History of England, Part II From the Accession of Henry VIII to the Revolution of 1689

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York


CHAPTER IV. The Commonwealth, 1649-1653 and 1659-1660, and the Protectorate, 1653-1659.


1. After the death of . the real power was in the hands of the army, whose leaders had already on [1]  15th January drawn up and presented to Parliament a scheme for the future constitution of England, called the Agreement of the People. The Agreement of the People provided: That the existing Parliament should be dissolved. 2. Future Parliaments should be biennial and consist of four hundred persons, chosen by the different [2]  shires and boroughs according to population, the smaller boroughs being disfranchised. 3. The executive power should be in the hands of a Council of State appointed by Parliament. 4. There should be a State church reformed in a way "according to the Word of God," but with religious liberty to all but " Papists and Prelatists." 5. Monarchy and the House of Lords should be abolished.

Few Englishmen as yet fully realised that the Revolution, which was to bring liberty and progress, had ended in the rule of the sword. The nominal guidance of the nation rested with the Rump of the Long Parliament, which speedily made provision for the immediate carrying on of the government by voting the establishment of a Commonwealth, and by abolishing both the monarchy and the House of Lords. It also set up a Council of State of forty-one persons to carry on the executive government, as had been done of old by the king's Privy Council. But the Rump, though seldom more than fifty strong, continued to discharge the whole work of Parliament. It quietly ignored the demand of the officers, that it should dissolve and give way to a new popularly elected Parliament, such as was provided for in the Agreement of the People. It clung to power, not only from love of rule, but because it knew that a free Parliament, elected by a wide constituency, would soon make short work of the new constitution, and bring back Church and king. The political ideal of the Rump was, that England should be ruled by a republican aristocracy, such as the States General of the United Provinces or the Great Council of Venice. In Church as in State, it aimed at making England a "mere Amsterdam" by setting up that religious toleration which


Anglican and Presbyterian alike regarded as the encouragement of error. The result of this was that the rigid Presbyterian system, which had been formally set up in , never became general throughout England: though in some parts, and particularly in London and Lancashire, it had become completely established.

Troubles beset the new Commonwealth on every side. The royalist cause had taken a new life with the death of the king. Almost on the same day as Charles's execution, a little book was published called Eikon [3]  Basilike, the Portraiture of his Sacred Majesty, in his Solitude and Sufferings. Professing to " contain the prayers and meditations of in his prison, the book at once became extraordinarily popular. Though really put together by a clergyman, John Gauden, it was an article of faith with the royalists that it was written by Charles himself. It passed through forty-seven editions, and was widely and eagerly read. The Parliament, unable to stop its circulation, employed the famous John Milton, Latin Secretary to the Council of State, to write an answer to it called Ikonoklastes. So anxious was the government to justify its acts before European public opinion that it also employed Milton to write defences of its action against the attacks of the great scholar Salmasius. Another and opposite danger came from the army, where the fanatical Levellers, who wished for complete democracy [4]  and equality, arose in revolt against the politic compromises of the reigning oligarchy, and denounced, with bitter scorn, the half-hearted hesitation of the army leaders, who now strove with all their might to keep their wild followers back. Cromwell was the special object of their scorn. "You shall scarce speak to Cromwell," said Lilburne, the Levellers' leader, "but he will lay his hand on his breast, elevate his eyes, and call God to record. He will weep, howl, and repent, even while he doth smite you under the fifth rib." With true instinct, they foresaw that Cromwell might make himself king if he willed. "You have no other way to treat these people," said Cromwell to the Council, "but to break them in pieces. If you do not break them, they will break you." Thus, the leader of the revolutionary party was already posing as the saviour of society and the State from anarchical fanaticism. He put down the mutinies which the Levellers had stirred up among the soldiers. He saw clearly that strong government must be upheld if the infant


Commonwealth were to be preserved. Not only was the great mass of Englishmen sullen and discontented. and were bitterly hostile, and foreign powers were rudely contemptuous of the new Government. With his strong practical wisdom Cromwell saw that the Commonwealth must be set up on a firm basis before the question of its ultimate shape could be considered. Thus it was that for nearly five years the Rump was suffered to go on ruling, while the army carried out its proper work of completing the conquest of the three kingdoms and restoring the credit of England abroad.

2. The Irish Rebellion, which had begun in , soon settled down into a religious war between Catholics and Protestants, in which a common faith united both the old Norman aristocracy [6]  and the native Celts against Anglican Royalists and Puritan Roundheads alike. But there were great difficulties on both sides in keeping up such an alliance. The king's lieutenant, James Butler, successively Earl, Marquis, and Duke of Ormonde, the most able, powerful, and popular of Irish nobles, was a strong royalist of the same stamp as his friend Hyde, who tells us how Ormonde "sustained with wonderful courage and conduct and almost miraculous success the rage and fury of the rebels." But in , the outbreak of the Civil War prevented either king or Parliament sending over a sufficient force to uphold the common cause. Thereupon the insurgents held at Kilkenny a General Assembly of the Catholic Confederates. This was in fact, if not in name, a national Parliament of the Irish nation. It set up a Supreme Council to govern the country, and appointed Owen Roe O'Neill its general-in-chief. It was with the Confederate organisation that Charles, in , concluded the Cessation, which left nearly all in Catholic hands. Henceforth a thin strip of coast line between the Wicklow Hills and the Belfast Lough, with another district running inland from Cork, and a few scattered garrisons throughout , alone acknowledged Ormonde as King Charles's lieutenant. The position of the Confederates was still further strengthened when, in , Charles sent the Catholic Earl of Glamorgan to to win help for his declining cause in England. The Confederates now made large demands, and Glamorgan agreed to whatever they asked for. By the famous Glamorgan Treaty, Charles's agent recognised their right to use the old churches for the Catholic worship, and restored the jurisdiction and revenues of the Church to the Catholic clergy. The treaty was discovered by the Parliament, and Charles disavowed any knowledge of it. But though Charles at Oxford might repudiate such conditions, they were, for the most part, faithfully carried out in . A Papal Nuncio, named Rinuccini, now came from Rome to restore the Catholic organisation as the best hope of setting up a united . Ormonde, as an Irish Protestant, was indignant at the prospect of the extirpation of his creed, and in surrendered Dublin to the able and enterprising Puritan Colonel Michael Jones, and sailed over to England, thus transferring from Royalist to Roundhead hands the almost


