Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 34.djvu/264

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


the other leaders of the opposition had arranged their plan of campaign (Thurloe, vii. 550). He spoke often but briefly, opposed the bill for the recognition of Richard Cromwell as Protector, and sought to set limits to the Protector's power over the military forces. ‘I honour his highness,’ he declared, ‘as much as any man that sits here. I would have things settled for his honour and safety, but if we take the people's liberties from them, they will scratch them back again.’ He denied also the right of the members for Ireland and Scotland to sit in the house, and attacked the new House of Lords with special vehemence. ‘The men who sat there,’ he protested, ‘had been guilty of all the breaches upon the liberty of the people’ (Burton, Diary, iii. 145, 282, iv. 173). Before and after the dissolution of the parliament he negotiated with the army leaders for the overthrow of Richard Cromwell and the recall of the Long parliament.

The recall of the Long parliament (7 May 1659) and the re-establishment of the Commonwealth made Ludlow a man of great importance. The parliament at once appointed him a member of the committee of safety (7 May), one of the council of state (14 May), and one of the seven commissioners for the nomination of the officers of the army (4 June). He obtained the command of a regiment in the English army (9 June), but was next month chosen commander-in-chief of the Irish army, with the rank of lieutenant-general, and the command of a regiment of horse and another of foot (4 July). At the end of July he landed in Ireland. There he reorganised the army, changed many of the officers, and put in their places men of republican principles. He also despatched a brigade to England to aid in the suppression of Sir George Booth's rising (Memoirs, pp. 689, 696). When his work was finished he appointed Colonel John Jones to command in his absence, and returned to England (ib. p. 705).

Ludlow landed at Beaumaris in October 1659, and was met by the news that Lambert and the army had again expelled the Long parliament. Hastening to London, he used all his efforts to reconcile the army and the parliament, and in conferences with the leaders of the two parties strove to moderate their animosities and make them sensible of the danger of their quarrels to the republic. The army endeavoured to win him by appointing him one of their committee of safety (26 Oct.) and one of the committee for the consideration of the form of government (1 Nov.) He refused to act with them, but complied so far that his parliamentary friends suspected him. He opposed the calling of a new parliament which the army announced, and objected to their scheme for the establishment of a select senate. His own plan was to summon a representative army council and to recall the expelled parliament. The essentials or ‘fundamentals’ of the republican cause were to be clearly stated and declared inviolable, and one-and-twenty ‘conservators of liberty’ to be appointed to watch over them and decide any difference between parliament and army (ib. ii. 749, 756, 759, 766).

During these discussions Ludlow learnt first that Jones and the Irish army had declared for the army, and next that Sir Hardress Waller and other dissentient officers had seized Dublin Castle (13 Dec.), arrested Jones and the other commissioners, and declared for the restoration of the Long parliament. Accordingly he set out to restore order, and arrived off Dublin on 31 Dec. 1659. But Sir Hardress Waller and the officers at Dublin not only refused obedience, but prepared to arrest him if he landed. A few officers, however, still adhered to Ludlow, and the governor of Duncannon received him into the fort there (5 Jan.) The Dublin officers openly charged him with neglecting his duty in Ireland and in parliament, and encouraging the usurpation of the army, accusations which he indignantly refuted in a correspondence with Waller (ib. ii. 783–802; A Letter from Sir Hardress Waller and several other Gentlemen at Dublin to Lieutenant-general Ludlow, with his Answer, 4to, 1660). Sir Charles Coote drew up articles of treason against Ludlow and the three commissioners for the civil government of Ireland, which were presented to the now restored parliament on 19 Jan. 1660 by Colonel Bridges (Commons' Journals, vii. 815; the text of the articles is among the Clarke MSS. in Worcester College Library, lii. 53). The news of this impeachment met Ludlow on his return to England, and he hastened to demand a hearing. But before he could be heard Monck arrived in London, and both in his speech to the parliament on 6 Feb. and in his letter of 11 Feb. supported Ludlow's accusers. Privately, however, he told Ludlow that he had nothing to object against him but his favour to the fanatic party in Ireland, and protested his own faithfulness to the republic (Memoirs, ii. 828, 832). Ludlow nevertheless distrusted Monck's designs. Vainly he urged his friends to adjourn parliament to the Tower and collect their scattered forces for armed resistance. Nor was he more successful in getting a day to justify his own conduct (ib. ii. 841–3). The readmission of the secluded members