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

Appendix XII: For Our Honoured Friend Gilbert Millington, Esq.

SIR,—We have been acquainted with a letter written by Lieutenant-colonel Hutchinson (now governor of this castle), whereby he declareth how himself and this committee are straitened and deprived of that liberty they formerly enjoyed with their families in the town; for when our horse dragoons and some foot were drawn out into Lincolnshire, and but two companies left in town (not able to defend it), and many of those soldiers so ill affected that some are since gone to the enemy, and the greatest part of the town so malignant, that they were ready to deliver up the town to the enemy, had he made any attempt upon it, we durst no longer hazard ourselves there, the watches and guard being so neglected by the soldiery for want of pay, but were forced to remove into the castle, and dispose of our wives and families elsewhere. We have great cause to second his motion for a table at the public charge, we having hitherto sustained our wives and families out of our own estates, more than any committee in England have done besides ourselves (as we verily believe). We have had our houses and grounds plundered abroad in the country, and almost all we have taken away because we are engaged in this service here. We are but five or six of us, and a table for so many, with some few officers besides, will not much burthen the country, the charge of the whole garrison being now contracted into a narrow compass. We would not presume to erect a table of ourselves, without the approbation of that honourable assembly, though there be precedent for it not far from us. We purpose to be as thrifty as it may be possible, so that the charge of it will not be considerable; it will afford us some conveniency, which is the thing first moved us to it, and we humbly conceive it not to be unreasonable.

Sir, we have hitherto been burthened with great and chargeable work for fortification of the town and otherwise, and having of a long time had no horse or dragoons to fetch in means to defray those charges, or for the pay of our soldiers, are now into arrear with them. If you would therefore be pleased to move the House for some money to be allowed us from them, though it were but £500, we never yet having received one penny from the parliament (though more active than some who have wasted vast sums and done no great service to the public), we should then hope with God’s assistance to defend this town and castle (though we have not above three hundred soldiers), and be able to render a good account of the trust reposed in us.

Which favours, Sir, we earnestly crave from you, whose former readiness to do us good, doth still embolden us to cast ourselves upon your further care of us.—Your faithful, thankful servants,

26th August, 1643.

The original of this letter is in the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library, vol. lxii. p. 295.

The letter was read in the House of Commons on the 5th September, and the request of the committee granted.—Commons Journal.