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The Earl of Manchester
Portrait of the Earl of Manchester by Sir Peter Lely, circa 1661–1665
Lord Chamberlain
In office
Preceded byEnglish Interregnum
Succeeded byThe Earl of St Albans
Personal details
Died5 May 1671(1671-05-05) (aged 68–69)
Resting placeMontagu Vaul, St Andrews Church Kimbolton
Susannah Hill
(m. 1623, died)​
(m. 1625; died 1642)​
Essex, Lady Bevil
(m. 1642; died 1658)​
Eleanor, Dowager Countess of Warwick
(m. 1659; died 1666)​
Margaret, Countess of Carlisle
(m. 1667)​
Children4, including Robert Montagu, 3rd Earl of Manchester
Parent(s)Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester
Catherine Spencer
RelativesRobert Montagu (grandson)
Heneage Montagu (grandson)
Charles Montagu, 1st Duke of Manchester (grandson)
Alma materSidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Military service
Years of service1642–1645
Battles/warsFirst English Civil War

Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, KG, KB, FRS (1602 – 5 May 1671) was an important commander of Parliamentary forces in the First English Civil War, and for a time Oliver Cromwell's superior.[1]

Early life

He was the eldest son of Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester by his first wife, Catherine Spencer, granddaughter of Sir William Spencer of Yarnton, Oxfordshire, England, was born in 1602, and was educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1618–1622).[2]


Montagu accompanied Prince Charles during his 1623 trip to Habsburg Spain in pursuit of the Spanish Match. He was Member of Parliament for Huntingdonshire in the "Happy Parliament" of 1623–24, the "Useless Parliament" of 1625, and the Parliament of 1625–26. At the time of Charles I's coronation in February 1626, he was made a Knight of the Bath to reward him for his service to Charles in Spain. In May, with help from George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Montagu was elevated to the House of Lords, receiving his father's barony of Kimbolton and being styled Viscount Mandeville as a courtesy title, since his father had been created Earl of Manchester in February when Parliament convened.

His first wife, who was related to the Duke of Buckingham, having died in 1625 after two years of marriage, Mandeville married in 1626 Anne Rich, daughter of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick.[3]

The influence of his father-in-law, who was afterwards admiral on the side of the parliament, drew Mandeville to the popular side in the questions in dispute with the crown, and at the beginning of the Long Parliament he was one of the recognised leaders of the popular party in the Upper House, his name being joined with those of the Five Members of the House of Commons impeached by the king in 1642. At the outbreak of the Civil War, having succeeded his father in the earldom in November 1642, Manchester commanded a regiment in the army of Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, and in August 1643 he was appointed Major-General of the parliamentary forces in the eastern counties (the Eastern Association), with Cromwell as his second in command.[3] Manchester developed cyphers to send coded messages to his allies.[4] He soon appointed his provost-marshal, William Dowsing, as a paid iconoclast, touring the churches of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire destroying all "Popish" and "superstitious" imagery, as well as features such as altar-rails.[5]

Having become a member of the Committee of Both Kingdoms in 1644, he was in supreme command at the Battle of Marston Moor but in the subsequent operations his lack of energy brought him into disagreement with Cromwell, and in November 1644 he strongly expressed his disapproval of continuing the war. Cromwell brought the shortcomings of Manchester before Parliament in the autumn of 1644 and in April the following year, anticipating the Self-denying Ordinance, Manchester resigned his command. He took a leading part in the frequent negotiations for an arrangement with Charles, was custodian with William Lenthall of the Great Seal from 1646 to 1648, and frequently presided in the House of Lords. He opposed the trial of the king, and retired from public life during the Commonwealth but after the Restoration, which he actively assisted, he was loaded with honours by Charles II. In 1660, he was nominated by the House of Lords to be one of the Commissioners for the Great Seal of England.[6] In 1667 he was made a General, and he died on 5 May 1671. Manchester was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1661, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1667.[3]

Men of such divergent sympathies as Baxter, Burnet and Clarendon agreed in describing Manchester as a lovable and virtuous man, who loved peace and moderation both in politics and religion.[3]

Personal life

Lord Manchester was five times married, leaving children by two of his wives.[3] He married firstly, Susannah Hill on 6 February 1623, at Theobalds. She was a daughter of John Hill of Honiton, Warwickshire, and Dorothy (née Beaumont) Hill (a daughter of Anthony Beaumont of Glenfield and sister of Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham).[7] Through her aunt, Susannah was a first cousin of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. They had no children.[8]

