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

Appendix XXVII: Two Letters Relating to Skirmishes near Nottingham, in the Autumn of 1645

To my honoured friend, Gilbert Millington, Esq.

‘SIR,—I know you will be glad to hear in what conditions we are in this place. The king quarters at this present about Welbeck and Worksop Manor, where he hath not above fifteen hundred horse, and those so tired and ill armed, that he is able to do little service with them. During their time of quartering on the south side Trent near us (which hath been for the space of eight days or thereabouts), we from hence continually alarmed them, and found them of so daunted and dejected spirits, that twenty of our men charged fifty of them in a town where the queen’s regiment is quartered, and killed and took thirty of them, and if they had had more strength, might have brought away many more; they took and brought away with them thirty horse with some good luggage; another time since that, forty of ours charged one hundred and twenty of them at Langar, routed them, killed near twenty, took fourteen, one whereof is a major who is sore wounded. I cannot certainly acquaint you what the king intends: the reports are some for the relief of Skipton, others Chester, and some others say that Colonel Rossiter and we so visited their quarters, that they make trial of other for more security. I have made some more discoveries of other countrymen, who were engaged in the betraying of the Trent Bridges; and they likewise testify that Sir Gervase Clifton was engaged in the plot against the castle, Kirke, the chief actor, is condemned by a council of war to be hanged on Saturday next; I know, sir, tedious letters are a trouble to you, than which I shall rather choose to break off abruptly, remaining, sir, your obliged friend and humble servant,
NOTTINGHAM, October 15, 1645.

For the Honourable Colonel Thornhagh, at the King’s Head, in the Strand, these, with my humble service.

‘SIR—Since your departure hence, parties have been sent out every night, but the enemy have drawn into their garrisons continually that nothing could be attempted; only on Friday morning last, Corporal Cross, who is one of my corporals, with twenty horse of Captain Pendock’s and mine did fall into Bridgeford super Mount, whither the queen’s regiment were newly come and all mounted, they charged through them, routed the whole regiment, killed eight besides what were wounded, and brought off sixteen prisoners, twenty-eight horse, without loss of one man. And on Saturday following, my lieutenant, with forty-two men going to secure the market, fell into Langar, where the Earl of Northampton’s regiment were drawing out to a rendezvous, being about two hundred horse; thirty of our men charged about eighty of them, and routed them, and falling into the town with them, they killed between twenty and thirty, and a captain: they took a major, nine others, and twenty-seven horse, without loss of one man. I desire that God may have the praise of all, for He is worthy. On Sunday, Captain Pendock and my lieutenant, with a hundred and fifty horse, went to Ekering to gain intelligence, and the king quartered at Tuxford, Laxton, and Lymonton with his whole army, but they wanted men to fall upon any quarters. I am just now sending a small party to Ekering.

Since I began this letter, I hear that the king quarters this night about Welbeck and Worksop, and (as report gives it) he is for the north. Sir, be pleased to procure some arms, if it be possible, and some money, for the country is impoverished, and the soldiers in great want. Sir, I have no more but to assure you, that I am, sir, your most humble servant,

NOTTINGHAM, October 13th,
about 8 at night.

Sir, I beseech you present my service to Master Millington, and excuse my not writing to him’.

These two letters are printed in a pamphlet entitled ‘Several Letters from Colonel-general Poyntz, Lieutenant-general Cromwell, Colonel Hutchinson, and Colonel White, of the late great victory near Sherborne in the north, with some other happy successes in the west’. The original of Colonel Hutchinson’s letter is amongst the papers of the House of Lords, and is printed in an abridged form, in the Sixth Report of the Historical MSS. Commission, Appendix, p. 80.

The king and his forces were about Nottingham from August 15th to 22d, 1645, and from October 4th to November 3d (vide Iter Carolinum, and the Diary of Richard Symonds, published by the Camden Society). The king formed the plan of marching north to join Montrose, but during his march received at Welbeck (October 13) the news that Montrose had retired further north, and that the Scotch army lay between Northallerton and Newcastle. On this the king retired again to Newark, and detached Lord Digby with fifteen hundred horse to join Montrose. Digby was defeated at Sherborne on the 15th of October, and the king, finding himself in danger of being blockaded in Newark by Colonel Poyntz and Colonel Rossiter, returned to Oxford, which he reached on the 5th of November (Clarendon, ix. 122, 132).