Edmund Ludlow


Edmund Ludlow

Infobox Politician (general)
name = Edmund Ludlow


birth_date = c.1617
birth_place = Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire
residence =
death_date = 1692
death_place = Vevey, Switzerland
office = MP in the Long Parliament, Rump Parliament, Convention Parliament
party =
religion = Baptist
spouse = Elizabeth Thomas
profession= politician, soldier

Edmund Ludlow (c. 1617 – 1692) was an English parliamentarian, best known for his involvement in the execution of Charles I, and for his "Memoirs", which were published posthumously in a rewritten form and which have become a major source for historians of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. After service in the English Civil Wars, Ludlow was elected a Member of the Long Parliament. After the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1649 he was made second-in-command of Parliament's forces in Ireland, before breaking with Oliver Cromwell over the establishment of the Protectorate. After the Restoration Ludlow went into exile in Switzerland, where he spent much of the rest of his life. Ludlow himself spelled his name Ludlowe. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

Early life

Ludlow was born in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, the son of Sir Henry Ludlow of Maiden Bradley and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Phelips of Montacute, Somerset. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ] He matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford in September 1634 and graduated in 1636. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ] He was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1638. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

English Civil Wars

When the Great Rebellion broke out in 1642, Ludlow engaged as a volunteer in the life guard of Lord Essex. His first battle was at Worcester on 23 September 1642, his next at Edgehill on 23 October 1642. In 1643 he returned to Wiltshire and became captain of a troop of horse for Sir Edward Hungerford's regiment. Hungerford made him governor of Wardour Castle in 1643, but had to surrender to the Royalists after a tenacious three-month defence on March 18, 1644. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

After a brief imprisonment in Oxford, he was exchanged soon afterwards, and engaged as major of Sir Arthur Hesilrige's regiment of horse. He was present at the second battle of Newbury, October 1644, at the siege of Basing House in November, and took part in an expedition to relieve Taunton in December. In January 1645 Sir Marmaduke Langdale surprised his regiment, with Ludlow only escaping with difficulty. In 1646 he was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Wilts in place of his father, and became involved with the Indepedent faction within Parliament - especially with Henry Marten and other radical critics of the monarchy. Ludlow was a Baptist and Calvinist predestinarian, and his political views were inextricably interlinked with providentialist and apocalyptic religious views. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

Ludlow opposed negotiations with Charles I, and was one of the chief promoters of Pride's Purge in 1648. He was one of the king's judges, and signed the warrant for his execution. In February 1649 he was elected a member of the new Council of State after having himself been involved in drawing up the terms for its existence. Around this time he also married Elizabeth Thomas of Glamorgan. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

Campaign in Ireland

After Oliver Cromwell's return from Ireland in June 1650, Cromwell appointed Ludlow as lieutenant-general of horse and second-in-command to Henry Ireton in Parliament's campaign there. Here he spared neither health nor money in the public service. He landed in Ireland in January 1651 and was involved in the Siege of Limerick (1650-51) . After Ireton's death on 26 November 1651, Ludlow then held the chief command, and had practically completed the conquest of the island when he resigned his authority to Fleetwood in October 1652. Most of his campaigning in Ireland was against Irish guerrillas or "tories" and much of his operations consisted of hunting small bands and destroying foodstuff and crops.Ludlow is remembered for what he said of the Burren in County Clare during counter-guerilla operations there in 1651-52; "It is a country where there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him." [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/getwriting/A642610 BBC: The Flowers of the Burren, County Clare, Ireland] The BBC report goes on to say that he added "... and yet their cattle are very fat; for the grass growing in turfs of earth, of two or three foot square, that lie between the rocks, which are of limestone, is very sweet and nourishing.". similar quote "The Burren affordeth not a piece of timber sufficient to hang a man, water in any one place to drown a man, or earth enough in any one part to bury him." A similar quote can be found in "The Journal of Thomas Dineley", 1681, in the National Library of Ireland. Extracts from his journal, including his account of the Clare section of his journey, were published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, 6 (1867). These appear in an online in "The History and Topography of the County of Clare" by James Frost Part II. History of Thomond Chapter 28 [http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/history/dineley_1681/1681_burren.htm Barony of Burren] .]

