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

Appendix XXVI: Two Letters from Colonel Hutchinson to Lord Fairfax in May, 1645

At the time when these letters were written the New Model under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax had just commenced the investment of Oxford (May 22, 1645). The king had left Oxford on the 7th of May with the intention of relieving Chester. He found the siege raised, and was on the 23d and 24th of May in Staffordshire meditating an attack on Leicester. Cromwell, who in company with Browne had been detached to observe the king’s movements, and had proceeded as far as Warwick, was then recalled to take part in the siege of Oxford.


For the right honourable Lord Fairfax, commander-in-chief of the northern forces.

‘MY LORD,—I have received this letter from Lieutenant-general Cromwell this day. I do not know of what concernment it may be, and therefore I despatch it with such haste to your lordship that I have not leisure at present to give you an account of some passages in this garrison as I ought to do. I hope I shall have leisure shortly, either to wait on your lordship myself, or at least fully to acquaint you how things are here with us. In the meantime I beseech you be pleased to pardon the haste of your most faithful and humble servant,
NOTTINGHAM, May 23d, 1645.

Colonel Rossiter is not joined with us, and hath this day sent us word, that he hath given your lordship a reason for it, which your lordship is well satisfied in.

Newark do not stir, but be ready prepared with their dragoons’.


‘May it please your Lordship,—I have intelligence at this instant that the enemy at Newark are drawing out this night with all their horse and dragoons, whether to the north or to the king is uncertain, and another messenger tells me they are now drawn out and are marching this way. Derby and Lincoln horse are not yet united with those of this garrison, which are in such ill ease to march for want of pay, that they will rather mutiny than obey commands. Colonel Vermuden, I hear, is upon his march northward at Elvaston, in Derbyshire, within nine miles of this garrison. I have given him notice hereof, and have no more to your lordship but that I am, my lord, your lordship’s humble servant,

I have intelligence even now, by a drummer of mine from Newark, that they are designed for Pontefract’.

NOTTINGHAM, 24th May 1645, atone of the clock, afternoon.

Colonel Hutchinson was mistaken as to the intentions of the Newark troops, for Sir Richard Willis, with 1,200 horse, joined the king on May 28th, and took part in the capture of Leicester on the 30th (Symonds’ Diary, p. 179). The horse of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire, the Lincolnshire troops being commanded by Colonel Rossiter, had been ordered to unite and join with the advancing Scotch army. Colonel Vermuden, with 2,500 horse and dragoons, part of the forces lately commanded by Cromwell, was detached for the same purpose, by order of the Committee of Both Kingdoms dated May 15. By the same letter Cromwell was recalled to take part in the siege of Oxford (Rushworth, vi. 33). These two letters of Colonel Hutchinson’s are from the Fairfax Correspondence, Memorials of the Civil War, vol. i. pp. 221, 222.