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

The Life of John Hutchinson: 1643

He and his brother were so suddenly called into this work, that they had not time beforehand to consult their father; but they sent to him to buy their armour and useful swords, which he did, giving them no discouragement, but promoting all their desires to the parliament very effectually.

By reason of the coldness of the colonel, the affairs of the war at Nottingham went on more tardily than else they would have done; but the gentlemen there, thinking it would be easier to prevent Newark from being made a fortified garrison, than to take it when it was so, sent over to Lincoln and Derby, to propound the business to them. At length, about Candlemas, it was agreed and appointed that the forces of Nottingham and Derby should come on their side of the town, and those of Lincoln on the other. All the disaffected gentry of both those countries, were at that time gone into Newark, and one Ballard, a gentleman who, decayed in his family, and owing his education to many of them, had been bred up in the wars abroad, was commander-in-chief for the parliament in Lincolnshire. Much ado had the gentlemen of that county to engage him in the design against Newark; but when he could not divert them, he was resolved to cast them away rather than ruin his old benefactors. He had appointed the forces of Nottingham and Derby to come to a rendezvous within a mile of Newark, upon Saturday, upon which day, all the persuasion the Lincolnshire gentlemen could use, could not prevail with him to march out, according to appointment; which those at Newark had notice of, and had prepared an ambuscade to have cut off all those forces if they had then come to the place; but by providence of an extraordinary stormy season, they marched not till the next day, and so were preserved from that danger, which no doubt was treacherously contrived. As soon as they came, being about a thousand horse, foot, and dragoons, the Lincolnshire commanders informed ours of the sloth and untoward carriage of Ballard, and told them how that day he had played his ordnance at a mile’s distance from the town; and how, when the Newark horse came out to face them, upon the Beacon Hill, he would not suffer a man of the Lincolnshire troops to fall upon them, though the Lincoln horse were many more in number than they, and in all probability might have beaten them. The next day, notwithstanding Mr. Hutchinson went to him, to give him an account of the forces they had brought, and to receive orders, he could have none, but a careless answer to stand at such a side of the town, and fall on as they saw occasion. Accordingly they did, and beat the enemy from their works, with the loss of only four or five men, and entrenched themselves; the night coming on upon them, they provided straw to have lodged in their trenches all the night. On the other side of the town, Captain King, of Lincolnshire, had taken a street, cut up a chain, and placed a drake in a house: whereupon the Newark gentlemen were almost resolved to yield up the town, and some of them began to fly out of it, but Ballard would not suffer the horse to pursue them; only one captain went out without his leave and took fifty horses, and turned back Mr. Sutton and many others that were flying out of the town. At length, when he could no other way preserve his old patrons, but by betraying his friends, he ordered Captain King to retreat; whereupon the whole force of Newark fell upon the forces of Nottingham and Derby, in their trenches, where they fought very resolutely, till a Lincolnshire trooper came and bade them fly for their lives, or else they were lost men. At this, two hundred Lincolnshire men, whom Ballard with much entreaty had sent to relieve them, first ran away, and then Sir John Gell’s grey coats made their retreat after them. Major Hutchinson and Captain White all this while kept their trenches and commanded their Nottingham men not to stir, who accordingly shot there, till all their powder was spent. The lieutenant-colonel in vain importuned Ballard to send them ammunition and relief, but could obtain neither, and so they were forced, unwillingly, to retreat, which they did in such good order, the men first, and then their captains, that they lost not a man in coming off. The town was sallying upon them, but they discharged a drake and beat them back. The next day all the captains importuned Ballard that they might fall on again, but he would neither consent nor give any reason of his denial; so that the Nottingham forces returned with great dissatisfaction, though Ballard, to stop their mouths, gave them two pieces of ordnance.

It being necessary to carry on the main story, for the better understanding the motion of those lesser wheels that moved within the great orb, I shall now name in what posture things were abroad in the kingdom, while these affairs I relate were transacted at Nottingham. After the retreat from Brainford fight, a treaty was ineffectually carried on between the king and parliament from the 31st of January, 1643, to the 17th of April, 1643; after which my Lord of Essex marched to Reading, where the king had a garrison, and besieged it. The king’s horse came to relieve it, and had an encounter with my lord’s army, wherein many gentlemen of quality fell on the king’s side, the king himself being in a place where he saw them. A few days after, Reading was yielded upon composition to the Earl of Essex, whose soldiers having been promised their pay and a gratuity to spare the plunder of the town, fell into a mutiny upon the failing of the performance, and many of them disbanded. Among those who remained there was a great mortality, occasioned by the infected air in the town of Reading; insomuch that my lord was forced to return and quarter his sick and weak army about Kingston and those towns near London. And now were all the countries in England no longer idle spectators, but several stages, whereon the tragedy of the civil war was acted; except the eastern association, where Mr. Oliver Cromwell, by his diligence, prevented the designs of the royal party; these were so successful the first year in all other places, and the parliament’s condition appeared so desperate, as many of the members of both houses ran away to Oxford to the king, and others sat among them conspiring against them. One plot, conducted by Mr. Waller, and carried on among many disaffected persons in the city, was near taking effect, to the utter subversion of the parliament and people; but that God, by his providence, brought it timely to light, and the authors were condemned, and some of them executed; but Waller, for being more a knave than the rest, and peaching his accomplices, was permitted to buy his life for ten thousand pounds. This summer all the west was reduced by the king, the Earl of Stamford yielded up Exeter, and Colonel Fiennes Bristol. Sir William Waller had lost all his army, which had been victorious in many encounters. The king was master of all or most part of Wales, and the parliament had no army left in the field, so that had he taken the opportunity to have gone immediately to London that summer, he had accomplished his design; but being denied the town of Gloucester, and taking it in disdain, that that town, in the heart of the land, should make a resistance when the greater cities were yielded to him, he stopped his course to take in that place, where he stayed to turn the tide of his good fortune, as his general, my Lord of Newcastle, did at the siege of Hull. My Lord Newcastle was general of the north, and master of all the strong places to the very borders of Scotland, and formidable to all the neighbouring counties. Only the Lord Fairfax, with his son Sir Thomas, headed all the religious, honest Englishmen they could raise in those parts, and with a far inferior force, kept him in play, and in several skirmishes came off conquerors. But as the fortune of the parliament declined in other places, so those who had not principle strong enough to hold them fast to a just, though falling cause, sought early to secure their lives by treasons which destroyed them. The Earl, of Newcastle’s army was judged to be about eight thousand horse and foot; my Lord Fairfax had not above two thousand one hundred foot, and seven troops of horse. After this there was a great accession of strength to my Lord Newcastle, by the coming first of the Lord Goring, with many old commanders; then of General King, with six thousand arms, from beyond the seas; then of the queen herself, who, in February, 1643, landed near Sunderland, coming out of Holland with large provisions of arms, ammunition, and commanders of note, with which she was convoyed, by the Earl of Newcastle, to York; and thither came to her the Earl of Montrose, out of Scotland, with a hundred and twenty horse: then Sir Hugh Cholmly, governor of Scarborough, revolted from the parliament, whereof he was a member, and came to the queen, with three hundred men. Browne Bushell also, who was left in charge with the town, yielded it up. Then had the queen’s practices wrought so upon the two Hothams, that their treason was not altogether undiscerned; but my Lord Fairfax, having only strong presumptions, and no power to secure them, while they had the strong town of Hull in their hands, it was all he could do to be vigilant and silent, till God should give opportunity to secure that great danger. My Lord of Newcastle had given the papists in the north commissions to arm in the king’s defence, and now the queen was preparing to march up with the assistance she had gotten to the king. Those countries through which she was to pass, could not but be sensible of their danger, especially the gentlemen at Nottingham, who were but a few young men, environed with garrisons of the enemy, and scarcely firm among themselves, and hopeless of relief from above, where the parliament, struggling for life, had not leisure to bind up a cut finger. But God was with them in these difficulties, and gave an unexpected issue.

The Earl of Kingston a few months stood neuter, and would not declare himself for either party, and being a man of great wealth and dependencies, many people hung in suspense, by his example; whereupon the gentlemen of Nottingham often spoke to his son, to persuade his father to declare himself; but he told them, he knew his father’s affections were firm to the parliament, that he had encouraged him to join with them and promised him money to carry it on, and such like things which he continually assured them; till the colonel’s cold behaviour, and some other passages, made them at length, those at least who were firm to the cause, jealous both of the father and the son. Hereupon, when the danger grew more imminent, and my lord lay out a brave prey to the enemy, they sent Captain Lomax, one of the committee, to understand his affections from himself, and to press him to declare for the parliament, in that so needful a season. My lord, professing himself to him as rather desirous of peace, and fully resolved not to act on either side, made a serious imprecation on himself in these words: ‘When’, said he, ‘I take arms with the king against the parliament, or with the parliament against the king, let a cannon-bullet divide me between them’; which God was pleased to bring to pass a few months after; for he, going to Gainsborough, and there taking up arms for the king, was surprised by my Lord Willoughby, and, after a handsome defence of himself, yielded, and was put prisoner into a pinnacle, and sent down the river to Hull; when my Lord Newcastle’s army marching along the shore, shot at the pinnace, and being in danger, the Earl of Kingston went up on the deck to show himself and to prevail with them to forbear shooting; but as soon as he appeared, a cannon-bullet flew from the king’s army, and divided him in the middle, being then in the parliament’s pinnace, who perished according to his own unhappy imprecation. His declaring himself for the king, as it enforced the royal, so it weakened the other party.

