Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers

By John Walter | Go to book overview

4.
The high politics of the attack on
Sir John Lucas

A very great part of the Knights and Gentlemen of England in the several Counties (who were not Parliament Men) adhered to the King, except in Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, etc. where the King with his Army never came: And could he have got footing there, its like that it would have been there as it was in other places.

Richard Baxter.1

A kn[igh]t of Essex said that the County shewed not themselves for the kinge as others but yf the Commission of Array were executed in that County they should see what they would doe.

Walter Yonge's Long Parliament Diary.2

It has been customary to think of the counties of Essex and Suffolk as having been firmly in the Parliamentarian camp. As S. R. Gardiner could pronounce after briefly discussing the Stour Valley episode, 'in Essex Royalists were few'.3 This assumption has deep roots and has caused not a few problems for those writing from within the region on its history, not least for Colchester's first historian, the loyal Tory parson, the Rev. Philip Morant.4 But if we are to understand the full context for the

____________________
1
Reliquiae Baxterianae:Or, Mr Richard Baxter's Narrative of the Most Memorable Passages of His Life and Times, ed. M. Sylvester (1696), p. 30.
2
BL, Additional MS 18777, fol. 134a.
3
Samuel Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War (1886), vol. 1, p. 12.
4
P. Morant, The History and Antiquities of the most ancient Town and Borough of Colchester, 2 vols. (1748), vol. 1, p. 57: 'Thus from the whole course of History it appears that this Town, at least the Majority and the Governing part of it, were in the Parliament's Interests. So that they who, from the Resistance made by the town of Colchester against the Parliament's Forces should infer, that it was entirely loyal would be greatly mistaken'. Ironically, recent work suggests that there might have been a loyalist party within Colchester at the time of the second siege: G. Dann, S. Rowland and D. Wright, 'Civil war and political strife, 1642–48' in D. Stephenson (ed.), Three Studies in Turbulence (Colchester, 1976), pp. 7–9.

-115-

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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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