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been able to maintain it much longer, may well be questioned. At all events, no arm less vigorous than his was
equal to the task.
Yet this was not at once apparent. It was said that Cromwell, as he approached his end, named his oldest
Accession of Richard Cromwell.
son as successor to his dignity. Richard was proclaimed accordingly, and assumed the government without opposition. In Ireland, his brother
was Lord Lieutenant; and in Scotland General Monk, who commanded there, acknowledged his title. The fleet and the army were obsequious; addresses of congratulation flowed in from all quarters of the kingdom; and the ministers of foreign courts paid the compliments customary on the accession of a monarch." Unlike his younger brother Henry, who had distinguished himself in the field and in civil trusts, the new Protector, now thirty-two years old, was a man of moder
ate abilities and of a sluggish nature.
* May 25th, 1657, the Protector Oliver gave leave to the Independent ministers to hold a national Council. The delegates to it, about two hundred in number, met at the Savoy, in the fourth week after his death, and were a fortnight in session. In a “Declaration” which was the fruit of their consultations, they avowed their “full assent” to the Confession of Faith of the Westminster Assembly “for the substance of it.” An Appendix, treating “of the Institution of Churches, and the Order
Not deficient in
appointed in them by Jesus Christ,” contains an exposition and defence of the Independent plan. “We have endeavored to follow Scripture light,” says the Declaration, “desirous of nearest uniformity with Reforming churches, as with our brethren in New England, so with others that differ from them and us.” The spirit of this assembly was eminently tolerant. The “Declaration” is in Hanbury, “Historical Memorials,” III. 315 - 549.
the qualities which procure respect and good-will in private life, he had done nothing to attract general favor to his name; and he had no hold on the affections of that army, which, ever since his childhood, had been the instrument for governing England. In short, his personal attributes and position were not such as to qualify him to control the boisterous element on which he was launched. It does not belong to the purposes of this work to describe in detail the steps which led to a new submission of the people of England to the baneful family of the Stuarts. The royalist churchmen—Romanists and Laud. ists — had never ceased to be numerous. The saw of Presbyterians, who began the civil war, had been "* degraded and angered. Familists, Ranters, Fifth-Monarchy men, – sectaries of many names, – divided as to the changes they respectively hankered after, were agreed in disaffection to the existing order of things. Republicans were dissatisfied that there should be any Protector; and fortunate soldiers thought, each for himself, that the inheritance of Cromwell's honors properly belonged to them. At all times there is a large portion of every community which cares for nothing so much as for present repose. The mass of the people of England were weary, to disgust, of uncertainty, of strife, of political novelties, and of heavy taxes. With bitter mortification many of the best men of England found themselves compelled to the conclusion, that the less evil of the hard alternative which existing circumstances presented was the re-establishment of the throne; many other men desired it merely that they might have quiet; and many, that they might have remuneration and revenge. One of the first things brought to the knowledge of the new sovereign was that he needed money; and to obtain it he convoked a Parliament. The writs for elections to the House of Commons recognized the ancient constituencies of the realm; “the other House" was that which had been constituted by the late Protector. The forces prepared for conflict were brought into each other's presence. The royalists could not as yet avow ... their objects, but might not the less effectively ... pursue them by interjecting embarrassments and fomenting jealousy. Besides them, three parties appeared. One consisted of the friends of the Protector. Another — composed of the strict Republicans, and called the Wallingford-House party, from the place of its meeting — desired to establish a divided authority by restricting him to the civil administration, and placing his brother-in-law, General Fleetwood, at the head of the army. A third, which avowed no more definite object than that of maintaining “the good old cause” and the rights of the soldiery, was under the influence of General Lambert, who aspired to the supremacy which had lately belonged to his companion in arms. This party, having obtained the Protector's inconsiderate consent to establish a standing council of officers, had raised itself to a condition to dictate his course; and, under a threat from it of being deserted by the troops, he dissolved the Parliament, which had given it offence by demanding some engagements of allegiance.” Such a confession of weakness discouraged his friends, and thenceforward he exercised no real authority. Fleetwood, whom he had made Lieutenant-General, also found it unavoidable to yield to the dictation of the military council. After unsatisfactory discussions as to what should next be done, the council concluded to reinstate the Long Parliament; and seventy members of that body were brought together. They assumed the supreme authority, and appointed a Committee of Safety and a Council of State. Agreeably to a respectful request of theirs, softened by a promise, which was not kept, of a yearly income of ten thousand pounds, – Richard withdrew from the palace of Whitehall, to pass the rest of his many years as a private gentleman, n.,,... He lived to be successively the subject of three tion. dynasties after his own. July. The Parliament and the army were not long in getting up another quarrel. Lambert, who was the more feared for a victory which he had lately won over the Earl of Derby and other royalist insurgents, and Desborough, the late Protector's brother-in-law, with seven field-officers, were cashiered by a vote of Parliament, for signing what was accounted a seditious petition; and Fleetwood was degraded from the chief command to be one of seven commissioners invested with that trust. Parliament surrounded its place of meeting with a military guard. Lambert mustered a larger force, with which he turned the members back, as they were proceeding to their places. The soldiers of the contending parties fraternized; and, at a conference between the leaders, it was agreed that a council of officers should digest a new plan of government, to be submitted to the consideration of a new Parliament. Lambert believed the long dream of his ambition to be near its fulfilment. He was made MajorGeneral of the forces in Great Britain, though the titular dignity of Lieutenant-General was conferred on Fleetwood. A Committee of Safety, consisting of twenty-three persons, was provisionally invested with the civil authority." “Honest George Monk,” as he was fancifully called, now commanded seven or eight thousand troops in Scotland. In the beginning of the civil war he fought coro, for the King; but, being made prisoner by Fair- * fax at Nantwich, as the royal prospects grew dark, he took service with the Parliament when he was discharged. Phlegmatic, taciturn, and with no pretension to religious fervors, he had raised himself to importance by courage and conduct in the field. From the North country he had been keeping a wakeful eye on Lambert. Probably it will never be known how early he was in communication with the King. His mind was so far made up, and his provisional arrangements were so matured, that, immediately on receiving intelligence of the last dispersion of the Parliament, he moved southward, though by slow marches, with nearly all his force. Lambert led seven thousand men against him;” but was cajoled into inaction by Monk's parade of entering into negotiations with the superiors of both in London. The tenor of Monk's operations at the capital was not disclosed to his military antagonist. He was in correspondence with numbers of friends of the late Parliament, and with officers and others hostile to the existing authority. The Committee of Safety saw the rising storm, and sought to allay it by proceedings for the immediate convocation of a Parliament. But a movement had been organized, too powerful for them to withstand. The soldiers in the city clamored for the old Parliament; and again, and for the last time, the remains of that body, commonly called the Rump, took possession of its house. Desborough fled to Lambert's camp. Fleetwood sought the Speaker, and surrendered his commission. A Council of State, and a Committee for the Gov
* Here comes to an end the Journal is dated October 25th of this year, of the Council of State, which fills twelve days after the expulsion of the twenty-four volumes. The last entry Rump by Lambert.
* Among the “Winslow papers” belonging to the Massachusetts Historical Society is a letter of William Davis of Boston to Governor Prince of Plymouth, dated January 25, 1660, and communicating intelligence just received by Davis from a correspondent in England. Davis reports the anxiety that was felt there for the result of the expected conflict between Monk and
Lambert for the occupation of Newcastle, and adds: “Solicitous endeavors for a General Governor for New England were with the Parliament, which, Mr. Maverick writes, was voted affirmatively the Saturday before their dissolution, which is not believed.” I suppose this must have been a groundless rumor.