Sir Richard Byron was come to be governor of Newark. A house of my Lord Chaworth’s in the vale was fortified, and some horse put into it, and another house of the Earl of Chesterfield’s both of them within a few miles of Nottingham. Ashby de la Zouch, within eighteen miles of Nottingham, on the other side, was kept by Mr. Hastings. On the forest side of the country, the Earl of Newcastle’s house had a garrison, and another castle of his, within a mile, was garrisoned. Sir Roger Cooper’s house, at Thurgaton, was also kept; so that Nottingham, thus beleaguered with enemies, seemed very unlikely to be able either to resist the enemy or support itself. Therefore the gentlemen, upon the news of my Lord Newcastle’s intended approach that way sent up Mr. John Hutchinson to acquaint the parliament with their condition; who so negotiated their business that he procured an order for Colonel Cromwell, Colonel Hubbard, my Lord Grey, and Sir John Gell, to unite their forces, and rendezvous at Nottingham, to prevent the queen from joining with the king, and to guard those parts against the cavaliers. Accordingly in the Whitsun holidays, 1643, they all came, and the younger Hotham also brought some more rude troops out of Yorkshire, and joined himself to them. The forces now united at Nottingham were about five or six thousand, my Lord Grey being their commander-in-chief. Upon the urgency of the gentlemen at Nottingham, he drew them out against Wiverton House in the vale, but, upon a groundless apprehension, quitted it when they might in all probability have taken it, and retreated to Nottingham, where, two or three days after, the enemy’s horse faced them; but they would not be prevailed upon to go out, though they were not inferior to them. Young Hotham, at that time, carried on a private treaty with the queen, and every day received and sent trumpets, of which he would give no account. Then was Nottingham more sadly distressed by their friends than by their enemies; for Hotham’s and Gell’s men did not only lay upon free quarter, as all the rest did, but made such a havoc and plunder of friend and foe, that it was a sad thing for any one that had a generous heart to behold it. When the committee offered Hotham to assign him quarters for his men, because they were better acquainted with the country, he would tell them he was no stranger in any English ground. He had a great deal of wicked wit, and would make sport with the miseries of the poor country; and, having treason in his heart, licensed his soldiers, which were the scum of mankind, to all the villanies in the country that might make their party odious. Mr. Hutchinson was much vexed to see the country wasted, and that little part of it, which they could only hope to have contribution from, eaten up by a company of men who, instead of relieving them, devoured them; and Hotham’s soldiers, having taken away goods from some honest men, he went to him to desire restitution of them, and that he would restrain his soldiers from plunder; whereupon Hotham replied ‘he fought for liberty, and expected it in all things’. Replies followed, and they grew to high language; Hotham bidding him, if he found himself grieved, to complain to the parliament. Mr. Hutchinson was passionately concerned, and this being in the open field, Colonel Cromwell, who had likewise had great provocations from him, began to show himself affected with the country’s injuries, and the idle waste of such a considerable force, through the inexperience of the chief commander, and the disobedience and irregularities of the others. So they, at that time, being equally zealous for the public service, advised together to seek a remedy, and dispatched away a post to London, who had no greater joy in the world than such employments as tended to the displacing of great persons, whether they deserved it or not; him they sent away immediately from the place, to inform the parliament of Hotham’s carriages, and the strong presumptions they had of his treachery, and the ill management of their forces. This they two did, without the privity of any of the other gentlemen or commanders; some of whom were little less suspected themselves, and others, as my Lord Grey, through credulous good nature, a too great favourer of Hotham. The messenger was very diligent in his charge, and returned, as soon as it was possible, with a commitment of Hotham; who accordingly was then made prisoner in Nottingham Castle, and Sir John Meldrum was sent down to be commander-in-chief of all those united forces. When they marched away, a troop of my Lord Grey’s, having the charge of guarding Hotham towards London, suffered him to escape, and thereby put the town of Hull into a great hazard; but that the father and sons were there unexpectedly surprised, sent up prisoners to London, and after some time executed. Those who knew the opinion Cromwell afterwards had of Mr. Hutchinson, believed he registered this business in his mind as long as he lived, and made it his care to prevent him from being in any power or capacity to pursue him to the same punishment, when he deserved it; but from that time, growing into more intimate acquaintance with him, he always used to profess the most hearty affections for him, and the greatest delight in his plainness and open-heartedness that was imaginable.

As soon as Sir John Meldrum came down to his charge at Nottingham, the queen’s forces came and faced the town; whereupon the cannon discharging upon them, the Duke of Vendome’s son and some few others were slain. The parliament horse drew out of Nottingham to receive the queen’s, but they came not on, after this execution of the cannon, for in the meantime the queen was passing by, and although the parliament horse pursued them, yet they would not engage, for it was not their business; so when they saw they had lost their design, the horse returned again to Nottingham, where the foot had stayed all the while they were out. When the Earl of Kingston declared himself for the king, he raised what forces he could, and went into Gainsborough, a town in Lincolnshire, situated upon the river Trent. There, before he was fortified, my Lord Willoughby, of Parham, surprised the town and all his soldiers, who disputed it as long as they could, but being conquered, were forced to yield; and the earl himself retreated into the strongest house, which he kept till it was all on flame round him, and then giving himself up only to my Lord Willoughby, he was immediately sent prisoner to Hull, and shot according to his own imprecation. Immediately part of my Lord Newcastle’s army, with all that Newark could make, besieged my Lord Willoughby in Gainsborough; and General Essex sent a command to Sir John Meldrum to draw all the horse and foot he could out of Nottingham, to relieve my lord, leaving only a garrison in the castle of Nottingham. Sir John Meldrum called the committee of Nottingham together, to consult what was to be done for the settlement of the place, which upon deliberation he had judged not fit to leave in the hands it was, nor in Colonel Pierrepont’s, who, with some appearance, lay under suspicion at that time; and therefore conceiving Mr. Hutchinson the most able to manage, and the most responsible for it, both Sir John and the whole committee ordered him to take the castle into his charge; which, though there were many causes why he should decline, yet believing that God hereby called him to the defence of his country, and would protect him in all the dangers and difficulties he led him into, he accepted it, and on the 29th June, 1643, received an order for that government from Sir John Meldrum and the whole committee. Whereunto Col. Pierrepont subscribed, though with a secret discontent in his heart; not from any ill opinion or ill affection he had to Mr. Hutchinson’s person, but for that he resented it as a great affront that himself was passed by. It is true that this discontent produced some envious and malicious practices, secretly in him, against Mr. Hutchinson, who however in the end overcame him, with so many good offices, in requital of his bad ones, that he lived and died full of love, and acknowledgment of kindness to him.

The castle was built upon a rock, and nature had made it capable of very strong fortification, but the buildings were very ruinous and uninhabitable, neither affording room to lodge soldiers nor provisions. The castle stands at one end of the town, upon such an eminence as commands the chief streets of the town. There had been enlargements made to this castle after the first building of it. There was a strong tower, which they called the old tower, built upon the top of all the rock, and this was that place where Queen Isabel, the mother of King Edward the Third, was surprised with her paramour Mortimer, who, by secret windings and hollows in the rock, came up into her chamber from the meadows lying low under it, through which there ran a little rivulet, called the Line, almost under the castle rock. At the entrance of this rock there was a spring, which was called Mortimer’s Well, and the cavern Mortimer’s Hole. The ascent to the top is very high, and not without some wonder that at the top of all the rock there is a spring of water. In the midway to the top of this tower there is a little piece of the rock, on which a dovecote had been built, but the governor took down the roof of it, and made it a platform for two or three pieces of ordnance, which commanded some streets and all the meadows better than the higher tower. Under that tower, which was the old castle, there was a larger castle, where there had been several towers and many noble rooms, but the most of them were down; the yard of that was pretty large, and without the gate there was a very large yard that had been walled, but the walls were all down, only it was situated upon an ascent of the rock, and so stood a pretty height above the streets; and there were the ruins of an old pair of gates, with turrets on each side.

Before the castle, the town was on one side of a close, which commanded the fields approaching the town; which close the governor afterwards made a platform. Behind it was a place called the Park, that belonged to the castle, but then had neither deer nor trees in it, except one tree, growing under the castle, which was almost a prodigy, for from the root to the top, there was not a straight twig or branch in it; some said it was planted by King Richard the Third, and resembled him that set it. On the other side the castle, was the little river of Line, and beyond that, large flat meadows, bounded by the river Trent. In the whole rock there were many large caverns, where a great magazine and many hundred soldiers might have been disposed, if they had been cleansed and prepared for it, and might have been kept secure from any danger of firing the magazines by any mortar-pieces shot against the castle. In one of these places, it is reported that one David, a Scotch king, was kept in cruel durance, and with his nails had scratched on the wall the story of Christ and his twelve apostles. The castle was not flankered, and there were no works about it, when Mr. Hutchinson undertook it, but only a little breastwork, before the outermost gate. It was as ill provided as fortified, there being but ten barrels of powder, eleven hundred and fifty pounds of butter, and as much cheese, eleven quarters of bread corn, seven beeves, two hundred and fourteen flitches of bacon, five hundred and sixty fishes, and fifteen hogsheads of beer. As soon as the governor received his charge, he made proclamation in the town, that whatsoever honest persons desired to secure themselves or their goods in the castle, should have reception there, if they would repair their quarters; which divers well-affected men accepting, it was presently made capable of receiving 400 men commodiously.

In the beginning of July, 1643, Sir John Meldrum, with all the force that was quartered in Nottingham, marched forth to the relief of Gainsborough, leaving the town to be guarded by few more than the very townsmen. There had been large works made about it, which would have required at least three thousand men to man and defend well, and upon these works there were about fourteen guns, which the governor, when the forces were marching away, before they went, drew up to the castle; whereupon the townsmen, especially those that were ill-affected to the parliament, made a great mutiny, threatening they would pull the castle down, but they would have their ordnance again upon their works, and wishing it on fire and not one stone upon another. Hereupon the governor sent Alderman Drury, with fourteen more, that were heads of this mutiny, prisoners to Derby, whither Major Ireton convoyed them with his troop. The reasons which made the governor carry the ordnance from the town-works up into the castle were, 1st. That the town, being so ill affected, the ordnance remaining in it, would but be an invitation to the enemy to come to take them away, and a booty for them if they should. 2ndly. He had often visited the guards, and found them much exposed by their carelessness, wherefore he thought it his duty to preserve them, by soldiers more under his command. 3rdly. Intelligence was brought to the committee, by a friend, then with the Earl of Newcastle, that Mr. Francis Pierrepont kept intelligence with his mother, the Countess of Kingston, carrying on a design for betraying the town to the earl; and that letters were carried between them by a woman, who often came to town to the colonel; and that two aldermen and a chief officer, employed about the ordnance, were confederates in the plot; whereupon a suspected cannonier was secured, who, as soon as he obtained his liberty, ran away to Newark. 4thly. When the town was full of troops, there had been several attempts to poison and betray them, which, if it should be again attempted, after the most of the forces were gone, might prove effectual. 5thly. The main reason was, that if the town should be surprised or betrayed (which was then most to be feared), the ordnance would be useless; if any considerable force came against the town, it was impossible then to keep the works against them, with so few men, and it would be difficult, at such a time, to draw off the artillery; if any force they were able to deal with came, it would then be time enough, after the alarm was given, to draw them to the works, unless they were surprised.

