The Booth Rising

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George Booth (not disguised as a woman).

George Booth (August 1622 – 8 August 1684), was nominated to the Barebones Parliament for Cheshire in 1653 and was elected MP for Cheshire in the First Protectorate Parliament in 1654 and in the Second Protectorate Parliament in 1656. In 1655 he was appointed military commissioner for Cheshire and treasurer at war. He was one of the excluded members who tried and failed to regain their seats in the restored Rump Parliament after the fall of Richard Cromwell in 1659. He had for some time been regarded by the Royalists as a well-wisher to their cause, and was described to the King in May 1659 (possibly by Roger Whitley - see the link for much more on him) as:

  • "very considerable in his county, a Presbyterian in opinion, yet so moral a man ... I think Your Majesty may safely [rely] on him and his promises which are considerable and hearty".

Roger Whitley (1618 – 17 July 1697) was a royalist officer in the English Civil War, attaining the rank of Major General (2nd in command of their forces in the battle for the Isle of Anglesey) and was closely involved throughout the 1650s in plans for a royalist uprising against the Interregnum and Protectorate regimes. He had accompanied the young King Charles II into exile and carried the kings orders into Cheshire on the rising of forces, under George Booth, at the eve of the Restoration.

An uprising was arranged for 5 August 1659 in several districts, and Booth received a commission from Charles II to assume command of the revolutionary forces in Lancashire, Cheshire, and north Wales. After gaining control of Chester on the 19th, he issued a proclamation declaring that:

  • "arms had been taken up in vindication of the freedom of Parliament, of the known laws, liberty and property"

..and then marched towards York. The plot, however, was known to John Thurloe. Having been foiled in other parts of the country, General John Lambert's advancing forces defeated Booth's men at the Battle of Winnington Bridge near Northwich. Booth himself escaped disguised as a woman, but was discovered at Newport Pagnell on the 23rd whilst having a shave, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

However, Booth was soon liberated and returned to his seat in the Convention Parliament in 1660. He was one of the twelve members deputed to carry the message of the House of Commons to Charles II at The Hague.

Booth's Rising can be seen as a key trigger for Monck's march on London and the Restoration of Charles II, but is often written-off as wholly unsuccessful. Whitley's part in it is largely forgotten.

Booth in the Civil War

Sir George Booth was the second son of William Booth and his wife Vere, of Dunham Massey in Cheshire. After the death of his father in 1636, Booth was brought up by his grandfather, also called Sir George Booth. He attended the Inner Temple in 1637 but is said to have fled to France around 1639 after quarrelling with his grandfather over his marriage to Katherine Clinton, daughter of the Earl of Lincoln. After Katherine's death in 1643, Booth married Elizabeth Grey, daughter of the Earl of Stamford, with whom he had seven sons and five daughters.

Booth returned to England on the outbreak of civil war. Parliament had given command of its main armies to often inept commanders who were members of the aristocracy, but as the Civil War dragged on Members of Parliament, notably Oliver Cromwell and Sir William Waller, saw the need for radical reform of the army. 3rd April 1645 saw the passage of the "Self-denying Ordinance". The ordinance required any MP who held military command to resign it. The ordinance solidified the power of Cromwell and his “war party” faction. Cromwell was a member of the House of Commons, so he was obliged to resign his post as well. However, the Committee of Both Kingdoms, which oversaw the war, found his talents as a soldier indispensable and he was excepted. Military reforms helped usher in Cromwell’s New Model Army which contributed to the decisive victory over Royalist forces at the battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645.

Booth played an active role in Cheshire and the northern Marches, accompanying Sir William Brereton on his advance into north Wales in November 1643 and taking command of the garrison at Nantwich when Brereton's forces were driven back. The Royalists laid siege to Nantwich, which was defended by Sir George Booth during the temporary absence of Brereton (and Lothian - still a prisoner). The River Weaver formed a natural defence at the western approach; the town was further fortified with a circuit of earthworks, ditches and barricades. The following month, however, Sir Thomas Fairfax an adept and talented commander, led a force of Yorkshire Parliamentarians across the Pennines to join forces with Brereton and defeat Byron's Royalists at the Battle of Nantwich (25 January 1644). One of the Royalist prisoners taken at Nantwich was George Monck who spent the next two years in the Tower of London. Monck would later shift to the Parliamentary side.

