« ZurückWeiter »
“ I shall never cease to think with a sigh of the grave
in which I saw your body composed, till my own body shall require the same pious covering of dust, and shall solicit, with far inferior claims, yet haply not altogether in vain, for the same fond charity of a tear.”
From Dr. Symmons's Life of Milton.
Art. XXII. Memoirs of Col. John Hutchinson,
[CONTINUED FROM 7. 69.)
Colonel John Hutchinson was eldest son of Sir Thomas Hutchinson of Owthorpe in Nottinghamshire, Kt. by Margaret daughter of Sir John Byron, of Newsted in the same county, and was born at Nottingham in 1616. He was educated at Nottingham school, and thence removed to the free school at Lincoln. Here, when not occupied in his studies, he was exercised in all military postures, assaults, and defences, by an old low-country soldier, who was employed to instruct the scholars in this way. Hence he was removed back to the free school at Nottingham, and on quitting it sent a Fellow Commoner to Peter-House, Cambridge, where he attained much credit for his learning, and took a degree with considerable reputation.
After five years stay at the University, being then twenty years old, he returned to his father's house, who had now settled his habitation at Nottingham; but a new brood of children, by a second marriage, having sprung up in the house, which made his abode there not entirely agreeable, he obtained leave to go to London, where he was admitted of Lincoln's Inna N 3
Here however he did not find society congenial to his taste, and thinking the study of the law unpleasant and contrary to his genius, and the plague, which broke out this spring, beginning to drive people out of the town, he retired to Richmond. At this place, he met his future wife and biographer, Lucy Apsley, as has been already mentioned.
In the two years, which followed, in the bosom of domestic privacy he took the greatest delight in the study of divinity. “It was a remarkable providence of God in his life," says his wife, “ that must not be passed over without special notice, that he gave him these two years leisure, and a heart so to employ it, before the noise of war and tumult came upon him: yet about the year 1639 the thunder was heard afar off rattling in the troubled air, and even the most obscured woods were penetrated with some flashes, the forerunners of the dreadful storm, which the next year was more apparent.”
He now being anxious to increase his income, was on the point of concluding a bargain, for the purchase of a place in the court of Star-chamber, which an accident put aside, and which Mrs. H. considers a provi. dential interference. In October, 1841, therefore, he retired to the family house at Owthorpe. Here “he applied himself to understand the things then in dispute, and read all the public papers that came forth, between the King and Parliament, besides many other private treatises, both concerning the present and foregoing times. Hereby he became abundantly informed in his understanding, and convinced in conscience of the righteousness of the Parliament's cause, in point of civil right, and though he was satisfied of the en
deavours to restore Popery, and subvert the true Protes. tant religion, which indeed was apparent to every one that impartially considered it, yet he did not consider that so clear a ground for the war, as the defence of the just English liberties; and although he was clearly swayed by his own judgment and reason to the Parliament, he thinking he had no warrantable call at that time to do any thing more, contented himself with praying for peace.”
He was now by the influence of Henry Ireton, his relation, put by the Parliament into the Commission of the peace, and soon after presented a petition of the yeomanry and others of that stamp belonging to his own county to the King at York, requesting him to return to the Parliament, a circumstance, that gave much uneasiness to his loyal relations the Byrons. He was hence embarked in this cause, and other events immediately followed, which confirmed him in it.
Mrs. H. records that almost the whole county of Nottingham were for the King “The greatest family," she says, “was the Earl of Newcastle's, * a lord so much beloved in his country, that when the first expedition was against the Scots, the gentlemen of the country set him forth two troops, one all of gentlemen, the other of their men, who waited on him into the north at their own charges. He had, indeed, through his great estate, his liberal hospitality, and constant residence in his country so endeared them to him, that po man was a greater prince than he in all that nore thern quarter, till a foolish ambition of glorious slavery carried him to court, where he ran himself much in debt to purchase neglects of the King and Queen, and scorns of the proud courtiers."'*
William Cavendish, afterwards Marquis and Duke of Newcastle, who was seated at Welbeck Abbey, and whose landed reata! in those days amounted to 22,000l. a year and upwards, N 4
Mr. Hutchinson was not willing to quit his house, to which he had-so lately come, if he could have been suffered to live quietly in it; but his affections to the Parliament being taken notice of, he became an object of envy to the other party. Nottingham now took up the sword, and it was not safe to lay it down again. Upon the Parliament's commission therefore for settling the inilitia, Mr. Hutchinson was chosen Lieut. Col. of Col. Pierrepoint's Regiment of Foot. He now resolved, if possible, to preserve the town of Nottingham to the Parliament; an important service, it being a considerable
into the north, which, if the enemy had first possessed themselves of, the Parliament had been cut off from all intercourse between the north and south, especially in the winter time, when the river Trent is not fordable, and only to be passed over by the bridges of Nottingham and Newark, and up higher at Wilden Ferry, where the enemy also had a garrison. He well knew the difficulty of what he undertook, and considered himself as the forlorn hope of those, who were engaged in it; but his invincible courage and passionate zeal for a cause, which he believed to be just, impelled him to persevere.
On the 29th of June, 1643, the castle of Nottingham was committed to Colonel Hutchinson's care.
* The strong coincidence of this portrait, with that given by Lord Clarendon, though written by one of the opposite party, is a clear presumption of the reliance that is to be put upon both.
This fortress was ill fortified and ill provided, all which he set himself as soon as possible to repair. Soon afterwards his father died, and did him much injustice by his will, but this he bore with his accustomed fortitude of mind, and did not suffer it to abate his energy in the cause which he had embraced. Attempts were made to shake his fidelity through the medium of his cousin Sir Richard Byron; he replied, “ that except he found his own heart prone to such treachery, he might consider, there was, if nothing else, so much of a Byron'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.”
From hence Colonel H. continued the defence of his castle with much ability and courage, not only against the enemy but against many internal intrigues, till 1647, when the war being ended he thought the command no longer worthy himself or his brother, and gave it over to his kinsman Captain Poulton. He then removed his family back to his own house at Owthorpe, but found, that as it had stood uninhabited and been robbed of every thing which the neighbouring garrisons of Shelford and Wiverton could carry from it, it was so ruinated that it could not be repaired to make a convenient habitation, without as much charge as would almost build another. But he made a bad shift with it for that year.