It was not only the town malignants that murmured at the drawing up of the ordnance, but Dr. Plumptre, hearing that the forces were to march away, was raging at it; whereupon being answered, that it was more for the public interest of the cause, in great passion he replied, ‘What is the cause to me if my goods be lost?’ The governor told him, he might prevent that hazard and secure them in the castle. He replied, ‘It pitied him to soil them, and he had rather the enemy had them, than they should be spoiled in removing’. While this was boiling upon his spirit, he met the governor, with some other gentlemen, in the street, and began to rail at him for countenancing the godly townsmen, whom he called a company of puritanical prick-eared rascals, and said, that the worst of the malignants the governor had sent out of the town, were honester men than the best of those he favoured; and in spite of his teeth he would have three of the most eminent of them turned out of the castle. The governor telling him, he would maintain them as the most faithful friends to the cause, Plumptre replied he was as honest to the cause as the governor. ‘No’, said the governor (who was not ignorant of his atheism), ‘that you cannot be, for you go not upon the same principles’. The doctor told him, it was false, with such uncivil insolence, that the governor struck him, at which he departed quietly home; and after two or three days, retired with his wife and children to the house of Mr. Parkyns of Bunney, who was at that time in arms against the parliament, where he stayed till the parliament-forces were routed, and Nottingham castle summoned and preparing for a siege; and then he sent a ridiculous challenge to the governor, with all the foolish circumstances imaginable, which the governor, at that present, only answered with contempt. The pretence he made was a distress, wherein the committee had employed some of the governor’s soldiers, for the levying of an assessment, which his brother would not pay, and this distress he called the governor’s affront to his family. Though these passages may seem too impertinent here, yet they having been grounds and beginnings of injurious prosecutions, wherewith the governor was afterwards much exercised, it was not altogether unnecessary to insert them; since even these little things were links in the chain of providences which measured out his life.

All the horse that had been raised in Nottinghamshire, marched away with Sir John Meldrum, which were Colonel Thornhagh, Major Ireton, Captain White, and Captain Farmer’s troops; who, together with Captain Lomax and Captain Schrimpshire’s foot companies, joining with Colonel Cromwell’s men, marched to Gainsborough, and engaged those that besieged it, and were victorious, killing their general, Sir Charles Cavendish, with many more commanders, and some hundreds of soldiers; and this was opportunely done, while my Lord Newcastle was hastening to come over the water and join them, who, by a bridge of boats, passed all his army over, and came near Gainsborough, just in a season to behold the rout of all his men. The parliament’s forces expected he would have fallen upon them, and drew up in a body and faced him, but he advanced not; so they contented themselves to relieve Gainsborough, and made a very honourable retreat to Lincoln; but Gainsborough not being fortified, nor provided, this relief did not much advantage them, for my Lord Newcastle again besieged it, which was rendered to him, after eight days, upon conditions honourable for the defendants, though they were not performed by the besiegers; for all my Lord Willoughby’s men were disarmed contrary to articles, and with them, some of the Nottingham soldiers that had gone into the town to refresh themselves, and so were shut up with them, when my lord laid siege to it; the rest had gone to Lincoln. They had behaved themselves very well in the fight, when Captain White received a wound in his hand in the forlorn hope; Colonel Thornhagh, who had fought very gallantly, was taken prisoner, and after he was stripped of his arms and coat, a major of the enemy’s, whom the colonel had slightly wounded in the fervour of the fight, came and basely wounded the colonel, being disarmed, so that he left him for dead. But by the good providence of God, that wound, by which the enemy intended to give him death, gave him liberty; for coming to himself a little after his hurt, he crept into one of his own tenant’s houses, and there had his wounds bound up, and found means to get to Lincoln, from whence all the forces that went from Nottingham dispersed into different services. Major Ireton quite left Colonel Thornhagh’s regiment, and began an inseparable league with Colonel Cromwell, whose son-in-law he after was. None of them could return to Nottingham, by reason of my Lord Newcastle’s army, which lay between them and home.

And now it was time for them at Nottingham to expect my Lord Newcastle, which the governor made provision for with all the diligence that it was possible under so many difficulties and obstacles, which would to any one else have been discouragements; but he had so high a resolution that nothing conquered it. The townsmen, through discontent at the drawing out of the forces, whereby their houses, families, and estates were exposed, began to envy, then to hate the castle, as grieved that anything should be preserved when all could not; and indeed those who were more concerned in private interests than in the cause itself, had some reason, because the neighbourhood of the castle, when it was too weak to defend them, would endanger them. In this hate and discontent, all the soldiers being townsmen, except some of the governor’s own company, they resolved they would not go into the castle to behold the ruin of their houses; little considering that when the governor first came into Nottingham to defend them, at their earnest desire, he left a house and a considerable estate to the mercy of the enemy, rather desiring to advance the cause than to secure his own stake; but their mean and half-affected hearts were not capable of such things. The governor, perceiving this defection, set some of the most zealous honest men to find out how many there were in the town who, neglecting all private interests, would cheerfully and freely come in and venture all with him; intending, if he could not have found enough to defend the place, that he would have sent to other neighbouring garrisons to have borrowed some. Upon this inquiry, it was found that many of Colonel Pierrepont’s own company were desirous to come in, but first wished to know their colonel’s resolution as to how he would dispose of them; whereupon a hall was called, and the danger of the place declared to the whole town, that they might have time to provide for their goods and persons before the enemy came upon them. The colonel being present, his company asked him what he would advise them to do; to whom his answer was, ‘You have but three ways to choose, either leave the town and secure yourselves in some other parliament-garrisons, or list into the castle, or stand on the works and have your throats cut’. Two or three days after this he went to his mother’s, and carried his children with part of his goods, and sent his wife to Sir Gervase Clifton’s house. Notwithstanding this public resolution in the hall to his company, he told them, and many others in private, that he preferred the interest of the town above that of his life, and would expose his life for the good of it, and stand on the works of the town as long as they could be defended, and when they could no longer be kept, he would retire to some other parliament-garrison. Others he told, he scorned that his colours should serve in the castle; that if his company went up thither he would get him a new one, which should follow him wherever he went, and many more such things in private; but he openly, both to the governor and others, approved and encouraged their going into the castle. According to his advice, the townsmen, as they were diversely affected, disposed of themselves; the malignants all laid down their arms and stayed in the town; some honest and well affected, but not bold enough to stand the hazard, went to other parliament-garrisons and served there; others secured themselves, their goods, and families in the country; some enlisted into the castle; one Alderman Nix, captain of two hundred, gave up his commission; his men all disbanded except about forty, who came into the castle and filled up the broken companies there. At length, out of all the four companies and the whole town, about 300 men enlisted into the castle.

The governor had procured forty barrels of powder, and two thousand weight of match from London, and had increased the store of provision as much as the present poverty of their condition would permit him. Then the committee of Nottingham, so many of them as were remaining in the town, and all the ministers of the parliament’s party there, came up to the castle, and, with the officers of the garrison, ate at the governor’s, to his very great charge; considering that he was so far from receiving pay at that time, that all the money he could procure of his own credit, or take up with others, he was forced to dispend for the several necessities of the soldiers and garrison; yet were the soldiers then, and a long time after, kept together as long as they could live, without any pay, and after paid part in victuals, and the rest run on in arrears.

The townsmen who came into the castle disposed their families into several villages in the country; and at length a trumpet was sent, for a safe-conduct for a gentleman, from my Lord Newcastle; and having it, Major Cartwright came from him, with a summons for the delivery of the town and castle, to which the committee for the town, and the governor for the castle, returned a civil defiance in writing, about the 10th day of August. Cartwright, having received it, and being treated with wine by the governor and the rest of the officers, grew bold in the exercise of an abusive wit he had, and told both Mr. Hutchinsons that they were sprightly young men, but when my lord should come with his army, he would find them in other terms, beseeching my lord to spare them, as misled young men, and to suffer them to march away with a cudgel, and ‘then’, said he, ‘shall I stand behind my lord’s chair and laugh’. At which the governor, being angry, told him he was much mistaken, for he scorned ever to yield on any terms, to a papistical army led by an atheistical general. Mr. George Hutchinson told him, ‘If my lord would have that poor castle he must wade to it in blood’. Which words they say he told his general. After these summonses were received, the governor drew all his soldiers into the castle, and committed the guard of the town to the aldermen, who were to set guards of fifty in a night, according to their wards. Then calling together his soldiers, he once again represented to them their condition, and told them, that being religious and honest men, he could be assured no extremity would make them fail in what they found themselves strong enough to undertake; and therefore he should not fear to let them freely understand their danger, which yet they had power to shun, and therefore whatever misery might be the issue of their undertaking, they could not justly impute it to him, it being their own election. For after this summons they must expect the enemy, and to be reduced to the utmost extremity by them that thought could reach. It must not move them to see their houses flaming, and, if need were, themselves firing them for the public advantage, to see the pieces of their families cruelly abused and consumed before them; they must resolve upon hard duty, fierce assaults, poor and sparing diet, perhaps famine, and the want of all comfortable accommodations. Nor was there very apparent hope of relief at last, but more than common hazard of losing their lives, either in defence of their fort or of the place; which, for want of good fortifications, and through disadvantage of a neighbouring mount and building, was not, in human probability, tenable against such an army as threatened it. All which, for his own part, he was resolved on; and if any of them found his courage failing, he only desired they would provide for their safety in time elsewhere, and not prejudice him and the public interest so highly, as they would do, to take upon them the defence of the castle, except they could be content to lay down their lives and all their interests in it. The soldiers were none of them terrified at the dangers which threatened their undertaking; but at the latter end of August took, upon the solemn fast-day, the national covenant, and besides it, a particular mutual covenant between them and the governor, to be faithful to each other, and to hold out the place to the death, without entertaining any parley, or accepting any terms from the enemy. This the governor was forced to do to confirm them, for he had his experience not only of the ungodly and ill-affected, but even of the godly themselves, who thought it scarcely possible for any one to continue a gentleman, and firm to a godly interest, and therefore repaid all his vigilancy and labours for them with a very unjust jealousy. The governor of Newark was his cousin-german, to whom he was forced, against his nature, to be more uncivil than to any others that were governors in that place. Whether it were that the dissension of brethren is always most spitefully pursued, or that Sir Richard Biron, as it was reported, suffered under the same suspicions on his side, it is true they were to each other the most uncivil enemies that can be imagined. After this summons, my Lord Newcastle came not, according to their bravadoes, but diverted his army to Hull, to besiege my Lord Fairfax there; they of Newark having gotten him to send this summons upon confidence, knowing the condition of the place, that it would have been yielded to a piece of paper. The governor immediately set upon the fortification of his castle, made a work behind it, another on the Line side, turned the dovecote into a platform, and made a court of guard in Mortimer’s Hole.

At this time Sir Thomas Hutchinson died in London, and gave all his personal estate, and all that was unsettled at Mr. Hutchinson’s marriage, to his second wife and her children; at which his two sons had not the least repining thought, but out of tender love, were very much afflicted for his loss, and procured a pass from Newark for Mr. George Hutchinson, to go to London, to visit his mother and fetch mournings, which accordingly he did; and upon a letter the committee sent up by him, he brought down an order of parliament to allow a table to the governor and committee, whom Mr. Hutchinson had till that time entertained at his own cost, with all the officers of the garrison and the ministers, which were no small charge to him; who had a noble heart, and could not basely evade the expense, which that place necessarily drew upon him, not only by the constant entertainment of the committee, officers, and ministers, and all parliament officers, that came and went through the garrison, but by relieving the poor soldiers, who had such short pay, that they were, for the most part, thirty weeks and more behind; and when they marched out at any time, the governor would not suffer them to take a cup of drink, unpaid for, in the country, but always, wherever they took any refreshment in their marches, paid it himself. He besides gave them much from his own house, especially when any of them were sick or wounded, and lent money to those who were most necessitous. All this run him into a great private debt, besides many thousands of pounds, which he engaged himself in with other gentlemen, and taken up for the supply of the garrison and carrying on of the public service. Although the allowance for his table was much envied by those mean fellows, that never knew what the expense of a table was, and although it was to him some ease, yet it did not defray the third part of his expense in the service, being but ten pounds a week allowed by the state; and his expenses all that time, only in the public service, and not at all in any particular of his own family, being, as it was kept upon account, above fifteen hundred pounds a year. As soon as his father was dead, and rents became due to him, the enemies, in the midst of whom his estate lay, fetched in his tenants and imprisoned them, and took his rents; his estate was begged and promised by the king; those who lived not upon the place, flung up his grounds, and they lay unoccupied, while the enemy prevailed in the country. He was not so cruel as others were to their tenants, who made them pay over again those rents which the enemy forced them to redeem themselves out of prison withal, but lost the most part of his rents, all the while the country was under the adverse power. He had some small stock of his own plundered, and his house, by the perpetual haunting of the enemy, defaced, and for want of inhabitation, rendered almost uninhabitable. For these things he had some subscriptions, but never received one penny of recompense; and his arrears of pay, which he received after all the war was done, did not half pay the debts those services contracted. But when he undertook this engagement it was for the defence of his country’s and God’s cause, and he offered himself and all he had a willing sacrifice in the service; and rather praised God for what was saved, than repined at what was spent, it being above his expectation, that deliverance which God gave him out of his enemies’ hands. He might have made many advantages by the spoil of his enemies, which was often brought in, and by other encroachments upon the country, which almost all the governors, on both sides, exacted everywhere else, but his heart abhorred it: all prize the soldiers had, and he never shared with them; all the malignants’ goods the committee disposed of; and it ever grieved his heart to see the spoil of his neighbours, how justly soever they deserved it; but he chose all loss, rather than to make up himself by violence and rapine. If in a judicial way, he was forced at any time, in discharge of his trust, to sign any harsh orders against any of the gentlemen of the country, it was with grief that they should deserve that severity; but this testimony is a truth of him, that in his whole actings in this cause, he never prosecuted any private lust, either of revenge, ambition, avarice, or vain glory, under a public vizard, but was most truly public-spirited. Conscience to God, and truth and righteousness, according to the best information he could get, engaged him in that part he took; that which engaged him, carried him through all along, though he encountered no less difficulties and contradictions from those of his own party, that were not of the same spirit he was, than from his enemies.

The death of Sir Thomas Hutchinson made every way a great reverse in the affairs of his eldest son, who had before been looked upon as his father’s heir, and reverenced as much, or rather more, upon his father’s score, than his own, so that no man durst attempt to injure him, whom they looked upon as under such a powerful protection. Sir Thomas and his fathers before him had ever deserved very well of their country, and, as lovers of their country, their neighbours had an implicit faith in all their dictates and actions, insomuch that Sir Thomas Hutchinson’s single authority swayed with many, more than all the greater names of the country. But he at his death having divided, all things considered, his estate between the children of his two wives, though it be true the latter deserved more than they had, yet it is as true the first deserved not to be so much lessened as they were: and Mr. Hutchinson having been known to be the most pious and obedient son, from his childhood, that ever any father was blessed in, when it came to be known that his father had given away all that was in his power to give from him, those that had a great reverence and esteem for Sir Thomas would not believe him to be so defective in justice as to do this without some secret cause; and therefore it was given out that he was displeased with his son’s engagement, and for that cause disposed away so much of his estate from them. But that was not so; indeed, at the time of his death the parliament’s interest was so low, that he might well look upon them as lost persons, and so what he gave away to the unengaged infant he might well look upon as all that could be preserved. Mr. Hutchinson had only an allowance from his father, while he lived, which was duly paid him; but as soon as he died all his estate was seized by the enemy, who had so much desire not to injure publicly a person so popular, that they disturbed not Sir Thomas his tenants while he lived, though he continued with the parliament, and faithful to their interest; because he was moderate, and one that applied all his endeavours to peace, which he did not out of policy, but out of conscience to his country, and by a wise foresight of the sad consequences of a conquest by either side; for he hath often expressed, that accommodation was far more desirable than war, and he dreaded that the spirits of those men would become most insolent after conquest, who were so violently bent to prosecute a war; that some of them whom we have since known to be vile apostates, then professed they abhorred accommodation. This report of Sir Thomas his dislike of his son’s engagement was raised and dispersed by those who themselves were ill-affected to it; but, however, it abated all the respect men had for him, upon any account but his own. Those who had entertained a secret envy of him, now feared not to manifest it, and began to work secret mines, to blow him up on all sides; but God was with him, and disappointed all his enemies, and made his virtues more illustrious by the oppositions they encountered, and by the removal of all those props of wealth and power which are necessary to hold up weaker fabrics.

Soon after the death of his father, one Mr. Ayscough, a gentleman of the country, allied to Sir Richard, since Lord Biron, then governor of Newark, came to the governor of Nottingham, and told him that Sir Richard Biron, out of that tender, natural affection which he ever had for him, and still preserved, desired him now to consider his wife and children, and the loss of his whole estate, which was inevitable, if he persisted in the engagement he was in; that some had already been suing to the Earl of Newcastle for it; but if he would return to his obedience to the king, he might not only preserve his estate, but have what reward he pleased to propound for so doing. To which the governor telling him this was a thing he ought to scorn, Mr. Ayscough told him that Sir Richard had, only out of love and tender compassion to him, given him this employment, with many protestations how much Sir Richard desired to employ all his interest to save him, if it were possible, and therefore begged of him that if he would still persist in this party, that he would yet quit himself of this garrison, and go into my Lord of Essex’s army; for there, he said, Sir Richard would find pretence to save his rents for him for the present, and his estate for the future; for, said he, he can plead, ‘you were an inconsiderate young man, rashly engaged, and dares assure himself to beg your pardon; but to keep a castle against your king is a rebellion of so high a nature, that there will be no colour left to ask favour for you’. The governor told him he should deliver the same propositions, and receive his answer, before some witnesses; whereupon he carried the gentleman to two of the committee, before whom he repeated his message, and the governor bade him return Sir Richard this answer, ‘That except he found his own heart prone to such treachery, he might consider there was, if nothing else, so much of a Biron’s blood in him, that he should very much scorn to betray or quit a trust he had undertaken; but the grounds he went on were such, that he very much despised such a thought as to sell his faith for base rewards or fears, and therefore could not consider the loss of his estate, which his wife was as willing to part with as himself in this cause, wherein he was resolved to persist, in the same place in which it had pleased God to call him to the defence of it’.