hopeless task of upholding the Protestant supremacy. But the hollow alliance between the Catholic lords and the native Irish now broke up altogether. Rinuccini went back to Italy disgusted at the refusal of the Catholic gentry to make themselves the instruments of the papal policy. The breach between the two sections of the Irish Catholics gave a fresh opportunity to the friends of the king. In Ormonde came back again and concluded an alliance between the scanty band of Protestant royalists and the Catholic lords, by which the latter agreed to support King in return for toleration of their faith. After the tragedy of the 30th of January, Ormonde proclaimed the young as . The Puritan garrison of Dublin maintained almost alone the cause of the Commonwealth.

Cromwell was now sent to by the Rump, with a gallant force of his Ironsides, to wage a holy war against the Popish and royalist alliance. In [7]  September he took Drogheda by storm, and massacred the whole garrison, some 2500 strong, . save a few captives spared for the more lingering agony of slavery upon the sugar plantations of Barbadoes. "This is the righteous judgment of God," he wrote, " upon those barbarous wretches who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood." In October the garrison of Wexford incurred the same fate. Such brutal measures made the rest of the work of conquest an easy task. The first campaign conquered " a great longitude of land along the shore." The next, in , opened up the way to the subjection of all . Cromwell now left the country. His successors, Ireton and Ludlow, now restored Protestant and English ascendency very much in the spirit of Strafford. The Catholic worship was suppressed, and the scared natives were even tempted to Puritan churches, such was their terror of the dominant soldiery. The Celtic landholders lost their estates, or were transferred into the inhospitable deserts beyond the Shannon. Their lands were handed over to Puritan veterans, who were willing to make their homes in , or sold to Undertakers, who promised to people and till them. In return, again enjoyed sound peace and strong government. Good justice was enforced between man and man, and rapine and murder sternly punished. Nevertheless, the hard and cruel rule of Cromwell was ever looked upon with peculiarly bitter hatred in .

3. The Scots, who had continued to uphold . to the day of his death, proclaimed . without delay. But the young King of Scots was a needy and frivolous exile, living mostly in Holland, where the Stadtholder,


., the husband of his sister Mary, gave him a kindly welcome, or in the Channel Islands, which still rejected the Rump. He was now about twenty [9]  years old, with a good reputation for quickness of wit and an indifferent one for industry and morals. It made little difference to him whether was governed by Argyll's partisans in his own name or in that of his father. To make Charles's nominal rule a real one, Montrose, who was weary of exile, [10]  hazarded another attempt at a royalist rising. Early in he sailed to the Orkneys, and thence to Caithness and Sutherland, hoping to raise the northern clans ; but the little band which he had brought with him from Holland and the Orkneys was too weak to act alone, and there was no sign of a rising of the clans. His followers were dispersed at Carbisdale on 27th April, and he himself was soon afterwards handed over to the government by a Highland chieftain and taken to Edinburgh. The Scots could never forgive the soldier who had taught the wild clansmen the secret of their strength. Parliament passed an act attainting him as a traitor, and on 21st May the high-souled warrior poet was hanged at the Market Cross, dressed in a scarlet cassock. With him perished the last hope of a Cavalier restoration in . The young king now saw that he must either take the Covenant or remain in exile from Britain. He chose the less heroic course. Charles now repudiated Montrose, and agreed to the terms of the Scottish commissioners. He accepted both the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant, promised to do nothing without the goodwill of Parliament, and pledged himself to set up Presbyterianism in England and as well as . In he landed at Speymouth, and in he was crowned at Scone. But Argyll still ruled , and Charles was little better than a prisoner. He was forced to give up his friends Hamilton and Lauderdale through Argyll's jealousy, compelled to listen to endless prayers and sermons, and to bear with good grace the stern rebukes of the clergy for his frivolity and godlessness. The Scots army was got ready to restore monarchy and Presbytery south of the Tweed.

The Rump saw that the rule of in must sooner or later lead to a restoration in England, and resolved to expel him by force. Fairfax, though hating the course things had taken, had still held on to his command,


and (though a peer since by his father's death) had accepted a seat in the House of Commons. He now threw up his commission, believing that "human probabilities were no sufficient grounds for [11]  makingwar upon a neighbour nation,especially our brethren of to whom we are engaged in a Solemn League and Covenant." He retired to his house at Nun Appleton in , amusing his leisure by literature and collecting coins and engravings. Cromwell was now in name as well as fact Captain General of all the Commonwealth's armies. "I have not sought these things," he declared. "Truly I have been called unto them by the Lord." In July he invaded with 16,000 men.

David Leslie, who now commanded the Scots army, held a strong position outside Edinburgh. Late in August Cromwell, who had failed to dislodge him, was forced to retreat to Dunbar to wait reinforcements. [12]  Leslie followed and encamped upon the hills above Dunbar. Cromwell's position was very difficult. "The enemy," he wrote, "hath blocked up our way at the pass of Cockburnspath, through which we cannot get without almost a miracle." But the Scots rashly went down from their post of vantage, and exposed their right wing to their watchful foe. On 3rd September, as the sun was rising on the sea, Cromwell led a flank attack on the enemy's right, exclaiming, " Let God arise and his enemies be scattered." At the same time the main body of the English army engaged with the Scots in front. Attacked upon two sides at once, the Scots army fell into hopeless confusion and sustained a crushing defeat. Before the close of the year all southern had submitted to the English conqueror.

In Cromwell again took the field against Leslie, who was entrenched near Stirling. His lieutenant, Lambert, succeeded in turning the Scots' position by a flank attack through Fife. This left open the way to the south, and Leslie, seeing that was as good as lost, resolved to invade England, hoping to stir up a royalist and Presbyterian revolt. . accompanied Leslie in his daring adventure, and great things were hoped for when the son of the Martyr appeared on English soil. But the English were sick of war, and had no confidence in a king who came at the head of a Scots' army. Cromwell followed steadily in the rear, with ever increasing numbers. At last, on 3rd September (a year after Dunbar),


the King of Scots stood at bay at Worcester, with scarcely 13,000 men. Cromwell, with more than 30,000, surrounded [14]  the royalist positions, and had little difficulty in thoroughly defeating the foe. "The dimensions of this mercy," he wrote, "are above my thought. It is for aught I know a crowning mercy." The remnant of the Scots army made off as best it might. The King of Scots, after romantic adventures and hairbreadth escapes, made his way to Brighton, whence, forty days after the battle, he succeeded in escaping to. The subjection of was soon completed. Argyll himself was besieged for nearly a year in his castle at Inverary, but at last surrendered, agreeing that should be made a commonwealth with England, without king or House of Lords. He now lost all influence, and was "drowned in debt and public hatred." The Presbyterian clergy lost their power, and saw their Assemblies suppressed. An English garrison kept the Scots from revolt. The three kingdoms now lay at Cromwell's mercy. His thoughts could not but be directed on his future, "What if a man," he now asked, "should take upon himself to be king?"

4. The foreign difficulties of the Commonwealth were grappled with the same strong hand by which their domestic foes had been discomfited. At first no foreign court would acknowledge the new-fangled Commonwealth, and English agents were murdered at the Hague and at Madrid. In . [15]  of Orange died, whereupon the Stadtholdership was abolished in Holland, and the aristocratic faction of rich merchants became supreme in the States General of the Seven United Provinces. But the new rulers were as hostile as was the House of Orange to the English Commonwealth, hating the English as rivals in trade. The Rump did not shrink from their hostility, and in threw down the gauntlet by passing the Navigation Act, which prohibited Dutch vessels from bringing any goods to England, except the scanty products of their own small land. All goods were to be henceforth imported in English ships, or in vessels of the country to which the cargo belonged. This aimed a deadly blow at the carrying trade, which was the chief source of the mercantile prosperity of the Seven Provinces. The result was a bloody maritime war between the two republics. For the Dutch war a great leader was found in the new "general at sea," Robert Blake (), a Bridgwater


merchant's son, of short and ungainly figure, but of lofty courage, strong will, and matchless resourcefulness and energy, who had distinguished himself during the Civil War by his heroic defence of [16]  Taunton, and since had chased Prince Rupert with his squadron of revolted ships of war from the sea, and had conquered the Scilly Islands and Jersey, the last refuges of the royalist cause. At first the Dutch fleet, the most famous in Europe, triumphed over the raw English navy by reason of its superior seamanship and the greater tactical skill of its admiral Tromp, who won a hard fought fight on 29th November , off Dungeness. But in February Blake turned the tables on the Dutch by a victory off Portland, won by sheer hard hitting, despite gross blunders in tactics on the part of the English admiral. However, one glorious day was not enough to put an end to the naval supremacy of Holland, and both fleets continued to hold the sea on nearly equal terms. Such a struggle was infinitely creditable to the energy and careful administration of the Rump, and especially to Sir Harry Vane, the manager of the navy and a hot Commonwealth's man. Yet it did little to postpone the day of reckoning for the narrow oligarchy.

5. High taxes at home made the Commonwealth generally hated. The royalist malignants were gradually stripped of their estates, the luckiest among them preserving part of their lands by paying a [17]  heavy composition that drained dry their resources. An excise after the fashion of Holland, that had been imposed for the first time in , became a permanent tax. The Parliament was, however, so successful on every side that it was convinced that its continued rule was indispensable to the wellbeing of the Commonwealth, and it was so well satisfied with what it had done that it grew sluggish in the cause of reform. Now that the fighting was over, the politicians in the victorious army again busied themselves with affairs of state. They saw with disgust the rulers of the Commonwealth more intent on getting places for their kinsfolk than in bringing about the golden age of godliness and freedom. Against the aristocratic ideals of the ruling oligarchy, the soldiers set up their policy of democratic reform and complete religious liberty, and clamoured for a constitution based on the Agreement of the People. Parliament now had before it a project of reform, which Sir Harry Vane had introduced,


by which the danger of a fresh general election was to be remedied by choosing new members for the seats left vacant by Pride's Purge and the other "purifications" of the Commons. The existing members of the Rump were, however, to continue to sit, and would naturally pass judgment on the qualifications of the new members, so that it was merely a scheme for filling up vacancies in the House, subject to the approval of the present members. Disgusted at this new device for perpetuating its power, Cromwell, who had long watched with impatience the procrastination of the majority, now again called upon his soldiers to strike a blow against his fellow members. On 20th April he rose in his place in Parliament and spoke sharply of their injustice and self-seeking. "We have had enough of this," he fiercely cried. " It is not fit that you should sit here any longer." A band of trusty musketeers drove the trembling Commons out of their own House. Thus fell the scanty remnant of the Long Parliament, unhonoured and unlamented. The remorseless persistence of Cromwell trampled out the last traces of constitutional government.

6. The only power now left was that of the army and its general. Some men hoped that Cromwell would bring [19]  back the King of Scots : others that he would summon a Free Parliament: others that he would make himself king. His portrait crowned was set up in the London Exchange with the inscription

"Ascend three thrones, great Captain and divine, I' th' will of God, old Lion, they are thine ! "

But Cromwell, with all his fanatic zeal for God's kingdom had a clear eye to the future, and a strong dislike to the naked rule of the sword. Though willing to grasp at power, he desired to clothe his power with legal forms. Hesitating to summon a free Parliament lest the royalists should be in a majority, he gathered together an assembly of "persons fearing God, and of approved fidelity and honesty" all selected by himself. In July he opened his Parliament of nominees, telling them that they had been chosen, because they were godly, as the future rulers of England. This let loose the worst spirits of fanaticism and revolution. The packed assembly declared that the new Commonwealth wanted neither priests nor lawyers, and demanded the abolition of tithes (which were still levied by the Puritan clergy that were in legal possession of every benefice in England),


and the destruction of the Court of Chancery. Whether designedly or not, Cromwell had shown to all men what possibilities of further revolution still lurked in the minds of the extremer sectaries. The strange turn of events now made him the only champion of order and of what was left of the historical institutions of England. This was seen even by a party within the convention of fanatics. On 11th December the moderate minority met together in a hurry and declared the assembly at an end. In derision men called it the Little Parliament or the Barebones Parliament, from an Anabaptist leather-seller who sat in it as a representative of the City of London, and bore the name of Praise-God Barbone.

7. The Little Parliament made over its power to Cromwell. On I6th December the council of officers drew up the conditions of his rule in a document called the Instrument of Government.

This provided: I. That England, , and should be strictly united under the same government and the same Parliament. 2. That the supreme authority should belong [20]  to the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth with a Parliament of one chamber to meet every three years. 3. That the Parliament be composed of 400 members for England, , and the Channel Islands, and 30 each from and , chosen according to a scheme of representation according to numbers, by which returned 12, 22, and Lancashire 8 members, the small boroughs being disfranchised. 4. That all possessing estate of the value of £200 should be electors in the counties, unless they be Papists or hav fought against the Parliament. 5. That the Lord Protector have the executive power, subject to the advice of a Council of State, nominated at first in the Instrument, but finally to be chosen from a list sent by Parliament. 6. That Parliament have the sole power of making laws, no veto being reserved to the Protector, though the Protector and Council were allowed to make ordinances that retained the force of law unless Parliament definitely rejected them, but that no Parliament have power to make laws contrary to the Instrument. 7. That an ordinary revenue for life be secured to the Protector, but that all extraordinary grants were to be made by Parliament. The general result was to set up a sort of strictly limited monarchy and a strictly limited Parliament, mutually dependent on each other, so as to prevent the danger of either party becoming supreme; while the authority of the fundamental law itself prevented further revolutions. The Instrument was the first of the written or paper constitutions of modern times.

8. For the rest of his life Cromwell ruled England. He at once set to work to restore law and order by a vast series of ordinances. The union of the three kingdoms


was now completed. received the advantages of free trade with England and the abolition of the courts of the feudal lords, while in the work of [22]  colonisation was pressed on,and both countries became prosperous under his hard just rule. In England Cromwell mainly busied himself with the settlement of the Church. He resolved to keep up tithes and the parochial clergy, and he set up a board of Triers to inquire into the good life and sound doctrine of all persons nominated by the patrons to benefices. All Puritans were equally eligible to hold office in [23]  Cromwell's comprehensive State Church. "Of the three sorts of godly men," he boasted, "Presbyterians, Baptists, and Independents, though a man be of any of these three judgments, if he have the root of the matter in him, he may be admitted." Even the old clergy were not disturbed if they abstained from reading the Prayer Book and engaged to be faithful to the existing government. This policy of toleration was a great step in advance, being the only way of settling the religious difficulties which arose from the multiplication of sects and schools of opinion. Few, however, were satisfied with it. The Independents and Anabaptists were no longer the extreme representatives of the sectaries. In the religious confusion that followed the Civil Wars a swarm of new and strange sects had risen up, such as the Fifth Monarchy Men, who believed in the immediate Second Coming of Christ. Moreover, George Fox had begun his protests against Puritan dogmatism by preaching the importance of the inner light of the individual conscience, and his followers, the Society of Friends or Quakers, as they were called, were an earnest and increasing body. To enthusiasts such as these Cromwell's State Church seemed a mere politic compromise with worldliness. The exclusion of " Papists" and " Prelatists" from the enjoyment of the toleration, on the ground that their opinions were superstitious and dangerous to the State, cut off the bulk of the nation from the benefits of the religious peace. The ejected clergy and their followers, happy if the lax execution of the laws sometimes allowed them to meet together and worship according to the Prayer Book in some secret place, looked upon the Cromwellian settlement as the perpetuation of religious anarchy. Ordinances against cock-fighting, horse-racing, swearing, showed the strictness of the new ruler. Cromwell also endeavoured to


