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Lucy Hutchinson, née Apsley, was born in the Tower of London, a daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, Lieutenant of the Tower, and his wife Lady Lucy St. John. She was educated in languages, music, dancing, writing, and needlework. Her father taught her Latin and she was soon better at it than her brothers who were at school. In 1638, she married the prominent Puritan Colonel John Hutchinson, with whom she had children. He became one of the 39 commissioners who signed the death warrant of King Charles I, but later protested against Oliver Cromwell's assumption of supreme power. Her husband fought for Parliament in the English Civil War, while she served as a nurse. After the war, her husband retired to his estates at Owthorpe in Nottinghamshire, but with the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660, he was arrested and imprisoned without trial in Sandown Castle, Kent. Lucy went before the House of Lords to gain his release, but was unsuccessful, and he died in prison in 1664. She is famous for writing his biography, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, as well as her own autobiography, which illuminate the political and religious history of the period. Intended for her family's reading, it was published by a descendant in 1806. Her other original works included Order and Disorder, a poetic version of the Book of Genesis that has been compared to Milton's Paradise Lost. Lucy Hutchinson is also famed as the first person to translate the complete text of Lucretius's De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) into English. It was dedicated to Lord Anglesy, who added the manuscript to his extensive library. It was sold to the British Library by his heirs in the mid-19th century and was published for the first time in 1996.
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