took part in the government of the Isle of Man, of which the earls of Derby were hereditary sovereign lords. On 7 March 1627–1628 he was summoned as Baron Strange to the House of Lords, and about the same time he was made lord lieutenant of North Wales.
Lord Strange's tastes were those of a gentleman farmer; but he was fond of the good library he possessed, and gave encouragement to minor authors. He made Peter du Moulin (1601–1684) [q. v.], who had been introduced to him through his wife's family, his chaplain, and was patron of a company of players. He was a constitutional royalist and moderate Anglican, but his aversion to court life and non-attendance at parliament occasioned some ill-founded aspersions on his loyalty. When war broke out with the Scots in 1639, he joined Charles at York; he was again at York in 1640, but saw no active service against the Scots. He took no part in the proceedings of the Long parliament, and vainly endeavoured to arrange a compromise between the two parties in Lancashire (Stanley Papers, vol. i. p. lxix; ffarington Papers, pp. 80, 85). But when war was inevitable he threw himself ardently into the royalist cause, and urged that the king's standard should first be raised in Lancashire. Warrington was selected as the rendezvous, and Strange is said to have mustered over sixty thousand men in Lancashire and Cheshire. Charles unwisely vetoed his plan, and summoned Strange to join him at Nottingham. His first commission was to recover Manchester, which was strongly fortified and favoured the parliamentary cause [cf. art. Rosworme or Rosworm, John]. He began by utilising his friendly relations with the leading citizens, and attended a banquet in Manchester on 15 July. The roundheads, however, suspected his intentions, and he narrowly escaped being shot in retiring to Ordsall (Manchesters Resolution against Lord Strange, 1642, 4to; Pointz, A True Relation … of the sudden rising of the Lord Strange in Lankashire, 1642, 4to; Jesland, A Full and True Relation of the Troubles in Lancashire between the Lord Strange … and the well affected of that countie, 1642, 4to). He succeeded, however, in seizing magazines in several towns, which he was ordered to restore by parliament. He was deprived of his lord-lieutenancy, and on 16 Sept. was impeached of high treason and proclaimed a traitor by the House of Commons. On 24 Sept. he laid siege, with four thousand troops, to Manchester, but the vigorous defence compelled him to raise it on 1 Oct. By his father's death on 29 Sept. he succeeded as seventh Earl of Derby. He now entrenched himself at Warrington, but towards the end of November his troops suffered two defeats at Chowbent and Lowton Moor (Ormerod, Civil War Tracts in Lancashire). On 16 Feb. 1642–3 Derby, having taken Preston, made an unsuccessful assault on Bolton. He then (18 Feb.) went on to Lancaster, which he occupied and set fire to, but he failed to capture the castle, and similar ill-success attended a second attempt to capture Bolton on his return. Early in April he repelled an attack on Warrington by Sir William Brereton, but a fortnight later he was defeated at Whalley by Captain Ashton, and retreated to York. Warrington surrendered in consequence (cf. Manchesters Joy for Derbies Overthrow, 1643, 4to).
Meanwhile disturbances had broken out in the Isle of Man, and Derby arrived there on 15 June to restore order. He remained till November (Stanley Papers, vol. i. pp. lxxxviii–xcliii), but is said to have attended the parliament at Oxford during the winter. In February 1643–4 he was with Rupert in Cheshire, and he also accompanied Rupert in the following May when he beat the roundheads at Stockport, relieved Lathom House, and captured Bolton, where Derby is said to have led the last assault, and otherwise distinguished himself [see Stanley, Charlotte]. Thence he accompanied Rupert to Marston Moor (2 July), and after the ruin of the royalist cause in the north he withdrew (30 July) with his family to the Isle of Man. He was present, however, during part of the second siege of Lathom House in the autumn.
In the Isle of Man Derby established himself at Castle Rushen, and there he remained six years, entertaining fugitive royalists and resolutely refusing to make his peace with parliament. He was summoned to surrender a second time in July 1649, and was offered terms which he rejected in an indignant letter to Ireton (printed in Collins, Peerage, iii. 67; cf. A Declaration of the … Earl of Derby … concerning his resolution to keep the Isle of Man for his Majesties service against all force whatsoever, 1649, 4to). On 12 Jan. 1649–50 he was elected K.G. at Jersey, and in the same year he was selected by Charles II to command the forces of Cheshire and Lancashire in the projected royalist insurrection. In August 1651, though he disliked Charles II's agreement with the Scots, he made preparations for joining him on his march through England. He landed at Wyre Water in Lancashire on 15 Aug. with 250 foot and 60 horse, and