EDWARD MONTAGU, second Earl of Manchester (1602-1671), born in 1602, was the eldest son of Sir Henry
Montagu, first Earl of Manchester, by Catherine, second daughter of Sir William Spencer of Yarnton in Oxfordshire, who was the
third son of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, Lincolnshire. After a desultory education, he entered Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, on
27 Jan. 1618.1 He represented the county of Huntingdon in the parliaments of 1623-4, 1625, and 1625-6. In 1623 he attended
Prince Charles in Spain, and was by him created a knight of the Bath at his coronation on 1 Feb. 1625-6.
On 22 May 1626, through the influence of the Duke of Buckingham, he was raised to the Upper House with the
title of Baron Montagu of Kimbolton. In the same year he became known by the courtesy title of Viscount Mandeville, on his father being
created Earl of Manchester. Being allowed but a small income from his father, Mandeville resided little in London, and mixed much with
the relations of his second wife, the daughter of Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick. By them he was led to lean towards the puritan
party, and to detach himself from the court.
On 24 April 1640, during the sitting of the Short Parliament, he voted with the minority against the king on the question of the
precedency of supply.2 In June 1640 he signed the hesitating reply sent by some of the peers to Lord Warriston's curious
appeal to them to aid the Scots in an invasion of England.3 Mandeville signed the petition of the twelve peers (28 Aug.
1640) urging the king to call a parliament, and with Lord Howard of Escrick presented it to Charles on 5 Sept. In the same month he
obeyed the king's summons to the grand council of peers at York, and was one of those chosen to treat with the Scottish commissioners
at Ripon on 1 Oct. In the negotiations he took an active part, passing frequently to and fro between Ripon and York, urging an
accommodation,4 and drawing up the articles.5
Mandeville was during the early sittings of the Long Parliament an acknowledged leader of the popular
and puritan party in the Lords. He was in complete accord with Pym, Hampden, Fiennes, and St. John, and he held constant meetings with
them in his house at Chelsea.6 On the discovery of the 'first army plot,' in May 1641, he was despatched by the Lords to
Portsmouth with a warrant to examine the governor [see Goring, George, Lord Goring], and to send him up to London to appear before
parliament.7 He was one of the sixteen peers chosen as a committee to transact business during the adjournment from 9 Sept.
to 20 Oct. 1641. On 24 Dec. he protested against the adjournment of the debate on the removal of Sir Thomas Lunsford from the command
of the Tower.
His position was very clearly denned when his name was joined with those of the five members who were impeached by the king of high
treason on 3 Jan. 1642, although his inclusion appears to have been an afterthought.8 When the articles of impeachment were
read, Mandeville at once offered, 'with a great deal of cheerfulness,' to obey the commands of the house, and demanded that, 'as he had
a public charge, so he might have a public clearing.'9 This demand he reiterated in the House on 11 Jan., and again on 13 Jan.,
notwithstanding the message from the king waiving the proceedings.10 A bill was finally passed by both houses in March 1642,11
clearing him from the accusation.12
Having thus identified himself with the popular party, he was among the few peers who remained with the parliament in August 1642, and
in the following month he took command of a regiment of foot in Essex's
army. When the king retired to Oxford, Mandeville (who had succeeded his father as Earl of Manchester in November) returned to London
and occupied himself in raising money for the army,13 and in the negotiations for the cessation of arms. He was made
Lord-Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire by the parliament in 1642. On the first suspicion of the Tomkins and Challoner
plot [see Waller, Edmund], Manchester, with Viscount Save and Sele and others,
managed (on Sunday, 28 May 1643) to elicit from Roe, a clerk of Tomkins, so many important secrets, that the whole conspiracy was speedily
discovered. He afterwards acted as president in the resulting court-martial in June and July.14 Manchester was one of the ten
peers nominated to sit as lay members in the Westminster Assembly of Divines in July of the same year.
The fortunes of the parliamentary forces in the eastern counties had in the early summer been seriously imperilled by local quarrels.
Cromwell recognised the danger, and appealed to parliament to appoint a commander of high position and
authority. On 9 Aug. accordingly the Commons resolved to make Manchester Major-General of the associated counties in the place of Lord
Grey of Wark. The choice was confirmed by the Lords on the following day, and Essex at once complied with the
request to give him the commission.15 Cromwell and Manchester were thus brought into close connection. They were already well
acquainted with each other. Each belonged to a leading family of Huntingdonshire, had been educated at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge,16
and had been concerned in a dispute relating to the enclosing of common lands in the eastern counties, which had been before a committee
of the House of Commons.17
By 28 Aug. Manchester, in his new capacity, was besieging Lynn-Regis in Norfolk; the town capitulated 16 Sept., and the governorship was
bestowed upon him (21 Sept.). On 9 Oct. he joined Cromwell and Fairfax, then
besieging Bolingbroke Castle, and the three commanders won Winceby or Horncastle fight on 11 Oct.18 On 20 Oct. the town of
Lincoln surrendered to Manchester. On Cromwell's motion (22 Jan. 1644), Lord Willoughby of Parham, who had been commanding in Lincolnshire
as Serjeant-Major-General of the county, was ordered to place himself under Manchester's orders. Charges of misconduct had been brought
against Willoughby, who resented the position now forced on him, and challenged Manchester as he was on his way to the House of Lords. Both
houses treated Willoughby's conduct as a breach of privilege, but after Manchester had defended himself against Willoughby's complaints,
the subject dropped,19 and Willoughby returned to his duties under him.
On 22 Jan. 1644,20 Manchester was directed to 'regulate' the university of Cambridge, and to remove scandalous ministers in the
associated counties. On 24 Feb. he accordingly issued his warrants to the heads of colleges, and began the work of reformation. About the
same time (19 Dec. 1643) he authorised William Dowsing to destroy 'superstitious pictures and ornaments.' In February 1644 Manchester became
a member of the new committee of both kingdoms, meeting at Derby House. In April he was again with his army watching the movements of Prince
Rupert. The town of Lincoln had been retaken by the royalists in March, but Manchester successfully stormed the close on 6 May, and thus
secured the county for the parliament.21 A bridge was thrown over the Trent at Gainsborough, and Manchester marched to the aid
of Lord Fairfax and the Scots, who were besieging York. This junction was effected on 3 June. On the same day
the committee of both kingdoms sent Vane to York, ostensibly to urge the generals to send a force into Lancashire to arrest Prince Rupert's
progress, but in reality to propose the formation of a government from which Charles was to be excluded. Manchester and his colleagues
rejected the suggestion, but Cromwell, Manchester's Lieutenant-General, probably accepted Vane's proposals,
and to this difference of view may be traced the subsequent breach between the two.22 Cromwell at the battle of Marston Moor
(1 July) commanded Manchester's horse, while the earl himself exercised a general control as a field officer. Though carried away in the
flight, he soon returned to the field, and successfully rallied some of the fugitives.
After the surrender of the city of York on 16 July, the armies divided, and Manchester marched to Doncaster, which he reached on 23 July.
While there Tickhill Castle surrendered (26 July) to John Lilburne, who had summoned it contrary to Manchester's orders, Sheffield Castle
surrendered (10 Aug.) to Major-General Lawrence Crawford, and Welbeck House to Manchester himself (11 Aug.) But Pontefract Castle had been
passed by, and Manchester paid no attention to the entreaty of the officers to blockade Newark.23 Proceeding leisurely to Lincoln,
he subsided into inaction. The committee of both kingdoms (3 Aug.) directed him to march against Prince Rupert, but he (10 Aug.) shrank from
'so large a commission, and a worke so difficult,' in the unsatisfactory condition of his men, and the lateness of the season,24
and though constantly urged to make his way westward, the earl made no movement till the beginning of September.25 By 22 Sept.
he was at Watford, on his way to the general rendezvous at Abingdon, and reached Reading on 29 Sept. Here he remained till the middle of
October, notwithstanding the urgent desire of the committee in London that he should move forwards. He had reached Basingstoke by 17 Oct.,
was joined by Waller on the 19th, and by Essex on 21 Oct.
For the command of the three armies thus united, a council of war, consisting of the three generals, with Johnston of Warriston and Crewe,
had been appointed by the committee of both kingdoms.
