Ludlow, Edmund

, one of the chiefs of the republican party during the civil wars, was descended of an ancient and good family, originally of Shropshire, and thence removed into Wiltshire, in which county he wag born, at Maiden- Bradley, about 1620. After a proper foundation in grammar, he was sent to Trinity-college in Oxford, where he took the degree of batchelor of arts in 1636, but removed to the Temple, to study the law, as a qualification for serving his country in parliament, his ancestors having frequently represented the county of Wiltshire. His father, sir Henry Ludlow, who was a member of the long parliament and an enemy to the measures of the court, encouraged his son to engage as a volunteer in the earl of Essex’s life-guard. In this station he appeared against the king, at the battle of Edge-hill, in ‘1642; and, having raised a troop of horse the next summer, 1643, he joined sir Edward Hungerford in besieging Wardour-castle. This being taken, he was made governor of it; but being retaken the following year, 1644, by the king’s forces, he was carried prisoner to Oxford. After remaining here some time, he was released by exchange, went to London, and was appointed high-sheriff of Wiltshire by the parliament. He then appears to have declined a command under the earl of Essex, but accepted the post of major in sir Arthur Haslerig’s regiment of horse, in the army of sir William Waller, and marched to form the blockade of Oxford. From Oxford, however, he was immediately sent, with a commission from sir William, to raise and command a regiment of horse, and was so successful as to be able to join Waller with about five hundred horse, and was engaged in the second battle fought at Newbury. Upon new modelling the army, he was dismissed with Waller, and was not employed again in any post, civil or military, till 1645, when he was chosen in parliament for Wiltshire in the room of his father, who died in 1643.

Soon after the death of the earl of Essex, Sept. 1646, Ludlow had reason to suspect, from, a conversation with Cromwell, who expressed a dislike to the parliament and extolled the army, that his ambition would lead him to destroy the civil authority, and establish his own; and therefore he gave a flat negative to the vote for returning Cromwell thanks, on his shooting ’ Arnell, the agitator, and thereby quelling that faction in the army. In the same spirit of what has been called pure rep ublicanism, he joined | in the vote for not addressing the king, and in the declaration for bringing him to a trial: and soon alter, in a conference with Cromwell and the leaders of the army, he harangued upon the necessity and justice of the king’s execution, and, after that, the establishment of an equal commonwealth, in which he differed from another pure republican, Lilburne, who was for new-modelling the parliament first, and then, as a natural consequence, putting the king to death. Ludlow induced the Wiltshire people to agree to the raising of two regiments of foot, and one of horse, against the Scots, when they were preparing to release the king from Carisbrook- castle. After which, he went to Fairfax, at the siege of Colchester, and prevailed with him to oppose entering into any treaty with the king; and when the House of Commons, on his majesty’s answer from Newport, voted that his concessions were ground for a future settlement, Ludlow not only expressed his dissatisfaction, but had a principal share both in forming and executing the scheme of forcibly excluding all that party from the house by colonel Pride, in 1648. Agreeably to all these proceedings, he sat upon the bench at the trial and condemnation of the king, concurred in the vote that the House of Peers was useless and dangerous, and became a member of the council of state.

