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

Appendix XXXI: The Capture of Sir Marmaduke Langdale

A letter from Sir Marmaduke Langdale, given in the Fairfax Correspondence (Memorials of the Civil War, vol. ii. p. 60), gives an account of his flight after Preston. ‘Sir’, he begins, ‘this will give you an account of my employment, which is now ended, being a prisoner in Nottingham Castle, where I have civil usage’. During the first portion of his flight he was accompanied by Lord Callendar and many others, but finally parted company. ‘I resolved to sever and shift every man for himself; but capitulate I could not with a safe conscience…. I marched towards Nottingham where those few I had took several ways, and I got that night over Trent and came to a house six miles from Nottingham, where myself, Colonel Owen, Lieutenant-colonel Gallard, and Major Constable thought to have shrouded ourselves, and so made no resistance, but were discovered, and so are in Nottingham Castle’. The letter is dated August 26, 1648.

A letter from Captain Poulton to Mr. William Pierrepont (Tanner MSS., lvii. 227) completes the story.

‘SIR,—This day intelligence being given to me by a prisoner which was taken and brought to me, that Sir Marmaduke Langdale with some nine more were past over the Trent and intended southward, and immediately afterwards certain information being brought to me by a countryman, that there was a party at a place called the Lodge in the Oulds, pretending themselves to be Lieutenant-general Cromwell his men, which I knew could not be so, I speedily got what horse I could possible together, which was about twelve, and gave orders for a party of foot to follow me. With those horse I went to the said place and found Major Widmerpoole and two men in the yard with the pretended party of Lord Cromwell his men, which after proved Sir Marmaduke Langdale, Colonel Owen, Colonel Constable, one other gentleman and five servants, who were then ready and absolutely intended had not we appeared, either to have slain Major Widmerpoole with his two men, or taken them some miles and then turned them up (?). Sir, I have not only a great charge of the castle, but also of many considerable prisoners, having both Langhorn and his party, Langdale and his, and some which was in the plot about the castle, all prisoners remaining in it. My humble desire is that you could be pleased to get an addition of foot for this place and maintenance for them, that I may be enabled to render an account of so great a charge committed to me. I will not be uncivil to trouble you with many lines, but shall humbly refer you to the bearer for further news. No more at present from, Sir, your honour’s most humble servant,

NOTTINGHAM CASTLE, August 23, 1648.

P.S.—Sir, Colonel Hutchinson was pleased to go along with us to the taking of Sir Marmaduke Langdale and the rest’.

Mercurius Pragmaticus (August 22–29) adds the following detail. Sir Marmaduke Langdale ‘being in an alehouse and suspected by some saints of the town, they have to examine him and the gentlemen with him who they were; they answered, they were of the army; being asked under whom, they said Lord Cromwell; with which answers they went away satisfied. But meeting with three or four of their servants without, and questioning them likewise, they answered, those gentlemen within were their masters, and that they were under Lambert: so that this difference in the account wrought a jealousy’.

A letter from the committee to Mr Pierrepont gives a few further details (Tanner MSS., lvii. 233).

‘HONOURABLE SIR,—We have sent up this gentleman, Captain-lieutenant Worthington, a known man for his constant and good affection to the Parliament, to attend you now to present this good news, of Sir Marmaduke Langdale being taken prisoner, with Colonel Owen, Lieutenant-colonel Gallard, Major Constable, Lieutenant Bellomye, and five more by Major Widmerpoole, a gentleman of constant affection and fidelity to the Parliament, and who hath also done much service in their cause. He had in the apprehension of the said prisoners to his assistance his own servant and the captain-lieutenant only. We conceive it will be grateful to the honourable House to be acquainted with this news, which we beseech you impart to them. We have no more to present to you but the humble service of your faithful servants,

W. DRURY, Mayor.
NOTTINGHAM, August 24, 1648.

The committee at the same time sent up Major Widmerpoole to deliver the papers found on Langdale and represent the grievances of the county. These two letters were read in the House of Commons on August 26th, and Mr Worthington received a reward of fifty pounds, while it was ordered that Widmerpoole should be indemnified for his losses out of the Earl of Newcastle’s estates.