- Formation of the Regiment
- Siege of Lincoln
- Siege of York
- Marston Moor
- Surrender of York - and after
Formation of the Regiment
Edward Montagu received a 'local'
commission to raise a regiment of foot in June 1643 from
his cousin the 2nd Earl of Manchester - Historians beware
as the Earl of Manchester was also called Edward Montagu!
The commission was confirmed in writing by
The regiment was quartered around
Newport Pagnell with several other foot regiments, under
the command of Lieutenant General Lawrence Crawford. This
force, under Crawford, attacked Hillesden House on the 5th
March. Hillesden House was a Royalist garrison which was
part of the string of defences created to protect Oxford.
Oxford was where the King, Charles I, was based and became
the 'Royalist Capital' in the 1st Civil War (1642 - 1646).
The house and the garrison surrendered after an engagement
lasting only 15 minutes! Crawford's force then marched back
to Newport Pagnell.
Throughout the 1st Civil War there
were 4 main field armies. These were - the 'Southern Association'
under Sir William Waller, the 'Northern Association' under
Lord Ferdinando Fairfax, the 'London Trained Bands' commanded
by a Parliamentarian committee and the 'Eastern Association'
under the 2nd Earl of Manchester. On the 20th April 1644
Montagu's regiment joined up with the 'Eastern Association'
Siege of Lincoln
The 'Eastern Association' marched
north to retake control of its most northern county - Lincolnshire.
On the 3rd May Lincoln town and castle were requested to
surrender. The town and castle were under the governorship
of the Royalist commander, Sir Francis Fane, who refused
to surrender. On the 6th May Montagu's and Russell’s
regiments, were detailed to take the outworks protecting
part of the town. Both regiments carried out their orders
successfully, not only taking the outworks but pursuing
the Royalist troops defending the outworks and forcing them
to retreat into the castle.
On the following day the upper town,
around the castle, was stormed after a brief cannonade.
The Royalists retreated into the castle. Scaling ladders
were called up and put against the castle walls but these
proved to be too short! The defenders pushed away the ladders
with pike and fired carbines, pistols and muskets into the
mass of Parliamentarian troops at the bottom of the wall.
At one stage the fighting got so heated that 'greate stonnes'
were thrown down on the attackers. Eventually the attackers
gained a tenuous hold on part of the wall. Soldiers then
widened this hold, by climbing onto the shoulders of those
at the top of the ladders, and took the castle. Those of
the regiment that reached the top fought so ferociously
that it demoralised the defenders and they started asking
for quarter. Montagu's regiment was praised for its valour.
Siege of York
On the 7th of May Manchester declared
a day of thanksgiving On the 8th May 1644 the 'Eastern Association'
marched out of Lincoln to the North to Gainsborough via
Torksey and a bridge of boats across the river Trent. The
'Eastern Association' was to march to support the Scottish
Army under the Earl of Leven and the 'Northern Association'
who were besieging the northern Royalists in York.
On the 1st June they crossed the bridge
of boats built, and guarded, by the Scots Army in the Fulford/Acaster
Malbis area. By the 3rd they had taken up their quarters
on the north/north western side of York.
Montagu's were part of the 'Eastern
Association' attacking force that cleared the suburbs up
to the wall on the 6th June. This allowed Manchester to
bring cannon to within 40 yards of the walls. A mine was
also started under St. Mary's tower.
On the 16th June Lieutenant General
Crawford gave the order for the explosion of mine beneath
the tower. The mine blew up creating a breach in the walls
and Crawford sent part of his brigade in, in an attempt
to take York. Unfortunately Crawford blew the mine without
informing anyone else in the Allied Parliamentarian Army
and therefore the defending Royalists were able to call
on all their troops. As a result Crawford's attack failed.
His brigade lost 15 killed, 60 wounded and around 100 as
On the 30th June the Allied Parliamentarian
Army fell back from the walls of York in order to intercept
the Royalist relief force under Prince Rupert. They failed
to do this and on the 1st July Rupert crossed the River
Ouse and entered York.
On the evening of the 2nd July 1644
the Battle of Marston Moor was fought. Both sides had originally
settled down for the night expecting to fight on the morrow.
However the Scottish Generals persuaded the other Allied
generals to attack. The Parliamentarians started singing
psalms. Oliver Cromwell was in charge of the cavalry on
the Allies left flank. The infantry were formed up in three
lines between the flanks of the cavalry. Crawford's brigade
was placed immediately to the right of Cromwell's cavalry.
