Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers

By John Walter | Go to book overview

3.
The micro-politics of the attack on
Sir John Lucas

For Corporations, I see no re[a]son whye ther shoulde bee so manye for whye shoulde Tan[n]ers, & shooe-makers nott be contented to bee Governed by the same waye thatt Lordes Gentlemen, & good yeomen & freeholders are … Butt these Townsmen muste bee Exsemted by their Charter. The truth Is thatt Everye Corporation Is a pettye free state agaynste monarkeye, and theye have don[e] your Matie more mischeefe In these late disorders with their Lecterors then anye thinge Else hath don.

The Duke of Newcastle (brother-in-law of Sir
John Lucas).1

In the Visitation of Essex in 1634 the Lucas family were described as 'of St Johns neere Colchester'.2 Too near Colchester' would be a better description of their location. In March 1640, Sir John Lucas wrote a characteristic letter of complaint about the activities of the saltpetremen in his house which lay just outside the town walls at Colchester. Their actions in breaking open the main gates to the house had meant that 'the house lies exposed to the spoile and rapine of unruly people whereof that towne is very full'.3 It was the misfortune of the Lucas family that, although landed gentry, they lived little more than a stone's throw from one of the largest towns in provincial England, an industrial centre notorious for its levels of contention and disorder. Contextualising Lucas's relations, in this chapter with the Corporation and commons of Colchester, and in the following chapter with the county community,

____________________
1
S. A. Strong, A Catalogue of Letters And Other Historical Documents Exhibited in The Library at Welbeck (1903), p. 206.
2
W. Metcalfe (ed.), The Visitations of Essex, vols. 13–14 (Harleian Society, 1878–9), vol. 1, p. 437.
3
PRO, SP, 16/449/25.

-71-

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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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