reform the law-courts, especially the Court of Chancery. Considering the narrow basis of his rule, he carried out a wonderful series of improvements.

On , the Protector met his First Parliament. The members believed that they ought to possess all the sovereign powers of the old Parliaments under the monarchy, and at once set to work to [24]  criticise and amend the Instrument of Government. This Cromwell would not allow; for if the nation, as represented in Parliament, were allowed the power of choosing freely its form of government, the whole edifice of his power and the domination of the Puritan bigots would have quickly been brought to an end. All that he would allow was the right to act in the way he suggested. He required every member of Parliament to declare in writing his acceptance of the Instrument, and refused to allow the recalcitrants to sit any longer. But even the purged Parliament went on with the work of constitutional reform, so Cromwell in great disgust dissolved it.

Cromwell now threw over all pretence at constitutional rule, and showed the nation that a Protector governing by military force could be an infinitely more despotic ruler than Charles or Strafford. He [25]  levied taxes without Parliamentary grant, and turned out the judges who seemed likely to declare resistance to his impositions legal. Availing himself of a widespread royalist conspiracy, and of an actual Cavalier rising in Wiltshire, where a gentleman named Penruddock, with a following of two hundred horsemen, seized Salisbury and imprisoned the judges on circuit, Cromwell divided England into ten large districts, setting over each a Major-General to rule by martial law and uphold the Protectorate with a strong and unscrupulous hand. The nation which refused to accept him as a constitutional monarch now learnt to obey him in his true character of a military despot.

9. In , the expenses of his foreign policy forced Cromwell to summon his Second Parliament, in which he prevented the renewal of the action of his First Parliament, by refusing to allow all [26]  those members, who were notoriously opposed to his policy, to take their seats. The remainder granted him large supplies, and declared plots against his life high treason, but they refused to legalise the rule of the major-generals, whom Cromwell consequently withdrew. It was thought that his position would be made easier, if


the government were reorganised more on the lines of the ancient constitution. There had long been a wish among Cromwell's personal friends that he should make himself king, as the best chance of securing the permanence of his power. As Waller sang-

" Let the rich ore forthwith be melted down, And the state fixed by making him a crown, With ermine clad and purple, let him hold A royal sceptre made of Spanish gold."

Accordingly, in March , Parliament presented to the Protector the Humble Petition and Advice. This was a new project for a paper constitution, which aimed at restoring the old constitution so far as was possible. By it Cromwell was asked: I. To take on himself the title of king [28]  with power of nominating his successor. 2. To summon in future Parliaments, consisting of two houses, every three years at least: the Lower House in future was to be called the House of Commons, while the lords who sat in the Other House (this was its title) were to be nominated by the Protector for life. 3. To accept a yearly revenue of L1,300,000 for life; of which L1,000,000 was to go to the support of the army and navy. 4. To allow the Council of State to be directly nominated by Parliament. 5. To secure l

iberty of conscience to all but Papists, Prelatists, and blasphemers. A great clamour arose among the Republicans in the army, whose faith had already been sorely tried by Cromwell's limited Protectorate, and who were now horror-stricken at the prospect of his becoming a king like Charles Stewart. Cromwell gave way, declaring that though he liked well the Petition, he could not offend his old followers by accepting a title which they abhorred. In May, the Parliament removed the name of king from the Petition, and substituted that of Lord Protector. In this form, Cromwell accepted the whole Petition. In June he was installed for a second time, clad in purple and ermine, and with something of royal state. But he found that his troubles with Parliament were in no wise abated by this new accession to his dignity. In Jan. , his Second Parliament met for a second session. Cromwell did not this time venture to renew the exclusion of his opponents, while his most faithful followers were removed to the "Other House." This gave the Commonwealth's men (so the Republican party was styled) a majority in the Commons. They refused to recognise the new House of Lords or to transact any business with them. In February, Oliver dissolved Parliament in disgust, telling


the members of the Commons that they were playing the garne of the King of Scots, and calling on the Lord to judge between them and him. He was now fully conscious of the failure of his policy at home. " I would have been glad," he lamented, " to have lived under my woodside, to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than undertake such a government as this." For the last years of his life he was in daily danger of assassination from fanatical royalists or enthusiastic sectaries.

10. Force formed an uneasy basis for his civil dominion, but abroad the strong arm of Oliver showed the princes of Europe that England was a power to be [29]  dealt with. Even royalists were proud of the vigorous and successful foreign policy of the Usurper. His victories in and first taught foreign statesmen to realise the might of the new Republic. Yet his view of the principles of English policy was little more than a remembrance of the traditions of the age of . He wished to bind the Protestant powers together in an Evangelical League. Thus he would secure the dominion of the godly abroad as well as at home.

