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Edmund Ludlow

Edmund LudlowBorn: c. 1617
Birthplace: Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, England
Died: 1692
Location of death: Vevey, Switzerland
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Politician

Nationality: England
Executive summary: English Republican parliamentarian

English parliamentarian, son of Sir Henry Ludlow of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, whose family had been established in that county since the 15th century, was born in 1617 or 1618. He went to Trinity College, Oxford, and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1638. When the Great Rebellion broke out, he engaged as a volunteer in the life guard of Lord Essex. His first essay in arms was at Worcester, his next at Edgehill. He was made governor of Wardour Castle in 1643, but had to surrender after a tenacious defense on the 18th of March 1644. On being exchanged soon afterwards, he engaged as major of Sir A. 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 his regiment was surprised by Sir M. Langdale, Ludlow himself escaping with difficulty. In 1646 he was elected M.P. for Wilts in the room of his father and attached himself to the republican party. He opposed the negotiations with the king, 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 he was elected a member of the council of state. In January 1651 Ludlow was sent into Ireland as lieutenant-general of horse, holding also a civil commission. Here he spared neither health nor money in the public service. Henry Ireton, the deputy of Ireland, died on the 26th of 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. Though disapproving Oliver Cromwell's action in dissolving the Long Parliament, he maintained his employment, but when Cromwell was declared Protector 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 Cromwell'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. 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 favor 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 Lambert's failure. He took his seat in the Convention parliament as member for Hindon, but his election was annulled on the 18th of May. Ludlow was not excepted from the Act of Indemnity, but was included among the fifty-two for whom punishment less than capital was reserved. Accordingly, on the proclamation of the king ordering the regicides to come in, Ludlow emerged from his concealment, and on the 20th of June surrendered to the Speaker; but finding that his life was not assured, he succeeded in escaping to Dieppe, travelled to Geneva and Lausanne, and from there to Vevey, then under the protection of the canton of Bern. There he remained, and in spite of plots to assassinate him he was unmolested by the government of that canton, which had also extended its protection to other regicides. He steadily refused during thirty years of exile te have anything to do with the desperate enterprises of republican plotters. But in 1689 he returned to England, hoping to b employed in Irish affairs. 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. A monument raised to his memory by his widow is in the church of St. Martin. Over the door of the house in which he lived was placed the inscription, "Omne solum forti patria, quia Patris." Ludlow married Elizabeth, daughter of William Thomas, of Wenvoe, Glamorganshire, but left no issue. His Memoirs, extending to the year 1672, were published in 1698-99 at Vevey and have been often reprinted. They are strikingly partisan, but the picture of the times is lifelike and realistic. Ludlow also published "a letter from Sir Hardress Waller... to Lieutenant-General Ludlow with his answer" (1660), in defense of his conduct in Ireland.

Father: Sir Henry Ludlow

    UK Member of Parliament


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