When Cromwell succeeded Fairfax, as captain-general of the army, and lord-lieutenant of Ireland, he, as an artful stroke of policy, nominated Ludlow lieutenant-general of horse in that kingdom, which being confirmed by the parliament, Ludlow went thither, and discharged the office with diligence and success, till the death of Ireton, lorddeputy, Nov. 1651, whom, in his “Memoirs,” he laments as a staunch republican. He now acted as general, by an appointment from the parliament commissioners, but without that title, which Cromwell, of whose ambitious views be constantly expressed a jealousy, as constantly found one pretext or other to keep from being conferred on him; and in the following year, 1652, Fleetwood went thither with the chief command. Soon after this, the rebellion being suppressed, a considerable part of the army was disbanded, the pay of the general and other officers reduced, and necessary steps taken for satisfying the arrears due to them, which Ludlow says fell heavier upon him than others, as in supporting the dignity of the station he had spent upwards of 4500l. in the four years of his service here, out of his own estate, over and above his pay. | At home, in the mean time, Cromwell was become sovereign, under the title of protector. This being esteemed by Ludlow an usurpation, he endeavoured by every means in his power to hinder the proclamation from being read in Ireland; and being defeated in that attempt, he dispersed a paper against Cromwell, called “The Memento:” for which he was dismissed from his post in the army, and ordered not to go to London by Fleetwood, now deputy of Ireland. Soon after, being less narrowly watched by Henry Cromwell, who succeeded in that office, he found means to escape and cross the water to Beaumaris; but was there seized and detained till he subscribed an engagement, never to act against the government then established. But this subscription being made with some reserve, he was pressed, on his arrival in London, Dec. 1655, to make it absolute; which he refused to do, and endeavoured to draw major-general Harrison, and Hugh Peters, into the same opinion. Cromwell, therefore, after trying in vain, in a private conference, to prevail upon him to subscribe, sent him an order from the council of state, to give security in the sum of 5000l. not to act against the new government, within three days, on pain of being taken into custody. Not obeying the order, he was apprehended by the president’s warrant; but the security being given by his brother Thomas Ludlow, though, as he says, without his consent, he went into Essex, where he continued till Oliver died. He was then returned in the new parliament called upon Richard’s accession to the protectorate; and, either from connivance or cowardice on the part of the government, was suffered to sit in the house without taking the oath required of every member, not to act or contrive any thing against the protector. He was afterwards very active in procuring the restoration of the Rump parliament; in which, with the rest, he took possession of his seat again, and the same day was appointed one of the committee of safety. Soon after this, he obtained a regiment, by the interest of sir Arthur Haslerig; and in a little time was nominated one of the council of state, every member of which took an oath to be true and faithful to the commonwealth, in opposition to Charles Stuart, or any single person. He was likewise appointed by parliament one of the commissioners for naming and approving officers in the army.

But the Wallingford-house party, to remove him out of | the way, recommended him to the parliament, for the post of commander in chief of the forces in Ireland, in the room of Henry Cromwell, and he accordingly arrived, with that command, at Dublin, in August 1659; but in September, receiving Lambert’s petition to parliament, for settling the government under a representative and select senate, he procured a counter petition to be signed by the officers of the army near Dublin, declaring their resolution of- adhering closely to the parliament and soon after, with the Consent of Fieetwood, set out for England. On his arrival at Beaumaris, hearing that the army had turned the parliament oat of the house, and resumed the supreme power, he hesitated for some time about proceeding on his journey, but at length resolved upon it; and on his arrival at Chester, finding an addition made to the army’s scheme of government, by which all the officers were to receive new commissions from Fleetwood, and that a committee of safety was appointed, consisting of twenty-one members, of which he was one, and that he was also continued one of the committee for nomination of officers, he set out for London the next day, and arrived there Oct. 29, 1659. The Wallingford-house p;irty prevailing to have a new parliament called, Ludlow opposed it with great fervour, in defence of the Hump, and proposed to qualify the power of the army by a council of twenty-one under the denomination of the Conservators of liberty; but being defeated in this, by the influence of the Wallingford-house party, he resolved to return to his post in Ireland, and had the satisfaction to know, before he left London, that it was at last carried to restore the old parliament, which was done two or three- days after. In Ireland, however, he was far from being well received. Dublin was barred against him, and landing at Duncannon, he was blockaded there by a party of horse, pursuant to an order of the council of officers, who likewise charged him with several crimes and misdemeanors against the army. He wrote an answer to this charge; but, before he sent it away, received an account, that the parliament had confirmed the proceedings of the council of officers at Dublin against him; and, about a week after, he received a letter from them, signed William Lenthall, recalling him home.