This brigade consisted of the regiments of Montagu, Pickering
A report by a member of the Eastern
Association states that the brigade '..... had a hard pull
of it, for they were charged by Rupert's bravest both in
front and flank ..... but they pressed on ..... dispersing
the enemies foot almost as fast as they charged them .....'.
Another eyewitness stated that '..... what should I name
the brigade of Colonel Russell, Colonel Montagu and Colonel
Pickering, who stood as a wall of brass and let fly small
shot like hail upon the enemy, and not a man of their whole
brigade killed .....'. Although it is unlikely that they
did not lose men it seems certain that their training prevented
the foot of Rupert in front of them having much time to
Crawford's brigade, now supported
by part of Cromwell's cavalry, faced the remnants of Rupert's
cavalry - recently reformed after plundering the Allied
baggage train. Cromwell's cavalry charged and routed them.
Crawford's foot then defeated the foot that had formed up
around this cavalry.
Surrender of York and After
The 4th July saw the Allies back in
front of York. On the 13th Edward Montagu was sent to negotiate
the surrender of York as the representative of Manchester's
Eastern Association. On the 16th the garrison, with the
remnants of Rupert's foot, marched out with all honours
Some of the Eastern Associations'
senior officers had become dissatisfied with the Earl of
Manchester. After York this widened into a visible rift.
Manchester wished to take the Eastern Association back to
recruit and recuperate. Cromwell and many of the senior
officers, including Edward, wished to reduce the remaining
Royalists garrisons - of which there were many. The senior
officers felt that if this was not done then all that had
been gained at Marston Moor and York would be lost. Manchester
felt that Fairfax had sufficient force to do this. The Eastern
Association continued to discuss this whilst marching back
At Doncaster a propitious situation
occurred. Colonel Lilburne with a small force had been besieging
Tickhill castle nearby. He lacked, however, both sufficient
forces and cannon to take the castle. Lilburne requested
Manchester's help and was refused. Lilburne then summoned
the castle to surrender in the name of Manchester. This
worked and the castle and its garrison surrendered on the
26th July. Manchester was furious. A compromise was then
almost certainly reached as part of the Eastern Associations
foot, cannon and cavalry under Crawford was detached to
deal with all Royalist garrisons found in the retiring path
of the Eastern Association.
Montagu's regiment was part of this
force although Edward was not present. In early August Edward
had received information that his father was very ill and
had returned to the house at Barnwell. Edward left his Lieutenant
Colonel, Mark Grimes, in charge of the regiment.
On the 2nd August 1644 Welbeck House,
South Yorkshire surrendered to Crawford's force. On the
11th Sheffield castle, South Yorkshire surrendered. The
preserved articles of surrender show Mark Grimes and Colonel
Pickering as signatories. On the 14th Bolsover castle, Derbyshire
fell, followed on the 16th by Staveley House, Derbyshire.
In early September Crawford’s force rejoined the rest
of the Eastern Association. Montagu's regiment had started
out in early 1644 with a strength of around 1000. By the
time the regiment returned in the following September death,
disease and desertion had reduced it to around 300.
Newbury and the aftermath
On the 1st September the Southern
Association army under the Earl of Essex was resoundingly
defeated at Lostwithiel, Cornwall. On the 18th October Manchester's
army joined forces with the Western Association under Sir
William Waller at Basingstoke, Hampshire. Parliament had
ordered Manchester to join his army with Waller's and the
remnants of Essex's and defeat the Royalist army then under
the command of the king, Charles I.
The forces met at Newbury, Oxfordshire
on the 27th October. Manchester's army was detailed to take
Shaw House, which was garrisoned by the Royalists. The route
to be taken to reach this objective was complicated. By
the time Manchester attacked in the early evening the defenders
had been given plenty of time to strengthen the outworks.
The army met severe fire and Manchester called off the attack.
This allowed the King to extricate the defenders. Senior
officers requested permission to pursue the retreating Royalists
but Manchester refused. After this battle serious accusations
were levelled at Manchester. Cromwell and some of the senior
officers, Montagu amongst them, brought an indictment against
The rest of the year was spent by
Montagu, Cromwell and the other officers testifying on behalf
of, or against, Manchester. Montagu is reported to have
told the hearing '..... that he heard the Earl of Manchester
say that he was against this war in the beginning of it
and that if those who began it had to do it again they would
be twice advised, or to that effect .....'. The members
of the Parliamentarian committee set up to hear all points
of view decided to take no action against Manchester.