At the second battle of Newbury, on 28 Oct., Manchester's lethargy became fatally conspicuous. Delaying to make the attack assigned to him
till too late in the day, he failed in his attempt on Shaw House, and the royalist army under cover of the darkness made its escape westward,
within 'little more than musket-shot' of the earl's position.26 At the council held the following day Manchester opposed Waller's
and Cromwell's advice to pursue the enemy, and preferred to summon Donnington Castle. Failing in his attempt to storm it on 1 Nov. he leisurely
withdrew, and the castle thus abandoned was relieved by the king on the 9th. At a council of war at Shaw Field on 10 Nov. Manchester plainly
declared his horror of prosecution of the war. 'If we beat the king 99 times,' he said, 'he is king still, and so will his posterity be after
him; but if the king beat us once, we shall be all hanged, and our posterity be made slaves.' On 17 Nov. he left Newbury for the purpose of
protecting the besiegers of Basing House. But Basing was never reached. His starving men were deserting him, and with the remains of his army
he made his way to Reading. The siege of Basing House was necessarily abandoned.27
Manchester's religious views, though sincere, were not very deep. He inclined to presbyterianism from circumstances rather than from conviction,
and had not attempted to curtail Cromwell's efforts to 'seduce' the army 'to independency'.28
Discords among his officers were growing, and in September he had paid a hurried and fruitless visit to London in the hope of healing them, but
the breach between him and Cromwell was soon irreparable.
On 25 Nov. Cromwell laid before the House of Commons a narrative, charging Manchester with neglect and incompetency in the prosecution of the
war.29 He called attention to 'his Lordshipe's continued backwardness to all action, his aversenes to engagement or what tendes
thereto, his neglecting of opportunityes and declineing to take or pursue advantages upon the enemy, and this (in many particulars) contrary
to advice given him, contrary to commands received, and when there had been noe impediment or other employment for his army.'30
Cromwell's charges were probably not exaggerated. Manchester, a civilian at heart, was always of opinion 'that this war would not be ended by
the sword, for if it were so concluded, it would be an occasion of rising again or of a future quarrel, but it would be better for the kingdom
if it were ended by an accommodation.'31 Manchester defended himself in the House of Lords on 27 Nov., when a committee of inquiry
was appointed,32 and made a vigorous attack on Cromwell.33 But the presentation of the bill for new modelling the army
turned the course of public debate from the shortcomings of individuals to more general principles. The Commons (26 Dec., 30 Dec., and 1 Jan.),
although urged by the lords to deliver their reports respecting Manchester, centred all their energies on the struggle for the passing of the
self-denying ordinance, and on 2 April 1645 (the day before the ordinance passed the Lords) Manchester, like Essex and
Denbigh, resigned his commission in the army. Forty of his officers in January 1645 signed a petition for his continuance in the service, fearing
that his removal would 'breed a great confusion amongst them by reason of the differences between the Presbyterians and Independents.'34
Manchester, although relieved of military duty, still (4 April) retained his powers for regulating the university of Cambridge, was a constant
attendant on the committee of both kingdoms, and frequently acted as Speaker of the House of Lords. In the propositions for peace at the end
of 1645 it was recommended that he should be made a marquis. He was one of those to whom Charles on 26 Dec. 1645
expressed himself willing to entrust the militia, in accordance with the Uxbridge proposals, and was a commissioner for framing the articles
of peace between the kingdoms of England and Scotland in July 1646.35 With William Lenthall he was entrusted with the charge of the
Great Seal from 30 Oct. 1646 to 15 March 1648. Early in 1647 he was busy with other leading presbyterian peers in sketching out a pacification
more likely to meet with the royal approval. When the houses of parliament were attacked by the London mob in July 1647, Manchester,
notwithstanding his presbyterian leanings, fled to the army on Hounslow Heath with the independent members, and signed the engagement of 4 Aug.
to stand by the army for the freedom of parliament.36 On 6 Aug. he returned to London escorted by Fairfax
and resumed his duties as Speaker of the upper chamber.
Manchester stoutly opposed the ordinance for the king's trial in the House of Lords on 2 Jan. 1649, and retired
from public life when the formation of a commonwealth grew inevitable. After the death of the Earl of Holland he was, on 15 March 1649, made
chancellor of the university of Cambridge, a post of which he was deprived in November 1651 for refusing to take the engagement.37
Cromwell summoned him to sit in his Upper House in December 1657,38 but the summons was not obeyed.
