Grigsby, Leslie B. (Leslie Brown) / The Longridge collection of English slipware and delftware. Volume 2: delftware
Time line of monarchs and some other important historical persons, pp. 10-19
CIVIL WARS D222 OLIVER CROMWELL (1599-1658) AND THE PROTECTORATE (1653-1659) The termination of the monarchy with the execution of Charles I in 1649 was, not surprisingly, followed by the closing of the House of Lords and brought into stark light the need for a new form of government. The House of Commons enacted a law mandating that the Council of state for the new Commonwealth be composed of forty-one members chosen by the Commons. From its inception the Council had strong, although sometimes opposed, leadership by Civil War parliamentary general Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). The 1653 Instrument of Government stipulated that executive power reside in a sin- gle person, and Cromwell became Lord Protector, assisted by a small council and a parliament composed of a single house with four hundred members. For the first time England, Scotland, and Ireland were represented in a single parlia- ment. By 1654, however, a power struggle between Parliament and Cromwell had begun. The latter soon and unpopularly declared martial law, or the "Rule of the Major-Generals." Although he had refused the title of king, Cromwell was empowered to choose his own successor, and on his death in 1658, his compar- atively weak son Richard was named Lord Protector. The following year, surrounded by chaos and overwhelmed by the military's demands, Richard resigned. Enter General George Monck. The Longridge Collection 11 Having escaped from London, Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham on August 22, 1642, and called for support to retake the capital. In October of the same year he established his new capital at Oxford. During the subsequent Civil War a reluctant populace and lack of money often hampered the king's efforts. Although Charles retained support in several regions, large pockets of resistance existed, and the navy allied with Parliament. The Continent and Ireland, locked in political struggles of their own, could offer the king little help. Charles hoped that his overtures to Scotland, in which he promised constitutional changes and a Presbyterian form of government, would draw the Scottish government to his cause. Several powerful clans did join him, but in 1643 the government made an agreement with the English Parliament. Although Charles had strengthened his military position by early 1645, his forces were greatly outnumbered at Naseby and defeated by those of Fairfax and Cromwell. The capture and publication of the king's correspondence increased ill will toward him. Further losses diminished Charles's military strength, and on March 21, 1646, the last royalist army surrendered. Charles gave himself up to the Scottish army on May 5, and his remaining years were spent in prison or attempting to escape. During this time the king still hoped for ultimate triumph. A second Civil War began in spring 1648 and renewed Charles's hopes, but it became obvious that peace would never come during the king's lifetime. His trial began at Westminster on January 20, 1649. At his sentencing one week later, he was declared a "Tyrant, Traitor, Murderer, and public enemy to the good people of this Nation." On January 30, 1649, Charles I was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall.
Copyright Jonathan Horn Publications 2000.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright