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Charles Lucas

Sir Charles Lucas (1613-1648) was an English soldier, a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.

He was the son of Sir Thomas Lucas of Colchester, Essex. His eldest brother was Sir John Lucas, and his youngest sister the future Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. As a young man he served in the Netherlands under the command of his brother, and in the "Bishops' War" he commanded a troop of horse in King Charles I's army. In 1639 he was knighted. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Lucas naturally took the king's side, and at the first cavalry engagement, the Battle of Powick Bridge, he was wounded. Early in 1643 he raised a regiment of horse, with which he defeated Middleton at Padbury on July 1. In January 1645 he commanded the forces attacking Nottingham, and soon afterwards, on Prince Rupert's recommendation, he was made lieutenant-general of the Duke of Newcastle's Northern army. When Newcastle was shut up in York, Lucas and the cavalry remained in the open country, and when Rupert's relieving army crossed the mountains into Yorkshire he was quickly joined by Newcastle's squadrons.

At the Battle of Marston Moor Lucas swept Fairfax's Yorkshire horse before him, but later in the day he was taken prisoner, in a battle won decisively by Parliament. Exchanged for Parliamentary prisoners during the winter, he defended Berkeley Castle for a short time against Thomas Rainsborough, but was soon back in the field. As lieutenant-general of all the horse, he accompanied Lord Astley in the last campaign of the first war and, taken prisoner again at Stow-on-the-Wold, he agreed not to bear arms against parliament in the future.

He broke this promise when he took a prominent part in tb seizure of Colchester in 1648. The town eventually fell, after a desperate resistance, to Fairfax's army. The superior officers surrendered "at mercy," and Lucas and Sir George Lisle were immediately tried by court martial and sentenced to death. The two Royalists were shot the same evening at Colchester Castle.

See Lloyd, Memoirs of Excellent Personages (1669); and Earl Grey, A Memoir of the Life of Sir Charles Lucas (1845).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.