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The quarrel between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell: an episode of the English Civil War online

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Monday; on which day (January 20, 1644-5) they were brought
in, as follows: —

Mr. Lisle reports, from the Committee to which it was referred, the
opinions of the Committee concerning the Eeport [December 4] of a con-



HISTORICAL PREFACE. XC1

ference had with the Lords made by Mr. Holies, touching a narrative
made by the Earl of Manchester concerning the business of Donnington
Castle, the which reflects in some particulars, by way of charge, in the
opinion of the Committee, upon a member of this House — to consider of
and examine which narrative . . . the Lords made a Committee and
desired this House to appoint a Committee of a proportionable number.
He likewise presented from the Committee a paper containing the matter
of the narrative delivered by the Lords at the conference concerning the
business of Donnington.

Resolved, &c, That the appointing of a Committee by the House of
Lords for the examination of the matters contained in the first part of
the Eeport made by Mr. Holies (wherein Lieut.- General Cromwell, a
member of the House of Commons, is concerned) in such a manner as is
therein expressed, is a breach of privilege, notwithstanding their desiring
the House of Commons to join in the same.

Eesolved, &c, That the first part of Mr. Holies his Report [i.e., that
which contained Manchester's narrative, in exculpation of himself, with
incidental references to Cromwell's military conduct] is not to be put into
a way of examination, in regard of the breach of privilege.

Resolved, &c, That a Committee of the House of Commons be appointed
to examine the particulars contained in the papers now delivered in by
the Committee [i.e., the paper first given in by Mr. Lisle, recapitulating in
some new form, free from the taint of breach of privilege, the matter of
the narrative of the Earl of Manchester].

Resolved, &c, That a Committee of the House of Commons be appointed
to consider of the second part of Mr. Holies his Report [i.e., that which
referred to the paper of charges, not merely military, but of a high political
nature, against Cromwell, with which Manchester had backed his exculpa-
tion of himself, and which the Lords had merely communicated to the
Commons, without themselves taking any steps in the matter].

Resolved, &c, That this Committee, to which the particulars in the two
former votes [i.e., in the two last paragraphs] are referred, be the Com-
mittee formally appointed, Decembris 4, to consider of the matter of
Mr. Holies his Report of the conference [/.e.,Mr. Lisle's Committee: see
ante, pp. lxxx., lxxxi.].

Resolved, &c, That a conference be desired with the Lords concerning
these particulars.



XC11 HISTORICAL PREFACE.

Mr. Lisle [here, it seems, acting for Mr. Zouch Tate, the chairman of
the other Committee] further reported the state of the matter of the
narrative made, upon the order and injunction of this House, by Lieut.-
General Cromwell and Sir William Waller, concerning divers passages
and proceedings of the armies, wherein the Earl of Manchester is much
concerned, and the state of the proofs upon examination of the business
and hearing witnesses by the Committee. He likewise produced a letter,
written unto him by the Earl of Manchester, of January 16, desiring that
he might know what those informations are that he hears are given in
against him at the Committee before the Report made, that he might give
satisfaction. [The Lords Journals show that Manchester had leave from
that House to write such a letter.] The which were all read, and im-
mediately re-delivered to the Reporter.

Resolved, &c, That the consideration of this Report shall be resumed on
this day sevennight.

Ordered,. That the Committee of Decembris 4 [Mr. Lisle's], to which
Mr. Holies his Report . . was formerly referred, be revived, and meet
de die in diem, to consider of the particulars this day referred to them. a

Substantially, these resolutions of the Commons were a rebuke to
the Lords. They had been offered, in the Self-denying Ordinance,
a large and comprehensive way of hushing up the quarrel between .
Manchester and Cromwell, and much besides; and they had rejected
the Ordinance. Well, in that case, the Commons were prepared
still for the narrower and meaner method of procedure. First of
all, they would inform the Lords that their manner of receiving and
dealing with Manchester's exculpatory narrative, involving, as that
narrative did, reflections on a member of the House of Commons,

a As before, these extracts from the Journals are supplied me by Mr. Bruce 's
collection of MS. memoranda. I observe, however, that he has omitted the following
entry, which occurs in the Journals immediately before the last paragraph he has
quoted: — " Ordered, That the Committee where Mr. Tate has the chair do examine
who was the author, printer, and divulger of the book which bears the name of
Mr. Simeon Ashe, a minister, and is concerning the business of Newbury and Don-
nington, and likewise to consider of the particular carriages about the printing and
divulging of that book, or the publishing any matter contained therein." This book
or pamphlet by Ashe, Manchester's chaplain, might be worth looking after.



HISTORICAL PREFACE. XC111

was a breach of privilege; but, that having been explained, they
were willing to go on with the whole inquiry, both as it regarded
Manchester and as it regarded Cromwell, and to prosecute it to the
utmost. They had, therefore, reappointed Mr. Lisle's Committee,
with fresh instructions; and they had ascertained the progress of the
evidence in Mr. Tate's Committee and left that Committee to pro-
ceed. All this was to be regretted; but the responsibility lay with
the Lords. They and the Earl of Manchester must take the con-
sequences.

In fact, however, the prosecution had now run aground. The
last references to it in Mr. Bruce's extracts from the Journals of the
Houses are on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22. On the first of these days
there was read in the Commons a letter from the Earl of Manchester
to the Speaker asking for information as to the charges against
him; and on the second, in answer to his request to be heard in
person before Mr. Tate's Committee, the Committee were empowered
to do as they might think fit. Thenceforward the business dis-
appears. For, though the Self-denying Ordinance had been rejected
by the Lords, the Commons had found another way of effecting
their great purpose of Army Reform. One reason given by the
Lords for hesitating about the Ordinance being that they did not
know in what precise shape the army was to be reconstituted, the
Commons had met that difficulty by requiring the Committee of
both Kingdoms to report at once the New Model of the Army
which they had been instructed to devise. This had been done on
the 9th of January; and by the 28th of January the New Model
complete had passed the Commons. According to this New Model
the existing armies of the Parliament were to be weeded, consoli-
dated, and re-organised into one compact army of 22,000 men
(14,400 foot, 6,600 horse, and 1,000 dragoons), the commander-
in-chief of which was to be Sir Thomas Fairfax, and the major-
general of which, or third in command, was to be Philip Skippon.
The place of Lieutenant-General, or second in command, was left
vacant as yet; and, though the Commons had at first designated



XC1V HISTORICAL PREFACE.

most of the colonels, it was thought better to refer their appoint-
ment to Fairfax with the future sanction of the two Houses. That
so sweeping a measure should have emanated from such a body as
the Committee of both Kingdoms, containing not only English
Presbyterian Peers and Commoners, but also those Scottish Com-
missioners whose sole or main rule of action was the Presbyterian
interest, is certainly remarkable. The Scottish Commissioners, as
we have seen, had been exerting themselves for the destruction
of Cromwell ; and yet they now concurred in a measure framed
according to Cromwell's heart. a Altogether the juncture was such
that the Lords had to yield to the Commons. They demanded, in-
deed, that there should be no officers or soldiers in the New Model
Army that had not signed the Solemn League and Covenant; but, a
compromise on that subject having been effected, they succumbed
Feb. 15, when the New Model Ordinance became law. Possibly
it was hoped that the Treaty of Uxbridge, which had been going
on since Jan. 30, would render the New Model unnecessary in prac-
tice; but any such hope must have ceased Feb. 22, when the treaty

a Godwin, in his History of the Commonwealth (i. 403-405), finds an explanation
of the changed mood of the Scottish Commissioners in the fact that the Marquis of
Argyle, the supreme man of the Scottish Kingdom, and a more subtle and far-seeing
politician than any of the rest, had come to London at this crisis. He founds on
a passage in Clarendon (p. 541, ed. 1843), where it is said: — " The Marquis of Argyle
was now come from Scotland, and sat with the Commissioners of that kingdom. . . .
From the time of his coming to the town, the Scottish Commissioners were less
vehement in obstructing the Ordinance or the New Modelling of the Ai'my." This,
however, is one of Clarendon's hallucinations. Argyle's name was certainly
included in the safe conduct given by the King at Oxford, January 21, 1644-5, for
those Commissioners from the Parliament and frorn the Scots that were to treat at
Uxbridge ; but he never appeared there. He was detained in Scotland by the
necessity of opposing the terrible Montrose. His defeat at Inverlochy, the greatest
disaster of his military life, was on February 2 ; and he was in Edinburgh, with tbe
disaster on his mind, for some weeks afterwards. When he did come to London
sixteen months later, the opening words of his speech before a Committee of the
two English Houses (June 26, 1646) were these: — " Though I have had the honour
to be named by the Kingdom of Scotland in all the Commissions which had relation
to this Kingdom [of England] since the beginning of the war, yet I had never the
happiness to be with your lordships till now."



HISTORICAL PREFACE. XCV

was broken off, with nothing accomplished. It was then evident
that the year 1 645 was to be one of continued war, and that the New
Model would have abundant work. It was of no use then for the
Lords to stand out against the Self-denying Ordinance either.
That ordinance, in fact, was already realized in the fabric of the
New Model; and, accordingly, having been reintroduced into the
Commons in a modified form, and having passed there, it received
the assent of the Lords April 3, 1645. On the preceding day
(April 2) the Earls of Essex and Manchester, with the Earl of
Denbigh, had simplified matters by formally resigning their military
commands, both Houses agreeing in a vote recognising the high
sense of duty shown by "this action of these lords in this conjuncture
of time," and resolving " that their services and fortunes" should
be taken into consideration, and ways found for expressing " the
acceptance and value both Houses have of their faithfulness and
industry in the commands and hazards they have undergone for the
public good of the kingdom and safety of the Parliament."

Thus, after having been dead for two months and a-half, the
Quarrel between Manchester and Cromwell received an honourable
burial. The accurate student of English history will note that the
termination of this famous quarrel coincides in time with another
great event, distinct from that New-Modelling of the Army and
that Self-denying Ordinance which gave it directly the coup de grace.
This was the Establishment of the Presbyterian System
in England, the first express votes for which in the two Houses
were in January 1644-5. The Independents, having had so much
of their own way in army matters, had made this inevitable con-
cession to the general bent of Parliamentarian feeling in Church
affairs, satisfied with keeping open the still vital question of the
amount of toleration to be granted to Dissenters.

Cromwell, exempted by special vote from the operation of the
Self-denying Ordinance, was at once inserted into the New Model
Army in that post of Lieutenant-General, or second in command, which



XCV1 HISTORICAL PREFACE.

had been purposely kept vacant for him. Thence, through succes-
sive stages, came the rest of his career, ending in his Protectorship of
the United Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with
their Colonies and Dominions. Through that great career his
quarrel with Manchester was an all but forgotten affair, only heard of
now and then -when Lilburne and other Levellers reverted to it for
their purposes, maintaining that Cromwell ought to have brought
Manchester to the scaffold, and that his abandonment of his pro-
secution of the Earl had been his first step out of the straight path
of democratic duty, and the beginning of his truckling with aristo-
cracy and expediency.

Of the Earl himself little more needs here be said. Parliament
did remember their promise to take into consideration his past
services, and especially his handsome acquiescence at last in the
Self-denying Ordinance. In December, 1645, when the successes
of the New Model Army had shattered the King's power and
brought peace again within view, it was proposed, as part of the
terms of the expected peace, that the King should be requested to
confer dukedoms on the Earls of Essex, Northumberland, Warwick,
and Pembroke, and the honours of the Marquisate on the Earls of
Manchester and Salisbury — inferior peerages, with money pensions,
to be conferred on others of the Parliamentarian chiefs, including
Fairfax, Cromwell, and Waller. As the King, however, would
not even then acknowledge himself beaten, that proposal came to
nothing; and Manchester, still only as Earl, sat on in his place in
the Lords, a leader on the Presbyterian side of the Parliamentarians,
and for a while the Speaker of the House, till about the time of
the trial and execution of the King. Then, the House of Lords
having been abolished to make way for the Commonwealth (February,
1648 9), he retired from the scene, and lived on for about nine
years as a mere private and reluctant subject of the Commonwealth,
holding no post, except (for a time) that of Chancellor of the
University of Cambridge. In 1658, when Cromwell tried the
experiment of re-instituting a House of Lords on new principles,



