Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/19

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Lambert
Lambert
13

Upton Bridge, seven miles from Worecester, seecuring thereby the passage of the Severn, and in the crowning victory of 3 Sept. he had his horse shot under him (Cromwelliana, pp. 111, 115). 'The carriage of the major-general,' Cromwell had written to the speaker after the battle of Inverkeithing, 'us in all other things so in this, is worthy of your taking notice of (Carlyle, Letter clxxxv.) Parliament at last took the hint, and on 9 Sept. 1651 voted Lambert lands in Scotland to the value of 1,000l. a year (Commons' Journals, vii. 14).

After Worcester, Lambert returned to Scotland. but only for a short time. On 23 Oct. 1661 parliament appointed him one of the eight commissioners to be sent thither 'for the managing of the civil government and settlement of affairs there,' in reality to prepare the way for the union of the two kingdoms (ib. vii. 20, 30). Lambert's wife had joined him in Scotland in the summer of 1651 (Letters of Roundhead Officers from Scotland, Bannatyne Club, pp. 31, 36). But the death of Ireton (26 Nov. 1661) rendered it necessary to appoint a new lord deputy of Ireland.' On 30 Jan. 1652 parliament decided to appoint Lambert, at the recommendation of the council of state, and required Cromwell, the lord-lieutenant, to commission Lambert as his deputy (Commons' Journals, vii. 77, 79). Lambert came to London and mode great preparations, 'laying out five thousand pounds for his own particular equipage' (Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, ii. 188). But on 19 May 1652 parliament, which had appointed him for only six months, abolished the lord-lieutenancy, and the post of deputy necessarily ceased with it. Lambert might have been reappointed as commander-in-chief of the forces and one of the commissioners for the civil government of Ireland, might he refused to accept the diminished dignity, and Fleetwood was appointed In his place (Commons' Journals, vii. 142, 152). Mrs. Hutchinson attributes this slight to the offence which Lambert gave the parliament by 'too soon putting on the prince,' and to deep-laid plot of Cromwell to get Fleetwood the place (Hutchinson, ii, 189). Ludlow regards it as concerted by Cromwell in order to create ill-feeling between Lambert and the parliament, and make him willing to assist in its overthrow (Memoirs, ed, 1698, pp. 412-H). Cromwell certainly thought Lambert hardly treated, and requested that 2,000l. out of the arrears of salary due to himself as lord-lieutenant should be paid to Lambert (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1651-2, p. 6S3). Lambert afterwards persuaded himself that Cromwell had really planned it all, and asserted that Cromwell exasperated him against the parliament, saying that 'not anything troubled him more than to honest John Lambert so ungratefully treated' (Thurloe State Papers, vii. 660). There is no doubt that Lambert began to press for the dissolution of the parliament and urged Cromwell to effect it (Ludlow, p. 459). On the afternoon of 20 April 1663 he was with Cromwell when the latter visited the council of state and put a stop to their sittings. He was the first president of the new council appointed by the officers of the army (ib. p. 461; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1652-3, p. 301).

In the discussions which now took place on the future form of government Lambert's political views became more clearly revealed. While Harrison moved that the supreme power should be entrusted to a council of seventy, Lambert wished to give it to ten or twelve persons. The conclusion was its devolution to 139 puritan notables composing the 'little parliament,' who immediately invited Lambert to take his seat among them (6 July 1653; Commons' Journals, vii. 231; Ludlow, p. 462). He was chosen a member of the first council of state which they appointed (9 July), but not of the second (1 Nov.) When the 'little parliament' surrendered its powers back to Cromwell, Lambert was the leading spirit in the council of officers who now drew up the instrument of government and offered the post of protector to Cromwell. He and a few of the 'leaders had prepared the draft of a constitution beforehand, cut short all discussion, and imposed it on the council at large (Ludlow, p. 476; The Protector Unveiled, 1655, 4to, p. 12; Thurloe, i. 610, 754). Lambert became a member of the Protector's council of state, and it was reported that he would be general of the three nations, and was to be made a duke (ib. i. 642, 645).

Observers supposed that Lambert had procured the dissolution of the 'little parliament' in order to get rid of his rival Harrison, and that be supported Cromwell's elevation because he hoped to succeed to his power. 'His interest,' said a newsletter in April 1653, 'was more universal than Harrison's both in the army and country; he is a gentleman born, learned, well qualified, of courage, conduct, good nature, and discretion' (Cat. Clarendon Papers, ii, 206). 'This which Lambert aimed at he hath effected,' says a letter written in December following. 'The general will be governor and must stay here. He will gain the command of the army, and it cannot be avoided. Harrison is now out of doors, having all along joined with the anabaptists' (Thurloe, i. 632).