Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lingen, Henry

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LINGEN, Sir HENRY (1612–1662), royalist, born on 23 Oct. 1612, was eldest son of Edward Lingen of Sutton Frene, Herefordshire, by Blanch, daughter of Sir Roger Bodenham, K.B., of Rotherwas in the same county (Robinson, Mansions of Herefordshire, p. 179). He inherited large estates in Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire, and his force of character gave him much influence in these counties. In 1638–1639 and again in 1643 he was appointed high sheriff of Herefordshire. On 9 June of the latter year he received a commission from the king to raise a regiment of a thousand men (Harl. MS. 6852), and by September 1644 he was colonel of six troops of horse (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1644, p. 511). His arbitrary mode of collecting contributions for the royal cause exposed him to the obloquy of the puritans. In July 1644 he joined Sir William Vavasour in the siege of Brampton Bryan Castle, and was entrusted with the sole command on Vavasour being summoned to Gloucester. The news of the defeat of the royalists at Gloucester compelled him to raise the siege on 6 Sept. following. He retired to Goodrich Castle, which he strongly garrisoned, and watched the south of the county. In July 1645 he was knighted by Charles ‘at Mr. Prichard's house, near Grosmont,’ Abergavenny (Symonds, Diary, Camd. Soc., p. 205). Lingen was in Hereford when the city was surprised by Colonel Birch on the morning of 18 Dec. 1645. He escaped across the frozen river, and shut himself up in Goodrich Castle. Thence he sent out parties to collect assessments and contributions, and to levy requisitions for the maintenance of his soldiers throughout the neighbourhood. Birch found that no one was safe between Gloucester and Hereford. With Colonel Kyrle he therefore made an effort to storm Goodrich Castle on the night of 9 March 1645–6, but succeeded only in burning down the stables and outhouses, and establishing a close blockade. During the temporary absence of Birch, Lingen, with a mere handful of comrades, attempted the recovery of Hereford, and was repulsed evidently only because none seconded him from within the city. After a desperate resistance of two months Goodrich Castle surrendered to Birch on 31 July 1646. The garrison is traditionally known to have marched out to a lively tune called after their leader ‘Sir Harry Lingen's Fancy’ or ‘Delight.’

Lingen spent two months in prison at Hereford, but petitioned on 1 Oct. 1646 to compound for his estate, and seems to have been speedily liberated. It was necessary for the support of his numerous family that he should recover some portion of his estates by composition with the victors, but as a preliminary he was obliged to take the covenant, which he must have abhorred, on 23 Nov., and the negative oath on 2 Dec., restraining him from any future attempt against the parliament. He was, however, cheered by a special commission from the Prince of Wales. On 22 Aug. 1648 he issued a manifesto by which he hoped to foment a rising in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire. Hereford and Dawley Castles and other strongholds were to have been seized, but the plot was detected by Captain Yarrington or Yarranton, governor of Hartlebury, one of the endangered places, and measures were taken to suppress it. Notwithstanding this disappointment Lingen drew together his body of horse, came down upon Harley's county troop near Leominster in September, and took eighty prisoners. Two or three days later he was overthrown ‘between Radnor and Montgomeryshire’ by Harley and Horton's forces, when all the captives were recovered. Lingen himself, seriously wounded, was made prisoner, and was confined in Redd Castle, Montgomeryshire (Cal. Clarendon State Papers, i. 440). The House of Commons ordered him to be banished on 10 Nov., but the sentence was revoked on 13 Dec. following (Commons' Journals, vi. 73, 96). He was ultimately obliged to sell a portion of his estates. The fine levied by parliament upon his property amounted to 6,342l., and it had been heavily taxed by the maintenance of a regiment of horse. Sir Robert Harley was authorised to recompense himself for his losses out of Lingen's property, but through his son Edward he generously returned the schedule, waiving all right or title to the estates which it had conferred upon him.

Lingen was elected M.P. for Hereford on 20 Nov. 1660, and again in April 1661. As a county magistrate he dealt severely with nonconformists. He died at Gloucester on his way home from London, and was buried at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, on 22 Jan. 1661–2. By his wife Alice (d. 1684), fifth daughter of Sir Walter Pye, bart., of the Mynde, Herefordshire, he had a large family. In consideration of his heavy losses his widow was authorised, by warrant dated in November 1663, to receive 10,000l. under certain conditions (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663–4, pp. 348, 363). A portrait of Lingen is given in Webb's ‘Civil War in Herefordshire,’ ii. 258, from the original in the possession of Mrs. Kennedy.

[Duncumb's Herefordshire, ii. 184–5; Webb's Civil War in Herefordshire; Robinson's Castles of Herefordshire; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1645–1647, p. 394.]

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