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had enjoyed it eight months. How little the soul of Oliver survived in his son Richard may be seen by this conduct! His brother Henry, who was at the head of an army in Ireland, offered to come immediately to his assistance, but was forbid, and the timorous young gentleman returned to a private life, with more seeming satisfaction than he had accepted the sovereignty. Upon his quitting Whitehall, and the other royal palaces, the parliament voted him a maintenance, but refused to concern themselves with his father's debts *, the payment whereof swept away the greatest part of his estate, which was far from being large, considering the high preferments his father had enjoyed for several years. This was a farther contempt thrown upon the protector's memory; former obligations were forgotten, and a new council of state being chosen, the nation seemed to slide peaceably into a commonwealth government.
The Presbyterians would have been content with Richard's government; but seeing no likelihood of restoring the covenant, or coming into power, by the Rump-parliament, which was chiefly made up of enthusiasts, and declared enemies to monarchy, they entered into a kind of confederacy with the royalists, to restore the king and the old constitution. The particulars of this union (says Rapin) are not known, because the historians who write of it, being all royalists, have not thought fit to do so much honour to the Presbyterians. But it is generally agreed, that from this time the Presbyterians appeared no longer among the king's enemies, but very much promoted his restoration. Upon the foundation of this union, an insurrection was formed in several parts of the country, which was discovered by sir Richard Willis, a correspondent of secretary Thurloe's, so that sir George Booth, a Presbyterian,
of men, to blood and confusion, the necessary consequences of retaining the government? Or what, in a word, in resigning the power to such as, by experience, had been found fully equal to it, and intent on promoting the common welfare ? Ambition, glory, fame, sound well in the ears of the vulgar; and men, excited by them, have seldom failed to figure in the eyes of the world: but the man who can divest himself of empire for the sake of his fellow-men, must, in the eye of reason, be entitled to a much higher renown, than the purpled hero who leads them on to slaughter, though provinces or kingdoms are gained to him thereby.”
Ambition, cease: the idle contest end :
That thou mayst flame the meteor of an hour.-Mason.
The parliament instituted, however, an inquiry into the debts of Richard Cromwell and a schedule of them was given in ; by which it appeared, that Richard even after having reduced his father's debts from 28,0001. to 23,5501. owed 29,6401. It was resolved to acquit Richard Cromwell from this debt, and to provide for the payment of it by the sale of the plate, hangings, goods, and furniture, in Whitehall and Hampton-court
, belonging to the state, which could be conveniently spared. It was also resolved to settle on him an annuity of 8,7001. so as to make to him with his own fortune a yearly income of 10,0001
. But, through the changes that followed, Richard Cromweủ derived no benefit from these resolutions. Grey's Examination, vol. 3. p. 241. Dr. Harris's Life of Charles II. vol. 1. p. 208, &c.- Ed.
had an opportunity of appearing about Chester, at the head of five or six hundred men, declaring for a free parliament, without mentioning the king; but he and sir Thomas Middleton, who joined him, were defeated by Lambert, and made prisoners *. The king and duke of York came to Calais, to be in readiness to embark in case it succeeded, but upon the news of its miscarriage they retired, and his majesty, in despair, determined to rely upon the Roman-Catholic powers for the future. Several of the Presbyterian ministers appeared in this insurrection, as the reverend Mr. Newcombe of Manchester, Mr. Eaton of Walton, and Mr. Finch chaplain to sir George Booth, all afterward ejected by the act of uniformity.
