife of Robert, eldest son of Sir Francis Burdett, of Formark, he gave his attendants black liveries with silver trimmings, which served for his own funeral. His sobriety, ingenuity, generosity, piety, and other virtues, few of his rank will ever exceed, if any equal. [back]
Note 47. The pedigree of the family of Widmerpoole, in Thoroton shows him to have been of very ancient and good descent; his ancestor represented the town of Nottingham in the reign of Edward the Third.J. H. [back]
Note 48. A letter by Mr. Lomax is printed in the Fairfax Correspondence, Memorials of the Civil Wars, vol. i, p. 220. [back]
Note 49. A paper amongst the miscellaneous Exchequer MSS. of this period in the Record Office gives the dates of Hutchinsons various commissions. His commission as lieutenant colonel was dated January 9, 1643. [back]
Note 50. The ordinance for the association of the counties of Northampton, Leicester, Derby, Rutland, Nottingham, Huntingdon, Bedford, and Buckingham is given in Rushworth, vol. III, ii, 119. It is dated January 16, 1643. [back]
Note 51. The correspondence relative to the proposed treaty of neutrality for Nottinghamshire is printed in Appendix VII, from the copies in Mrs. Hutchinsons Note-Book in the British Museum. [back]
Note 52. On the 4th of December the corporation of Nottingham subscribed £100, and the members of the committee £200, for the payment of the soldiers then in the town. On the 18th the members of the corporation, in company with ten other gentlemen, held a meeting at the Guildhall, when it was unanimously agreed to invite the gentlemen of the county to join with the townspeople for the defence of the town.Bailey, Annals of Notts, p. 973; Nottingham Records, v. 207. The troops in the town at this time seem to have been mainly Derbyshire men. Gells True Relation says, Derbyshire being cleared, Captain White went to Nottingham Castle, seized upon all the arms, and sent to Sir John Gell immediately to assist him with some foot, whereupon he sent his Major Mollanus with three hundred foot, when he began to fortify Nottingham, and set them in a posture of defence, and assisted Colonel Pierrepont to make up his regiment of foot, and we continued there some nine or ten days. After their departure Sir John Henderson writes from Newark on January 5, 1643: There is no force at all in Nottingham except Captain Whites, who has retired to the castle and victualled it. They have cast three pieces of ordnance in Nottingham which lie as yet in the town.Sixth Report of Hist. MSS. Commission, p. 1 (where it is wrongly dated 1644). [back]
Note 53. In the place of Wilden Ferry has been substituted in modern days a very beautiful bridge, called Cavendish Bridge, with a good and firm road of considerable length at each end to approach it; it is about midway on the high road between Loughborough and Derby. There is near to it a place called Sawley Ferry, little used, and hardly at all practicable in winter.J. H. [back]