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John Lambert
General John Lambert
Committee of Safety
In office
May 1659 – October 1659
Member of Parliament
for Pontefract
In office
January 1659 – April 1659
Rule of the Major Generals, Northern Region
In office
October 1655 – January 1657
Nominated to Barebone's Parliament
In office
July 1653 – December 1653
Lord President, Council of State
In office
April 1653 – May 1653
Personal details
Born7 September 1619 (baptised)
Calton Hall, near Kirkby Malham, Yorkshire, England
Died1 March 1684(1684-03-01) (aged 64)
Drake's Island, Plymouth, England
Resting placeSt Andrew's Church, Plymouth
Political partyParliamentarian
SpouseFrances Lister (1622–1676)
ChildrenThomas, John and Mary
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationSoldier and politician
Military service
Allegiance England
Commonwealth of England Commonwealth
RankMajor General
Battles/warsWars of the Three Kingdoms
Tadcaster; Selby; Nantwich; Marston Moor; Siege of Pontefract; Siege of Dartmouth; Siege of Oxford; Preston; Dunbar; Inverkeithing; Worcester;
Booth's Uprising

John Lambert[a] (7 September 1619 – 1 March 1684) was an English Parliamentarian general and politician. Widely regarded as one of the most talented soldiers of the period, he fought throughout the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and was largely responsible for victory in the 1650 to 1651 Scottish campaign.

Although Lambert was involved in the discussions between the New Model Army and Parliament during 1647, his first formal involvement in civilian politics was in 1653, when he became a member of the English Council of State. In December 1653, he helped prepare the "Instrument of Government", which became the constitutional framework for the Protectorate. He later fell out with Oliver Cromwell, largely because he opposed converting Cromwell’s role as Lord Protector into a kingship.

Lambert lost his offices in 1657 after refusing to swear an oath of loyalty to Cromwell, but in early 1659, following Cromwell's death in September 1658, he re-entered politics as Member of Parliament for Pontefract. When Richard Cromwell resigned in May, Lambert became a member of the Committee of Safety and successfully suppressed the Royalist Booth's Uprising. He was then sent to deal with George Monck, but his army disintegrated and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 3 March 1660.[1]

Lambert escaped a month later, on 9 April,[1] and made one final attempt to resist the Restoration before being recaptured on 24 April.[1] Despite his prominent role in the Protectorate, he had not participated in the Trial of Charles I and had many close connections with senior Royalists. Although he was sentenced to death, this was commuted to life imprisonment; he spent the remaining 24 years of his life under house arrest, first on Guernsey, then on Drake's Island near Plymouth, where he died on 1 March 1684.

Personal details

John Lambert was born at Calton Hall, near Kirkby Malham in Yorkshire, son of Josias Lambert (1554-1632) and his third wife, Anne Pigott (ca 1605-1643). He had two half-sisters from his father's previous marriages, Cassandra and Jane.

A well-established member of the minor Yorkshire gentry, by the late 1620s Josias was in serious financial difficulties and died almost bankrupt. As a minor, John Lambert became the ward of Sir William Lister, a long-standing family friend, who appears to have paid for his education at Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

In 1639 he married Frances Lister (1622–1676), Sir William's younger daughter; they had three children who survived into adulthood, Thomas (1639-1694), John (1639-1701) and Mary (1642-1675).


First English Civil War

Thomas Fairfax; Lambert's mentor in the 1640s and commander of the New Model Army, he resigned in protest at the execution of Charles in January 1649

Pre-Civil War Yorkshire was characterised by close links among the local gentry, which often overrode political or religious differences. Although Lambert and the Listers followed Lord Fairfax in supporting Parliament, they were related by marriage and blood to Royalists like Sir Henry Slingsby and John Belasyse. Even during the 1650s, Lambert remained on good terms with Belasyse, despite the latter being a Catholic and leader of the secret Royalist association known as the Sealed Knot.[3]

When the First English Civil War began in August 1642, Lambert joined the Parliamentarian army of the Northern Association, commanded by the elder Fairfax. He fought at Tadcaster in December 1642, where his brother-in-law William Lister was killed and quickly established a reputation as a confident and aggressive soldier.[4] He played a prominent role in the defence of Hull and participated in Parliamentarian victories at Nantwich and Selby in early 1644. At Marston Moor, fought just outside York on 2 July, he and Thomas Fairfax led the Parliamentarian right, which was routed by Lord Goring. Accompanied only by a few troops, the two men fought their way across the battlefield to join Oliver Cromwell on the left and help secure victory.[5]

