Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/346

This page has been validated.

electing him to the parliament of 1656, but Major-general Whalley's influence induced them to change their minds (Thurloe, iv. 299). According to Mrs. Hutchinson [see below], Cromwell attempted to persuade her husband to accept office, 'and, finding him too constant to be wrought upon to serve his tyranny,' would have arrested him had not death prevented the fulfilment of his purpose. The certificate presented in Hutchinson's favour after the Restoration represents him as secretly serving the royalist cause during the Protectorate, but of this there is no independent evidence. The real object of his political action seems to have been the restoration of the Long parliament. He took his seat again in that assembly when the army recalled it to power (May 1659), and when Lambert expelled it (October 1659) prepared to restore its authority by arms, he secretly raised men, and concerted with Hacker and others to assist Monck and Hesilrige against Lambert and his party (Life, ii. 229, 234; Baker, Chronicle, ed. Phillips, p.691). In his place in parliament he opposed the intended oath abjuring the Stuarts, voted for the re-admission of the secluded members, and followed the lead of Monck and Cooper (Life, ii. 236), in the belief that they were in favour of a commonwealth. He retained sufficient popularity to be returned to the Convention parliament as one of the members for Nottingham, but was expelled from it (9 June 1660) as a regicide. On the same day he was made incapable of bearing any office or place of public trust in the kingdom, but it was agreed that he should not be excepted from the Act of Indemnity either for life or estate (Commons' Journals, viii. 60). In his petitions he confessed himself 'involved in so horrid a crime as merits no indulgence,' but pleaded his early, real, and constant repentance, arising from 'a thorough conviction' of his 'former misled judgment and conscience,' not from a regard for his own safety (Life, ii. 392-8; Athenæum, 3 March 1860; Hist.MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. p.120). Thanks to this submission, to the influence of his kinsmen, Lord Byron and Sir Allen Apsley, to the fact that he was not considered dangerous, and that he had to a certain extent forwarded the Restoration, Hutchinson escaped the fate of other regicides. Yet, as his wife owns, 'he was not very well satisfied in himself for accepting the deliverance. … While he saw others suffer, he suffered with them in his mind, and, had not his wife persuaded him, had offered himself a voluntary sacrifice' (Life, ii. 262). In October 1663 Hutchinson was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in what was known as the Yorkshire plot. The evidence against him was far from conclusive, but the government appears to have been eager to seize the opportunity of imprisoning him (ib. pp. 292, 314; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663-4, pp.314, 329, 391, 392). Imprisonment restored Hutchinson's peace of mind. He regarded it as freeing him from his former obligations to the government, and refused to purchase his release by fresh engagements. During his confinement in the Tower he was treated with great severity by the governor, Sir John Robinson, and threatened in return to publish an account of his malpractices and extortions (ib. pp.539, 561). He even succeeded in getting printed a narrative of his own arrest and usage in the Tower, which is stated on the title-page to be 'written by himself on the 6th of April 1664, having then received intimation that he was to be sent away to another prison, and therefore he thought fit to print this for the satisfying his relations and friends of his innocence' (Harl. Misc., ed. Park, iii. 33). A warrant for Hutchinson's transportation to the Isle of Man was actually prepared in April 1664, but he was finally transferred to Sandown Castle in Kent (3 May 1664). The castle was ruinous and unhealthy, and he died of a fever four months after his removal to it (11 Sept. 1664). His wife obtained permission to bury his body at Owthorpe.

Hutchinson's defence of Nottingham was a service of great value to the parliament, but his subsequent career in parliament and the council of state shows no sign of political ability. His fame rests on his wife's commemoration of his character, not on his own achievements.

Lucy Hutchinson (b. 1620), author, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, lieutenant of the Tower of London, by his third wife, Lucy St. John, was born in the Tower on 29 Jan. 1620, and married, on 3 July 1638, John Hutchinson. 'My father and mother,' she writes of her youth in an extant autobiographical fragment, fancying me beautiful and more than ordinarily apprehensive, spared no cost to improve me in my education. When I was about seven years of age, I remember, I had at one time eight tutors in several qualities language, music, dancing, writing, and needlework but my genius was quite averse from all but my book.' She was taught French by her nurse, and Latin by her father's chaplain (Life of Colonel Hutchinson, i.3, 24). Her writings show that she also acquired a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, and possessed a large amount of classical and theological reading. During her early married