Charles Worsley, Major-General, 1622-56
Wealthy Lancastrian soldier, he assisted Cromwell in expelling the Rump Parliament and became Major-General for the north-west.
The son of a prosperous merchant of Manchester, Charles Worsley fought for Parliament and was a captain in a Lancashire infantry regiment by 1644. After the First Civil War, Worsley made a substantial fortune by investing in confiscated Royalist estates in Lancashire. He returned to military service for Cromwell's invasion of Scotland in 1650 when he took command of a newly-raised infantry regiment. Worsley joined Cromwell at Edinburgh shortly after the battle of Dunbar. In August 1651, he was sent to assist Colonel Robert Lilburne in Lancashire during the Worcester campaign.
By the end of 1652, Worsley's regiment was stationed at St James's in London. He commanded the file of musketeers that accompanied Cromwell when he forcibly dissolved the Rump Parliament on 20 April 1653. Worsley took charge of the key to the House of Commons and the mace. He was elected MP for Manchester in the First Protectorate Parliament (1654) and appointed Major-General for Cheshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major-Generals (1655).
Worsley was extremely zealous in persecuting Royalists, closing alehouses, banning race meetings and working to promote a godly reformation in his region. His strenuous efforts exhausted him and brought about his sudden death in June 1656 when he was in London attending a meeting between Cromwell and the other Major-Generals. Worsley was buried in Westminster Abbey with full military honours. His burial was not registered — consequently he was one of the few Cromwellians buried in the Abbey whose remains were left undisturbed at the Restoration.
Christopher Durston, Cromwell's Major-Generals (Manchester 2001)
Christopher Durston, Charles Worsley , Oxford DNB, 2004