Manchester took an active part in bringing about the Restoration, and as Speaker of the Lords welcomed the king on
his arrival (29 May). He was speedily invested with many honours. On 27 April 1660 he was appointed one of the commissioners of the Great Seal,
on 22 May was restored to his Lord-Lieutenancy of the counties of Northampton and Huntingdon,39 and on the 26th to the chancellorship
of Cambridge. He was made Lord Chamberlain of the household on 30 May, privy councillor on 1 June, and was also chamberlain of South Wales.
From 9 to 19 Oct. he was engaged on the trial of the regicides, and appears to have inclined to leniency.40 At the coronation of
Charles II on 23 April 1661 he bore the sword of state, and was made a Knight of the Garter. He became joint
commissioner for the office of Earl-Marshal on 26 May 1662, and was incorporated M.A. in the university of Oxford on 8 Sept. 1665. When, in
1667, the Dutch appeared in the Channel, Manchester was made a general, and a regiment was raised under his command (15 June). He was a fellow
of the Royal Society from 1667 till his death. He died on 5 May 1671, and was buried in Kimbolton Church, Huntingdonshire.
Manchester was of a generous and gentle disposition. Burnet speaks of him as 'of a soft and obliging temper, of no great depth, but universally
beloved, being both a virtuous and a generous man,'41 and this view is corroborated even by Clarendon.42 Sir Philip Warwick
describes him as 'of a debonnair nature, but very facile and changeable,'43 while Baillie calls him 'a sweet, meek man.'44
Peace, a constitutional monarchy, and puritanism were the objects at which he aimed, and his inactivity in the army dated from the time when
protracted war, the rule of the people, and independency seemed to be the inevitable outcome of the struggle. It was easy to begin a war, he was
in the habit of saying, but no man knew when it would end, and a war was not the way to advance religion.45 When actually in the field,
his sense of duty and his humanity prompted him to activity. To encourage his men he marched among them for many a weary mile,46 or
spent the night after an engagement in riding from regiment to regiment, thanking the soldiers and endeavouring to supply their wants.47
The same longing for peace and accommodation is exemplified in his religious connections. A presbyterian member of the assembly of divines, he used
his influence to have Philip Nye, the independent, appointed to the vicarage of Kimbolton, and in the hearing of Baxter pleaded for moderate
episcopacy and a liturgy.48 Baxter, while designating him 'a good man,' complains that he would have drawn the presbyterians to yield
more than they did, and was earnest in urging the suppression of passages that were 'too vehement.'49
Many of Manchester's letters on army business are in the British Museum50 and in the Bodleian Library.51 Manchester married
five times. His first wife was Susanna, daughter of John Hill of Honiley in Warwickshire, and of his wife Dorothy Beaumont, sister to the Duke of
Buckingham's mother. Pecuniary arrangements between the duke and Manchester's father were amicably concluded by means of the match. The marriage
ceremony, which took place early in February 1623, was performed in the king's bedchamber, where James was confined to his bed. He was not, however,
incapable of throwing his shoe after the bridal party as they left the room. Susanna Montagu died in January 1625. As Lord Mandeville, Manchester
married at Newington Church, on 1 July 1626, Anne, daughter of Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick, Lord Admiral of the Long Parliament, by whom
he had three children: Robert, his successor, noticed below; Frances, who married Henry, son of Dr. Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln; and Anne,
who married Robert Rich, second Earl of Holland and fifth Earl of Warwick. Anne, Lady Mandeville, died on 14 or 19 Feb. 1641-2, and was buried at
Kimbolton. There is a portrait of her at Kimbolton Castle. His third wife was Essex (d. 28 Sept. 1658), daughter of Sir Thomas Cheke of Pirgo in
Essex, by his wife Essex Rich, daughter of Robert, first Earl of Warwick, and widow of Sir Robert Bevil (d. 1640) of Chesterton in Huntingdonshire,
by whom he had six sons and two daughters. Of the daughters, Essex (born 1644) married, in June 1661, Henry Ingram, Viscount Irwin. Of the six sons,
Edward, Henry, Charles, and Thomas were members of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Manchester married a fourth wife in July 1659; she was Ellinor,
daughter of Sir Richard Wortley of Wortley in Yorkshire, and he was her fourth husband. She had previously married Sir Henry Lee, first Baronet
(d. 1631), of Ditchley in Oxfordshire; Edward Radcliffe, sixth Earl of Sussex (d. 1641); and Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick (d. 1658) (the father
of Manchester's second wife). She died in January 1666-7. In August 1667, at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, Manchester married his fifth wife, Margaret,
daughter of Francis Russell, fourth Earl of Bedford, a widow of James Hay, second Earl of Carlisle (d. 1660). She died in November 1676, and was buried
at Chenies, Buckinghamshire.