In January 1645, Thomas Fairfax was appointed commander of the New Model Army and Lambert promoted Commissary General of the Northern Association, effectively acting as his deputy.[6] During the siege of Pontefract Castle, one of the few Royalist positions left in the north, he was wounded and defeated on 1 March by a relief force led by Marmaduke Langdale.[7] Shortly after this, Fairfax was finally replaced as commander in the north by the Presbyterian mercenary Sydnam Poyntz.[8] Lambert transferred to the New Model, although shortage of troops meant he remained in the north until just after Naseby in June 1645, when he served in Fairfax's western campaign. He supervised the capture of Dartmouth in January 1646 and was present at the sieges of Truro in March, Exeter in April and finally Oxford in June, which ended the First Civil War. In a sign of his growing stature within the New Model, Lambert acted as a commissioner for each surrender, in conjunction with Henry Ireton.[9]

Second English Civil War

Victory exposed long-standing divisions between mostly Presbyterian moderates led by Denzil Holles who dominated Parliament, and radicals within the New Model Army, focused around Cromwell. Originating in differences over the political settlement with Charles I, it was exacerbated by financial issues and by March 1647, the New Model Army was owed more than £3 million in unpaid wages. Parliament ordered it to Ireland, stating only those who agreed would be paid; when their representatives demanded full payment for all in advance, it was disbanded, but the army refused to comply.[10]

John Lambert (general) is located in the United Kingdom
Lambert key locations, 1642 to 1651

Concerned by the influence of radicals such as the Levellers within the New Model Army, the Army Council was established to ensure a united front against Holles and his supporters. Working with Ireton, Lambert helped draw up the army's terms for a peace settlement with the king, although the extent of his involvement has been challenged by some historians.[11] After these were rejected by Charles, the Holles faction demanded he be invited to London for further talks. Fearing Charles was going to be restored without significant concessions, the Army Council took control of the city on 7 August and in October expelled their leading opponents from Parliament, the so-called Eleven Members.[12]

When the Northern Association army mutinied in early July 1647, Lambert was reinstated as commander and quickly succeeded in restoring discipline.[13] This was essential because a similar political struggle was taking place in Scotland between the Kirk Party and the Engagers, who gained control of government in April 1648. Backed by an alliance of English/Welsh Royalists and former Parliamentarian moderates, they agreed to restore Charles to the English throne and initiated the Second English Civil War in April 1648.[14]

Most of the New Model Army was with Fairfax, who was suppressing revolts in Essex and Kent, and Cromwell in South Wales, leaving Lambert facing a precarious situation in the north. The garrisons of Pontefract and Scarborough changed sides, while Royalists led by Sir Marmaduke Langdale captured Berwick and Carlisle. Although he could not prevent the Engagers under Hamilton crossing the border in July, Lambert fought a series of skilful delaying actions until Cromwell was able to join him. The Royalist/Engager army was destroyed after three days of fighting at Preston in August, while Lambert captured Hamilton at Uttoxeter on 25 August.[15]

Although the war was largely over, the Kirk Party asked for support and Lambert entered Edinburgh in September, before returning to Yorkshire. He supported the 'Remonstrance of the Army' issued in November, listing their grievances against Charles and Parliament, and named as one of the judges for the trial of Charles I. However, until March 1649 he was absent at the siege of Pontefract and thus avoided involvement in his execution in January, although he did not oppose it.[5]

The Commonwealth

When Cromwell was appointed to the command of the war in Scotland (July 1650), Lambert went with him as major-general and second in command. He was wounded at Musselburgh, but returned to the front in time to take a conspicuous share in the victory of Dunbar. He himself repulsed a surprise attack by the Covenanters at the Battle of Hamilton on 1 December 1650. In July 1651 he was sent into Fife to get in the rear and flank of the Scottish army near Falkirk, and force them to decisive action by cutting off their supplies. This mission, in the course of which Lambert won an important victory at Inverkeithing, was so successful that Charles II, as Lambert had foreseen, made for England. Lambert's part in the general plan of the resulting Worcester campaign was carried out brilliantly (including his capture of Upton-Upon-Severn), and in the crowning victory of Worcester he commanded the right wing of the English army, and had his horse shot under him. Parliament granted him lands in Scotland worth £1000 per annum.[16]

