Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/18

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Lambert
Lambert
12


acted as spokesmun of the discontented officers, and was entrusted by them with the task of digesting the particular complaints of each regiment into a general summary of the army'd grievances (Vindication of Sir William Waller, pp. 83, 116; Clarke Papers, i.36, 43, 82). Having 'a suble and working brain,' as well as a legal education, he assisted Ireton in drawing up the 'Heads of the Proposals of Army' (ib, pp. 197, 312, 217; Whitelocke, ii. 163). In July 1647 the soldiers of the northern army threw in their lot with the soldiers of the new model, seized General Poyntz, and sent him a prisoner to Fairfax. Lambert was despatched to replace Poyntz and restore order, He took over the command at a general rendezvous on Peckfield Moor on 8 Aug. 1617, and made a speech to his troops, in which he engaged himself to command nothing but what should be for the good of the Kingdom, and desired them to signify their acceptance of himself as their general. In a few weeks he disbanded the supernumerary soldiers, reduced the insubordinate to obedience, and succeeded in establishing a good understanding between the soldiers and the country people. The newspapers praised his 'fairness, civility, and moderation,' and his endeavours to reconcile quarrels and differeneces of all kinds. 'A man so completely composed for such an employment could not have been pitched upon besides' (Rushworth, vii. 777, 806, 824, 832).

In May 1648 the northern royalists took up arms again, and at the beginning of July the Scottish army under Hamilton invaded England. Against the former Lambert more than held his own, driving Sir Marmaduke Langdale, with the bulk of his forces, into Carlisle, and recapturing Appleby and four other castles (ib. vii. 1148, 1167, 1186). But the advance of Hamilton, which was preceded by the surprise of Pontefract (1 June), and followed by the defection of Scarborough (28 July), obliged Lambert to fall back. In a letter to which Lambert naturally returned a somewhat sharp answer Hamilton summoned him not to oppose the Scots in their pious, loyal, and necessary undertaking' (ib. pp. 1189, 1194). Lambert retreated on Bowes and Barnard Castle, hoping to be able to hold the Stainmore pass against Hamilton, but was obliged in August to retire first to Richmond and then to Knaresborough (ib. pp. 1200, 1211 ; Gardiner's, Great Civil War, iii. 416, 434). Cromwell joined him on l3 Aug., and the 'two fell on the Scots at Preston and routed them in a three days' battle (17-19 Aug.) Lambert was charged with the pursuit of Hamilton, who surrendered at Uttoxeter on 25 Aug. (ib. p. 447). On Hamilton's trial in 1649 it was disputed whether he had rendered to Lambert or been captured Lord Gray, but the evidence leaves no doubt that Gray seized him after the signature the articles with Lambert's officers (Burnby, Lives of the Hamiltons, ed. 1862, pp. 461, 491). In October Cromwell sent Lambert to Edinburgh, in advance of the rest of army, with seven regiments of horse, to support the Argyll party in establishing a government, and left him there with a couple of regiments to protect them against the Hamiltonians (Carlyle, Cromwell, Letters lxxvii.) At the end of November Lambert returned to Yorkshire to besiege Pontafract which surrendered on 22 March 1649. On the earnest recommendation of Fairfax parliament rewarded Lambert's services by a grant of lands worth 300l. per annum the demesnes of Pontefract (Commons' Journal, vi. 174, 406; Tanner MSS. Bodleian Library, lvi. f. 1). Though Lambert's military duties kept him at a distance during the king's trial, there can be little doubt that he approved of it (Rushworth, vii. 1367).

When Cromwell marched into Scotland July 1650, Lambert accompanied him with the rank of major-general and as seconf in command. Cromwell gave him the command of the foot regiment, lately Colonel Bright's (Memoirs of Captain John Hodgton, p. 41). In the fight at Musselburrgh on 29 July Lambert was twice wounded and taken prisoner, but was rescued almost immediately {ii. p. 39; Carlyle, Letter cxxxv.) At Dunbar he headed the attack on the Scots in and was, according to one account the man whose advice decided the council of war to give battle, and author of the tactics which led to the victory (ib. Letter cxl. ; Memoires, Hodgson, p.43). On 1 Dec. Colonel Ker attacked Lambert's quarters at Hamilton, near Glasgow but was taken prisoner, and his forces completely scattered (Carlyle, Letter cliii.) On 20 July in the following year Lambert defeated Sir John Browne at Inverkeithing in Fife, taking forty or fifty colours and fifteen hundred prisoners (ib. Letter clxxv. ; Mercurius Politcus, 24-31 July, contains Lambert's despatch). When Charles II started on march into England, Lambert and the cavalry of Cromwell's army were sent ahead to 'trouble the enemy in the rear,' and if possible to join Harrison in stopping their advance (Cary, Memorials of the Civil War, p. 295). At Warrington Lambert and Harrison succeeded in checking the Scots for a few hours, but they where not strong enough in foot to venture a regular engagement (Mercurius Politicus, 14-21 Aug.) On 28 Aug. Lambert captured