In , Cromwell made peace with the United Provinces, the Dutch accepting the Navigation Act, and privately promising to exclude the House of Orange [30]  from authority. Other treaties with Denmark and Sweden followed. These were the first steps towards the union of the Protestant powers. But Cromwell soon found that the age of the Counter-Reformation was past, and that politics no longer depended on the struggle of Protestant against Catholic. Protestant states, like Sweden and Denmark, or England and Holland, that were rivals for dominion or trade, hated each other worse than they hated the Papists, and the two great Catholic powers, France and , were deadly foes to each other. In fact, European policy then centred round the continued rivalry of and , whose hostility to each other was so deep-rooted, that the two kingdoms found it impossible to join in the Peace of Westphalia, but continued at war until . [31]  At first was kept back by the internal struggles of the Fronde (), in which the lawyers and nobles made a last effort to break down the absolutism of the Crown; but in , the young king Louis XIV. (), and his astute Italian minister Mazarin, finally put down all opposition. now set herself


seriously to work to crush her decaying rival. and alike competed eagerly for the English alliance; and after long hesitation, Cromwell decided to join the French. The vision of an Evangelical League was soon to be dimmed by the stern facts of experience: but the French alliance was largely chosen on the ground that was more bigoted in its Catholicism than. This was clear when Mazarin interfered to force the Duke of Savoy () [33]  to cease from persecuting his Protestant subjects, the Vaudois of the Alpine valleys, on whose behalf the Protector had used his utmost exertions, and for whom the poet John Milton, still Latin Secretary of the Council of State, had written the most sublime of his sonnets:

"Avenge, O Lord, Thy slaughtered saints, whose bones Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold, Even them who kept Thy truth so pure of old, When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones."

Moreover Cromwell had a keen eye to trade, and saw in the Spaniards the most dangerous rivals of English Puritanism in its new home in America. Accordingly he sent out two fleets in , one of which under Blake restored the [34]  terror of the British name and the security of British commerce in the Mediterranean, while the other, under Penn and Venables, was sent to the West Indies. Even before the alliance with in , English seamen had revived the most daring traditions of the Elizabethan age in the remote waters of the Caribbean Sea. "Remember," wrote Cromwell to Penn, "that the Lord Himself hath a controversy with your enemies, even with that Romish Babylon of which is the great under-propper." Penn failed to take San Domingo, but captured the important island of Jamaica; while Blake's officers spoiled the Spanish treasure ships, and in Blake himself won the last and most brilliant of his victories by the total destruction of the Spanish West India fleet at Santa Cruz in Teneriffe, though the Spaniards were moored close ashore and protected by the strong castle and a numerous land force. "We had not above fifty slain outright," wrote the admiral, "and the damage to our ships was such that in two days' time we indifferently well repaired for present security." But on the voyage home Blake died, worn out by the fatigues and hardships of his command. He was our greatest admiral before Rodney, Hawke, and


Nelson, and the founder of our continuous naval greatness. Though reared in the storms of civil war, he recked nothing of politics, but fought with singleminded honesty for the glory of his country. " It is not for us," he is reported to have said, "to mind state affairs, but to keep foreigners from fooling us."

In Cromwell made a defensive and offensive alliance with, and sent over 6000 foot to join the French in an attack on Spanish . The allies captured Mardyke, and in , won the [35]  battle of the Dunes, after which Dunkirk surrendered. Both Mardyke and Dunkirk were handed over to the English as their share in the spoil of . Cromwell's timely intervention decided the fate of the war. In was forced to make the Treaty of the Pyrenees, by which she yielded Roussillon and Artois to. This step marks the beginning of the French preponderance in Europe. When, in , Louis XIV., on the death of Mazarin, took upon himself the direct government of his dominions, he had no foe to fear either at home or abroad. In contributing to build up the overweening power of, the Protector did a bad service to the interests of England and the liberties of Europe. Yet his policy, though mistaken in conception, was so vigorous and successful in execution, that after ages have agreed that he nowhere showed his greatness more fully than in his revival of the power and glory of England amidst the nations of Europe.

11. Worn out with constant cares and weakened by perpetual sickness, Cromwell's health had long been precarious. In August he lost his favourite daughter, Mrs. Claypole, and soon after was smitten with a tertian ague. On 2nd September a great storm raged over England. Oliver died the next day, 3rd [36]  September, the anniversary of Dunbar and Worcester. He was buried at among the kings and with a more than regal solemnity.

Cromwell was a man of "great and majestic deportment and comely presence," "his head so shaped as you might see it a storehouse and shop of a vast treasury of natural parts." He had no affectation, and told Lely the painter to paint his picture truly like him, "remarking all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything, otherwise I will never pay you a farthing for it." He enjoyed hunting, hawking, and horsemanship; was fond of a good voice and of instrumental music, and not without a taste for the other