In October 1651 Lambert was made a commissioner under the Tender of Union to settle the affairs of Scotland, and on the death of Ireton he was appointed lord deputy of Ireland (January 1652). He made extensive preparations; parliament, however, reconstituted the Irish administration and Lambert refused to accept office on the new terms. He then began to oppose the Rump Parliament. In the Council of Officers he headed the party desiring representative government, as opposed to Harrison who favoured an oligarchy of "God-fearing" men, but both hated the Rump of the Long Parliament, and joined in urging Cromwell to dissolve it by force.[16]

At the same time Lambert was consulted by the parliamentary leaders as to the possibility of dismissing Cromwell from his command, and on 15 March 1653 Cromwell refused to see him, speaking of him contemptuously as "bottomless Lambert". On 20 April 1653, however, Lambert accompanied Cromwell when he dismissed the Council of State, on the same day as the forcible expulsion of the parliament.[16]

Lambert now favoured the formation of a small executive council, to be followed by an elective parliament whose powers should be limited by a written instrument of government. As the ruling spirit in the Council of State, and the idol of the army, he was seen as a possible rival of Cromwell for the chief executive power, while the royalists for a short time had hopes of his support. He was invited, with Cromwell, Harrison and John Desborough, to sit in the nominated "Barebones Parliament" of 1653; and when the unpopularity of that assembly increased, Cromwell drew nearer to Lambert. In November 1653 Lambert presided over a meeting of officers, when the question of constitutional settlement was discussed, and a proposal made for the forcible expulsion of the nominated parliament. On 12 December 1653, the parliament resigned its powers into Cromwell's hands, and on 13 December Lambert obtained the consent of the officers to the Instrument of Government, in the framing of which he had taken a lead. He was one of the seven officers nominated to seats in the council created by the Instrument.[16]

In the foreign policy of the Protectorate Lambert called for alliance with Spain and war with France in 1653, and he firmly withstood Cromwell's design for an expedition to the West Indies.[16]

In the debates in parliament on the Instrument of Government in 1654 Lambert proposed that the office of Lord Protector should be made hereditary, but was defeated by a majority which included members of Cromwell's family. In the parliament of this year, and again in 1656, Lord Lambert, as he was now styled, sat as member for the West Riding. He was one of the major-generals appointed in August 1655 to command the militia in the ten districts into which it was proposed to divide England, and who were to be responsible for the maintenance of order and the administration of the law in their several districts.[16]

Lambert took a prominent part in the Committee of Council which drew up instructions to the administrative major-generals. He was the organiser of the system of police which these officers were to control. Samuel Gardiner conjectures that it was through divergence of opinion between the protector and Lambert in connection with these "instructions" that the estrangement between the two men began. At all events, although Lambert had himself at an earlier date requested Cromwell to take the royal dignity, when the proposal to declare Oliver king was started in parliament (February 1657) he at once opposed it.[16]

A hundred officers headed by Charles Fleetwood and Lambert waited on the protector, and begged him to put a stop to the proceedings. Lambert was not convinced by Cromwell's arguments, and their complete estrangement, personal as well as political, followed. On his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the protector, Lambert was deprived of his commissions, receiving instead a pension of £2000 a year. He retired from public life to Wimbledon; but shortly before his own death Cromwell sought a reconciliation, and Lambert and his wife visited Cromwell at Whitehall.[17]

When Richard Cromwell was proclaimed protector (3 September 1658), his chief difficulty lay with the army, over which he exercised no effective control. Lambert, though holding no military commission, was the most popular of the old Cromwellian generals with the rank and file of the army, and it was very generally believed that he would install himself in Oliver Cromwell's seat of power. Richard Cromwell's adherents tried to conciliate him, and the royalist leaders made overtures to him, even proposing that Charles II should marry Lambert's daughter. Lambert at first gave a lukewarm support to Richard Cromwell, and took no part in the intrigues of the officers at Fleetwood's residence, Wallingford House. He was a member of the Third Protectorate Parliament which met in January 1659, and when it was dissolved in April under compulsion of Fleetwood and Desborough, he was restored to his commands. He headed the deputation to Lenthall in May 1659 inviting the return of the Rump Parliament, which led to the tame retirement of Richard Cromwell; and he was appointed a member of the Committee of Safety and of the Council of State.[18]