HISTORICAL PREFACE. XCV11

Manchester was one of the few of the old hereditary peers that were
summoned to sit in it; but, though he is thus remembered in
history as one of " Cromwell's Lords," the honour is merely nominal,
as he seems not to have obeyed the summons. AVhen Cromwell's
death in that year, and the wreck of the Protectorate of his son
Richard, had made the Restoration probable and desirable, Manches-
ter took a very active part in the arrangements for it. Accord-
ingly, after the Restoration, he had a place in the Court and Coun-
cils of Charles II. that seemed strangely out of keeping with his
antecedents. "That he [Charles II.]," says Clarendon, "might
give a lively instance of his grace to those who had been of the
party which was faulty, according to his declaration from Breda, he
made, of his own free inclination and choice, the Earl of Manchester,
who was looked upon as one of the principal heads of the Presby-
terian party, Lord Chamberlain of his house ; who, continuing still
to perform all good offices to his old friends, complied very punc-
tually with all the obligations and duties which his place required,
never failed being at chapel, and at all the King's devotions, with
all imaginable decency; and, by his extraordinary civilities and
behaviour towards all men, did not only appear the fittest person
the King could have chosen for that office in that time, but rendered
himself so acceptable to all degrees of men that none but such who
were implacable towards all who had ever disserved the King were
sorry to see him promoted." 11 Notices and anecdotes of Manchester
in his capacity of Lord Chamberlain to Charles II., and in other
posts of dignity held by him towards the close of his life, are to be
collected from the memoirs of the period. He died at Whitehall,
May 5, 1671, at the age of sixty-eight years. He had been five
times married. The present ducal house of Manchester is descended
from the second marriage.

» Clarendon, ed. 1843, p. 1,0C5 {Life).



CAMD. SOC.



ERRATA IN DOCUMENTS,



Pp. 48, 49, 50, 52 : for the signature " W. Jhonston " in these
pages, read " A. Jhonston." He was the Scottish Commissioner, Sir
Archibald Johnston, of Warriston ; and the mistake has arisen from the
peculiar shape of "A" in the copy of his signature.

P. GO, the sentence should stop after " Yorkc " in line 3, and the
words from "In the aforesaid" to "Lincolne" should run into one
sentence with the following words, " the sinister endes," &c.

P. Gl, line 7 from bottom, for " Montagues " read " Montague's."
P. 63, last footnote, for " Rushwood " read " Rushworth."
P. 64, line 4, for " lefte ou seconded" read " lefte onseconded ; "
which is a Scottish form for " left unseconded,"




OLIVER CROMWELL

AND

THE EARL OF MANCHESTER.



No. i. — For the Committee of both Kingdomes, &c

My Lords and Gentlemen,

The great necessities that the Scoch army and mine were in hath
caused us to devide our armies, and to march into fresh quarters.
I am upon my marche, and doe hope, God willing, to be at Don-
caster to-morrow night, and there to stay untill I shall reseive
your comands. My men, through want of clothes and other
necessaries, fall sicke dayly. I hope the Lord will preserve us
from any pestilentiall disease, yet the Scoch army and mine is very
much weakened through sicklies. I thinke fitt to give your Lo? 3
an account where our quarters are. The Scotts are quartered at
Leeds and Wakefield. I am quartered at Doncaster, and soe
forward towards Newarke. Wee have left the Lord Fairefax with
his forces in Yorke, and he hath now only some few castles that
make oposition to him. My Lords, I shall not give you further
trouble at this tyme then by offering the service of

Your LoP s humble servant,

Manchester.

Fery brig, 22 July, 1G44.



CAMD. SOC.



CROMWELL AND THE EARL OF MANCHESTER.



No. 2. — For the Committee of both Kingdomes, sitting
at Derby House.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

Since my comeing to this place I have intended, as much as in
mee lyes, the freeing of these parts from the violence and oppressions
which they suffered under the garrisons of the enemy. Tychill
Castle being the nerest and the most prejudiciall to the Isle of
Axholme, I summoned at my first coming, and sent into the
towne three hundred dragoones. Whereupon those of the place
desired a parley, and have rendred the place unto mee. I have
taken some 120 armes, some 80 horse, and have given libertie to
the gentlemen to goe unto their severall dwellings, because they
referred themselves very much to my disposall. The place is of
consequence, in respect it lyes to hinder all commerce betwixt
Derbyshire and these parts. I have sent to the Lord Fairfax to
give him an accompt of it, that he may dispose of it as he pleases.
I have nothing further to offer up unto your Lo ps but to let you
know that I waite your commands here, and shall be ready to obey
them as

Your Lo ps humble servant,

Manchester.

Doncaster, 27th July, 1644.



