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(21 Feb.) put an end to all hope of maintaining the commonwealth by parliamentary means, and Ludlow plotted a rising of the republican regiments. Obliged to leave London for fear of arrest, he succeeded in getting the electors of Hindon to return him to the convention (4 April 1660), though he durst not appear personally at the election. He was preparing to join Lambert in his abortive insurrection, when he received the news of Lambert's recapture. Thereupon he went to London, ‘to wait (as he said) the pleasure of God, either by acting or suffering in his cause’ (ib. ii. 877). He took his seat in parliament on 5 May, and distinguished himself at once by refusing to take any part in nominating the commissioners sent to Charles II at Breda. On 14 May the House of Commons ordered that all persons who sat in judgment on the late king should be forthwith secured, and on the 18th Ludlow's election was voted void. As he lay concealed in a house near Holborn, he saw the crowds returning from welcoming Charles II to London (ib. iii. 7, 20).

Ludlow did not long remain in hiding. Though he was not one of the seven regicides capitally excepted by the commons from the Act of Indemnity, he was included among the fifty-two persons excepted for penalties less than death (Commons' Journals, viii. 61). At the request of the commons the king issued a proclamation (6 June) summoning all the judges of Charles I to surrender on pain of entire exemption from pardon. Relying on the implied promise contained in this proclamation, Ludlow surrendered himself to the speaker on 20 June, hoping to escape with a fine, and to gain time to settle his estate. The speaker committed him to the custody of the serjeant-at-arms, who allowed him his liberty, accepting sureties for his appearance when wanted. Ludlow provided four men of straw, and waited to see what the king and the lords would do. Before long he discovered that his life was in imminent danger, and at the end of August 1660 made his way to Lewes, and escaped to Dieppe (Memoirs, iii. 29–51).

The government, ignorant of his movements, thought he was still in England, and offered a reward of 300l. for his arrest (1 Sept. 1660). Twice during the autumn his capture was actually announced (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, pp. 314, 412, 495; Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. pp. 138, 169, 201). In October 1661 he was said to be lurking in Cripplegate. Spies reported that forty thousand old soldiers were pledged to rise in arms, and fanatics asserted that a few days would see Ludlow the greatest man in England. No rumour was too absurd to find credit. In July 1662 he was to head a rising in the west of England. In November he had been seen at Canterbury, disguised as a sailor, and soldiers scoured Kent and Sussex to find him (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661–2). It was believed that Ludlow had bound himself by an oath never to make his peace with the king, to refuse pardon and favour if they were offered to him, and to wage perpetual war with all tyrants (Parker, History of his own Time, ed. Newlin, 1727, p. 10).

Meanwhile Ludlow quietly travelled through France, and established himself at Geneva, in the house of an Englishwoman, where he says ‘I found good beer, which was a great refreshment to me’ (Memoirs, iii. 56). Not finding himself sufficiently assured of safety there, he removed in April 1662 to Lausanne, and in the following autumn to Vevay. On 16 April 1662 the government of Bern granted to Ludlow and his fellow-fugitives, Lisle and Cawley, an ‘act of protection,’ by which they were permitted to reside in any of the territories of that canton. The fugitives were cautiously described as exiles on account of religion, but the certificates granted them gave their proper names in full (Stern, Briefe Englischer Flüchtlinge in der Schweiz, p. 23). Ludlow paid a personal visit to Bern to thank the magistrates, who received him with great kindness and honour (Memoirs, iii. 120–37).

As soon as the English court discovered that Ludlow had found refuge at Vevay, plots against his life began. ‘You are hated and feared more than all your companions,’ wrote a friend from England. Irishmen, Savoyards, and Frenchmen were successively engaged in these designs. John Lisle was assassinated at Lausanne on 11 Aug. 1664, but the vigilance of the authorities of Vevay and his own caution frustrated all attempts against Ludlow.

The war between England and Holland (1664–7) seemed to many of the exiled republicans an opportunity for re-establishing by Dutch aid the English republic. Ludlow was urged to come to Holland, and was promised high command in the Dutch service and armed support in this enterprise. D'Estrades, the French ambassador in Holland, sent him a passport to guarantee his safe passage through France. Ludlow resisted these offers, saying that he was ready to embrace any good occasion of delivering his country from oppression, but distrusting the sincerity of the Dutch, and demanding securities that they would not abandon the cause of the English republicans when it suited their convenience (ib. pp. 165–200).