When the parliament, in an attempt to control the power of the army, withheld from Fleetwood the right of nominating officers, Lambert was named one of a council of seven charged with this duty. The parliament's evident distrust of the soldiers caused much discontent in the army; while the absence of authority encouraged the royalists to make overt attempts to restore Charles II, the most serious of which, under Sir George Booth and the earl of Derby, was crushed by Lambert near Chester on 19 August 1659. He promoted a petition from his army that Fleetwood might be made lord-general and himself major-general. The republican party in the House took offence. The Commons (12 October 1659) cashiered Lambert and other officers, and retained Fleetwood as chief of a military council under the authority of the speaker. On the next day Lambert caused the doors of the House to be shut and the members kept out. On 26 October a new Committee of Safety was appointed, of which he was a member. He was also appointed major-general of all the forces in England and Scotland, Fleetwood being general.[18]

Lambert was now sent with a large force to meet George Monck, who was in command of the English forces in Scotland, and either negotiate with him or force him to terms. Monck, however, marched southward. Lambert's army began to melt away over various issues including lack of pay and lack of enthusiasm for the military regime, and he was kept in suspense by Monck till his whole army deserted and he returned to London almost alone. Monck marched to London unopposed. The excluded Presbyterian members were recalled. Lambert was sent to the Tower (3 March 1660), from which he escaped a month later. He descended a silk rope and aided by six men was taken away by barge. He tried to rekindle the civil war in favour of the Commonwealth by issuing a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill. But he was recaptured on 22 April at Daventry by Colonel Richard Ingoldsby,[19] a regicide who hoped to win a pardon by handing Lambert over to the new regime.[20] He was kept imprisoned in the Tower of London[18] and then transferred to Castle Cornet on the island Guernsey.


On the Restoration Lambert was exempted from prosecution by an address of both Houses of the Convention Parliament to the king, but the Cavalier Parliament in 1662 charged him with high treason.[18] In April 1662 General Lambert was, with Sir Henry Vane, brought to England and tried in June 1662. On 25 July a warrant was issued to Lord Hatton, the governor of Guernsey, to take into his custody "the person of John Lambert, commonly called Colonel Lambert, and keep him a close prisoner as a condemned traitor until further orders". On 18 November following, directions were given from the king to Lord Hatton to "give such liberty and indulgence to Colonel John Lambert within the precincts of the island as will consist with the security of his person".

Later life

In 1662 Lambert was imprisoned in Guernsey.[18] In 1667 he was transferred to Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound, at the entrance to the Hamoaze, and he died there during the severe winter of 1683–84. The site of his grave is now lost but he was laid to rest at St Andrews Church in Plymouth on 28 March 1684.[21]


He was the author of the Instrument of Government, the first written constitution in the world codifying sovereign powers. The Instrument of Government was replaced in May 1657 by England's second, last, and extinct codified constitution, the Humble Petition and Advice.

It has been said that Lambert's nature had more in common with the royalist than with the puritan spirit. Vain and ambitious, he believed that Cromwell could not stand without him; and when Cromwell was dead, he imagined himself entitled to succeed him. As a soldier he was far more than a fighting general and possessed many of the qualities of a great general. He was an able writer and speaker, and an accomplished negotiator and took pleasure in quiet and domestic pursuits. He learnt his love of gardening from Lord Fairfax, who was also his master in the art of war. He painted flowers, besides cultivating them, and was accused by Lucy Hutchinson of "dressing his flowers in his garden and working at the needle with his wife and his maids".[18]


  1. ^ Also spelled Lambart


  1. ^ a b c "Lambert, John (1619—1694)", by F. Warre Cornish, Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition, Volume 14 (Henry G. Allen Company, 1890) p. 237
  2. ^ Farr 2003, pp. 12, 15.
  3. ^ Farr 2003, p. 163.
  4. ^ Farr 2003, p. 36.
  5. ^ a b Farr 2004.
  6. ^ Hill & Watkinson 2012, p. 17.
  7. ^ Barratt 1975, pp. 162–163.
  8. ^ Farr 2011.
  9. ^ Farr 2003, p. 39.
  10. ^ Rees 2016, pp. 173–174.
  11. ^ Adamson 1987, pp. 568–569.
  12. ^ Grayling 2017, p. 23.
  13. ^ Farr 2003, pp. 40–41.
  14. ^ Royle 2006, pp. 424–425.
  15. ^ Farr 2003, p. 43.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Chisholm 1911, p. 108.
  17. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 108–109.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Chisholm 1911, p. 109.
  19. ^ Greaves 1986, pp. 27–29.
  20. ^ "Sunday 22 April 1660". The Diary of Samuel Pepys. 22 April 2003.
  21. ^ Gaunt, pp 44,45