arts, delighting to surround himself with learned men. Though majestic and dignified on public occasions, he was ever wont to unbend greatly with his intimates, amusing himself by rough jokes, making doggrel verses, and smoking tobacco. "He was not," as he himself boasted "scrupulous about words or names or such things " and he was stern and ruthless in carrying out the aims he had set before him. " His temper," says one of his servants, " was exceeding fiery; but the flame was soon allayed with those moral endowments he had. He was naturally compassionate towards objects in distress, even to an effeminate measure." His private life was simple, loving, and pure. He was sincerely and ardently religious, and, believing that he was a " mean instrument to do God's people some good," he brought himself to see in every prompting of his ambition a means to further the kingdom of God. Hated by royalists as a king-killer, and by republicans as an apostate, his strong, stern, practical nature, ever enthusiastic yet ever self-restrained, forced him step by step into a position from which there was no escape but death. The plain Huntingdonshire squire identified himself in his new eminence with the interests of his country, in a way that put to shame the whole line of the Stewarts. He taught himself war and politics, when well advanced in middle life. Yet in the field he shone as a great practical warrior, a consummate leader of horse, and an unrivalled organiser of victory; while in the cabinet he proved the most vigorous, resourceful and inspiring of statesmen. There is something pathetic in his constant endeavour to undo the work of his own hands, and bring back England to her old ways under his new house. He rose to supremacy through violence and bloodshed, but he saved England from anarchy. He owed his power to the sword, and the vast majority of Englishmen hated his ideals both in Church and State, and would gladly have been rid of him. That under such circumstances he could work out so much good, and stoop to so little that was base or mean stamps him as one of the greatest of Englishmen. Though his exploits were confined to our little island, he is not unworthy to be put beside the Caesars and Napoleons of history. It is his special glory that among the great military despots of the world called to power by a military revolution, he has the best claim to be considered an honest man. But it was well for England that in the long centuries of her history she numbers but one Oliver Cromwell among her rulers.


12. Oliver's eldest surviving son, Richard, was proclaimed Lord Protector with as little difficulty as one king succeeds another. He was thirty-two years [38]  old, and had been brought up more as a private gentleman than as the heir to a throne. His friends describe him as a "very worthy person, of an engaging nature and religious disposition, giving great respect to the best of persons, both ministers and others." But he had neither religious nor political enthusiasm, and was idle, easy-going, and indifferent. His favourite pursuits were "hawking, hunting, horse-racing with other sports and pastimes." But he was guided by the wisdom and experience of Thurloe, Oliver's former secretary, who hoped that his inoffensive character would rally peaceful citizens in support of the new Protectorate. Richard's younger brother Henry, a stronger and more resolute character, continued to act as deputy of , a post he had held since .

At first all went well. "There is not a dog that wags his tongue," boasted Thurloe, " so great a calm are we in." In , a new Parliament assembled. To make the approach to the old constitution more complete, the members were returned by the old constituencies, rotten boroughs and all, though and still sent their representatives. The Commons were, on the whole, friendly to Richard, hoping to form an alliance with him against the army. But the army was impatient at the rule of a civilian who was not one of the godly. The soldiers sought to make themselves a state within the state by procuring the nomination of Fleetwood, the Protector's brother-in-law, as their general, with such exalted powers that he was entirely free from the control of Richard and Parliament. Richard, backed up by Parliament, refused to do more than nominate Fleetwood Lieutenant-General under himself as General. The soldiers knew that power was in their hands, and were in no mood to give way to peaceful magistrates. In April they frightened Richard into deserting his friends in the Commons and dismissing Parliament. "The chief officers would have left the Protector a Duke of Venice [a nominal sovereign] for his father's sake." But the Republican spirit in the army, kept down with difficulty by Oliver, now rose indignantly against the rule of his sluggish son. Richard, who hated the greatness that had been thurst upon him, refused to struggle against it. On 25th May, he laid down his office.


He lived on in retirement till his death at a good old age in .

13. The soldiers had again shown their power, but they knew not how to govern; and, in their zeal for republicanism, [40]  they fell back upon the scanty remnant of the Long Parliament, whose deposition in had always been looked upon by the Commonwealth's men as the overthrow of liberty. Even before Richard's retirement, about forty members of the Rump again met together at the invitation of the army. The pedantic little oligarchy at once assumed all the dignity and importance of a regular Parliament, declaring all the acts of the Protectorate null and void, and loftily commanding the army to obey the orders of lawful authority. Disgusted alike at martial law and sham republicanism, the people rose in revolt, hoping to bring back the old king and constitution. But the risings were nipped in the bud save in Cheshire, where Sir George Booth of Dunham Massey, a Presbyterian of high [41]  rank and an excluded member of the Long Parliament, gathered the royalist gentry around him, and seized upon itself. Lambert soon marched against him, and on 19th Aug. scattered his untried followers at Winnington Bridge, over the Weaver near Northwich. The victorious army marched back to London and turned out the Rump in October.

14. Again the army sought to govern themselves, but neither the ambitious Lambert, who had expelled the Rump, nor the weak and irresolute Fleetwood, the [42]  nominal General, had the strength to play the part of another Oliver. The council of officers was given up to fierce wrangles, while the people, growing less afraid as they saw that the army without Cromwell was but a rope of sand, began to refuse to pay taxes. To prevent mere anarchy setting in, the officers were forced, on 26th Dec., to allow the Rump again to resume power.