Between April 1645 and October 1645 Brereton was recalled to Westminster, but the siege of Chesster was so important to the Parliamentarian cause that Brereton was one of the few commanders allowed to retain both his military command and his seat in Parliament after the Self-Denying Ordinance. However he was absent from Cheshire until October 1645, when he was restored to his command by Parliament. There was a personal element to all this - as it seems that Brereton’s determination in the early phase of the war to secure control of the various units recruited and organised by prominent Cheshire gentlemen, including Philip Mainwaring, had caused immediate friction. This worsened in September 1645 when Sir George Booth and the other deputy lieutenants responded assertively to Brereton’s supporters’ attempts to denigrate their efforts and marginalise them. According to Booth, the deputy lieutenants had found the county’s forces:

  • "in a mutinous condition, for want of pay, and the country quite exhausted … yet it hath pleased God so to render our endeavours prosperous that the country and forces are now reduced to a cheerful and obedient condition, ready and capable of any proportionable design that can be presented them for the service of the parliament… Nevertheless we are informed there are some factious petitions presented to you [the Speaker, William Lenthall], bearing the character of the whole county, but indeed being the act of a few … intimating a necessity of Sir William Brereton’s return and so insinuating an odium and scandal upon us and our actions to the disturbance of the present condition we are in and the hazard of the great attempts now in agitation"

Clearly, Booth had come to the view that only Brereton could hold things together in Cheshire. Despite Brereton's opposition, Booth was elected recruiter MP for Cheshire in 1646.

Oliver Cromwell - "warts and all" - his head, which became an undignified collector’s object, was eventually bequeathed to his former Cambridge College, Sidney Sussex, and was in 1960 immured in the anti-chapel there.

The Cromwells Becomes Unpopular

On 20 April 1653, Cromwell dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as Barebone's Parliament: named after one of its members: Praise-God Barebone. The members were chosen by Cromwell and the Army Council instead of being elected, and it soon became known as Barebone's Parliament to its many critics, Barebone proving a likely target due to his name and his apparently humble origins.

After the dissolution of the Barebones Parliament, John Lambert put forward a new constitution known as the "Instrument of Government". It made Cromwell Lord Protector for life to undertake "the chief magistracy and the administration of government". Cromwell was sworn in as Lord Protector on 16 December 1653, with a ceremony in which he wore plain black clothing, rather than any monarchical regalia. However, from this point on Cromwell signed his name 'Oliver P', the P being an abbreviation for Protector, which was similar to the style of monarchs who used an R to mean Rex or Regina, and it soon became the norm for others to address him as "Your Highness". In 1654, Booth had been elected to the First Protectorate Parliament and in March 1655, he was one of the commissioners appointed to assist the Major-Generals in Cheshire. During the elections for the Second Protectorate Parliament, Major-General Bridge intervened to substitute Booth in place of the republican John Bradshaw as candidate for Cheshire. However, Booth emerged as a critic of the Major-Generals. When he described them as "Cromwell's hangmen" during the debates over the renewal of the decimation tax, the resulting altercation with Major-General Howard almost ended in a duel.

In 1657, Cromwell was offered the crown by Parliament as part of a revised constitutional settlement, presenting him with a dilemma since he had been "instrumental" in abolishing the monarchy. Cromwell agonised for six weeks over the offer. He was attracted by the prospect of stability it held out, but in a speech on 13 April 1657 he made clear that, in his view, God's providence had spoken against the office of King: "I would not seek to set up that which Providence hath destroyed and laid in the dust, and I would not build Jericho again". Cromwell was ceremonially re-installed as Lord Protector on 26 June 1657 at Westminster Hall, sitting upon King Edward's Chair, which was moved specially from Westminster Abbey for the occasion. The event in part echoed a coronation, using many of its symbols and regalia, such as a purple ermine-lined robe, a sword of justice and a sceptre (but not a crown or an orb). John Lambert, who had fought during the English Civil War and then in Oliver Cromwell's Scottish campaign (1650–51), and even been a key figure in proposing the Protectorate, was dismissed by Cromwell in 1657.

Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, had an amusing conversation with Richard Cromwell. Said to be "mystic" and "full of strange ideas", Conti turned "slightly mad" while later in prison. He also had a secret passion for his sister the Duchess of Longueville.