Upon this, he embarked for England; and in the way, at Mi.lford-Comb, found by the public news, that sir Charles Coote had exhibited a charge of high treason against him. | On his arrival at London, he took his place in the house; and, obtaining a copy of his charge, moved to be heard in his defence, but the approach of general Monk gave a new turn to public affairs. Ludlow, who waited upon him, was so far deceived as to believe that Monk was inclined to a republic. On learning Monlc’s real design, however, he first applied to sir Arthur Haslerig, to draw their scattered forces together to oppose Monk; and that proposal not being listened to, he endeavoured, with the other republicans, to prevent the dissolution of the Rump, by ordering writs to be issued to fill up the vacant seats; but the speaker refused to sign the warrants. He also pressed very earnestly to be heard concerning the charge of high treason, lodged against him from Ireland, to no purpose; so that when the members secluded in 16448 returned to the house, with Monk’s approbation, he withdrew himself from it, until being elected for the borough of Hindon, (part of his own estate) in the convention parliament, which met the 24th of April, 1660, he took his seat in the House of Commons in pursuance of an order he had received, tQ attend his duty there. He now also sent orders to collect his rents, and dispose of his effects in Ireland; but was prevented by sir Charles Coote, who seized both, the stock alone amounting to 1500l.; and on the vote in parliament, to apprehend all who had signed the warrant for the king’s execution, he escaped by shifting his abode very frequently. During his recess, the House was busy in preparing the bill of indemnity, in which he was, more than once, very near being inserted as one of the seven excepted persons; and a proclamation being issued soon after the king’s return, for all the late king’s judges to surrender themselves in fourteen days time, on pain of being left out of the said act of indemnity, he consulted with his friends, whether he should not surrender himself according to the proclamation. Several of these, and even sir Harbottle Grimston, the speaker, advised him to surrender, and engaged for his safety; but he chose to follow the more solid and friendly opinion of lord Ossory, son to the marquis of Ormond, and determined to quit England. He instantly took leave of his friends, and went over London bridge in a coach, to St. George’s church, in the borough of Southwark; where he took horse, and travelling all night, arrived at Lewes, in Sussex, by break of day the next morning. Soon after, he went on board a small open vessel | prepared for him; but the weather being very bad, he quitted that, and took shelter in a larger, which had been got ready for him, but struck upon the sands in going down the river, and lay then a-ground. He was hardly got a-board this, when some persons came to search that which he had quitted, without suspecting any body to be in the boat which lay a-shore, so that they did not examine it, by which means he escaped; and waiting a day and a night for the storm to abate (during which the master of the vessel asked him, whether he had heard that lieutenant-general Ludlow was confined among the rest of the king’s judges), the next morning he put to sea, and landed at Dieppe that evening, before the gates were shut.

Soon after his departure, a proclamation was published, for apprehending and securing him, with a reward of 300l.; one of these coming to his hands, in a packet of letters, in which his friends earnestly desired he would remove to some place more distant from England, he went first to Geneva; and after a short stay there, passing to Lausanne, settled at last at Vevay *, in Switzerland, though not without several attempts made to destroy him, or deliver him to Charles II. There he continued under the protection of those States till the Revolution in 1688, in which some thought he might have been usefully employed to recover Ireland from the Papists. With this design he came to England, and appeared so openly at London, that an address was presented by king William, from the House of Commons, Nov. 7, 1689, that his majesty would be pleased to put out a proclamation for the apprehending of colonel Ludlow, attainted for the murder of Charles I. upon which he returned to Vevay, where he died in 1693, in his 73d year. Some of his last words were wishes for the prosperity, peace, and glory of his country. His body was interred in the best church of the town, in which his lady erected a monument of her conjugal affection to his memory.

The friends of Ludlow have endeavoured to exalt his character by contrasting him with his antagonist Cromwell; and undoubtedly, in point of honesty, he has the advantage. “Ludlow,” it has been said, “was sincerely and steadily


Mr. Addison was shewn his house, over the door of which he read this inscription, “Omne sol urn forti patria, vcls, &c. quia patm/' ” The first part,“says Addison, ” is a piece of verse in Ovid, as the last is a cant of his own." Tra/.

| & republican Cromwell not attached to any kind of government, but of all kinds liked that the least. Ludlow spoke his mind plainly, and was never taken for any other than he professed himself to be; Cromwell valued himself upon acting a part, or rather several parts, and all of them equally well: and when he performed that of a Commonwealth’s-man, he performed it so admirably, that though Ludlow knew him to be a player by profession, yet he now thought he had thrown off the mask, and appeared what he really was. Ludlow was entirely devoted to the parliament, and would have implicitly obeyed their orders upon any occasion whatsoever, especially after it was reduced to the Rump; Cromwell never undertook any business for them, but with a view to his own interest.” Warburton says of Ludlow, “he was a furious, mad, but I think apparently honest, republican and independent.” After his death, came out the “Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, esq.” &c. Switzerland, printed at Vevay, in the canton of Bern, 1698, in 2 vols. 8vo, and there was a third volume, with a collection of original papers, published in 1691), 8vo. The same year a French translation of the first two volumes was printed in the same size at Amsterdam. Another edition of the whole was printed in folio, at London, 1751. The first edition was attacked in 1698, in a pamphlet, entitled, “A modest vindication of Oliver Cromwell;” the author of which published another piece, entitled, “Regicides not Saints,” and, in 1691, “A letter from major-general Ludlow to E. S. (Edward Seymour), &c. Amsterdam.” Mr. Wood observes, this was printed at London, and was written by way of preface of a larger work to come, to justify the murder of king Charles I. not by Ludlow, but by some malevolent person in England: in answer to which, there came out, “The Plagiary exposed, &c.” Lond. 1691, 4to, said to be written by Butler, the author of Hudibras. 1

Biog. Brit. Wood’s Fasti, vol. I.