Captain Sir Thomas Liddell, 1st Baronet (1578 – 1652) was an English politician, a member of the Liddell family which monopolized the local government of the North of England during the 16th and 17th centuries. He was one of the leading supporters of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War.
2 Politics and the Civil War
3.1 Sir Francis Liddell (1607 – 1680)
Liddell was born in 1578, the son of Thomas Liddell (d.1619) and his wife Margaret Watson, daughter of John Watson, Alderman of Newcastle. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Liddell of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (d.1577) was a merchant adventurer who had served as Sheriff of Newcastle in 1563-64 and Mayor of Newcastle in 1572-3. His father, Thomas (d.1619), also a merchant, made vast profits from corn and coal and bought the Ravensworth Castle in 1607 and also served as Sheriff of Newcastle in 1592-93 and Mayor of Newcastle in 1597 and 1609.
Politics and the Civil War
Liddell supplied horses to Cavaliers for the Battle of Edgehill, at which he fought for Charles I, who created him a baronet afterwards.
A Catholic Recusant, he succeeded to Ravensworth Castle in 1615 on the death of his father. He also owned the Redheugh estate in County Durham. He was admitted to Gray’s Inn on 15 March 1620.
Liddell served as Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1609 and Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1625, 1634, and 1636. In April 1640, was elected Member of Parliament for Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the Short Parliament. He was created a baronet on 2 November 1642.
After serving as a Trainband captain, Liddell was commissioned into the Royalist army in August 1642 and served as a Commissioner of Array. He smuggled arms to the Royalist party throughout the Civil War and attempted to disenfranchise Parliamentarian sympathizers amongst the aldermen and merchants of Newcastle. He fought at the Battle of Edgehill, for which he supplied horses to the Cavaliers and was in the Royalist garrison at Newcastle during the siege by the Parliamentarians and wrote the defiant replies that the Parliamentarian authorities received in reply to their demands for the Royalists to surrender. However, the Royalist garrison was defeated in 1644 and Liddell was taken prisoner by the Parliamentarians and, in London in 1646, fined £4,000 as ‘one of the most notorious delinquents in the country’. He was released in 164