About this time a woman was taken, whereof the committee had before been informed that she carried intelligence between Colonel Pierrepont and his mother, the countess of Kingston. The woman was now going through Nottingham, with letters from the old countess to her daughter-in-law, the colonel’s wife, who was then at Clifton, Sir Gervas Clifton’s house. In this packet there was a letter drawn, which the countess advised her daughter to sign, to be sent to Colonel Stanton, one of the king’s colonels, to entreat back from him some goods of her husband’s, which he had plundered; wherein there were these expressions: ‘That though her husband was unfortunately engaged in the unhappy rebellion, she hoped ere long he would approve himself a loyal subject to his majesty’. The committee having read these letters, sealed them up again, and enclosed them in another to the colonel, then at Derby, telling him, that having intercepted such letters, and not knowing whether his wife might follow her mother’s advice, which if she should would prove very dishonourable to him, they had chosen rather to send the letters to him than to her. The colonel was vexed that they had opened them, but for the present took no notice of it. All the horse having been drawn out of Nottingham to the relief of Gainsborough, and the Newarkers, knowing that the garrison was utterly destitute, plundered all the country even to the walls of Nottingham; upon which some godly men offered themselves to bring in their horses, and form a troop for the defence of the country, and one Mr. Palmer, a minister, had a commission to be their captain. This man had a bold, ready, earnest way of preaching, and lived holily and regularly as to outward conversation, whereby he got a great reputation among the godly; and his reputation swelled his spirit, which was very vain-glorious, covetous, contentious, and ambitious. He had so insinuated himself as to make these godly men desire him for their captain, which he had more vehement longing after than they, yet would have it believed that it was rather pressed upon him, than he pressed into it; and therefore being at that time in the castle with his family, and feeding at the governor’s table, who gave him room in his own lodgings, and all imaginable respect, he came to the governor and his wife, telling them that these honest people pressed him very much to be their captain, and desiring their friendly and Christian advice whether he should accept or refuse it. They freely told him, that having entered into a charge of another kind, they thought it not fit for him to engage in this; and that he might as much advance the public service, and satisfy the men, in marching with them in the nature of a chaplain as in that of a captain. He, that asked not counsel to take any contrary to his first resolve, went away confused when he found he was not advised as he would have been, and said he would endeavour to persuade them to be content; and afterwards said, they would not be otherwise satisfied, and so he was forced to accept the commission. The governor, having only declared his own judgment when he was asked, as a Christian ought to do according to his conscience, left the captain to act according to his own, and censured him not, but entertained him with the same freedom and kindness he had done before; but the man, being guilty of the avarice and ambition of his own heart, never afterwards looked upon the governor with a clear eye, but sought to blow up all factions against him whenever he found opportunity, and in the meantime dissembled it as well as he could. And now, before his troop was well raised, Colonel Thornhagh being recovered, brought back his troop from Lincoln, and both the troops quartered in the town, which being a bait to invite the enemy, the governor gave charge to all that belonged to the castle, being about three hundred men, that they should not upon any pretence whatever be out of their quarters; but they having, many of them, wives and better accommodations in the town, by stealth disobeyed his commands, and seldom left any more in the castle than what were upon the guard.

The townsmen were every night out upon the guard of the town, according to the wards of the aldermen; but the most of them being disaffected, the governor, fearing treachery, had determined to quarter the horse in those lanes which were next to the castle, and to block up the lanes for the better securing them. Just the night before these lanes should have been blocked up, Alderman Toplady, a great malignant, having the watch, the enemy was, by treachery, let into the town, and no alarum given to the castle. Though there were two muskets at the gate where they entered, both of them were surrendered without one shot to give notice; and all the horse, and about two parts of the castle soldiers, betrayed, surprised, and seized on in their beds, but there were not above fourscore of the castle foot taken; the rest hid themselves, and privately stole away, some into the country, some by night came up to the castle and got in, in disguises, by the river side; but the cavaliers were possessed of the town, and no notice at all given to the castle. When, at the beating of reveille, some of the soldiers, that had been on the watch all night, were going down into the town to refresh themselves, they were no sooner out of the castle gates but some of the enemy’s musketeers discharged upon them, and they hasting back, got in with such care that the enemy was prevented of their design of falling in with them. They brought a strong alarum into the castle, when the governor coming forth, was exceedingly vexed to find that his men were, so many of them, contrary to his command, wanting in their quarters; but it was no time to be angry, but to apply himself to do what was possible to preserve the place; wherefore he immediately dispatched messengers by a private sallyport to Leicester and Derby, to desire their assistance, either to come and help to beat the enemy out of the town, or to lend him some foot to help keep the castle, in which there was but fourscore men, and never a lieutenant nor any head officer but his brother, nor so much as a surgeon among them. As soon as the governor had dispatched his messengers he went up to the towers, and from thence played his ordnance into the town, which seldom failed of execution upon the enemy; but there was an old church, called St. Nicholas Church, whose steeple so commanded the platform that the men could not play the ordnance without woolpacks before them. From this church the bullets played so thick into the outward castle-yard, that they could pass not from one gate to the other, nor relieve the guards, but with very great hazard; and one weak old man was shot the first day, who, for want of a surgeon, bled to death before they could carry him up to the governor’s wife, who at that time supplied that want as well as she could; but at night the governor and his men dug a trench between the two gates, through which they afterwards better secured their passage. In the meantime the cavaliers that came from Newark, being about six hundred, fell to ransack and plunder all the honest men’s houses in the town, and the cavaliers of the town, who had called them in, helped them in this work. Their prisoners they at first put into the sheep-pens in the market-place, whereupon an honest townsman, seeing four or five commanders go into his own house, procured a cunning boy that came by him, while the enemy regarded more their plunder than their prisoners, to run privately up to the castle and give them notice, who presently sent a cannon bullet into the house. The cavaliers called in all the country as soon as they were in the town, and made a fort at the Trent bridges, and thither they carried down all their considerable plunder and prisoners. The next day after Sir Richard Biron had surprised the town, Mr. Hastings, since made lord of Loughborough, then governor of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, came with a body of about four hundred men; but being displeased that the plunder was began before he came, he returned again and left the Newark gentlemen to themselves; who, as they made a fort at the bridges, threw down the half moons and bulwarks that had been raised about the town. They stayed five days, but very unquietly, for the cannon and muskets from the castle failed not of execution daily upon many of them, and they durst not in all that time go to bed. The third day Major Cartwright sent a letter, desiring the governor or his brother to come and meet him in St. Nicholas’ church, and promised them safe passage and return; but the governor read the letter to his soldiers, and commanded a red flag to be set upon the tower to bid them defiance, and shot three pieces of cannon at the steeple in answer to his desired parley.

Five days the enemy stayed in the town, and all that time the governor and his soldiers were none of them off from the guard, but if they slept, which they never did in the night, it was by them that watched. At length, on Saturday, September 23d, in the afternoon, the governor saw a great many goods and persons going over the Line bridge, and not knowing what it meant, sent some cannon bullets after them; when on the other side of the town he discerned a body of men, whom he knew not at first, whether to be friends or foes, but having at that time about eightscore men in the castle, for in that five days’ space fourscore were come in by stealth, he caused them all to be drawn out in the castle-yard, and perceiving that those he last saw were friends, he sent out his brother, Major Hutchinson, with all the musketeers that could be spared to help drive the enemy out of the town. They having effected what they came for, in fortifying the bridges, had nothing more to do but to get safe off, which they endeavoured with more haste and disorder than became good and stout soldiers. When Major Hutchinson came into the town with his men, they, greedy of knowing what was become of their wives and houses, dropped so fast from behind him to make the inquiry, that they had left him only in the head of sixteen men, when Sir Richard Biron, with Captain Hacker, followed by a whole troop of horse and a foot company, came upon him. The major commanded his men to charge them, which they did, but shot over; yet falling in with them pell-mell, they had gotten Sir Richard Biron down, and they had his hat, but he escaped, though his horse was so wounded that it fell dead in the next street.

These men that came to the governor’s relief were Captain White with his troop, who were quartered at Leicester, in his return from Lincolnshire, from whence he was coming back to Nottingham, and at Leicester met the messenger the governor had sent for assistance, which he prosecuted so, that from the two garrisons of Leicester and Derby, with his own troop, he brought about four hundred men. As soon as they were come into the town, Sir John Gell’s men, seeing the cavaliers had a mind to be gone, interrupted them not, but being as dexterous at plunder as at fight, they presently went to Toplady’s house, who had betrayed the town, and plundered it and some others, while the governor’s soldiers were busy in clearing the town of the enemy. When they had done this, the governor did what he could to restrain the plunder; but the truth is, Gell’s men were nimble youths at that work, yet there was not very much mischief done by them. Toplady’s house fared the worst, but his neighbours saved much of his goods; he himself, with several other townsmen and countrymen, who had been very active against the well-affected, at this time were brought up prisoners to the castle. There were not above five-and-twenty of the Newark soldiers taken; how many were slain at their going off, and during the time of their stay, we could not certainly tell, because they had means of carrying them off by the bridge, where they left Captain Hacker governor of their new fort with fourscore men. Their prisoners and plunder they sent away in boats to Newark; many of the townsmen went with them, carrying away not only their own but their neighbours’ goods; and much more had been carried away, but that the unexpected sally from the castle prevented them. Dr. Plumptre, one of the committee of Nottingham, whom they found prisoner at the marshal’s house in the town, and released, went out of the town with them. This man, when he had provoked the governor to strike him, for his malicious and uncivil railings against him for the respect he showed to the godly men of the town, had retired to the house of a malignant gentleman in arms against the parliament; had received a protection from the governor of Newark, and had divers meetings with the Newark officers; yet after all this had the impudence to come into the town of Nottingham: and in all the taverns and ale-houses he came into, to belch out abominable scoffs and taunts against the governor and the committee-men, before Colonel Thornhagh’s face, who commanded him out of the room for it; and upon information of these things to the governor and the committee, he was sent for by some musketeers, and the enemy’s protection for himself and his goods being found about him, he was committed prisoner, but there being no good accommodation for him in the castle, the governor, in more civility than he deserved, suffered him to be in the town, whence he went with them, and afterwards retired to Derby. At the same time, the cavaliers having taken some prisoners upon the parliament’s score who lived quietly in the country, the committee had fetched in some gentlemen’s sons of their party, who were left at their father’s houses; whereof one was remaining at the marshal’s house when the cavaliers came into the town, whom the governor suffered to be there upon his parole, there being no good accommodation for him in the castle. Him the cavaliers would have had to have gone away with them, but he would not; which handsome behaviour so pleased the governor, that he freely gave him his liberty without exchange.

As soon as the enemy was driven out of the town, the governor brought down two pieces of ordnance to the market-place, and entreated the soldiers that were come from Leicester and Derby to march with him immediately, to assault them in their fort at the bridges, before they had time to put themselves in order, and recollect their confused souls, after their chase; but the major of Derby, an old dull-headed Dutchman, said ten thousand men could not do it, and could by no means be entreated to go on, nor to stay one day longer, but to stand by, while the governor made the attempt, with his own men. He, when he saw he could not prevail, thought it not convenient at that time, to urge his men beyond their power, after they had had a week of such sore labour, and so, much discontented that he could not effect his desire, he drew back his ordnance into the castle. Here his women, while the men were all otherwise employed, had provided him as large a supper as the time and present condition would permit, at which he entertained all the strangers, and his own officers and gentlemen.

