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Massey, Sir Edward

MASSEY, SIR EDWARD (c. i6io-c. 1674), English soldier in the Great Rebellion, was the son of John Massey of Coddington, Cheshire. Little is known of his early life, but it is said that he served in the Dutch army against the Spaniards. In 1639 he appears as a captain of pioneers in the army raised by Charles I. to tight against the Scots. At the outbreak of the Great Rebellion he was with the king at York, but he soon joined the Parliamentary army. As lieutenant-colonel under the earl of Stamford he became deputy governor of Gloucester, where he remained till towards the end of the first Civil War, becoming governor early in 1643. He conducted minor operations against numerous small bodies of Royalists, and conducted the defence of Gloucester against the king's main army in August 1643, with great steadiness and ability, receiving the thanks of parliament and a grant of 1000 for his services. In 1644 Massey continued to keep the field and to disperse the local Royalists, and on several occasions he measured swords with Prince Rupert. In May 1644 he was made general of the forces of the Western Association. In 1645 he took the offensive against Lord Goring and the western Royalists, advanced to the relief of Taunton, and in the autumn co-operated effectively with Sir Thomas Fairfax and the New Model army in the Langport campaign. After taking part in the desultory operations which closed the first war, he took his seat in the House of Commons as member for Gloucester. He then began to take an active part in politics on the Presbyterian side, and was one of the generals who was impeached by the army on the ground that they were attempting to revive the Civil War in the Presbyterian interests. Massey fled from England in June 1647, an( i though he resumed his seat in the house in 1648 he was again excluded by Pride's Purge, and after a short imprisonment escaped to Holland. Thence, taking the side of the king openly and definitely like many other Presbyterians, he accompanied Charles II. to Scotland. He fought against Cromwell at the bridge of Stirling and Inverkeithing, and commanded the advanced guard of the Royalist army in the invasion of England in 1651. It was hoped that Massey 's influence would win over the towns of the Severn valley to the cause of the king, and the march of the army on Worcester was partly inspired by this expectation. However, he effected little, and after riding with the king for some distance from the field of Worcester, fell into the hands of his former comrades and was lodged in the Tower. He again managed to escape to Holland. While negotiating with the English Presbyterians for the restoration of Charles, he visited England twice, in 1654 and 1656. In 1660 he was active in preparing for Charles's return, and was rewarded by a knighthood and a grant of 3000. The rest of his life was spent in political, and occasionally in military and administrative business, and he is said to have died in Ireland in 1674 or 1675.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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