Late 20th-century historians re-examined the nature of Cromwell's faith and of his authoritarian regime. Austin Woolrych explored the issue of "dictatorship" in depth, arguing that Cromwell was subject to two conflicting forces: his obligation to the army and his desire to achieve a lasting settlement by winning back the confidence of the nation as a whole. Woolrych argued that the dictatorial elements of Cromwell's rule stemmed less from its military origin or the participation of army officers in civil government than from his constant commitment to the interest of "the people of God" and his conviction that suppressing vice and encouraging virtue constituted the chief end of government. Historians such as John Morrill, Blair Worden, and J. C. Davis have developed this theme, revealing the extent to which Cromwell's writing and speeches are suffused with biblical references, and arguing that his radical actions were driven by his zeal for godly reformation.

Richard Cromwell

On his father's death Richard Cromwell became Lord Protector, but he lacked authority. Richard attempted to mediate between the army and civil society, and allowed a Parliament to sit which contained a large number of disaffected Presbyterians and Royalists. Suspicions that civilian councillors were intent on supplanting the army were brought to a head by an attempt to prosecute a major-general for actions against a Royalist. John Lambert, though holding no military commission, was the most popular of the old Cromwellian generals with the rank and file of the army, and it was very generally believed that he would install himself in Oliver Cromwell's seat of power. Richard Cromwell's adherents tried to conciliate Lambert, and the royalist leaders made overtures to Lambert, even proposing that Charles II should marry Lambert's daughter. The army made a threatening show of force against Richard, and may have had him in detention; he formally renounced power nine months after succeeding as Lord Protector:

Richard Cromwell (4 October 1626 – 12 July 1712) seems to have been a source of concern for his father, who wrote to Richard Maijor saying, "I would have him mind and understand business, read a little history, study the mathematics and cosmography: these are good, with subordination to the things of God. Better than idleness, or mere outward worldly contents. These fit for public services, for which a man is born".
  • "Richard was never formally deposed or arrested, but allowed to fade away. The Protectorate was treated as having been from the first a mere usurpation".

Without a king-like figure, such as Oliver Cromwell, as head of state the government lacked coherence and legitimacy. In July 1660, Richard Cromwell left for France, never to see his wife again. While there, he went by a variety of pseudonyms, including John Clarke. He later travelled around Europe, visiting various European courts. As a visiting Englishman, he was once invited to dine with Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, who was unaware of who he was. At dinner, the prince questioned Cromwell about affairs in England and observed:

  • "Well, that Oliver, tho' he was a traitor and a villain, was a brave man, had great parts, great courage, and was worthy to command; but that Richard, that coxcomb and poltroon, was surely the basest fellow alive; what is become of that fool?"

Cromwell replied:

  • "He was betrayed by those he most trusted, and who had been most obliged by his father".

John Lambert had remained inactive from politics until after the resignation of Richard Cromwell, when he was re-appointed to a position in the army in early 1659.

Whitley and Mordaunt

John Mordaunt, 1st Viscount Mordaunt, (1626-75) was a Royalist conspirator involved in several plots against the Commonwealth and Protectorate governments. Charles II appointed Mordaunt to the "Great Trust and Commission", a secret organisation charged with fomenting a Royalist-Presbyterian uprising to bring about the Restoration after the death of Oliver Cromwell in September 1658.

John Mordaunt, conspirator with Whitley. His part of the Booth Rising in Surrey, drew only thirty followers, so he fled to France.

It is impossible to say whether Whitley's memorandum had any direct influence on Mordaunt's plans, but the two men were closely associated and their views in close accord. The memorandum consists of four parts: suggested heads for a royal declaration, a discussion of the possibilities of foreign aid, an analysis of the problems and methods of organizing a successful rising, and, finally, long lists of those whose services could be used. Many of the names are endorsed as being already active, and Whitley added suggestions as to the commissions and duties with which they could be entrusted.

Under Mordaunt's vigorous leadership, the conspiracy gathered momentum during the summer of 1659. Leading members of the Trust, including Mordaunt, Sir John Grenville, Lord Willoughby and Edward Massie, met in London on 9 July to finalise plans for the uprising, which was scheduled to take place on 1 August. Edward Massie (frequently but erroneously spelled Massey) was the fifth son of John Massie (Massey) of Coddington, Cheshire and his wife Anne Grosvenor, daughter of Richard Grosvenor of Eaton, Cheshire. After Oliver Cromwell's death in 1658, there was already more open disaffection in Chester. Cheshire was therefore chosen as one of the locations for diversionary risings with the main efforts being in the West Country around Bristol, and East Anglia around (Kings) Lynn.