He married secondly, 1 July 1625, Lady Anne Rich, daughter of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick and the former Frances Hatton (daughter and heiress of Sir William Newport, who later took the surname Hatton to inherit the estates of his uncle, Sir Christopher Hatton). Before her death on 16 February 1642, they were the parents of three children:[8]

On 20 December 1642, ten months after the death of his second wife, he married her first cousin, Essex, Lady Bevill. She was the widow of Sir Thomas Bevil and a daughter of Sir Thomas Cheek and the former Lady Essex Rich (a daughter of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick). Before her death on 28 September 1658, they had a daughter:[8]

In July 1659, Lord Manchester married Eleanor, Dowager Countess of Warwick, as his fourth wife. Eleanor, who had been his second wife's stepmother, was a daughter of Sir Richard Wortley and sister of Sir Francis Wortley, 1st Baronet. At the time of their wedding, she had been thrice widowed, first from Sir Henry Lee, 1st Baronet, then Edward Radclyffe, 6th Earl of Sussex and, lastly, of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick. The Earl and Countess Eleanor had no children together.[8]

Margaret Russell c. 1636 by Anthony van Dyck

After his fourth wife's death in 1666, Lord Manchester was married for a fifth, and final, time to Margaret, Dowager Countess of Carlisle on 31 July 1667. Margaret, a widow of James Hay, 2nd Earl of Carlisle, was the third daughter of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford and the Hon. Katharine Brydges (second daughter and co-heiress of Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos). She survived him and died in 1676.[8]

Film portrayal

Manchester was portrayed by actor Robert Morley in the 1970 film Cromwell. He is inaccurately depicted sitting in the House of Commons in Cromwell's presence although he had been a member of the Lords since 1626.


  1. ^ "Montagu, Edward (1602-1671)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. ^ "Montagu, Edward (MNTG617E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ a b c d e McNeill, Ronald John (1911). "Manchester, Earls and Dukes of" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 543–544.
  4. ^ "English Civil War cipher belonging to Cromwell ally goes on display". The Past. 12 July 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  5. ^ Evelyn White, Parliamentary Visitor (1886). "The Journal of William Dowsing, Parliamentary Visitor" (PDF). Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. VI (Part 2): 236 to 295.
  6. ^ "Wednesday, 2d May, 1660". House of Commons Journal. 8: 8–9. 1802 – via British History Online.
  7. ^ Thomas Birch & Folkestone Williams, Court and Times of James the First, 2 (London: Colburn, 1849), pp. 361–62.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Manchester, Earl of (E, 1625/6)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ G. E. Cokayne et al., The Complete Peerage Vol. X (Stroud: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), p. 284

Further reading

  • Lord Clarendon: History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England. 7 vols. Oxford, 1839
  • Lord Clarendon: Life of Edward, Earl of Clarendon, Lord High Chancellor of England and Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Oxford, 1827
  • SR Gardiner: History of the Great Civil War, 1642–1649. 4 vols. London, 1886–1891
  • The Quarrel between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell: documents collected by J. Bruce, with a historical preface completed by D. M. Masson. London, 1875 (Publications of the Camden Society. New Series, 12)
  • Sir Philip Warwick: Memoires of the Reigne of King Charles I, with a Continuation to the Happy Restauration of King Charles II. London, 1701.

10 Annotations

First Reading

Roger Miller  •  Link

The 2nd Earl of Manchester is my Lord's cousin. His father Henry was the brother of my Lord's father Sidney.

Some background information is here:…

Pedro.  •  Link

Lord Manchester and Catarina de Braganca.

According to Hilda Lewis in her biography of Catarina, Lord Manchester was the first person that the Portuguese Ambassador, D. Fransico de Mello, sounded out about the proposed marriage. Her mother D. Luisa had already had words with Luis XIV and Henrietta. The King then went on to consult with Hyde.
It was probably during May 1661?