There was a large room, which was the chapel, in the castle: this they had filled full of prisoners, besides a very bad prison, which was no better than a dungeon, called the Lion’s Den; and the new Captain Palmer, and another minister having nothing else to do, walked up and down the castleyard, insulting and beating the poor prisoners as they were brought up. In the encounter, one of the Derby captains was slain, and five of our men hurt, who for want of another surgeon, were brought to the governor’s wife, and she having some excellent balsams and plasters in her closet, with the assistance of a gentleman that had some skill, dressed all their wounds, whereof some were dangerous, being all shots, with such good success, that they were all cured in convenient time. After our wounded men were dressed, as she stood at her chamber-door, seeing three of the prisoners sorely cut, and carried down bleeding into the Lion’s Den, she desired the marshal to bring them in to her, and bound up and dressed their wounds also: which while she was doing, Captain Palmer came in and told her his soul abhorred to see this favour to the enemies of God; she replied, she had done nothing but what she thought was her duty, in humanity to them, as fellow-creatures, not as enemies. But he was very ill satisfied with her, and with the governor presently after, when he came into a very large room where a very great supper was prepared, and more room and meat than guests; to fill up which the governor had sent for one Mr. Mason, one of the prisoners, a man of good fashion, who had married a relation of his, and was brought up more in fury, than for any proof of guilt in him, and I know not whither two or three others the governor had called to meet with them; for which Captain Palmer bellowed loudly against him, as a favourer of malignants and cavaliers. Who could have thought this godly, zealous man, who could scarce eat his supper for grief to see the enemies of God thus favoured, should have afterwards entered into a conspiracy, against the governor, with those very same persons, who now so much provoked his zeal? But the governor took no notice of it, though he set the very soldiers a muttering against himself and his wife, for these poor humanities.

The next day the neighbour forces returned home. Colonel Thornhagh having lost most of his troop, went to London to get another. Captain White stayed at Nottingham with his, where intelligence being given that the cavaliers intended to possess themselves of Broxtowe and Woollerton (two gentlemen’s houses within two miles apiece of Nottingham), Captain Palmer was sent, with the remainder of his men, to keep Broxtowe-house, and the governor’s captain-lieutenant, with his company, to Woollerton. The governor, at Nottingham, broke up the Line Bridge to prevent the cavaliers coming suddenly by that way into the town; then he blocked up the lanes next the castle, and cut up all the hedges, that were dangerous to make approaches to the castle; and having the experience of the mischief of it, pulled down St. Nicholas’ church by the advice of the committee.

Presently after the cavaliers were gone out of town, some naughty people, set on by them, fired the town, but it was quenched without burning above two or three houses; yet for a fortnight together it was perpetually attempted, fire being laid to hay-barns and other combustible places, insomuch that the women were forced to walk fifty in a night to prevent the burning; which the committee perceiving to be attempted by the instigation of the Newark gentlemen, they wrote them word, that if they forbade not their instruments, if so much as one house were fired, they would fire all the cavaliers’ houses near them. The gentlemen returned them a scornful letter, full of taunts and disdain, but after that no more houses were attempted with fire.

The Derby soldiers, when they returned home, being asked why they left the cavaliers at the bridges unassaulted, made answer, they would have beaten them out, but the governor would not lend them a piece of ordnance out of his castle; which false report, when the governor heard, piqued him heartily, being so notorious a lie; for he drew down two pieces of ordnance, and could not entreat them to do more than stand by, while he attempted it with his own men; but their Major Molanus, being an old soldier, discouraged our soldiers, and told them it was a vain and impossible attempt. For this cause, the governor resolved he would set upon it alone, whenever it was seasonable; and watching an opportunity, he soon took it, at a time when intelligence was brought him that all the forces Newark could send forth, were gone upon a design into Lincolnshire. Then, on the Lord’s day, under colour of hearing a sermon at the great church in the town, he went thither, and after sermon, from the steeple took a view of the fort at the bridges; no one perceiving his design but his engineer, who was with him, and took a full survey of Hacker’s works. Then, after supper, he called the committee together, and communicated his intentions to them which they approved of. So all that night he spent in preparations against the next morning; he sent away orders to the horse and foot that lay at Broxtowe to come to him in the morning by eight o’clock, with all the pioneers they could gather up in the country; he sent into the town, and caused all the pioneers there to be brought up, under pretence of making a breastwork before the castle-gates, and pretending to set them upon the platforms, caused all the cannon-baskets to be filled, which he intended for rolling trenches. All things, betimes in the morning, being gotten into perfect readiness, and so discreetly ordered, that the enemy had no notice from any of their friends in town, nor knew anything of the design, till it was ready; the governor, about eleven o’clock on Monday morning, marched out, although the weather at that time, being very tempestuous and rainy, seemed to have combined with his enemies and withstood the attempt; but the soldiers were rather animated than discouraged, thinking that difficulties, after they were vanquished, would increase their glory. So when the ugly storm had, for three or four hours, wasted itself in its fury on them, it fell at their feet, and no more envious clouds obscured the cheerful face of heaven, so long as they continued in the field. The governor’s own company marched through the meadows, and gave the alarm to the enemy’s foot, while Mr. George Hutchinson’s company went through the lanes, to gain a nook, which was very advantageous for the approaches of our men, and of which they easily possessed themselves, and then advancing, planted their colours within musket-shot of the fort. Although they planted so many colours, the governor had but eightscore foot, and a hundred horse, in all that went with him out of the castle, but he set the pioneers fairly among them to make the better show.

When the colours were thus planted, the pioneers were set at work to cast up a breastwork; and being left in a safe posture with the inferior officers, the governor and his brother went up to the castle, to order the drawing down of the ordnance. Meanwhile the cavaliers sallied out of their fort to gain the colours, at whose approach all the pioneers ran away from their works; but the soldiers kept their ground and their colours, and beat back the enemy into their own fort, killing some of them, whereof two were left dead before our men, whom they thought it not safe to carry off. Our horse meeting the flying pioneers, brought them back again to their works, which they continued all that day, and the cavaliers attempted no more sallies. At evening the ordnance were brought down and planted within musket-shot of the fort, and then the governor despatched a messenger to Derby to tell Sir John Gell, if he pleased to send any of his men, they might come and see the fort taken. Accordingly, on Tuesday the Dutch major came, with about sixscore foot and dragoons. Hard by the fort at the bridges, and at that side which our men approached, there were two houses full of coals, into which, if the cavaliers had put any men, they might have done much mischief to the assailants; wherefore the governor sent two or three soldiers, who very boldly went almost under their works and fired them both, by the light of which, burning all night, the governor’s men wrought all that night in their trenches, and cut a trench in the meadows, some of them calling to the cavaliers in the fort, and keeping them in abusive replies, one upon another, while the pioneers carried on the works. The governor and his brother, and all the other officers, continuing all night in the trenches with them, they behaved themselves so cheerfully, that the governor gave them the next morning twenty pounds; and they had very good drink and provisions brought them out of the garrison, which much encouraged them, but the governor’s presence and alacrity among them much more. When the Derby men came on Tuesday, the Dutch major came down to the trenches, and told the governor that he wondered he would attempt the fort, for it was impregnable, and therefore much dissuaded him from going on, and said that he and his men would return. The governor told him that he and the soldiers with him were resolved to leave their lives rather than their attempt; and if they failed for want of seconding by that force which was sent with him to their assistance, let the blame lie on him. When the Derby officers saw him so resolute to persist, they, after much dissuasion and dispute, determined to stay, and the officers went up with the governor to supper in the castle, and the soldiers to quarters provided for them in the town; but after supper, the governor went down again, and stayed all night in the trenches with his men, and left them not as long as they stayed there, but only to fetch down what was necessary for them. He, his brother, and all the officers, were every night with them, and made them continue their custom of railing at each other in the dark, while they carried on their approaches. There was in the Trent, a little piece of ground of which, by damming up the water, the cavaliers had made an island; and while some of the soldiers held them in talk, others on Wednesday night cut the sluice, and by break of day on Thursday morning had pitched two colours in the island, within carbine-shot of the fort, and the governor’s company had as much advanced their approach on the other side. When they in the fort saw, in the morning, how the assailants had advanced, while they were kept secure in talk all the night, they were extremely mad, and swore like devils, which made the governor and his men great sport: and then it was believed they in the fort began to think of flight; which the besiegers not expecting, still continued their approaches, and that day got forty yards nearer to the island and also to the other side. Although Sir John Gell’s men came but on Tuesday, on Thursday the second messenger came from him, to call them back. The governor entreated them to stay that night and keep the trenches, while his men refreshed themselves: which they did, but his men would not go out of their trenches, but slept there to fit themselves for the assault, which the governor had resolved on for the morning, and for that purpose, after he had left them with all things provided in their trenches, he went to the castle to see the fireballs and other necessaries for the assault brought down, and at three in the morning came to them, when the soldiers told him the cavaliers in the fort had for two hours left off shooting. He sent some soldiers then to the work sides to discover what this meant; but they, perceiving the place empty, went in and found that all the garrison had stolen away, and had left behind them fourscore sheep, a hundred loads of coals, twenty quarters of oats, much hay, a great deal of plundered lead, and a fort so strong, that if they had had such courage as became men of their profession, they would never have quitted it. They left all their works standing, and only broke up two arches of the Trent bridges, to hinder the governor’s men from following them. Their flight was by that means secured, the river being so out that the horse could not ford over. Mr. George Hutchinson and his company were appointed to possess and keep the fort at the bridges, which he did; and the next week the garrison kept a day of solemn thanksgiving to God, for this success and the mercy in it, whereby all their men were preserved, notwithstanding their very bold adventures, so that not one of them was slain, and but four of them wounded, whereof three were so slightly hurt, that they returned again next day into the field. To increase their thanks to God, news was brought them that the same week the forces that went out from Newark, joined with Henderson’s, had received a great overthrow by Cromwell; and that my Lord Newcastle had been forced to raise his siege of Hull with great loss and dishonour. Some time after the bridge was recovered, the horse went forth and brought in some oxen of Mr. John Wood’s, a justice of the county, disaffected to the parliament, but not in action against them. He, following his oxen, came to the governor, and, after he had despatched his business, told him how Mr. Sutton would have once employed him on a message, to offer the governor any terms he would ask the king, to come over to his side and deliver up the castle to his use. Mr. Wood told him such a message would not obtain credit, unless he had some propositions in writing; whereupon he called for pen and ink, and writ that he should offer the governor, if he would resign his castle, not only to be received into favour, but to have what reward of honour, money, or command, he himself would propound; which paper when Mr. Wood had received, Sir Richard Biron came in, and Mr. Sutton told him the business; to which Sir Richard answered, he believed it would not take effect, for he himself had made the like offers to him, and been rejected: which Mr. Wood hearing, would not undertake the employment, but the governor made him declare the story to two of the gentlemen of the committee.