However, the Commonwealth government was fully aware that a conspiracy was afoot. Cromwell's spymaster John Thurloe was dismissed after Richard's abdication, but Thurloe's predecessor Thomas Scot was re-appointed director of intelligence in May 1659. Despite the exposure of the Royalist informant Sir Richard Willys in early July, Scot's agents infiltrated the conspiracy. From mid-July, prominent Royalists and Presbyterians were detained on suspicion of involvement in the plot. The Council of State ordered the mobilisation of the militia and the reinforcement of strategic garrisons around the country. A squadron of warships put to sea to guard the Channel against the possibility of a supporting Royalist invasion from the Continent.

The unfortunately named Richard Head (born ca. 1637 in Ireland, died before June 1686 at sea near the Isle of Wight) seems to have been the first to use the term "dick" in the pejorative sense, possibly as a reference to Richard Cromwell.

Geeorge Booth had been a commander in Cheshire during the Civil War and was a staunch Parliamentarian even in 1651. However he bitterly opposed Pride's Purge of Parliament in 1648, the execution of King Charles and the establishment of the Protectorate. Pride's Purge was an event that took place in December 1648, during the Second English Civil War, when troops of the New Model Army under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the Long Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the Independents. Some have called it a coup d'état.

The Cheshire Campaign

The Sealed Knot was a secret Royalist association which plotted for the Restoration of the Monarchy during the English Interregnum. The group was commissioned by King Charles II between November 1653 and February 1654 from his exile in Paris for the purpose of coordinating underground Royalist activity in England and preparing for a general uprising against the Protectorate. On 30 July, the Sealed Knot sent out messengers warning the conspirators that the situation was hopeless and that the planned uprising should be abandoned. The following day, Massie was arrested, leading to the collapse of the conspiracy in Gloucestershire and the West. However Massie then made his third successful jailbreak.

All over the country, small bands of Royalists preparing for the regional uprisings were intercepted and arrested. Mordaunt himself decided to lie low when a number of his accomplices were arrested in Surrey. On the appointed day, the only partially successful uprising occurred in Lancashire, Cheshire, and North Wales under the overall command of Sir George Booth.

Booth takes Chester

The warning issued by the Sealed Knot failed to reach Lancashire and Cheshire in time, and on 1 August, with the encouragement of the Presbyterian clergy, Booth mustered five hundred supporters at Warrington in Lancashire and advanced to a rendezvous with Cheshire insurgents at Rowton Heath near Chester. There, Both made a proclamation: he did not mention Charles II (some of his supporters did) and called instead for a new Parliament to be formed. The government forces in Cheshire made no move against him and Booth effectively controlled almost all of Cheshire. The following day, sympathisers opened the city gates and Booth's rebels occupied Chester. The commander of the Chester garrison Captain Croxton withdrew into Chester Castle with his men and refused to surrender. Lacking artillery, the rebels could do nothing to threaten them, although shots were exchanged with the royalists who had entered the city.

Edward Massie, another Cheshire conspirator with Whitley and a serial jailbreaker who escaped three times.

Booth issued a further series of proclamations claiming that the insurgents had taken arms to defend the freedom of Parliament. He made no explicit reference to King Charles II. Leaving forces to blockade Chester Castle, Booth set off for Manchester with around 4,000 men, intending to make his way to York which, it was supposed, would also surrender to him. Colonel Egerton took a party from Chester to join Sir Thomas Myddelton at Chirk Castle in Denbighshire. Myddelton and Egerton advanced to Wrexham where they declared for the King. The castles at Harwarden and Denbigh fell to the rebels. Roger Whitley induced some of his old Harwarden friends to take part in the rising. Colonel Gilbert Ireland seized Liverpool for the King and persuaded some of the militia to desert their colours.

Hemingway describes events as follows:

  • "About the middle of July 1659 several attempts were made to seize the principal strong holds in England for Charles the Second 'of which enterprizes' says Clarendon 'only one succeeded, which was that undertaken by Sir George Booth: all the rest failed. The Lord Willoughby of Parham and Sir Horatio Townsend, and most of their friends, were apprehended before the day, and made prisoners, most of them upon general suspicion as men able to do hurt. Only Sir George Booth being a person of the best quality, and fortune of that county, of those who had never been of the king's party, came into Chester, with such persons as he thought fit to take with him the night before; so that though the tempestuousness of the night and the next morning had the same effect as in other places, to break or disorder the rendezvous that was appointed within four or five miles of that city, yet Sir George being himself there with a good troop of horse he brought with him and finding others though not in the number he looked for, he retired with those he had into Chester, where his party was strong enough, and Sir Thomas Middleton (see: Brereton for his role in the Civil War) having kept his rendezvous, came thither to him, and brought strength enough to keep those parts at their devotion, and to suppress all those who had inclination to oppose them'."
The Cheshire campaign in Booth's rising. Booth (red) marches on Chester and takes the city. Lambert (blue) advances to Nantwich and heads towards Chester, before learing that Booth is now heading for Northwich. Lambert turns towards Northwich and the two clash at Winnington Bridge, with Booth defeated.

