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

Appendix XXI: Attempt to Surprise Nottingham, February 17, 1644

The Kingdom’s Weekly Intelligencer, February 20, 27, 1643/4, contains the following: ‘For the plot to betray the garrison at Nottingham it hath been already in part related. I shall only add some part of a letter from the valiant gentleman the governor of Nottingham, dated the 18th of February, 1643, subscribed J. H., in these words:—

‘“Sir, this day God hath wrought for us a great deliverance from a design the enemy had against our bridges, which are the very key of our garrison; this being the market day, Shelford and Wiverton had chosen out thirty of their men who in disguises should come like women and market people, and with long knives, daggers, hatchets, and such kind of weapons as they had hid under their clothes, seize on the guards, and given a shout just when they had done, and then the rest of their horse and foot should have fallen on with those in the disguises, should have murdered the men at the bridge, and seized upon the gates next the town. But I, having notice of this plot, sent over night to the lieutenant-colonel to be very careful, and in the morning gave order that all the horse and foot should be gotten ready, but drew them not out, because the enemy should have no knowledge of my warning. My brother set out the sentries beyond the bridge and took the first twelve with their weapons, which were upon the bridge and should first have fallen upon the guards. Our horse went out after, but the enemy perceiving the bustling at the bridge when the first were taken, ran away; and in pursuit our men took nine more, and drove nine of them into the Trent with their captain; the captain escaped, but five of them were drowned, and three taken”’.

An account of this incident, rather different in the details, is given by Vicars, Parliamentary Chronicle, part iii., p. 163.