15. While the army leaders at London were paralysed by indecision, the general of the force that kept in submission made up his mind to take [43]  decided action. This was George Monck, a silent, hard-headed, far-seeing soldier, who was neither politician nor fanatic, and had of old served with the king's forces in , but, being taken prisoner at Nantwich in , had entered into the service of the Parliament, and had won Cromwell's esteem by his high


military qualities. He now resolved to march upon London with his troops, and set up a regular government. On , he crossed the Tweed into England. Lambert, the strongest of the army leaders, sought to oppose his progress, but his soldiers abandoned him or made terms with the invaders. Monck received a cordial welcome on his southward march, and at York was joined by Lord Fairfax. He reached London early in February. On his arrival the Presbyterian City refused to pay taxes to the Rump of sectaries, on the ground that as their members had been excluded from the House, there should be no taxation without representation. Amidst the wildest scenes of popular delight, Monck made common cause with the City. "I saw," wrote Pepys, the government clerk, "many people give his soldiers drink and money, and all along the streets cried, ' God bless them.' At night the common joy was everywhere to be seen. At Strand Bridge I could at one time tell thirty-one bonfires. The butchers at the May Pole in the Strand rang a peal with their knives when they were going to sacrifice their rump. At Ludgate Hill there was one turning of the spit that had a rump on it, and another basting of it. Indeed it was past imagination both the greatness and the suddenness of it." On 16th Feb., Monck formally declared for a free and full Parliament to settle the future destiny of the nation. He now forced the Rump to receive back the members excluded in . This gave a majority to the moderate party, who at once voted a dissolution and ordered new elections to be held. One of the last acts of the Long Parliament was to appoint Monck general-in-chief of the army.

16. The King of Scots and his little court of exiles watched with joy the restoration of popular sovereignty in England, knowing well that it would bring about the restoration of the king. To make [44]  this easier, issued, on 4th April, the Declaration of Breda.

By this he promised: I. A general pardon to all, except such persons as shall be hereafter excepted by Parliament. 2. That all questions as to the lawfulness of the possession of the confiscated estates of royalists by new owners be determined by Parliament. 3. That he would consent to any Act of Parliament for the full satisfaction of the arrears of pay to Monck's soldiers, and receive them into his service on as good terms as they then enjoyed. 4. That "we do declare a liberty to tender consciences, and that no man shall be disquieted for


differences of opinion in matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the realm," and that he was willing to accept any Act of Parliament passed for that object.

17. On 25th April the new Parliament met, the Commons from England only, and chosen after the old fashion, and [46]  the Lords temporal, according to the old constitution, but without the bishops, who had been lawfully excluded by Act of Parliament. As the Parliament was not summoned by royal writs, after the lawful fashion, it was called the Convention. Both Houses eagerly welcomed the Declaration of Breda, which, by its full acknowledgment of the dependence of the Crown on Parliament, had shown that the son was wiser than his father had been. It voted that "according to the ancient and fundamental laws of this kingdom, the government is, and ought to be, by Kings, Lords, and Commons," and invited Charles to come over and assume his birthright. Thus was the Restoration effected amidst universal goodwill. It had been made necessary and inevitable as the only alternative to military license. It was, however, no mere reaction towards the bad old days of personal government. Its earliest stage had been the restoration of Parliament and popular rule. The first use that Parliament made of its freedom was to bring back the Monarchy and the other parts of the ancient Constitution. The Restoration was not therefore the bringing back of the Monarchy alone. The wholesome laws of the Long Parliament, passed lawfully before the Civil War had begun the baleful troubles that culminated in the rule of military adventurers and fanatics, still remained the law of the land. The king returned to restore the traditional freedom of his country; and the one great break in the continuity of modern English history had been ended by the bringing back of the old Constitution.


[1] Establishmentof the Commonwealth, 1649.

[2] The Agreementof the people Jan,1649

[3] The Royalist reaction and Eikon Basilike."

[4] The Levellers put down, 1649.

[5] 1649--1652

[6] Ireland, 1641-1649.

[7] The Puritan Conquest of Ireland,1649-1652

[8] 1649--1650

[9] Scotland under Charles II.,1649-1651.

[10] Montrose's Last Venture and Death, 1650

[11] Cromwell Captain General, June1650.

[12] Battle of Dunbar,3rd Sept.1650.

[13] 1651--1653.]

[14] Battle of Worcester, 3rd Sept.1651.

[15] The Navigation Act, 1651, andthe War with the united Provinces, 1652-1653.

[16] Blake

[17] Fall of the Rump, 1653.

[18] 1653. -1653

[19] The Little Parliament, 1653

[20] The Instrument of Government,1653, and the Limited Protectorate, 1653-1657.

[21] 1653--1656

[22] The Domestic Government of Cromwell, 1653-1658.

[23] Cromwell's StateChurch.

[24] Cromwell's First Parliament, 1654.

[25] The Major- Generals, 1655.

[26] Cromwell's second Parliament,1656-1657.

[27] 1657--1659

[28] The Petition and Advice, 1657.

[29] Cromwell's Foreign Policy, 1653-1658.

[30] Peace with the Dutch, 1654.

[31] War between France and Spain,1648-1659.

[32] 1655-1658

[33] The Vaudois protected, 1655.

[34] Naval Exploit of Blake and Penn 1654-1657.

[35] War with Spain, 1657-1659.

[36] Death and Character of Cromwell,1658

[37] 1668--1659

[38] Richard Cromwell and the Fall of the Protectorate,1658-1659.

[39] [1659--1660

[40] The Rump Restored, 1659.

[41] The Royalist Revolt, 1659.

[42] The Failure ofthe Army Rule, 1669.

[43] Monck declaresfor a Free Parliament,1660.

[44] The Declaration of Breda, 1660.

[45] 1660.

[46] The Convention Parliament and the Restoration, 1660