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  Marmaduke Langdale - The Second Civil War.

At the end of the year Langdale, Digby and fifty other Royalist cavalry officers were in Dublin and sorely in need of funds having lost everything during their escape. It was noted that Digby was greatly angered by the Irish for deceiving the King and not sending the support they had promised.  In May 1646 Langdale landed in France and joined the many Royalist refugees in the country.  He was joined by Rupert in July.

In 1647 it is said that Langdale secretly returned to England to visit the King at Hampton Court where he was held prisoner. It is possible as Langdale was very clever at adopting disguises.

Langdale was amongst the English Royalists who supported the Engager invasion of England in 1648. He was sent to Scotland with a commission from Charles, Prince of Wales, directing him to observe the orders of the Earls of Lauderdale and Lanark. Langdale seized Berwick for the King on 28th April and quickly raised a body of northern Royalists to his support.

Langdale, now General of the Northern Royalist forces, joined the Duke of Hamilton on his march through Lancashire. On 17th August 1648, Langdale was guarding the road into Preston while the main Engager army crossed the River Ribble when Cromwell launched an unexpected attack, initiating the 3-day running Battle of Preston. Langdale, entirely exposed and with little support from the Scots, fought bravely to resist the Parliamentarian forces under General Lambert but was overwhelmed after 4 hours and driven back to Preston. The extreme gallantry of Langdale’s men is recorded by participants on both sides.

Langdale survived the battle and joined the Duke of Hamilton as far as Uttoxeter. He then marched towards Ashbourne in Derbyshire accompanied by Lord Callander. The Scots became troublesome and refused to allow Langdale to go further. Callander expressed a desire to accompany Langdale but was persuaded to rejoin his men.  Langdale then gave orders for what was left of his own army to disband and make their own way home as best they could. He continued and, accompanied by Col Owen, Lt Col Galliard, Major Constable and two servants.

On the 23rd August the party stayed at a small inn called the Lodge in the Oulds near Nottingham. A local man saw the party and suspecting they were no ordinary travellers went straight to Mr Widmerpole who had been a major to Col Hutchinson’s at Nottingham in the first civil war. Widmerpole in turn sent an urgent message to Hutchinson and went himself with several others to the Lodge. Widmerpole secured Langdale’s horse and confronted the group as Hutchinson and his men arrived. Langdale realised that they were hopelessly outnumbered and surrendered.

He was sentenced to death and imprisoned in Nottingham Castle until November 1648 when he escaped to the Continent. His escape was planned and prepared by Lady Saville, a staunch Royalist supporter. This lady won the trust of the castle guard with her good will and presents. Langdale was able to escape dressed as a guard and hid in a haystack some distance away until the search had abated,

He then made his way to his cousin’s house at Houghton. The houses and estates of all Yorkshire Royalists were filled with Parliamentarian soldiers and Houghton was no exception. Langdale was a notorious Royalist with a high price on his head – dead or alive. Rumours soon started to circulate that Langdale was in the area and more soldiers were sent to search for him.

It was then that a trusty servant, Philip Dent a cowman at Houghton, suggested a possible way that Langdale could escape. It was the custom at that time for milk maids to ride their cows back down to the pastures after milking. Langdale was dressed in a print gown and wearing a large bonnet made his escape through the Parliamentary cordon riding on the back of a cow. He then made his way to Cliff about 2 miles away and hid in a large stone rabbit pit.

A few days later he reached the Humber and swam across the river into Lincolnshire. Disguised as a clergyman he then made his way to London and was hidden by Mr Berwick, a staunch Royalist clergyman. Langdale eventually escaped back to France by sea having already been given up as escaped or dead by the Parliamentarians. His name was included on Parliament's list of seven Royalists excluded from pardon for their roles in the wars.

 

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