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

MONTAGU, EDWARD, second Earl of Мanchester (1602-1671), son of Sir Henry Montagu, first earl of Manchester; of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; М.P., Huntingdon, 1623 and 1625; K.B. and created Baron Montagu of Kimbolton, but known as Viscount Mandeville on his father being created Earl of Manchester, 1626; took command of a foot regiment in Essex's army, 1642; lord-lieutenant of Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire, 1642 ; succeeded as Earl of Manchester, 1642; major-general of the associated counties, 1643; joined Cromwell and Fairfax in winning Horncastle fight and Lincoln, 1643; directed to 'regulate' the university of Cambridge, 1644; secured Lincolnshire for the parliament, 1644; marched to Fairfax's assistance at York, 1644; palpably negligent at the second battle of Newbury, 1644; charged by Cromwell in the House of Commons with neglect and incompetency in the prosecution of the war, 1644; resigned his commission, 1645; opposed the ordinance for the king's trial, 1649; retired from public life when the formation of a commonwealth became inevitable; chancellor of the university of Cambridge, 1649-51; welcomed Charles II; one of the commissioners of the great seal, 1660; restored to his lord-lieutenancy chancellorship, 1660; privy councillor and lord chamberlain, 1660; inclined to leniency on the trial of the regicides, 1660; K.G., 1661; made a general when the Dutch appeared in the Channel, 1667.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Bill  •  Link

Edward, earl of Manchester, a nobleman of many great and amiable qualities, was a zealous, and no less able patron of liberty; but without enmity to monarchy, or the person of the king. He was one of the avowed patriots in the House of Peers, and the only member of that house who was accused by Charles of high-treason, together with the five members of the House of Commons. In the civil war, he had the charge of seven of the associated counties; and with his usual activity and address raised an army of horse, which he commanded in person. Soon after he entered upon his command, he forced the town of Lynne to submit to the parliament, and defeated the Earl of Newcastle's army at Horn Castle. In 1644, he took Lincoln by storm, and had a principal share in the victory at Marston Moor. After the battle of Newbury, he was suspected of favouring the king's interest; was even accused by Cromwell of neglect of duty, and by the self-denying ordinance deprived of his commission. He heartily concurred in the restoration of Charles II. who appointed him lord-chamberlain of his household. Ob. May 5, 1671, Aet. 69.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1824.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, was Lord Chamberlain to Charles II throughout the Diry years.

The job of Lord Chamberlain was explained to Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, in this way when he visited London in the Spring of 1669.

I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I apologize if I guessed incorrectly:

The court of England is divided into the king's household, and those of the reigning Queen, of the Queen Mother, of the Duke of York, of the Duchess of York, and of the Duke of Cambridge, son of the Duke of York.


In that of the king there are several offices: among the most considerable that of the Lord Steward is the first, …

The next is that of Lord Chamberlain, at present held by the Earl of Manchester, whose salary is also 100/.s sterling per annum, and a table.
He has the superintendence of all the officers of the king's privy chamber (but not of the bedchamber), of the wardrobes in all the royal residences, of the physicians and the barber-surgeons; and to him belongs the direction of all matters relative to the coronation, marriage, and funerals of the royal family.


If you think the salary reflects the amount of power exercised, you realize there were many courtiers higher in the pecking order than the Lord Chamberlain. On the other hand, office holders were expected to charge discretely for services rendered, and the Lord Chamberlain probably had many opportunities to receive gratuities.


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

With the collapse of the Protectorate in 1659, Gen. Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester became active in bringing about the Restoration. He was associated with the "Presbyterian Knot", a group of Presbyterian politicians that tried to impose constitutional limitations on the monarchy.

Manchester was appointed Speaker of the House of Lords in the Convention Parliament of April 1660.

His attempt to limit attendance of the Lords to peers sympathetic to the aims of the Presbyterian Knot was unsuccessful.

However, he officially welcomed Charles II into London on 29 May 1660 and was appointed lord chamberlain and a privy councillor.

In October 1660, Manchester sat as one of the judges at the trials of the regicides, where he was more inclined towards leniency than most of his fellow judges.

As lord chamberlain, Manchester carried the sword of state at Charles II's coronation in April 1661 at which he was invested as a Knight of the Garter.

He became a joint commissioner for the office of earl marshal in May 1662 and was given command of a regiment during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667.

He was a member of the Royal Society from 1667 until his death.

Manchester's fifth marriage, in 1668, was to Margaret, widow of the Earl of Carlisle and daughter of the Earl of Bedford.

Highly regarded for his modesty and piety, Manchester remained a pillar of the Restoration government until his sudden death in 1671.

During his 5 marriages, Manchester was father to 7 sons and 4 daughters. His eldest son Robert Montagu (1634–83) succeeded him as the 3rd Earl of Manchester; his grandson Charles Montagu (1662-1722) was created 1st Duke of Manchester in 1719.

Ian J. Gentles, Edward Montagu, second earl of Manchester, Oxford DNB, 2004

Ronald Hutton, The Restoration, a political and religious history of England and Wales 1658-1667, (Oxford 1985)

Bertha Porter, Edward Montagu, second earl of Manchester, DNB, 1894


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






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