Edward Montagu, the son of the Earl of Manchester, was born in 1602. A member of the royal court, Montagu was given the title, Baron Montagu of Kimbolton in 1626.
In the House of Lords, Montagu, a Puritan, became increasing critical of Charles I. In 1642 he was impeached by the king for treachery but was acquitted. Later that year he inherited his father's title and became the 2nd Earl of Manchester.
On the outbreak of the Civil War Montagu he served under Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, at Edgehill (1642) before being given command of the Eastern Counties army. His forces took Lincoln before defeating Prince Rupert at Marston Moor (1644). He also led the Parliamentary army at Newbury.
In November 1644, Oliver Cromwell made a speech in the House of Commons where he attacked the leadership of the Earl of Manchester. In April 1645 he resigned from the army.
The Earl of Manchester opposed the trial and execution of Charles I and was also critical of the rule of Oliver Cromwell. When he refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the Commonwealth he was forced to retire from public life.
In 1660 he supported General George Monck in in promoting the Restoration of the monarchy. In an attempt to gain the good will of the Presbyterians, the Earl of Manchester was appointed Lord Chamberlain in 1660. Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, died in 1671.