The governor not growing secure by successes, was but stirred up to more active preparations for the defence of the place he had undertaken; and having a very ingenious person, Mr. Hooper, who was his engineer, and one that understood all kind of operations, in almost all things imaginable, they procured some saltpetre men and other necessary labourers, and set up the making of powder and match in the castle, both of which they made very good; they also cast mortar pieces in the town, and finished many other inventions for the defence of the place. The governor also caused a mount near the castle to be bulwarked, and made a platform for ordnance, and raised a new work before the castle-gates, to keep off approaches, and made a new in-work in the fort at the bridges.

Sir Thomas Fairfax, being overmastered in the north by the Earl of Newcastle’s great army, after his father was retired into Hull, came with those horse that were left him, into the Vale of Belvoir, and so visited Nottingham Castle; where he and the commanders that were with him, considering of what advantage it was to the parliament to keep that place by reason of the commodious situation of it, and the pass which might be there maintained, between the north and south, and the happy retreat it might afford to their northern forces, very much pressed the governor and the committee to raise all the force they could, offering arms and commissions for them: especially he pressed the governor to complete a regiment for himself, which at that time he would not accept, because Colonel Pierrepont had not yet declared what he would do with his regiment. The colonel was then at Derby, whither some of his officers going to him, to know what they should do, he dismissed them; yet coming to the town, he gave out strange envious whispers, and behaved himself so disingenuously to the governor, that he had just cause to have no more regard for him; and being again importuned by Sir Thomas Fairfax, he received a commission to raise a regiment of twelve hundred. He presently recruited his own companies, and began to raise more: Mr. George Hutchinson was his lieutenant-colonel, and one Mr. Widmerpoole his major; there was a company raised by one Captain Wright; there remained a broken piece of Colonel Pierrepont’s company, and Captain Poulton, who had been their captain-lieutenant, being dismissed by the colonel, had a new commission under the governor for a company; and those soldiers of Colonel Pierrepont’s not knowing what to do, it was determined at a council of war of strangers, whereof Sir William Fairfax was president, that they should enlist under Captain Poulton. Sir William and Sir Thomas Fairfax, both of them, when the governor made scruple of passing by Colonel Pierrepont, assured him that they had intelligence given them in the north of his intentions to deliver Nottingham to the king.

About this time Chadwick, the deputy recorder of Nottingham, and one of the committee, came to Nottingham, from whence he went away, when the soldiers were all drawn out, and all that were fearful went to other places to secure themselves. This fellow being sent on a message to the Lord Fairfax, general of the north, had received letters of credence from the committee; but instead of prosecuting their business, which was to have procured some force from my lord to help keep the place, when my Lord Newcastle was daily expected to come against it, he procured himself a commission for a regiment, and a joint commission for himself and Colonel Pierrepont to be governors of the town and castle. The last he kept very private; the first he bragged of as a thing, which, my lord considering his great abilities, would needs enforce upon him. In execution of this, he raised seven men, which were his menial servants, went into Staffordshire, possessed a papist’s fine house, and fired it to run away by the light, when the enemy was thirty miles off from it, and cheated the country of pay for I know not how many hundred men: for which, if he had not stolen away in the night, he had been stoned; and as his wife passed through the towns, she was in danger of her life, the women flinging scalding water after her. But before this, he came to Nottingham at the time the governor raised his regiment, and coming up to the castle, behaving himself somewhat insolently, and casting out mysterious words of his authority; the governor set on a person to find out his meaning, to whom he showed a commission he had privately obtained some four months before, for himself and Colonel Pierrepont to be joint governors of the county, town, and castle; but neither did he now declare this to any of the committee, but only made some private brags in the town, that he would shortly come and take order for the safety of the place, and so went out of town again. The governor acquainted the committee with this, who seemed to have great indignation at it, and wrote immediately to Mr. Millington, burgess of the town of Nottingham, to have the government of the castle confirmed to Colonel Hutchinson by authority of parliament. Mr. Salusbury, their secretary, had also put in the government of the town, but Colonel Hutchinson caused him to put it out; and the governor, being informed that Colonel Pierrepont, at London, was labouring to obtain a regiment, and to be sent down as governor of the town, he for the more speedy despatch, sent his own chaplain with the committee’s letters to London, and sent other letters of his own to Sir Thomas Fairfax, to acquaint him how Chadwick had abused my lord, his father, in the surreptitious procurement of this dormant commission; which, during all the time of danger, had lain asleep in his pocket, and now was mentioned, as a thing, whereby he might, when he would, take that place out of Colonel Hutchinson’s hands, which he had with so many labours and dangers preserved, by God’s blessing, for the parliament’s service; he therefore desired a commission for the castle only.

As soon as Mr. Allsop came to London, he was immediately despatched again to Nottingham, with an order of parliament, dated November 20, 1643, for Colonel Hutchinson to be governor both of the town and castle of Nottingham, with an acknowledgment of the good service he had done in preserving the place; and Mr. Millington said he should likewise have a commission from the Earl of Essex. At Leicester, Mr. Allsop met letters, directed to the governor, from Sir Thomas Fairfax, wherein was a commission enclosed from his father, then general of all the north, for the government of both the town and castle. These coming both together, although the general and the parliament had added the government of the town to that of the castle, as more honour to him. Colonel Hutchinson was for many reasons much troubled at it, among which these were some of his considerations. First, they were almost all malignants, there being scarcely a man left who was to be confided in, except those who were already listed into the castle. Secondly, they were not so much open, professed enemies, as close, hypocritical, false-hearted people; amongst whom were some leading eminent men, so subtle in their malignity, that though their actions were most prejudicial to the public service, yet did they cast such cunning, specious pretences over them of public good, that even the most upright men of the garrison were often seduced by their fair colours. Thirdly, the most religious and the best people were so pragmatical, that no act, nor scarcely word, could pass without being strictly arraigned and judged at the bar of every common soldier’s discretion, and thereafter censured and exclaimed at. Fourthly, the townsmen, being such as had lived free and plentifully of themselves, could not subject themselves to government; but were so saucy, so negligent, and so mutinous, that the most honourable person in the world, could expect nothing but scandal, reproach, and ingratitude, for the payment of his greatest merit; and this the worthy governor found sufficiently from them. Lastly, the few good men were so easily blown up into causeless suspicions and jealousies, and there were so many malignant whispers daily spread abroad of every one in office, that it was impossible for any man so worthily to demean himself, but that a jealous misconstruction of some inconsiderable trifle, was enough to blast the esteem of all his actions, though never so pious and deserving; and of all things in the world, nothing was so contrary to the governor’s clear and generous heart, as a base and causeless jealousy of him. But notwithstanding these and many other reasons, such as the unprofitable expense of his time, estate, and labours, where he should reap neither glory nor advantage to himself, he considered, that since he had rather declined than sought the enlargement of his power and command, and that the parliament and generals had at such a distance been moved to put it, unsought for, upon him, it was a work which God called him to, and that the Lord, who set him into the employment, would conquer all the difficulties. For the unjust thoughts or reports of men or their ungrateful returns, he was as much above the grief of that, as the vainglory of mutable popular applause. It was in all things his endeavour to do and deserve well; and then he never regarded the praise or dispraise of men, for he knew that it was impossible to keep on a constant career of virtue and justice, and to please all. It sufficed him, for his inward peace, that he did not thrust himself into this and other employments, for any popular, ambitious, or advantageous interest of his own; but that he was called of God, to the carrying on of the interests of truth, righteousness, and holiness, and to the defence of his country, wherein he was faithful, and found the Lord’s protection and glorious presence, not only in all he did, but in all he suffered for him and from him.

As soon as the governor had received his commission, he thought it his duty to put it into execution, and to arm and fortify the town; but my Lord Newcastle coming with all his forces into Nottingham and Derbyshire, the governor, by the advice of the committee, forbore to publish his new commissions, lest the enemy, perceiving an intent to enlarge the garrison, should utterly destroy the town, before they were able to defend it. At the reading of his commission in the committee chamber, Colonel Thornhagh showed much discontent and was melancholy after it; whereupon the governor told him, that as he had not sought that enlargement of command, so if any of them thought themselves abridged by it, or any other inconvenience to the public service, he would resign it, and never make use of his commission. The colonel answered with much kindness, that he only wondered how the town came to be added, when they wrote for the castle; but he was well satisfied with it, and forced himself to a seeming content, though the truth is he had some emulation but not malice, to the governor; and being of a nature a little jealous and easy to be wrought upon, the wicked enemies of the cause endeavoured, all they could, by insinuations to work disaffection and division between these two gentlemen, who were the most faithful, unbiassed, and zealous champions of the public interest, in their country. But after Colonel Thornhagh had been wrought up to declare his discontent, there were many odd passages, by which others also of the committee, who durst not before reveal their envious hearts, showed themselves displeased. Whereupon, when they were all together, the governor, who hated secret heart-boilings, spoke to them, and told them that their carriages since the commission came to him, did manifest their dissatisfaction in it; and if they would deal ingenuously with him and let him know it, as he had not sought the additional government of the town, so he would never undertake it, if they had any jealousies that, unknown to them, he had procured it for himself, and closely sought after the enlargement of his own power, by the abridgment of theirs, he assured them he was much mistaken, and that neither to Mr. Millington, nor to Sir Thomas Fairfax, had he mentioned anything more than the government of the castle. For that of the town he rejoiced not in it, but looked upon it as a great burthen; yet since it was conferred as an honour upon him he should not decline serving them therein that had thought him worthy of it, except it gave distaste to any of those present; which if it did, he would esteem it an obligation, if they would but declare it before he published his commission. They all unanimously replied, they were not only contented, but exceedingly well pleased in it. Then the governor told them, if they were real, as they professed, he should expect their ready and free concurrence with him, in all affairs tending to the public service, and in those courses he should apply himself to, for the good of the garrison: and again earnestly desired them, if they had any dislikes, either of himself personally, or of the alteration of the town out of the hands it had been in the last year, that they would now freely declare it: for as he should take it exceedingly kindly of them, to do so at this time; so if, after he had undertaken the charge, there should be any thwarting or crossing of powers and commands between them, he should not bear it; for as he should not stand upon all punctual niceties in his command, so he would not be abridged of the just and lawful power due to him in his place. They all unanimously answered, it was very fit and just he should have it, and they would rather endeavour to uphold him in it than in any way to retrench it.

