The Letter Book of Sir Anthony Oldfield, 1662-1667

The threat of a Dutch invasion, the fear of challenges to the restored monarchy by supporters of the Interregnum regimes, and defiant Quakers were among the problems Sir Anthony Oldfield of Spalding had to face as a deputy lieutenant of the Lincolnshire militia. In the first decade of the Restoration the county militias were responsible for the internal defence of the realm and became the most important institution of local government. Oldfield's letters show in illuminating detail how the militia in England's second largest county was raised, trained, financed and deployed. As well as providing fascinating evidence about Restoration Lincolnshire, the letters enable an analysis to be made of the relations between the deputy lieutenants of a county militia and the Crown and Council. Letters illustrating Oldfield's other work in local government and his attempts to enforce the Restoration Church Settlement in Spalding are included in two appendices. Lists of deputy lieutenants and the Holland troops conclude the volume. PETER SEDDON is Lecturer in History, University of Nottingham.