Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Parliament owed him a debt it never truly recognised - it was Manchester's well-trained and well-organised Eastern Association that formed the backbone of the New Model Army. Without his disciplined veterans, the Parliamentary triumph at Naseby in 1645 and, ultimately, the victory against the Royalists, would have been much less likely. Manchester was leader of the House of Lords when the Commons voted to put King Charles on trial. The Lords' refusal to consent to the trial forced Parliament to push ahead without their approval. Montagu then took no part in the republic that followed. After declining to take the Engagement — the oath of loyalty to the Commonwealth — he was deprived of all his offices in 1650 and retired from public life. In December 1657, Cromwell offered him a seat in his Upper House, but Manchester refused it. When the Restoration came, he was the figure who officially welcomed King Charles II into London. He, like the New Model Army's commander Sir Thomas Fairfax, had not participated in the King's trial and execution and so felt none of the wrath of his son, who made Manchester Lord Chamberlain and gave him the Garter.

The Earl of Manchester