The Protectorate

Though disapproving of Cromwell's action in dissolving the Rump Parliament in April 1653, Ludlow maintained his employment. However, when Cromwell was declared Lord Protector after the failure of Barebone's Parliament he declined to acknowledge his authority. On returning to England in October 1655 he was arrested, and on refusing to submit to the government was allowed to retire to Essex. After Oliver Cromwell's death Ludlow was returned for Hindon in Richard's parliament of 1659, but opposed the continuance of the protectorate. He sat in the restored Rump, and was a member of its Council of State and of the Committee of Safety after its second expulsion, and a commissioner for the nomination of officers in the army. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

In July he was sent to Ireland as commander-in-chief. Returning in October 1659, he endeavored to support the failing republican cause by reconciling the army to the parliament. In December he returned hastily to Ireland to suppress a movement in favour of the Long Parliament, but on arrival found himself almost without supporters. He came back to England in January 1660, and was met by an impeachment presented against him to the restored parliament. His influence and authority had now disappeared, and all chance of regaining them vanished with General John Lambert's failure to stop General George Monck's army from reaching London in support of the English Restoration. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

Exile after the Restoration

Ludlow took his seat in the Convention Parliament as member for Hindon, but his election was annulled on May 18 after the parliament ruled that all those that had been judges of Charles I during his trial should be arrested. Ludlow was not protected under the Pardon, Indemnity and Oblivion Act. [John Raithby (ed. 1819), Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 226-234. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47259 Charles II, 1660: An Act of Free and Generall Pardon Indempnity and Oblivion] , [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47259#s34 XXXIV. Persons excepted by Name who were concerned in the Murder of King Charles I] , Date accessed: 18 February 2008.] Accordingly, on the proclamation of the king ordering the regicides to come in, Ludlow emerged from his concealment, and on June 20 surrendered to the Speaker; but finding that his life was not assured, he succeeded in escaping to Dieppe, France, travelled to Geneva and Lausanne, and thence to Vevey. On 16 April 1662 the canton of Bern granted Ludlow and two fellow fugitives, Lisle and Cawley, an act of protection allowing them to live in the canton. His wife joined him in 1663. For security he adopted the pseudonym of Edmund Phillips, based on a variant of his mother's maiden name. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 opened up the prospect of a return, in 1689 Ludlow came back to England. He was however remembered only as a regicide, and an address from the House of Commons was presented to William III by Sir Edward Seymour requesting the king to issue a proclamation for his arrest. Ludlow escaped again, and returned to Vevey, where he died in 1692. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

Reputation and writings

A monument raised to Ludlow's memory by his widow is in the church of St Martin in Vevey. Over the door of the house in which he lived was placed the inscription "omne solum forti patria, quia patris". This is a Christianized version of a line by Ovid meaning "to the brave man every land is a fatherland because God his father made it". Ludlow married Elizabeth, daughter of William Thomas, of Wenvoe, Glamorganshire, but left no children. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

During his exile Ludlow wrote an autobiography entitled "A voyce from the watch tower". After his death his manuscript was obtained by Slingsby Bethel, who had visited him in Switzerland. Part of it, covering the years 1660–77, was discovered at Warwick Castle in 1970 and is now in the Bodleian Library. A heavily rewritten and shortened version of "A voyce" appeared as "The Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow" in 1698–9 in three volumes. The historian Blair Worden has surmised that the editor was the deist John Toland. The "Memoirs" were part of a range of late seventeenth-century publications printed by John Darby, including the "Discourses" of Algernon Sidney and the works of John Milton and James Harrington. In the "Memoirs" Ludlow's puritanism is virtually written out, and his views changed to make him a Whig-like secular republican. Until the 1970s the "Memoirs" were generally assumed to be authentic - there were editions in 1720-22, 1751, and 1771, with a scholarly edition by C.H. Firth in 1895. As a result the Memoirs have been used until very recently as a major source for historians of the seventeenth century, with only the rediscovery of Ludlow's original manuscript prompting a reassessment. [Worden, Blair (2002). "Roundhead Reputations: The English Civil War and the Passions of Posterity" (Penguin Books), ISBN 0141006943, ch. 1-4.]

In 1691–3 four pamphlets were published in Ludlow's name. Like the "Memoirs" after them, they a were contribution to the Whig cause. Contemporaries variously attributed them to Slingsby Bethel, John Phillips (Milton's nephew), Thomas Percival, and John Toland. [C. H. Firth, ‘Ludlow , Edmund (1616/17–1692)’, rev. Blair Worden, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17161, accessed 5 Sept 2007] ]

Footnotes


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