Now was my Lord Newcastle’s army come into Derbyshire, and having taken some places there, nothing was expected at Derby and Nottingham but a siege; whereupon Captain Palmer’s troop was called away from Broxtowe and all the rest of the horse was sent away into Leicestershire, except a few left for scouts; and as soon as they were gone, my Lord Newcastle’s forces came and quartered almost at the town side, and in all the near towns, and Hastings took this opportunity to make a garrison at Wilden Ferry. By the mercy of God the enemy was restrained from coming up to the town, though it lay so open that they might have come in at their pleasure; and they not only miserably wasted and plundered the country all about, but one of them told a malignant, where he quartered, that it was their design in coming to those parts, to devour the country. The regiments that were quartered the nearest to Nottingham were Sir Marmaduke Langdale’s and Colonel Dacre’s, who had been a familiar acquaintance of Lieutenant-colonel Hutchinson’s when he was in the north, and they loved each other as well as if they had been brothers. Colonel Dacre sent a trumpet to desire Lieutenant-colonel Hutchinson to send him a safe convoy, that he might come and see him, which he acquainted the committee with, and would have refused, but that the committee thinking some good use might be made of it, persuaded him to surfer him to come; accordingly he sent him a ticket under his hand, promising him to come and go safely; so upon Thursday morning he came, with about eight more, to the top of the hill at Nottingham, and from thence sent his trumpet to the governor, as if not willing to trust himself without his leave, to know whether he would permit him and his two servants to come into his garrison to visit the lieutenant-colonel. The governor sent him a ticket for them to come in; and though usually they kept no sentinels in the town, yet he sent down some officers and soldiers to show him a guard at his entrance. When the lieutenant-colonel came to him, he made many endearing expressions to him; how much he rejoiced when his regiment was designed for that place where he was, and how kind an affection he retained for him, notwithstanding their contrary engagements. Falling into further discourse of this kind, he said that if he could but be convinced that the king first entertained papists into his army, and that the parliament had none in theirs, he would never fight more on his side. The lieutenant-colonel told him he should easily be able to do that. ‘Well’, said Dacre, ‘you and I must have some discourse in private, and I shall be glad if you can satisfy me in that’. Then the colonel desired some drink might be sent out to two or three gentlemen, that stayed on him upon the top of the hill; which the lieutenant-colonel hearing, sent some of his own officers and soldiers on horseback to fetch them down, who coming in all together with them, the town rose in an uproar, and came to the governor with a high complaint, that I know not how many cavaliers were come into the town, and rode up and down armed, threatening the people to their great terror. This the governor thinking to be true, was vexed at it, and sent down an angry letter to his brother, requiring him to send up the men that came last into the town. Col. Dacre hearing this, desired the lieutenant-colonel that the gentlemen might pass as they came, and offered to go up himself and answer for the offence they had given. But the lieutenant-colonel presently carried them all out of the town, and came himself up to the castle, taking it something unkindly that his brother should write such a letter to him, and worse, that others should have suspicions of him; so that though he had made a promise to dine the Saturday following at Dacre’s quarters, yet, to take away all offence and suspicions, he resolved he would have no more meetings with him, and to that end wrote him a very civil letter to excuse his not coming and the governor wrote another to excuse the mistake, whereupon the gentlemen were sent for to the castle. Dacre returned complimental answers to them both, and writ another to Captain Poulton, entreating very earnestly the lieutenant-colonel and Captain Poulton to come and dine with him on Wednesday, and desiring the governor he might have the honour to see him. These letters being communicated to the committee, they would fain have had the lieutenant-colonel to have gone but he held firm to his resolution and would not; so with their privity Captain Poulton only went to excuse it, and two of White’s officers were sent along with them, with charge, if they could, to find out how the enemy lay. When Captain Poulton came, the colonel entertained him very kindly, and expressed a great deal of trouble that the lieutenant-colonel was not come, and took him aside and told him that the governor of Nottingham and his brother had now an opportunity whereby they might much advantage themselves, and do the king excellent service. Captain Poulton asking him how, he said, if the governor would deliver up the castle he should be received into favour, have the castle confirmed to him and his heirs, have ten thousand pounds in money, and be made the best lord in the country. If the lieutenant-colonel would deliver up the bridges he should have three thousand pounds, and what command he would ask in the army; and offered Captain Poulton two thousand pounds to effect this. The captain told him, for his own part, nothing should buy him to such a villany, and he believed the same of the governor and his brother, and made no question but they had before been attempted. The colonel told him he did not this without authority, and thereupon pulled a paper out of his pocket wherein were words to this effect: ‘These are to authorise Colonel Dacre to treat with Colonel Hutchinson and Lieutenant-colonel Hutchinson for the delivery of Nottingham Castle and the bridges, and to make them large promises, which shall be performed by W. Newcastle’. Having shown him this warrant, the colonel was very importunate with the captain to acquaint the governor and his brother, and return their answer to him upon the Friday after, when he offered to meet him, if they would, at a place called St. Ann’s Well. Captain Poulton told the governor and his brother, and they told the committee, and showed them very disdainful refusals they all had written to the colonel, and sent him by a drum; who was not long gone out of the garrison but another came from Colonel Dacre with a letter to Captain Poulton, excusing himself that he could not stay in his quarters for him, according to appointment, but assuring him that what he had promised should be really performed. The governor’s drum, in the absence of Colonel Dacre, delivered the three letters to Langdale, who wrote them back a good civil letter, saying that he believed my Lord Newcastle and Dacre, out of familiarity and acquaintance with them, might have made these offers in kindness to them, but for his part he should otherwise pursue the king’s service.

After this, the weather being pretty fair, and the moon shining at that time, the governor sent out a foot company to beat up their quarters, and gave them a fierce alarum throughout, and took twelve horses out of one of their stables, which they sent home. On their return, meeting a great body of horse, they all at once discharged upon them, and killed some eight of them, as we were told in the morning. After this charge the horse immediately retreated and would not stand another, and the next day removed their quarters further from the garrison. Then the governor and committee sent for the Nottingham horse back from Leicester, and appointed them to bring five hundred muskets which were come to Leicester for the governor. They came, but left the arms behind them. Besides this, the colonel and all his regiment fell into disputes, that the governors of the parliament garrisons had no command of the horse that were quartered in their towns; and hereupon the governor was often prevented of many opportunities advantageable to the public service, and much discouraged to find such obstructions from the envious pride and humour of those who should have been his assistants; but he bore with it as long as himself only suffered by it, and was willing for quietness’ sake to pass by many injuries offered himself, till the public service came to be infinitely prejudiced by it. In the meantime he went on, as well as he could, through all difficulties, in the faithful and active discharge of his trust. He called a committee and council of war, where it was put to the question and voted that the town should be fortified. Then he applied himself to the thing, and called a full Hall of all the town, who declared sufficiently their disaffection to the parliament, but in such a subtle way as would have entrapped a less prudent person. But the governor overlooked many things that he saw, and made use of all the advantages they gave him; and did not manifest his resentment at anything which they could cloak under a specious pretence, how disadvantageably soever it were designed against the parliament interest. The whole town unanimously voted that the place should be fortified, except Alderman Drury, and two or three that followed him. Then the governor gave them encouraging promises of his protection and care over them, and his endeavours to preserve them with his regiment, if they would assist in their own defence. The town being well satisfied, or at least seeming so (for he treated them with that dexterity that they could not for shame openly oppose him, though he was not ignorant that the cavalier party cursed him in their hearts, as the only obstacle in their greater desire of having declared themselves on the other side), with general outward cheerfulness, in Christmas week the works were begun. About this time Sir Thomas Fairfax being to march into Staffordshire, sent for some arms he had left in Nottingham castle; and by the same convoy that went with them the governor got his five hundred muskets brought home from Leicester. Sir Thomas sent orders to the governor to send him all the horse in the garrison; but when the governor acquainted them with it, they would none of them obey him and go, though Sir Thomas sent twice very earnestly for them, but stayed in Nottingham, where they would obey no order of the governor’s; and by doing things that concerned the garrison without and against his orders, they made a sad confusion and thwarting of powers, which the governor bore with in respect to Col. Thornhagh, who did things not so much out of malice in himself, as out of a little emulation, which did not destroy his kindness to the governor, and by the subtle instigation of Capt. White, who wrought upon his facility to do those things which his malice and factious ambition prompted him to wish, but he durst not himself attempt. Although the horse would not obey Sir Thomas Fairfax, it was not out of cowardice, for the men were very stout and cheerful in the service, but only had the general fault of all the parliament party, that they were not very obedient to commands, except they knew and approved their employment. They had no sooner refused Sir Thomas, but my lord Grey, sending for two troops, they went to him to Melton, which he had begun to fortify. The governor, notwithstanding these obstacles from secret enemies and refractory friends, carried on his business with good success, and had many events according to his endeavours. Among the rest, his men encountering a party where Colonel Frecheville and Sir Henry Humlack were in person, fought them, killed many of their men, and took Frecheville prisoner; but his captain-lieutenant Jammot came to his rescue and freed him, though he himself was taken in his stead and brought to Nottingham. Here, after he had been some time kept, he corrupted a soldier, who disguised and led him out, and went away with him. The man being a Frenchman and a proper black man, some would needs report him to be Prince Rupert, and thereupon raised a great clamour at the governor.