No. 3. — For the Right Honourable the Committee of
both Kingdomes, &c.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

Upon the receipt of your lettre of the 25th of July, the Earle of
Leven, the Lord Fairefax and my selfe, with all the other chiefe
officers belonging to our armies, had a consultacion what was fittest
to be done upon the consideracion of your Lo ps lettre. Wee found



MANCHESTER S CORRESPONDENCE. 3

by our owne certaine intelligence that your Lo p3 informacion con-
cerning Prince Eupert's being in Lancashire was not such as wee
could rely upon ; for the Prince, with all his best horse that he had
remaining, quitted Lancashire upon Wednesday was senight, and
past over into Cheshire at Hale Foard. His dragooners and such
remainder of foote as he hath are dayly boated over from Leverpoole
into Cheshire; the rest of his horse under the comand of Goreing,
together with some foote under Col. Clavering, the Earle of
Montrosse, are marched towards Cumberland and Westmoreland,
soe as Lancashire have onely some petty garrisons left, which the
forces in the county, if well imployed, may easily master. Wee
therefore thought fitt thus to devide our forces, that I should march
southward, and that the Scotts with their army should march for
the security of those northerne counties, and to intend the takeing in
of New Castle. Upon the takeing of this resolucion, I intend (God
willing) to be my selfe at Lincolne by Satterday night, and shall
intend the recruiting and refreshing of my forces with what speed I
can, and I shall attend your Lo ps commands which way you will
have mee to march, and what you will have mee to doe. I shall
humbly offer this unto your Lo ps . I have sent to the Committee
at Cambridge and the Committees of the sevrall counties to desire
them that they would speed away recruites for this army, both of
horse and foote. They returne mee this answere, that they have
lately received an Ordinaunce of Parliament injoyning them to
rayse a new force of horse, foote, and dragoones, which they are
preparing to observe, and therefore doe desire mee to excuse them
in that they are not able to doe, for they cannot pay nor recruite
this army and raise such other forces as are required by that
ordinance. I shall therefore desire to know which way your Lo ps
please to have those forces disposed, and I shall readily obey your
orders, for it doth much frustrate my desires in doeing my duty at
this time to want those recruites and supplyes which I thought to
have found ready. But I submit all to your Lo ps better judgment?,
onely I shall desire to cleere one tiling which I heare is very



4 CROMWELL AND THE EARL OF MANCHESTER.

confidently insisted upon, which is, that this army is really and
fully payd. I shall as confidently affirme unto you that they are at
this tyme in arreare since the first of January, upon halfe pay three
moneths. The arreares before the first of January is more then
since ; and the Treasurers, which are two gentlemen of good creditt
and esteerae, doe assure mee that within these few dayes there was
yet unpaid 30,000Z. of the former three moneths assessments; of
these last foure moneths, which is almost illapsed, there is nothing
as yet brought in. I must confesse, and I doe acknowledge it as a
blessing from God, that both the officers and soldiers have never
yet refused any marching or duty for want of pay, and I hope they
never will. It is therefore some trouble unto mee to see their
necessities, and yet to heare the confidence of some affirmations
that wee are payd to a day. My Lords, this I write that I may
cleerly give you the truth, not that I will plead to be exempted
from any duty or service that you shall command mee, for I am
ready with that force I have (which yet I hope may doe you some
service) to obey your orders as,
My Lords and Gentlemen, your Lo ps most humble servant,

Manchester.

Bloyth, 1° Augusti, 1644.

Since my comeing to Bloyth I heare there is two regiments of
horse come into Newarke from Prince Rupert, with the assurance
that the Prince will send some foote thether with all speed, but I
hope neither his horse or foote shall doe any hurt to that county.
I shall make the more hast into it.



Xo. 4. — To the Earle of Manchester.

My Lord,

Wee have taken into consideracion the necessitie of hinderino-
the recruites of Prince Rupert, and wholly to breake his army,



Manchester's correspondence. o

if it bee possible. And to that end wee desire you to gather what g^Jj^gg^

force you can together forthwith. And with them, together with

the forces of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Lancashire, as also Derbyshire,

those of Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Middleton, to all Jg^^jjJ^

of which wee have written to that purpose, and to receive your Brereton and

orders to march toward Prince Rupert, and attend his motions, l^to' joyne

and follow him which way soever hee shall goe, and to take all ^receive

advantages against him that shall bee offered. As to the money G1

that is behind from the Associacion, wee have written to the

several countyes, that with all expedition it may bee sent unto Counties writ-


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Online LibraryDavid MassonThe quarrel between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell: an episode of the English Civil War → online text (page 9 of 17)