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Collyweston in the English Civil War

by Sandra Johnson

‘On 12th November 1643 Katarine Wirdnam communicated bad news, forces from the Parliamentarian garrison of Rockingham Castle had seized Edward’s rent and plundered the house of bedding, corn and halberds.  On 5th December following Lucy Heath addressed a pathetic appeal to Sir Gilbert Pickering of Titchmarsh.  He was an MP and a strong parliamentarian, but had apparently done Lucy numerous favours.  In this letter she states that ‘all our estate is sequestered’ and tells Pickering of her fears for her children:

‘I have found it a great trouble to me to be so long debarred the comfort of my children having, when I took my journey into these parts left them behind me as I supposed for their safety and good, but now to my unspeakable grief besides the itterated losses in my husbands estate I am certainly informed the garrison at Rockingham Castle are resolved not only to fetch away all our goods but to turn my children that is in my house and family out of doors and make my house a quarter for soldiers’. 


On 10th June 1644 Edward Heath drafted a letter for his wife to write to Sir Samuel Luke, Governor of Newport Pagnell.  The object of the letter was to beg free passage and return for a servant to:

‘go to Colliweston to enquire after the welfare of a child which I have there at nurse .... about 2 months since it pleased god to take out of this world a child of mine then at nurse in that place, which was a great grief to me, since that time I have not heard how my other child there doeth, which makes me so desirous to be satisfied now therein’.

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