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

Appendix XXXIII: Letter from the Mayor and Town of Nottingham to the Speaker

‘RIGHT HONOURABLE,—This morning the Lord Biron with Colonel Charles White, and divers other persons whose names are not yet discovered, rendezvoused themselves in the forest of Sherwood, near Sansom Wood, six miles distant from this town, where there appeared between sixty and eighty persons, some with swords and pistols, and other weapons, and from thence, intended to have seized on Captain Edward Cludd, and the militia troop under his command; but divers of the prisoners taken by the inhabitants of our town of Nottingham, upon their examination taken before us, have confessed that they had intelligence that the country troop was gone to Newark, to join with two troops that came thither the last night, belonging to the army of this Commonwealth; and that thereupon the said Lord Biron and his company, receiving further intelligence that Captain Cludd and his soldiers were ready to engage to fight, they hasted in a disorderly and confused manner through our town of Nottingham, about eight o’clock this morning, where they met with Robert Pierpoint, Esq., son and heir of Francis Pierpoint, Esq., with six or eight of his men well armed, who are gone with the said Lord Biron and the rest of his company towards Leicestershire, and Captain Cludd in their pursuit, who hath taken one red colours of a troop, hath killed one of the enemy, and sorely wounded the cornet that carried the colours, and many prisoners are found in our town, who, as they are found, are secured in our common gaol; their pretence of raising arms was for a free parliament and religion. The prisoners taken are countrymen, that were engaged but the last night, and are not able to give any particular account of their intentions or actions.

Captain Lloyd, with a party of horse under his command, is joined with Captain Cludd in further pursuit of the enemy, who it is hoped will take divers of them.

This we have presumed to signify to your honours, that it may appear unto the nation how merciful and gracious the Lord hath been unto us in the discovery of this rising, which He also hath been pleased to disperse and bring to naught, before that they had any time to put the men they had raised in any command. Your honour may expect to hear a more full account from Captain Cludd at his return from the chase of the enemy. So as in duty we are bound, we subscribe ourselves, your honour’s servants,

W. DRURY, Alderman’.
NOTTINGHAM, 12th August.

The original of this letter is in the Tanner MSS., vol. li. p. 144. It is printed in Mercurius Politicus, No. 583, August 11–18, 1659. It was read in the House of Commons on August 15, 1659 (vide Com. Jour. vii. 758). The further history of this insurrection may be gathered from Nos. 584 and 585 of Mercurius Politicus. Some of the fugitives from Nottingham joined the Earl of Stamford at his house near Leicester, others made their way to Derby. Colonel White and some few followers arrived at Derby about eleven o’clock on the twelfth, whilst the militia commissioners were busy there in raising and settling the militia, and openly proclaimed Sir George Booth’s declaration. The townsmen shut their shops and shouted, some for ‘a king’, others for a free parliament. They even seized some of the militia horses, and called on Colonel Saunders, the commander of the militia, to put himself at their head. But, though deserted by some of his officers, and threatened by the mob, Saunders struggled to appease the tumult, and even arrested Colonel White, though he could not keep him a prisoner. In the end Saunders had to leave the town, but on the following day he was joined by a detachment of Lambert’s troops, and on the 14th, with these forces and the Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire horse, the rising was finally suppressed, and that without fighting (Mercurius Politicus, No. 584). Colonel White, who escaped, was arrested a few days later: his confession was presented to the Council of State on September 9th, and, with his examination, submitted to the House of Commons on the 24th September. He was imprisoned until February 25, 1660.