1. Admission Registers.
2. Calendar of State Papers, 1640, p. 66.
3. Gardiner, Fall of Charles I, p. 402; Mandeville, MS. Memoirs in Addit. MS. 15567, ff. 7-8.
4. Harl. MS. 456, ff. 38-40.
5. Borough, Treaty of Ripon, pp. 44,55.
6. Evelyn, Diary of Correspondence, iv. 75-6.
7. Lords' Journals, iv. 238.
8. Nicholas Papers, Camden Society, i. 62.
9. Lords' Journals, iv. 501.
10. ib. pp. 505, 511.
11. ib. p. 649.
12. cf. v. 564.
13. Comm. for the Advance of Money, p. 1.
14. Sanford, Studies of the Great Rebellion, p. 561, quoting from D'Ewes.
15. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War, i. 224-6.
16. Sanford, Studies, pp. 202-5.
17. Clarendon, Life, 1857, i. 73-4; Carlyle, Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, 1866, i. 90.
18. See Manchester's letter of 12 Oct. in Lords' Journals, vi. 255-6.
19. Harl. MS. 2224, ff. 12-16.
20. Husband, Ordinances of Parliament, 1646, folio, p. 415.
21. True Relation, E. 47 , Manchester's letter read in the House of Commons on 9 May.
22. Gardiner, Civil War, i. 431-3.
23. Pickering's Deposition, Cal. State Papers, 1644, p. 151.
24. Quarrel of Manchester and Cromwell, p. 9.
25. ib. pp. 20-4.
26. Watson's Deposition, Cal. State Papers, 1644-5, p. 150.
27. Gardiner, Civil War, p. 518.
28. Baillie, Letters and Journals, ii. 185.
29. Quarrel of Manchester and Cromwell, Camden Soc., pp. 178-95.
30. Cromwell's Narrative in Quarrel, p. 79.
31. Pickering's Deposition, Cal. State Papers, 1644-5, p. 152.
32. Lords' Journals, vii. 76.
33. Camden Miscellany, vol. viii.
34. Whitacre, Diary, British Library Addit. MS. 31116, f. 185.
35. Thurloe, State Papers, i. 77-9.
36. Rushworth, vii. 754.
37. See letters in Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. pt. ii. p. 64.
38. Parl. Hist. iii. col. 1518.
39. Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. pt. ii. p. 65.
40. Exact and most impartial Account. E. 1047 , p. 53 b.
41. Burnet's History of his Own Time,, 1875, i. 66.
42. History of the Rebellion, ed. Macray, i. 242, ii. 545.
43. Sir Philip Warwick, Memoires of the Reign of King Charles I, 1701. 246.
44. Baillie, Letters and Journals, ii. 229.
45. Cal. State Papers. 1644-5, Pickering's Deposition, p. 152.
46. Ashe, Particular Relation.
47. Sanford, Studies, p. 608.
48. Sylvester, Reliquae Baxterianae, p. 278.
49. ib. p. 365.
50. British Library Egerton MSS. 2643 ff. 9, 23, 2647 ff. 136, 229, 241, 319; Addit. MS. 18979, f. 158; Harl. MS. 7001, ff. 170, 172, 174, 202.
51. Bodleian Library Tanner MSS. lxiii. f. 130, lxiv. f. 91, lxii.'tf.43l, 471, lvii. f. 194.
Porter, Bertha. "Edward Montagu, second Earl of Manchester."
Dictionary of National Biography. Vol XXXVIII. Sidney Lee, Ed.
New York: Macmillan and Co., 1894. 227-231.
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