Biography of MANCHESTER, earl of - Archontology

Edward Montagu

b. 1602
d. 7 May 1671, London

Title: Speaker pro Tempore of the House of Peers
Term: 25 Apr 1660 - 1 Jun 1660
Chronology: 25 Apr 1660, appointed Speaker pro Tempore by the House of Peers [1, p. 3]
  1 Jun 1660, Sir Edward Hyde, Lord Chancellor of England, assumed the office as permanent Speaker
Names/titles: Viscount Mandeville; Baron Kimbolton of Kimbolton [from 1626]; 2nd Earl of Manchester [from Nov 1642]

The son of Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester, Edward Montegu entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1618. He represented county of Huntingdon in Parliament (1623-1626). He was made a knight of the Bath (1625) and raised to the peerage as Baron Kimbolton taking a seat in the House of Lords in 1626. Montagu, as a leader of the popular puritan faction in the House of Lords, opposed King Charles I and was one of the five members impeached by the king for high treason (1642). He succeeded to the earldom after his father's death in November 1642 and was appointed major-general of the Parliament's Eastern Association (Aug 1643). Manchester was very familiar with Oliver Cromwell, who served under his command as Lieutenant-General of Horse. Manchester was in overall command at Marston Moor (2 Jul 1644), but his unwillingness to join forces with the Earl of Essex and attempt to inflict a crushing military defeat on the King drew fierce criticism from Cromwell. The political fight between Cromwell and Manchester became overshadowed by the formation of the New Model Army, and Manchester resigned his commission in 1645. He was a commissioner framing the articles of peace with Charles I in 1646 and, with William Lenthall, was custodian of Great Seal (1646-1648). In 1647 he signed engagement of the Army to stand by the freedom of Parliament, but opposed the king's trial, and retired from public life when formation of the Commonwealth became inevitable (1649).

Manchester served as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and actively helped bring about the Restoration. He was appointed as Speaker pro Tempore by the House of Peers in the Convention Parliament (25 Apr 1660). In this capacity he welcomed Charles II on his return in London on 29 May 1660. Superseded by Sir Edward Hyde on 1 Jun 1660 as Speaker, Manchester was richly rewarded by the King, made lord chamberlain and privy councilor. He became knight of the Garter in 1661 and was made a general and raised a regiment to fight the Dutch in 1667. [2]

[1] "Journals of the House of Lords", Vol. XI.
[2] "Clarendon and His Friends", by Richard Ollard (Atheneum, New York, 1988).
  Image: portrait of Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1661-1665.