Lambert Advances

The Council of State moved quickly to suppress the sporadic uprisings. On 5 August, Colonel John Lambert was commissioned to gather forces to march against Booth. Lambert marched north and arrived at Nantwich in Cheshire on 15 August, where he mustered a small army of around 1,200 horse and 3,000 foot. Jerome Zankey landed in Wales with 1500 troops from Ireland. Robert Lilburne was approaching Cheshire from York with more Parliamentary troops.

Meanwhile, Booth had moved to Manchester where he had mustered 4000 troops there by August 7th. Sir George Booth now realised that the general insurrection had failed and turned back toward Chester, then (after a minor skirmish at Hartford Green) turned northwest putting the river Weaver between himself and Lambert, crossing the Weaver at Winnington Bridge near Northwich, where he chose to make a stand. Lambert also set out for Chester from Nantwich on 18 August, but changed direction when he learned that Booth's forces were near Northwich. Lambert intercepted the insurgents on 19 August. The "Royalists" held the bridge over the Weaver and the high ground behind it to the north. Lambert sent Colonel Hewson's infantry regiment to drive back the defenders and secure the bridge. Lambert's cavalry then advanced across the river. A short skirmish ensued. Booth's forces were no match for Lambert's veteran cavalry and the insurgents were soon scattered in all directions. Lambert ordered his cavalry not to pursue the fugitives in order to prevent a massacre. The battle was particularly bloodless, with only one of Lambert's men killed and only about thirty insurgents. 300 insurgents were captured and the rest scattered. This minor skirmish was effectively the last battle of the Civil War.

George Monck, who commaned the Parliamentary forces in Scotland and was in contact with the future Charles II. Monck almost joined in the Booth Rising and was later encouraged by it to march on London in October 1659.

Chester surrendered to General Lambert without resistance on 21 August. Chirk Castle, Wrexham, Denbigh and Liverpool had surrendered to detachments from Lambert's army by 24 August (Myddelton and his brothers were given notice to quit the country). Sir George Booth fled the scene of his defeat and disguised himself in female clothes. He intended to make his way to London then escape to the Continent but an innkeeper at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire became suspicious. The inn was surrounded and Booth was arrested, still dressed as a woman, while having a shave. His headlong flight from the battle and the farcical circumstances of his arrest made him the object of great mirth and ridicule in London. Although imprisoned in the Tower, he was never brought to trial and escaped all punishment. Viscount Mordaunt succeeded in escaping to France early in September. As a punishment for this rebellion against their power the parliament passed a vote on the 17th of September 1659 to dissolve the corporation of the city of Chester and that it should be no longer a county of itself. However the soon-to-come demolition of the authority of the parliament by whom this order was issued rendered the resolution of very immaterial consequence.

Lambert proposed that Liverpool Castle be demolished (it was already mostly in ruins). Finally in 1715 an act was passed to demolish the castle and build a church in its place. In Lever Park, Rivington near Chorley, William Lever built a folly on the "Coblowe" which is a scale replica of Liverpool Castle in ruins. Building started in 1912 and the replica, which was not completed after Leverhulme’s death in 1925, was based on a conjectural reconstruction of the castle prepared by T. H. Mawson] after a work about the original castle by E. W. Cox in 1892. It is a popular local myth in Rivington that the Rivington Castle was actually transported from Liverpool, it was not.

John Lambert (Autumn 1619 – March 1684) defeated Booth but did not prosper.

Lambert and Monck

In July 1659 direct and tempting proposals had been made to George Monck (the ex-Royalist captured at Nantwich and now working for the Parliamentarians) by the future Charles II. Monck's brother Nicholas, a clergyman, brought to him the substance of Charles's letter. He bade his brother go back to his books, and refused to entertain any proposal. But when George Booth, 1st Baron Delamer, rose in insurrection in Cheshire for Charles II, so tempting did the opportunity seem that Monck was on the point of joining forces with Booth and a manifesto was prepared. Monck's habitual caution induced him to wait until the next post from England, and the next post brought news of Booth's defeat.

