A Chronology of Lucy Hutchinson's Writings



Lucy Hutchinson, nee Apsley, was born in 1620; in 1638 she married John Hutchinson, the son of Sir Thomas Hutchinson. Although she is known to have composed songs in the 1630s, her major surviving works were written over a period of around 40 years, from the time of the English Civil Wars of the 1640s until her death in 1681. To find out more information about Hutchinson's writings, follow the links in bold text. The designation 'HW' indicates the volume of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson in which the text will be printed.



September: birth of John Hutchinson, Lucy Apsley's future husband; he is the son of Sir Thomas Hutchinson and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John Byron.
23 October: marriage of Lucy Apsley's parents, Sir Allen Apsley and Lucy St John, after a period of disputes between Lucy St John and her elder brother when she thinks of exiling herself to Jersey.


Sir Allen Apsley made Lieutenant of the Tower.


Death of Margaret Hutchinson, John Hutchinson's mother; he is brought up by her sister.


Lucy Apsley born in Tower of London, where she lives in the Lieutenant’s lodging, the Queen’s House (images of this can be found on the 'Life of Lucy Hutchinson' page). By about 7 years of age she has eight tutors; she resists the more conventional female accomplishments like music and needlework. With her father’s support she is given special tuition in Latin; finding her tutor ‘a pitiful dull fellow’ she actively engages with her brothers’ Latin learning at the Merchant Taylors’ School. Her mother, more dubious about Latin, gives her a stringent Protestant education and encourages her to memorize sermons.


Accession of Charles I. Barbara Apsley, Lucy's sister, is born.


Parliament presents Petition of Right; campaigns against Duke of Buckingham with whose fortunes both St John and Apsley families are associated, though Peter Apsley, Sir Allen’s son by an earlier marriage, is accused of intriguing with the opposition.

Sir Thomas Hutchinson banished from Nottinghamshire for refusing to pay Forced Loan.


Death of Sir Allen Apsley, leaving enormous debts which lead to disputes between Allen junior and the St Johns and other members of the Apsley family.


Sir Thomas Hutchinson marries second wife, Katherine Stanhope, sister of Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield.


Lucy Apsley’s mother marries Sir Leventhorpe Francke of Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex; they soon separate and become involved in lawsuits; Lucy spends much time staying with various relatives.


John Hutchinson admitted to Lincoln’s Inn.


She has begun composing songs, since lost, which win admiration of court musician Charles Coleman; meets and confides in John Hutchinson.


Lucy Apsley marries John Hutchinson in London. They move to the Blue House, Monken Hadley, north of London; her husband embarks on theological studies.


Lucy Hutchinson bears twin sons, Thomas and Edward.


Charles I summons first Parliament since 1629; dissolves ‘Short Parliament’; under strong pressure summons ‘Long   Parliament’ which meets November and will continue until Cromwell dissolves it in April 1653; Parliament reverses many of Charles’s civil and religious policies.


John and Lucy Hutchinson move to family estate, Owthorpe, Nottinghamshire (images of this can be found on the 'Life of Lucy Hutchinson' page).

Lucy Hutchinson bears third son, John.


Charles I, seeking a military solution against Parliament, raises standard at Nottingham; Lucy Hutchinson slowly becomes drawn into Parliamentary side.

Lucy Hutchinson bears first daughter.


John Hutchinson appointed governor of Nottingham Castle.


Narrative chronicling Lucy Hutchinson's role in civil war (HW3).


Charles I surrenders.


Execution of Charles I; John Hutchinson a signatory of death warrant.

Proclamation of republic; John Hutchinson sits on Council of State.


Translation of Lucretius, De rerum natura (HW1).


Cromwell dissolves Parliament, establishes short-lived ‘Nominated Parliament’. John Hutchinson retires from public life.

Publication of Margaret Cavendish (Duchess of Newcastle), Poems and Fancies.


Cromwell proclaimed Lord Protector.


Parody of Edmund Waller's 'Panegyrick to my Lord Protector' (HW4).


Death of Cromwell, proclamation of son Richard as Protector.

?John Milton begins writing Paradise Lost.


Richard Cromwell deposed; brief republican period.


Restoration of Charles II; John Hutchinson, liable to death penalty for signing Charles I’s death warrant, recants with strong support of Lucy Hutchinson and is pardoned.

John Milton arrested, freed through intervention of friends including Earl of Anglesey.


Composes parts of Order and Disorder (Countess of Rochester’s MS is dated 1664): HW4.


Publication of John Owen's Theologoumena Pantodapa, attacking natural theology and fragmentation of Biblical text. Hutchinson will later translate the first two books of the text from Latin into English.


Act of Uniformity results in expulsion of many Puritans from Church.

Lucy Hutchinson bears eighth child.


John Hutchinson arrested and imprisoned without trial for alleged involvement in Fifth Monarchist rising.


John Hutchinson dies in Sandown Castle; at his request, his wife has his body carried to be buried in the family church and composes an outspoken inscription (an image of the memorial can be found on the 'Life of Lucy Hutchinson' page).

Conventicle Act: severe restrictions on nonconformist meetings.

Publication of Katherine Philips, Poems (an influence on Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’)


Hutchinson composes her ‘Memoirs of the Life of John Hutchinson’ (HW3) and her ‘Elegies’ (HW4).


Great Plague.


Fire of London.

Publication of Margaret Cavendish (Duchess of Newcastle), The Blazing World.


War with Netherlands, begun in 1665, ends in humiliation.

John Milton, Paradise Lost printed.

Publication of Margaret Cavendish's Life of the Duke of Newcastle.


Lucy Hutchinson composes two 'statements of religious belief' (HW2) and some verse fragments (HW4).


Lucy Hutchinson compiles her autobiography (HW2/3).


Marriage of Hutchinson's daughter Barbara.


Lucy Hutchinson sells Owthorpe estate to Lucy Hutchinson’s half-brother Charles Hutchinson.


Lucy Hutchinson attends John Owen's conventicle in London.


Lucy Hutchinson composes her translation of John Owen's Theologoumena Pantodapa (HW2); she also writes a treatise on religion addressed to her daughter Barbara (HW2).


Hutchinson dedicates her Lucretius translation to the Earl of Anglesey.


New Parliament elected; Sir Allen Apsley, Lucy Hutchinson’s brother and a member of the Duke of York’s household, loses seat.

The first five books of Lucy Hutchinson's Order and Disorder are printed.


Conversion and death of the Earl of Rochester.


Burial of Lucy Hutchinson at Owthorpe, October.


Anti-Whig reaction; Anglesey dismissed as Lord Privy Seal.


Burning of republican books at Oxford - including books by John Milton and John Owen.



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