Public Lecture: Family Ties: How Lucy Hutchinson's Royalist Family Impacted her Puritan Reality

Sir Clive Granger A48
Monday 27th June 2022 (19:30-20:30)
Registration URL

Family Ties: How Lucy Hutchinson’s Royalist Family Impacted her Puritan Reality

Women of the Chronicles Lucy Hutchinson Head

As the wife of Colonel Hutchinson, a regicide and governor of Nottingham Castle, Lucy Hutchinson's first-hand puritan perspective is a fascinating account of the English Civil War. But behind her commonwealth ideals stood her royalist family...beloved brothers and cousins who held opposing beliefs, fought for the king, and on more than one occasion saved her husband's life. Acclaimed historical fiction author Elizabeth St.John brings to life Lucy Hutchinson's colourful family members, including Anne Wilmot, Countess of Rochester, and Barbara Villiers, Charles II's notorious mistress, who fought a private war of family loyalty and proved that sometimes, love is the ultimate winner.

The Lydiard Chronicles, Elizabeth St.John’s acclaimed historical fiction series, is named after Lydiard Park, the St.John ancestral home in Wiltshire. Full of portraits and memorials of the St.John family, Lydiard House and adjacent Church of St. Mary's is a writer’s dream. Elizabethan monuments, Jacobean portraits and medieval wall paintings all provide a rich tapestry of images, calling across the ages for their stories to be told.

The characters in The Lydiard Chronicles are all real people, and their stories are drawn from a memoir written during the 1660s. By fate—or maybe design—Elizabeth came upon the 400-year-old notebooks in Nottingham Castle. Written by her ancestress, Lucy Hutchinson, the vivid account brought Elizabeth’s seventeenth-century family to life.

From the Tower of London, where Lucy St.John lived as the Keeper’s wife, to the battlefields of the English Civil War where sister fought brother; as eyewitnesses to the execution of the King Charles I and allies of the new Republic under Oliver Cromwell; and as Royalist spies and supporters of the restoration of the monarchy, the story of the St.John family weaves through time and place as they observe—and sometimes change—the course of history.

         Elizabeth St. John

Elizabeth St. John tells this dramatic true story of love and betrayal through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family’s surviving diaries, letters and court papers. Raised in England, Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. A best-selling author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...

“It is evident that Elizabeth St. John has done extensive research in writing this book based on her own family’s experiences during this time in history. The language she uses is so authentic. Her writing engages the senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of 17th-century life. Her world and characters are so real I wanted to remain there. I loved this book, and the Lydiard Chronicles are now on my list of all-time favorite historical novels. A fantastic read.” – Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Society

“Expertly and beautifully written. Whether you are an English history buff or just a lover of fantastic historical fiction, this book is a must-read.” – Readers Favorite


School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900