1893 text

John Lambert, major-general in the Parliamentary army. The title Lord was not his by right, but it was frequently given to the republican officers. He was born in 1619, at Calton Hall, in the parish of Kirkby-in-Malham-Dale, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1642 he was appointed captain of horse under Fairfax, and acted as major-general to Cromwell in 1650 during the war in Scotland. After this Parliament conferred on him a grant of lands in Scotland worth L1000 per annum. He refused to take the oath of allegiance to Cromwell, for which the Protector deprived him of his commission. After Cromwell’s death he tried to set up a military government. The Commons cashiered Lambert, Desborough, and other officers, October 12th, 1659, but Lambert retaliated by thrusting out the Commons, and set out to meet Monk. His men fell away from him, and he was sent to the Tower, March 3rd, 1660, but escaped. In 1662 he was tried on a charge of high treason and condemned, but his life was spared. It is generally stated that he passed the remainder of his life in the island of Guernsey, but this is proved to be incorrect by a MS. in the Plymouth Athenaeum, entitled “Plimmouth Memoirs collected by James Yonge, 1684” This will be seen from the following extracts quoted by Mr. R. J. King, in “Notes and Queries,” “1667 Lambert the arch-rebel brought to this island [St. Nicholas, at the entrance of Plymouth harbour].” “1683 Easter day Lambert that olde rebell dyed this winter on Plimmouth Island where he had been prisoner 15 years and more.”

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

13 Annotations

First Reading

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Here's historian Thomas Macaulay's description of Lambert and his ilk:

"The officers who had the principal influence among the troops stationed near London [in 1659 and early 1660] ... were men distinguished by valour and conduct in the field, but destitute of the wisdom and civil courage which had been conspicuous in their deceased leader [Oliver Cromwell]. Some of them were honest, but fanatical, Independents and Republicans. Of this class Fleetwood was the representative. Others were impatient to be what Oliver [Cromwell] had been. His rapid elevation, his prosperity and glory, his inauguration in the Hall, and his gorgeous obsequies in the Abbey, had inflamed their imagination. They were as well born as he, and as well educated: they could not understand why they were not as worthy to wear the purple robe, and to wield the sword of state: and they pursued the objects of their wild ambition, not, like him, with patience, vigilance, sagacity, and determination, but with the restlessness and irresolution characteristic of aspiring mediocrity. Among these feeble copies of a great original the most conspicuous was Lambert."

-- The History of England From the Accession of James II, by Thomas Babington Macaulay, Vol. I, Chapter 1 (available online from Project Gutenberg)

David Gurliacci  •  Link

More on Lambert
Here's a link to a web page on Lambert from David Plant's fine website, "British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1638-1660":…

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Winston Churchill on Lambert in 1659:

"Lambert was a man of high ability, with a military record second only to Oliver Cromwell's and a wide knowledge of politics. He did not attempt to make himself Lord Protector. Far different were the ideas that stirred him. His wife, a woman of culture and good family, cherished Royalist sympathies and family ambitions. A plan was proposed to which she and the General lent themselves, for the marriage of their daughter to Charles II's brother, the Duke of York, as part of a process by which Lambert, if he became chief magistrate of the Republic, would restore the King to the throne. This project was seriously entertained on both sides . . . His [Lambert's] course was secret, tortuous, and full of danger. Already Fleetwood's suspicions were aroused, and a deep antagonism grew between these two military chiefs. At the same time the Army, sensing its own disunity, began to have misgivings about its violent actions against Parliament. . . .

"The schism in the rank and file was beginning to destroy the self-confidence of the troops and put an end to the rule of the sword in England. At Christmas [1659] the Army [at least in the area of London] resolved to be reconciled with Parliament."

-- "A History of the English Speaking Peoples," Vol. II, The New World (1956); Chapter 21, "The Restoration"

Glyn  •  Link

Press the link to see this painting of John Lambert, which is in the National Portrait Gallery in London near that of Samuel Pepys.

