Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/22

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

marched to Westminster, displaced the regiments of the parliamemt, and set guards on the house. The speaker and the members were forcibly debarred from entering (13 Oct.)

Lambert told Ludlow a few days later that 'he had no intention to interrupt the parliament till the time he did it, and that he was necessitated to that extremity for his own preservation, saying that Sir Arthur Haslerig was so enraged against him that he would be satisfied with nothing but his blood' (Ludlow, pp. 720, 730, 739; Carte, Original Letters, pp. 246, 267). Vane also stated that Lambert 'had rather been made use of by the Wallingford House party than been in any manner the principal contriver of the late disorders' (ib. p. 742). Milton, however, wrote of Lambert as the 'Achan' whose 'close ambition' had 'abused the honest natures' of the soldiers (A Letter to a Friend concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth).

The council of the army now made Lambert major-general, and he became a member of the committee of safety which succeeded the parliament's council of state. Bordeaux thought his great position precarious because the Fifth-monarchy men distrusted him 'as having no religion or show of it' (Guizot, ii. 275). The royalists expected him to make himself pretector, and were eager to bribe him to restore the king. Lord Mordaunt proposed a match between the Duke of York and Lambert's daughter, and Lord Hatton suggested that the king should marry her himself. 'No foreign aid,' wrote Hatton, 'will he so cheap nor leave our master so much at liberty as this way. The race is a very good gentleman's family, and kings have condescended to gentlewomen and subjects. The lady is pretty, of an extraordinary sweetness of disposition, and very virtuously and ingenuously disposed; the father is a person, set aside his unhappy engagement, of very great parts and very noble inclinations' (Clarendon State Papers, iii. 592; Carte, Original Letters, ii. 200, 237; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1659–60, pp. 235, 246).

When Monck openly declared for the parliament, Lambert was sent north to oppose his advance into England (3 Nov.) His forces were larger than Monck's, but he was reluctant to attack, and negotiated till the opportunity was lost. Portsmouth garrison declared for the parliament (8 Dec); the fleet followed its example (13 Dec.), and the authority of the parliament was again acknowledged by the troops in London (24 Dec.) The Irish brigade under Lambert's command joined the rising of the Yorkshire gentlemen under Lord Fairfax (1 Jan. 1660), and his whole army dissolved and left him. People expected that Lambert would take desperate resolution, but the parliament wisely included him in the general indemnity promised to all soldiers who submitted before 9 Jan., and Lambert at once accepted the offer (Commons' Journals, vii. Clarendon State Papers, iii. 659). He was simply deprived of his commands and ordered to retire to his house in Yorkshire (ib. 661) On 26 Jan. he was ordered to Holmby in Northamptonshire, and on 13 Feb. a proclamation was issued for his arrest on the charge that he was lurking privately in London, and had provoke the mutiny which took place on 2 Feb. (Commons' Journals, vii. 806, 823; Mercurius Politicus, 9-16 Feb. 1660). On 5 March Lambert appeared before the council of state and endeavored to vindicate himself. He hoped to be permitted to raise a few soldiers and enter the Swedish service. The council ordered him to give security to the extent of 20,000l. for peaceable behaviour, and as he professed inability to do so committed him to the Tower (Commons' Journals, vii. 857, 864; Clarendon State Papers, iii, 695).

The evident approach of the Restoration alarmed the republicans, and many were ready to reconcile themselves with Lambert in order to employ him against Monck (Ludlow, p. 865). On 10 April he escaped from the Tower, sent his emissaries throughout the country, and appointed a rendezvous his followers for Edgehill. He succeeded collecting about six troops of horse aand a number of officers, when Colonel Ingoldsby and Colonel Streeter came upon him near Coventry (22 April). But for a well-grounded distrust of his aims, a larger number of Republicans would have flocked to his standard. As it was, his soldiers declined to fight, Lambert himself, after an unsuccessful attempt at flight, was overtaken by Ingoldsby, prayed in vain to be allowed to escape, and was brought a prisoner to London (Kennett, Register, pp. 114-21; Baker, p. 721; Ludlow, pp. 873, 877; Guizot, ii. 411, The shouting crowds which received him there reminded Lambert of the crowds which had cheered himself and Cromwell when they set forth against the Scots. 'Do trust to that,' Cromwell had said; 'these very persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.' Lambert told Ingoldsby 'that he looked on himself as in a fair way to that, and began to think Cromwell prophesied' (Burnet, Own Time, ed. 1833, i. 155).

But though Lambert had been politically more harmful than most of his associates, he