The parliament, to secure the republican government, first appointed an oath of abjuration, whereby they renounced allegiance to Charles Stuart, and the whole race of king James, and promised fidelity to the commonwealth, without a single person or the house of peers. They then attempted the reduction of the army, which had set them up, depending upon the assurances general Monk had given them from Scotland, of his army's entire submission to their orders; but the English officers, instead of submitting, stood in their own defence, and presented another petition to the house, desiring their former address from Wallingford-house might not lie asleep, but that Fleetwood, whom they had chosen for their general, might be confirmed in his high station. The house demurred upon the petition, and seeing there was like to be a new contest for dominion, endeavoured to divide the officers, by cashiering some, and paying others their arrears. Upon this the officers presented a third petition to the same purpose; but the parliament, being out of all patience, told them their complaints were without just grounds, and cashiered nine of their chiefs, among whom were lieutenant-general Fleetwood, Lambert, Desborough, Berry, Kelsey, Cobbet, and others of the first rank: by means whereof things were brought to this crisis, that the army must submit to the parliament, or instantly dissolve them. The discarded officers resolved on the latter, for which purpose, October 13, Lambert with his forces secured all the avenues to the parliament-house, and as the speaker passed by Whitehall he rode up to his coach, and having told him there was nothing to be done at Westminster, commanded major Creed to conduct him back to his house. At the same time all the members were stopped in their passage, and prevented from taking their seats in parliament; Fleetwood having placed a strong guard at the door of the parliament-house for that purpose. Thus the remains of the long parliament, after they had sat five months and six days, having no army to support them, were turned out of their house a second time, by a company of headstrong officers,
* The parliament so much resented this insurrection, that they disfranchised the city of Chester. Dr. Grey's Examination, vol. 3. p. 242.-Ed.
who knew how to pull down, but could not agree upon any form of government to set up in its place.
There being now a perfect anarchy, the officers, who were masters of the nation, first appointed a council of ten of their own body to take care of the public, and having restored their general officers, they concluded upon a select number of men to assume the administration, under the title of a Committee of Safety, which consisted of twenty-three persons who had the same authority and power that the late council of state had, to manage all public affairs, till they could agree upon a new settlement. The people of England were highly disgusted with these changes, but there was no parliament or king to fly to; man yo the gentry therefore from several parts sent letters to general Monk in Scotland, inviting him to march his army into England to obtain a free parliament, and promising him all neceesary assistance.
The committee of safety, being aware of this, attempted an accommodation with Monk by Clarges his brother-in-law, but without success; for they had not sat above a fortnight before they received letters from Scotland full of reproaches for their late violation of faith to the parliament, and of the general's resolution to march his army into England to restore them. Upon this Lambert was sent immediately to the frontiers, who, quartering his soldiers about Newcastle, put a stop to Monk's march for about a month. In the meantime, the general, in order to gain time, sent commissioners to London, to come to terms with the committee of safety, who were so supple, that a treaty was concluded November 15, but when it was brought to Monk he pretended his commissioners had exceeded their instructions, and refused to ratify it. The council of state, therefore, which sat before the Rump-parliament was interrupted, taking advantage of this, resolved to gain over Monk to their party, and being assembled privately, sent him a commission, constituting him general of the armies of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which was the very thing he desired.
At this juncture died serjeant Bradshaw, who sat as judge and pronounced sentence of death on king Charles at his trial : le died with a firm belief of the justice of putting his majesty to death in the manner it was done, and said that if it were to do again, he would be the first man that should do it: he was buried in a very pompous manner in Westminster-abbey, being attended by most of the members of the long-parliament, and other gentlemen of quality, November 22, 1659, but his body was not suffered to rest long in its grave.