Mary Merivel  •  Link

John Lambert was one of the last warriors for "the Good Old Cause", and the man of the noble ideals. His life has been sold to royalists by the person I don't want to mention at all. That man bought his own forgiveness by taking Lambert.

John Lambert, the man of glory and misery, has finished his remarkable life in prison. After the death of his beloved wife Frances, he had lost his will to life but had to suffer eight more years...

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

LAMBERT, JOHN (1619-1683) soldier; took up arms for the parliament at the beginning of the civil war; commissary-general of Fairfax's army, 1644; in command of a regiment in the new model, 1646; assisted Ireton in drawing up the 'Heads of the Proposals of Army,' 1647; commander of the army in the north, 1647; engaged against the royalist Scottish army, 1648; took part in the battle of Dunbar, 1650, of Worcester, 1651; deputy lord-lieutenant of Ireland, 1652; president of the council appointed by the officers of the army, 1653; was the leading spirit in the council of officers who offered the post of protector to Cromwell, and a member of the Protector's council of state; major-general of the army; a lord of the Cinque ports; retired on account of a breach with Cromwell about the regal title; М.P., Pontefract, 1659; supported Richard Cromwell and recovered his old position; member of the committee of safety and of the council of state, 1659; major-general of the army sent to oppose Monck's advance into England; deprived of his commands, 1660; arrested and committed to the Tower; escaped and collected troops, but without success, 1660; again committed to the Tower, 1661; sent to Guernsey, 1661; tried for high treason and condemned to death, 1662; sent back to Guernsey; imprisoned till death, 1664-1683.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The New Model Army was different: They paid their soldiers, so trained men didn't run home for the harvest or the holidays. Until they didn't, that is. Parliament also ran out of money before the end of the Interregnum, which created a lot of the drama that occurs at the start of the Diary. The soldiers wanted their 2 years of back pay.

What was the alternative to paying loyal soldiers for the cause? Dealing with untrained and reluctant soldiers. I found this nugget:

"In Lancashire, the Royalists press-ganged crowds of local men and marched them away to attack the Parliamentarian garrison at Bolton, 'the rear being brought up with troopers that had commission to shoot such as lagged behind, so as the poor countrymen ... [were] in a dilemma of death, either by the troopers if they went not on, or by the... shot of the town if they did'.

Admiral Lawson unsuccessfully tried to outlaw the press gangs in the Navy, and make the Navy a year-round paid position also ... but that was a step too far for Parliament.

Sorry, I've lost the citation for then time being. It will emerge.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

After the death of Oliver Cromwell, his successor Richard summoned the Third Protectorate Parliament.
Gen. John Lambert was elected MP for Pontefract. He supported Richard, but Fleetwood and Disbrowe forced the dissolution of Parliament in April 1659.
But they were unable to prevent the recall of the old Rump Parliament which re-assembled in May 1659 and forced Richard's resignation.
Lambert was re-appointed to his commands in the Army.
As Parliament's most capable commander, he was sent against the Royalist of Booth's Uprising in August 1659.
Lambert's veterans easily defeated Booth's rebel army at Winnington Bridge in Cheshire.
Lambert avoided unnecessary bloodshed by allowing the Royalists to disperse and forbidding his cavalry from pursuing them.

Parliament voted Lambert a £1,000 jewel as a reward for his services, which he used to pay his troops.
His officers took up Fleetwood's submission to Parliament that Lambert should be re-appointed to the rank of major-general, along with calls for reform, a Senate to limit the House of Commons and for no officer to be cashiered without a court martial.
In September 1659, Sir Arthur Hesilrige led moves to have Lambert dismissed.
Parliament revoked the commissions of nine senior officers, including Lambert, in October 1659 in an effort to estalish its independence.
The Council of Officers responded by resolving to expel Parliament and on 13 October, regiments loyal to Lambert encircled the approaches to Parliament and prevented MPs from sitting.

