Warminster is a town in western Wiltshire, England, by-passed by the A36, and near Frome and Westbury. It has a population of about 17,000. The River Were runs through the town and can be seen running through the middle of the town park. The Minster Church of St Denys sits on the River Were. The town was first settled in the Saxon period, though there are the remains of numerous earlier settlements nearby, including the Iron Age hill fort Battlesbury Camp and Cley Hill, the latter a site operated by the National Trust. The town's prosperity following the growth of the wool trade in the Late Middle Ages caused the erection of many magnificent structures, including the Minster Church of Saint Denys, in a yew grove sacred from pre-Christian times, and including an organ originally destined for the then under-construction Salisbury Cathedral.
During the English Civil War (1642–1645) the town is thought to have changed hands at least four times between the Royalist and Parliamentary supporters. When James II came to the throne in 1685 the local gentry and the Wiltshire Militia supported him against the Duke of Monmouth who was defeated.
Edmund Ludlow (c. 1617 – 1692) was an English parliamentarian, best known for his involvement in the execution of Charles I, and for his Memoirs, which were published posthumously in a rewritten form and which have become a major source for historians of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. After service in the English Civil Wars, Ludlow was elected a Member of the Long Parliament. After the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1649 he was made second-in-command of Parliament's forces in Ireland, before breaking with Oliver Cromwell over the establishment of the Protectorate. After the Restoration Ludlow went into exile in Switzerland, where he spent much of the rest of his life. Ludlow himself spelled his name Ludlowe.
Ludlow was born in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, the son of Sir Henry Ludlow of Maiden Bradley and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Phelips of Montacute, Somerset. He matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford in September 1634 and graduated in 1636. He was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1638.