The general having secured Scotland, and put garrisons into the fortified places, marched to the borders with no more than five thousand men; but while Lambert was encamped about Newcastle to oppose his progress, it appeared that the nation was sick of the frenzies of the officers, and willing to prefer any government to the present anarchy; Portsmouth, and part of the fleet revolted, and declared for a free parliament, as did several of the detachments of the army; upon which Lambert retired towards London, and made way for Monk's entering England. The committees of safety, seeing all things in confusion, and not knowing whom to trust, resigned their authority, and restored the parliament, which met again December 26, and would now have been glad to have had Monk back again in Scotland: for this purpose they sent letters to acquaint him with their restoration, and that now he might return to liis government in Scotland: but the general, having entered England January 2, continued his march towards London, designing a new as well as a free parliament. When he came to York, lord Fairfax received him into that city, and declared for a new and free parliament; as did the London apprentices, and great numbers of all ranks and orders of men, both in city and country. The Rump being suspicious that Monk had some farther design, either of establishing himself after the example of Cromwell, or of restoring the king, obliged him to take the oath of abjuration of Charles Stuart, already mentioned, and to swear, that by the grace and assistance of Almighty God, he would be true, faithful, and constant, to the parliament and commonwealth ; and that he would oppose the bringing in or setting up any single person or house of lords in this commonwealth. They also sent Mr. Scot and Robinson to be spies upon his conduct, who came to him at Leicester, where he received addresses from divers parts, to restore the secluded Presbyterian members of 1648, which was the first step towards the king's restoration. Thus a few giddy politicians at the head of an army, through ambition, envy, lust of power, or because they knew not what to carve out for themselves, threw the whole kingdom back into confusion, and made way for that restoration they were most afraid of, and which, without their own quarrels, and insulting every form of government that had been set up, could not have been accomplished.
When the general came to St. Albans, he sent a message to desire the parliament to remove the regiments quartered in the city to some distance, which they weakly complied with, and made way for Monk's entrance with his forces in a sort of triumph, February 3, 1659---60. Being conducted to the parliament-house, the speaker gave himn thanks for his great and many services; and the general having returned the compliment, acquainted the house, “that several applications had been made to him in his march from Scotland, for a full and free parliament; for the admission of the secluded members in 1648, without any previous oath or engagement, and that the present parliament would determine their sitting. To all which he had replied, that they were now a free parliament, and had voted to fill up their house in order to their being a full parliament; but to restore the secluded members without a previous oath to the present government, is what had never been done in England; but he took the liberty to add, that he was of opinion, that the fewer oaths the better, provided they took care that neither the cavaliers nor fanatics should have any share in the administration.”
The citizens of London being Presbyterians fell in with Monk, in hopes of a better establishment, and came to a bold resolution in common-council, February 17, to pay no more taxes till the parliament was filled up. Upon this the house, to sliew their resentment, ordered the general to march into the city; to seize eleven of the most active common-councilmen, and to pull down their gates, chains, and portcullisses. This was bidding them defiance, at a time when they ought to have courted their friendship. Monk, having arrested the common-councilmen, prayed the parliament to suspend the execution of the remaining part, but they insisting upon his compliance, he obeyed. The citizens were enraged at this act of violence; and Monk's friends told him, that his embroiling himself with the city in this manner would inevitably be his ruin, for without their assistance he could neither support himself nor obtain another parliament; people being now generally of opinion with Oliver Cromwell, that the Rump-parliament was designed to be perpetual, and their governiment as arbitrary as the most despotic king. Monk, therefore, convinced of his mistake, resolved to reconcile himself to the magistracy of the city, in order to which, he sent his brother Clarges to assure them of his concern for what he had done ; and having summoned a council of officers in the night, he sent a letter to the parliament, insisting upon their issuing out writs to fill up their house, and when filled, to rise at an appointed time, and give way to a full and free parliament. Upon reading this letter the house voted him thanks, and sent to acquaint him, that they were taking measures to satisfy his request; but the general, not willing to trust himself in their hands, broke up from Whitehall, and having been invited by the lord mayor of London, and the chief Presbyterian ministers, marched his whole army into the city; and a common-council being called, he excused his late conduct, and acquainted them with the letter he had sent to the house, assuring them, that he would now stand by them to the utmost of his power. This appeased the angry citizens, and caused them to treat him as their friend, notwithstanding what had happened the day before. When the news of this reconciliation was spread through the town, the parliament were struck with surprise ; but there was a perfect triumph among the people, the bells rung, bonfires were made, and numbers of rumps thrown into them, in contempt of the parliament.
The general, being now supported by the citizens, proceeded to restore the secluded members of 1648, who were of the Presbyterian party *: for this purpose he appointed a conference
Dr. Grey has given a list of those secluded members. Examination, vol. 3. p. 250.-ED.