The Committee of Safety was reinstated to rule as an interim government and Lambert was restored to the rank of major-general.
Meanwhile, Hesilrige appealed to other army generals to support Parliament against Lambert and his followers.
Gen. Monck, commander-in-chief in Scotland, declared that he was ready to uphold Parliament's authority.
Lambert marched north against Monck with around 12,000 troops, reaching Newcastle in mid-November 1659 where he was delayed for several weeks while the Committee of Safety negotiated with Monck's representatives for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

And now to Diary times ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In southern England, Hesilrige seized the Portsmouth garrison and demanded the return of Parliament.
The republican vice-admiral John Lawson sailed to Gravesend and threatened to blockade London, while riots broke out in the city against the military régime.
In mid-December, the Committee of Safety dissolved itself and Fleetwood recall the Rump Parliament.
Lambert tried to march south in an attempt to regain control of the situation but his unpaid troops were reluctant to fight.
When Lord Fairfax declared his support for Monck, Lambert's forces disintegrated.
Offered a general indemnity, Lambert submitted and was placed under house arrest.
In March 1660, he was ordered to London to appear before the Council of State.
Unable to meet the impossibly high security of £20,000, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Lambert made a desperate attempt to resist the approaching Restoration.
He escaped from the Tower in April 1660 and issued a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill on Easter Day 1660 from where he planned to advance on Oxford and to join forces with rebels from the south and west.
The response to Lambert's call-to-arms was sporadic. He was ignored by Hesilrige, Fleetwood and Disbrowe, but the radical colonels Okey and Axtell joined him with a few hundred horse.
Edmund Ludlow plotted an uprising in Wiltshire, cavalry units from the Midlands and Yorkshire rode to join him, several garrisons declared for Lambert and uprisings of civilian republicans were reported in Somerset, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

Before Lambert could gather all his forces, however, he was confronted near Daventry on Easter Day, 22 April 1660, by troops sent by Monck under the command of Col. Ingoldsby, a regicide who hoped to win a pardon by recapturing Lambert.
When Ingoldsby prepared to attack, Lambert's small army defected or fled.
Lambert was ignominiously taken prisoner by Ingoldsby when his Arab charger became bogged down in a muddy field.
The following day he was brought back to London.
After being forced to stand beneath the Tyburn gallows, he was returned to the Tower.

Aged 40 at the Restoration, Lambert spent the rest of his life in prison.
He was brought to trial with Sir Henry Vane in June 1662, accused of high treason.
Although sentenced to death, Lambert appealed to Charles II's mercy and the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
He was moved from the Tower to Castle Cornet on Guernsey,
and finally to Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound.
Lady Frances Lambert took a house in Plymouth and visited him when permitted, but after her death in 1676, Gen. John Lambert lapsed into insanity.

He died in February 1684 at the age of 64, having spent the last 24 years of his life in prison.…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lambert loved gardening, and during his time of idleness at Wimbledon House during Oliver's Protectorate, he sent coded letters to Sir Christopher, Lord Hatton, exiled in Paris, ordering tulip bulbs.

After his failed uprising in 1660, Sir John Lambert, at 41, was condemned to death, but his sentence was commuted by Charles II to life imprisonment, and he was sent to Castle Cornet on Guernsey, where the Governor was ordered to “give such liberty and indulgence to Col. John Lambert within the precincts of the island as will consist with the security of his person”. The Governor was none other than Sir Christopher, Lord Hatton.

This turned out to be an unhappy encounter: they may have been united by the love of flowers – Gen. John Lambert was allowed to devote his time at Castle Cornet to creating a garden on the top level next to the round tower, between the two parallel walls – but the Governor and the prisoner were to be divided by love.

Gen. Lambert’s family, including his daughter Mary, were allowed regular visits and even stayed on Guernsey. Gov. Hatton’s entire family, including both his sons, were also residents. The inevitable encounters took place: Charles Hatton fell for Mary Lambert and they married in secret.

Gov. Hatton did not find out for more than a year, and when he did, he was furious, as was Charles II, who thought the liaison with such a prominent ‘traitor’ was because of laxness and complicity on Hatton’s part.

Gov. Hatton responded by telling Charles II that the match was made entirely without his knowledge, and how strongly he disapproved. So strongly, he turned his son out, and cut him off without a penny.

Nevertheless, Charles II removed Gov. Hatton from his position, and Gen. Lambert was later moved to Drakes Island in Plymouth Sound, where he died in 1684.

[For more about Lambert, see David Farr, John Lambert: Parliamentary Soldier and Cromwellian Major-General, 1619-1684, Boydell, 2003]

Love of gardening may cut across many boundaries, BUT there are limits. It’s fine to ship tulips and anemones to your political enemies -- but you don’t want your children to marry them.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.