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

Appendix X: The Earl of Newcastle’s Letter to the Committee of Nottingham

A contemporary newspaper supplies both Newcastle’s summons and the answer of the Committee, introducing them with the following explanation:—

‘At Scarbrough Sir Hugh the apostate is infested by Sir Tho. Fairfax, who quarters his horse on Sir Hugh’s neighbours, and he dares not sally out to help them. Sir Thomas being in the field with twenty troops of horse, besides foot (the Lord Fairfax having a considerable strength in Hull also) and enlarging his quarters almost within eight miles of York, driving away horse, cattle and sheep in great numbers, which put the Yorkers into such a fright, that they sent the late Earl, and now Marquis of Newcastle, word, if he did not return, they must be enforced to secure themselves under the protection of others, which diverted his Lordship from the intended siege of Boston, and hastenned his march into Yorkshire again, where now he is. But before he departed the County of Lincoln, he sent this ensuing summons to the Town of Nottingham.

‘“To the Commander in chiefe of the castle and Towne of Nottingham, and the rest of the gentlemen and others, remaining and inhabiting there.
‘“Since I hold it my duty to God and the King, by all means to avoid the effusion of blood, and more especially in my own country, before I proceed any further, I have thought fit to signify to you all; That if you shall upon sight hereof submit your selves, lay down your arms most unjustly taken up against your dread Soveraign, and immediately return to your due allegiance, his Majesty is graciously pleased to authorise me to receive you into his mercy and favour, which I shall as willingly do, as to bring you to obedience by force, if you shall now refuse, And I cannot but wonder whilst you fight against the King, and his authority, you should so boldly presume to professe yourselves for the King and Parliament. Be no longer deceived, for that blood that shall be shed in that quarrell will fall upon your own heads. I have no other ends in this, but let you see your errors, if you please; if not, let me receive your answers, and that without delay. And if you resolve to persist in your obstinacy, you may then expect no other than what is due to so high contemners of his Majesty’s Grace and favour offered you by

‘“LINCOLNE, 6 Aug. 1643.

Answer of the Nottingham Committee to the Earl of Newcastle.

‘“To the right honourable William Earl of Newcastle.
‘“We the committee and commanders intrusted by lawfull authoritie of parliament for this garrison of Nottingham, having this day received summons from your lordship to submit ourselves and lay downe our arms do return this answer, that when we first entered uppon this service we were undoubtedly persuaded of the lawfulness of this action, both in respect of God and man, and that therefore as we dare not so neither will we betray that trust for which we must be responsible both to God and the world. But are resolved with the help of Almighty God to persist in our obedience to the King and Parliament, and maintain that which we have undertaken with the utmost hazard of our lives and fortunes.
‘“7th of August.

[From Mercurius Britannicus, for August 23–29, 1643.]