Hutchinson, Lucy (1620–post 1675)

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Hutchinson, Lucy (1620–post 1675)

English author. Born 1620 in London, England; died after 1675; daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, lieutenant of the Tower of London, and Lucy St. John; educated by tutors; married John Hutchinson, in 1638 (died 1664); children: eight.

Known principally for authoring her husband's biography, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, which was not published until 1806; also wrote On the Principles of the Christian Religion, for her daughter, and On Theology, both of which were published in 1817.

Lucy Hutchinson was born in London in 1620, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley and Lucy St. John . According to her autobiography, she learned to read at age four and by age seven was studying music, dance, writing, needlework and language with eight different tutors. She spoke French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. After Lucy married John Hutchinson in 1638, they settled near Nottingham where they raised eight children (four girls and four boys), the last of which was born when Lucy was 42 years old. While her children studied, she translated part of Virgil's Aeneid and did a verse translation of six books of De rerum natura by Lucretius, although her deepening Puritanism later led her to disapprove of such things.

John Hutchinson was a supporter of Parliament during the English Civil War (1642–1646 and 1648–1651) and a colonel in that war. He became the governor of Nottingham Castle during that time and later served as a member of the Long Parliament for Nottinghamshire. In 1649, he was a judge at the trial of Charles I, and one of the signers of the king's death warrant. (Charles I was then publicly beheaded in London.) At the end of the Long Parliament in 1653, the Hutchinsons retired to Owthorpe. Ten years later, John Hutchinson was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his part in the king's execution. Lucy worked to save her husband during his incarceration, but he died of a fever in 1664, four months after being moved to Sandown Castle in Kent. For the next seven years, Lucy Hutchinson worked on his biography to preserve his memory for their children and to lessen her sorrow. Although biased in places, the work is considered one of the most valuable personal accounts of the Civil War—including the active roles women had in it—and of Puritan family life.

Included in the first edition of her memoirs of her husband was a portion of Lucy Hutchinson's autobiography and a poem she had written. The 1885 edition included some of her letters.

Karina L. Kerr , M.A., Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Hutchinson, Lucy (1620–post 1675)

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