Charles Worsley

Charles Worsley 1622-1656

Major General, Puritan, Congregationalist

'The Rule of the Saints'

Biography & Achievements

  • Born at Platt Hall, Rusholme, and baptised at Manchester Parish Church. Parents were wealthy clothiers and merchants. Was a member of Birch Chapel, Rusholme, where the minister, Rev John Wigan, ‘established the congregational way’.
  • Joined the Parliamentary Army in the civil war, rising to Lt Colonel.
  • Married Dorothy Kenyon of Whalley and they shared a home at Park Head, wherein they married.
  • Living at Whalley, he attends Thomas Jollie’s Congregational Church at Altham, where his children are baptised.
  • Becomes Manchester’s first MP in First Protectorate Parliament.
  • Promoted to rank of Major General: enforced puritan morality on the population- he shut down horse races, cock fighting and bear-baiting; he banned may-poles and drunkenness. He Closed 200 pubs in Blackburn.
  • Ejected any ‘scandalous ministers’: those who were ‘drunkards, swearers, gamblers, unchaste, dishonest’.
  • Called to London for a meeting, but was exhausted by his work: 12th June 1656, he died.
  • Buried with full honours at Westminster Abbey. Not dug up with the others.


  • Inscription on his sword: ‘fide sed cui vide’: Trust but be careful who you trust.
  • ‘I plainly discern the finger of God going along with it which is indeed no small encouragement to me. The sense of the work and my unworthiness and insufficiency for the right management of it are my only present discouragement.’
  • ‘We are the children of the last times, and upon us are the ends of the world come; Prophesies, and Promises, which have been bid from ages and generations, are now enriching us by their revealing, and fulfilling in us: Arise and shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’
  • ‘Yet this is the ground of my hope and comfort, that the Lord is able to supply my wants, and will appear in weak instruments for His glory to the perfecting of His work. I shall, through the grace of God, discharge my trust in faithfulness to those who have employed me and I omit no opportunity nor avoid pains wherein my weak endeavours may be useful’
  • ‘I leave it to thy love who ever art the Reader, desiring thee to remember that whatsoever is ministered to us either by men or books, though of the most spiritual subjects, is no better then the Mantle of Elijah, unless the God of Elijah be there: if the truth dwell in thee, I am, Thine in the Lord, C. Worsley.’
  • ‘The reign of Antichrist hath been long, and so taking (being beautifyed by the excellency and glory of flesh) that the whole world wondered after the Beast; whatever was prone and apt to deceive and bewitch the world, that hath he cloathed himself withal, not onely learning, wisdom, greatness and power humane, but whatsoever the Gospel afforded outward, that hath been given to him to carry captive into his own place, to that great City Babylon; there have Ordinances and the letter of the Scripture been brought into cruel bondage, and made to fight against the Spirit, and a form of godliness to war against the power’.
  • At Preston: ‘I have been…putting in effectual execution the laws against drunkenness, swearing, profaning the Lord’s day… God hath already put into his people a spirit for this good work'.


Questions to Study:

  • Should Christians seek to run the country?
  • Should we to establish a Christian nation along Old Testament Israel lines?
  • Should we campaign against moral issues, like gambling and Sunday trading?
  •  Will the saints rule in this life, or the life to come?

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. Matthew 24:45-47

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-

'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter's vessels shall be broken to pieces'-

Revelation 2:26-27

. . . priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6


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