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Marmaduke Langdale - Protectorate to Death.

In 1649 Langdale’s estate at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor was returned to its former owner Sir William Constable for services rendered to Parliament. Constable was one of the Regicides who signed the King’s death warrant.

Langdale was given 500 guineas by Charles towards his expenses whilst in exile. He visited the Isle of Man which was still holding out against Parliament at this time but was back in France by May 1650.

He took no part in the third civil war in 1650 to 1651. At that time, like many Royalists, he was greatly impoverished. He entered Venetian service against the Turks and distinguished himself in the defence of Candia (now known as Heraklion, Crete) in May 1652. On return he wrote to Charles requesting he be given the opportunity to launch an expedition to England with a view to capturing one of the ports with a view to using this as a base for landing foreign and exiled Royalist soldiers. Tynemouth was mentioned. The plan came to nothing.

Another plan in 1655 worthy of mention was that suggested by the Levellers under their then leader Edward Sexby. They proposed to raise a revolt in the army in Scotland and requested that Marmaduke Langdale return to lead them in this venture. Like many other schemes and plots targeted against the unpopular Cromwell by enemies on all sides at this time it came to nothing.

At Charles II's court-in-exile, he advocated an alliance with Spain as a means of regaining the throne of England, which brought him into conflict with Sir Edward Hyde who criticised Langdale's limited understanding of the situation. Like Digby, Langdale became a convert to Roman Catholicism. He was created 1st Baron Langdale in 1658.

In 1659 it was noted that Langdale was in Brussels but kept to himself and was lame with the gout.

During the period of the Protectorate Langdales family lost much of their land and their petitions and pleadings to the Yorkshire Committee went largely unheeded.

In March 1660, in anticipation of the Restoration Charles II appointed Langdale Lord-Lieutenant of the West Riding. After the Restoration Langdale returned to England and journeyed at once to Yorkshire to be reunited with his family. His eldest son and heir, Marmaduke, was now a grown man of 33.

He was invited to the coronation of Charles II on the 23rd April 1660 but wrote back to respectfully decline due to ill health and also lack of money to make the journey.

Langdale recovered his estates but the county and country as a whole was in a disturbed and lawless state with bands of ex soldiers roaming the land stealing and pillaging at will. He was particularly concerned about Quaker agitators and rabble rousers and asked for special powers to raise a force of volunteer horse to deal with the civil unrest.

Later he wrote that the militia and volunteers of the West Riding were coming forward and officers wished to purchase drums, colours and equipment. An order had been passed in the West Riding forbidding all public meetings by Quakers, Anabaptists and others who promote unrest and breach of the peace.

In July 1661 Langdale was in very poor health and he died on the 5th August 1661.  He was laid to rest at All Saints Church at Sancton to lay in peace amongst his ancestors.

Banks says of Langdale

“He was esteemed a serious and wise man, of most scholar like accomplishments and of good husbandry.”

Lloyd goes further

“He was a very lean and much mortified man, so that the enemy called him the ghost (and deservedly, they were so haunted by him). He carried that gravity in his converse, that integrity and generosity in his dealings, that strictness in his devotion, that experience, moderation and wariness in his council and that weight in his discourse, as very much endeared strangers to his royal master’s cause and his own person in all countries he travelled, as he did many; and to all the armies he engaged in, as he did in most then afoot in Europe, till he restored with his Majesty in 1660.

When, after appearing in Parliament as Baron Langdale of Holme, he returned to his considerable estates in Yorkshire having lost 160,000 in his Majesty’s service, without any other recompense than the conscience of having suffered in a good cause acquitted himself bravely and played the man.”


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