The Commons (12 October 1659) cashiered Lambert and other officers, and retained Charles Fleetwood as chief of a military council under the authority of the speaker. On the next day Lambert caused the doors of the House to be shut and the members kept out. On 26 October a new "Committee of Safety" was appointed, of which Lambert was a member. Lambert was also appointed major-general of all the forces in England and Scotland. Lambert was now sent with a large force to meet George Monck, who was in command of the English forces in Scotland, and either negotiate with him or force him to terms. Monck, however, now marched southward. Lambert's army began to melt away, and he was kept in suspense by Monck till his whole army deserted and he returned to London almost alone.

Monck marched to London unopposed. The excluded Presbyterian members "secluded" in Pride's Purge of 1648, were allowed to re-enter Parliament on 21 February 1660. The reconstituted Long Parliament dissolved itself on 16 March 1660 after preparing legislation for a new Convention Parliament to be summoned. Lambert was sent to the Tower (3 March 1660), from which he escaped a month later. He descended a silk rope and aided by six men was taken away by barge. He tried to rekindle the civil war in favour of the Commonwealth by issuing a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill. But he was recaptured on 22 April at Daventry by Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, a regicide who could sense the way the wind was blowing and hoped to win a pardon by handing Lambert over to the new regime. He was kept imprisoned in the Tower of London and then transferred to Castle Cornet on the island of Guernsey.

Charles II returns

Charles II - This affable character had most of those involved in his father's death beheaded, including those who had since died and were dug-up especially to be "executed".

The new so-called Convention Parliament assembled on 25 April 1660, and soon afterwards welcomed the Declaration of Breda (which was largely based on Monck's recommendations), in which Charles II promised lenience and tolerance. There would be liberty of conscience and Anglican church policy would not be harsh. He would not exile past enemies nor confiscate their wealth. There would be pardons for nearly all his opponents except the regicides. Above all, Charles II promised to rule in cooperation with Parliament.

The English Parliament resolved to proclaim Charles II king and invite him to return, a message that reached Charles at Breda on 8 May 1660, carried in part by George Booth. In Ireland, a convention had been called earlier in the year, and had already declared for Charles. On 14 May, he was proclaimed king in Dublin. He set out for England from Scheveningen (the port of The Hauge), arrived in Dover on 25 May 1660 and reached London on 29 May, his 30th birthday. Although Charles and Parliament granted amnesty to nearly all of Cromwell's supporters in the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, 50 people were specifically excluded from the amnesty. In the end nine of the regicides were executed: they were hanged, drawn and quartered; others were given life imprisonment or simply excluded from office for life. The bodies of Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton and John Bradshaw were subjected to the indignity of posthumous decapitations.

On the Restoration John Lambert was exempted from prosecution by an address of both Houses of the Convention Parliament to the king, but the Cavalier Parliament in 1662 charged him with high treason. In April 1662 General Lambert was, with Sir Henry Vane, brought to England and tried in June 1662. On 25 July a warrant was issued to Lord Hatton, the governor of Guernsey, to take into his custody "the person of John Lambert, commonly called Colonel Lambert, and keep him a close prisoner as a condemned traitor until further orders". On 18 November following, directions were given from the king to Lord Hatton to "give such liberty and indulgence to Colonel John Lambert within the precincts of the island as will consist with the security of his person". In 1667 he was transferred to Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound, at the entrance to the Hamoaze, and he died there during the severe winter of 1683–84.

The Northgate and St John's Hospital. In February 1644 the buildings of the hospital and chapel and the surrounding wall were demolished so as not to provide cover to the Parliamentary forces besieging the city. No trace is left of the original hospital church or other buildings and nothing is known of their appearance. After the Restoration the hospital was given to Roger Whitley as a reward for his royalist support.

Roger Whitley was:

  • "confident that his Majesty’s chief joy in the Restoration is the rewarding of those that have been faithful to him".

