Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers

By John Walter | Go to book overview

1.
An event and its history

And that their loss of liberty might not be all their punishment, it was the usual course (and very few scaped it,) after any man was committed as a notorious malignant, (which was the brand,) that his estate and goods were seized or plundered, by an order from the House of Commons or some committee, or [by] the soldiers, (who in their march they took the goods of all catholics and eminent malignants as lawful prize), or by the fury and licence of the common people, who were in all places grown to that barbarity and rage against the nobility and gentry, (under the style of cavaliers,) that it was not safe for any to live at their houses who were taken notice of as no votaries to the Parliament.

So the common people (no doubt by the advice of their superiors) in Essex on a sudden beset the house of Sir John Lucas, one of the best gentleman of that county, and one of the most eminent affection to the King, being a gentleman of the privy chamber to the Prince of Wales; and upon pretence that he was going to the King, possessed themselves of all his horses and arms, seized upon his arms, seized upon his person, and used him with all possible indignities, not without some threats to murder him: and when the mayor of Colchester, whither he was brought, with more humanity than the rest, offered to keep him prisoner in his own house till the pleasure of the Parliament should be farther known, they compelled him, (for he was willing to be compelled,) to send him to the common gaol; where he remained, glad of that security, till the House of Commons removed him to another prison, (without ever charging him with any crime).

Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon,
The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England
Begun in the Year 1641, book 6, pp. 36–7
(published in 1702, but written c. 1647).

-13-

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Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Past and Present Publications *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - The Event 11
  • 1. - An Event and Its History 13
  • 2. - The Attacks 31
  • Part 2 - Contextualising the Crowd 69
  • 3. - The Micro-Politics of the Attack on Sir John Lucas 71
  • 4. - The High Politics of the Attack on Sir John Lucas 115
  • Part 3 - The Confessional Crowd 159
  • 5. - The Attack on Ministers 161
  • 6. - The Attack on Catholics 201
  • Part 4 - Reading the Crowd 235
  • 7. - Cloth and Class 237
  • 8. - Anti-Popery and Popular Parliamentarianism 285
  • Conclusion 331
  • Index 353
  • Past and Present Publications 358
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