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Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681). Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson. 1906.

Appendix IV: Copy of a Letter from a Gentleman near Nottingham to His Friend in London

‘I received your last letter and books for which I thank you, as also D. D. for his. I came on Wednesday night last from the court at Nottingham, where I saw the king set up his standard on Monday night before. The manner thereof was this: His majesty came into the castle-yard, accompanied with the prince, duke, Prince Robert and Maurice his brother, the Duke of Richmond and divers other courtiers and cavaliers, and finding out the highest pointed hill in the yard, from whence it might be perspicuous, the standard was brought in, and there erected. At which time all the courtiers and spectators flung up their caps, and whooped, crying “God save King Charles and hang up the Roundheads”, and so whooped the king to his lodgings. After which, the standard was thence removed to the highest tower of the castle, where it hangs blowing, and so must, till the king advanceth his camp forward, then it removes with him. It is a long pole, like a maypole, painted red on the upper end, whereof hangs a large silk flag (in form of a scutcheon) with a red cross and two lions passant upon two crowns. The Prince Robert was next day made general of the horse, and had a ribbon and George delivered him; and so had the Duke of York. And the king made declaration that whoso would go that afternoon with Prince Rupert against Coventry and Warwick, it should be acceptable service. Whereupon he and divers others went away thither, where the king had sent about six hundred horse and foot a week before, who, on Saturday and Sunday last, had been beaten by the men of Coventry (who keep the Cavaliers out), having slain one, and wounded divers of them, and themselves lost two or three. Warwick Castle keeps them off, where twelve men have been slain, most of the king’s side. There is no considerable party at Nottingham to do anything. Monday and Tuesday, very few came in; but there is great expectation of multitudes from Wales and Westmoreland. Yorkshire stands firm. Drums beat about Nottingham for volunteers for the king, who will be at Lincoln this night, where all the gentry are summoned to meet him. Troops of horses are coming to be billeted in our county; we fear outrages by them. They commit rapine and spoil already about Nottingham, having ransacked gentlemen’s houses, made one Master Needham’s own cart bring away to Nottingham bedding, linen, pewter, butter, cheese, and other things out of his house; he is accounted a Roundhead. So at York; sixteen of them beset a knight’s house (whom the king had disjusticed), broke in, sought for the knight, whom they would have slain (as themselves declared), but he getting away (by the help of his servants), they took £70 in money, his plate, and divers other things, and so returned. Some of them are apprehended. They give out that Roundheads’ estates shall be free prize; and indeed against them is the quarrel, whom I hope the Lord will protect. My house is much threatened and I do verily expect an assault, for which I have prepared to defend myself. We think the parliament forces too slow in coming down’.

Mr Bailey, who quotes this letter in his History of Nottinghamshire, thinks that it is by Col. Hutchinson, on account of the reference to the plunder of Mr Needham’s house which is mentioned in the Memoirs, and the writer’s own danger.