The grant of St John's Hospital in Chester (1660), gave Roger Whitley an interest in the city of Chester, and served as a foretaste of more substantial rewards to come. Perhaps appropriately given that he once brought orders to Booth, Whitley was later made Deputy Postmaster General, an office from which he made immense profits. Roger embodied the Whig faction in Chester, which originally promoted the supremacy of Parliament (as opposed to that of the king), toleration for Protestant dissenters, and opposition to a Catholic (especially a Stuart) on the throne. Whitley was elected a Member (for Fflint, his home county) of the Convention Parliament of 1660. He represented the north-east Welsh borough constituency of Flint from 1660 until 1681. By 1674 Whitley was a thriving man able to purchase £3,670 of East India Company stock.

He was elected in Chester and served as MP 1681-1685 and 1689-1690. He returned to represent Chester in 1695, until his death two years later. Whitley was a prominent Whig politician and a powerful figure in Chester. He was made a Freeman of Chester in 1666, an alderman from 1680 to 1684 and from August 1688 to his death, treasurer for 1688–89 and mayor from 1692–96. However in coming to Chester, Whitley had walked into the midst of a pending political storm (see Roger Whitley for more).

Later Booths

Booth's first marriage was to Lady Catherine Clinton, daughter and co-heir of Theophilus Clinton, 4th Earl of Lincoln, with whom he had one daughter, Vera Booth. After the death of his first wife, he married Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford, by whom, besides five daughters, he had seven sons, the second of whom, Henry, succeeded him in the Booth titles and estates, which included Dunham Massey Hall and Staley Hall. Henry was later created Earl of Warrington. At a treason trial in the House of Lords in January 1685/6, Henry Booth was accused of participation in the Monmouth Rebellion, and although the presiding judge in the case was "Hanging" Judge Jeffreys, as Lord High Steward, sitting with thirty other peers, the defence secured an acquittal. During the Revolution of 1688, Henry Booth declared in favour of William of Orange, and raised an army in Cheshire in support of him. Henry Booth had been Chancellor of the Exchequer (1689-90) and became mayor of Chester in October 1691.

George Booth had an unhappy married life and his wife (who he married for her money) was described as a "limber dirty fool", but produced an educated and intellectual daughter, who he ensured would retain control of her own property after marriage. In this 1729/30 painting by Michael Dahl his daughter, Mary (in a savage-looking corset), holds up a sheet of music which is inscribed ‘Hear ye Gods of Britain..’ the 12th item - a bass aria - from Purcell’s ‘Bonduca or the British Heroine’, written in 1695 - and possibly with a bit of an anti-Catholic message.

George Booth (knowns as "young Sir George") was born at Mere Hall, Cheshire on 2 May 1675, the second son of Henry Booth, by Mary Langham, daughter of Sir James Langham Bt, of Cottesbrooke, he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Delamer before succeeding to the family titles upon his father Henry's death in 1694. Although this earldom became extinct on the death of the 2nd Earl on 2 August 1758, the Booth Barony of Delamer carried on another generation, only becoming extinct upon the 4th Baron's death in 1770. The family town-house in Chester "Booth Mansion" is the largest house in Watergate Street, Chester, and was built in 1700 for George Booth of Dunham Massey (and, after 1694, 2nd Earl of Warrington) by remodeling two Medieval houses, one of which (to the east) was owned by Sir John Booth since around 1659. George is said to have moved in about 1678 (he was then aged about 2), and by the time he was in his early 20's the house was hosting lavish parties.

Dunham Massey

The principal residence of the Booths was Dunham Massey Hall, usually known simply as Dunham Massey, an English country house in the parish of Dunham Massey in the district of Trafford, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester. It is now a National Trust property, open to the public. The gardens house over 700 plant species, as well as 1,600 trees and shrubs, and it hosts the largest winter garden in Britain. Pevnser in his book on Cheshire states that there was a Norman Castle on the site. A chapel is known to have existed in 1307. Sir George Booth (1566-1652), built a house around a courtyard in the early 17th century. The south side of this building was not erected until the time of the 1st Lord Delamere in about 1655. Little remains now from the 17th century. The stables date from about 1720 and the Service Court has some similar features suggesting that it also dates from this time. The main house was remodelled by John Norris between 1732 and 1740 in the time of George, 2nd Earl of Warrington. In 1822, John Shaw created a bow window on the east side. Further alterations were made by Joseph Compton Hall in the Edwardian Period.

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The "double drawing room" at Booth Mansion - once two separate rooms, later "knocked through" to form Mr Eaton's Great Room - at Booth Mansion in 2017. Once home in the 1750s for such diversions as "rope dancing, fire eating, and a learned dog", now very elegant tea rooms with a good selection of cake.