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was ill judged to break in upon the instrument of government, by which he held his protectorship. The parliament met according to appointment, but did little business, the lower house not being willing to own the upper. The army was divided into two grand factions; the Wallingford-house party, which was for a commonwealth; and the Presbyterian, which with the majority of the parliament was for the protector. The Wallingford-house party, of which Fleetwood and Desborough were the head, invited Dr. Owen and Dr. Manton to their consultations. Dr. Owen went to prayer before they entered on business, but Dr. Manton, being late before he came, heard a loud voice from within, saying, He must down, and he shall down. Manton knew the voice to be Dr. Owen's, and understood him to mean the deposing of Richard, and therefore would not go in. But the writer of Dr. Owen's life discredits this story; though, in my opinion, it is very probable, for the doctor inclined to a republican government: he sided with the army, and drew up their address against Oliver's being king: upon which he declined in the protector's favour, and as soon as Richard became chancellor of Oxford, he turned him out of the vice-chancellorship. The cabinet-council at Wallingford-house having gained over several to their party, prevailed with Richard to consent to their erecting a general council of officers, though he could not but know they designed his ruin, being all republicans; and therefore, instead of supporting the protector, they presented a remonstrance, complaining of the advancement of disaffected persons, and that the good old cause was ridiculed. Richard, sensible of his fatal mistake, by the advice of lord Broghill dissolved the council, and then the parliament voted they should meet no more; but the officers bid him defiance, and like a company of sovereign dictators armed with power, sent the protector a peremptory message to dissolve the parliament, telling him that it was impossible for him to keep both the army and parliament at his devotion, but that he might choose which he would prefer; if he dissolved the parliament he might depend upon the army, but if he refused, they would quickly pull him out of Whitehall. Upon this the timorous gentleman being at a plunge, and destitute of his father's courage, submitted to part with the only men who could support him.
After the dissolution of the parliament, Richard became a cipher in the government; lord Broghill, afterward earl of Orrery, advised him to the last to support the parliament and declare against the council of officers; and if he had allowed the captain of his guard at the same time to have secured Fleetwood and Desborough, as he undertook to do with the hazard of his life, he might have been established; but the poor-spirited protector told him, that he was afraid of blood; upon which the captain, lord Howard, made his peace with the king. The officers at Wallingford-house, having carried their point, published a declaration about twelve days after, without so much as asking the protector's
leave, inviting the remains of the long-parliament to resume the government, who immediately declared their resolutions for a commonwealth without a single person, or house of peers. Thus was the grandeur of Cromwell's family destroyed by the pride and resentment of some of its own branches: Fleetwood had married the widow of Ireton, one of Oliver's daughters, and being disappointed of the protectorship by his last will, was determined that no single person should be his superior. Desborough, who had married Oliver's sister, joined in the fatal conspiracy. Lambert, whom Oliver had dismissed the army, was called from his retirement to take his place among the council of officers. These, with sir H. Vane, and one or two more behind the curtain, subverted the government, and were the springs of all the confusions of this year, as is evident by the letters of Mr. Henry Cromwell, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, now before me, who saw farther into their intrigues at that distance, than the protector who was upon the spot. I shall take the liberty to transcribe some passages out of them to my present purpose.
Upon the surprising news of Oliver's death, he writes to his brother, September 18, 1658,-"I am so astonished at the news of my dear father's sickness and death, that I know not what to say or write on so grievous an occasion; but the happy news of leaving your highness his successor gives some relief, not only on account of the public, but of our poor family, which the goodness of God has preserved from the contempt of our enemies. I may say without vanity, that your highness has been proclaimed here with as great joy, and general satisfaction (I believe), as in the best-affected places of England; and I make no doubt of the dutiful compliance of the army. Now, that the God of your late father and mine, and your highness's predecessor, would support you, and pour down a double portion of the same spirit that was so eminently in him, and would enable you to walk in his steps, and do worthily for his name namesake and people, and continually preserve you in so doing, is the prayer of
"Yours, &c. H. C."
In another letter of the same date, sent by an express messenger, he writes, that "he had caused a very dutiful address to be sent to the army, which had been already signed by several of the field officers, and when perfected, should be sent to him as a witness against any single officer that should hereafter warp from his obedience; so that I may and do assure your highness of the active subjection of this army to your government, and will answer for it with my life."
In his letter of October 20, 1658, he says, "If the account be true which I have received of the state of affairs in England, I confess it is no more than I looked for, only I had some hopes it might have been prevented by keeping all officers at their respective charges; but as things now stand, I doubt the flood is so strong you can neither stem it nor come to an anchor, but must
be content to go adrift and expect the ebb. I thought those whom my father had raised from nothing would not so soon have forgot him, and endeavour to destroy his family before he is in his grave. Why do I say I thought, when I know ambition and affection of empire never had any bounds. I cannot think these men will ever rest till they are in the saddle; and we have of late years been so used to changes, that it will be but a nine days' wonder; and yet I fear there is no remedy, but what must be used gradually and pedetentim. Sometimes I think of a parliament, but am doubtful whether sober men will venture to embark themselves when things are in so high a distraction; or if they would, whether the army can be restrained from forcing elections.-I am almost afraid to come over to your highness, lest I should be kept there, and so your highness lose this army, which, for aught I know, is the only stay you have, though I cannot but earnestly desire it. I also think it dangerous to write freely to you, for I make no question but all the letters will be opened that pass between us, unless they come by a trusty messenger. I pray God help you, and bless your councils.
"I remain yours, &c. H. C." In a letter of the same date to his brother-in-law, Fleetwood, he writes:
"I received your account of the petition of the officers; but pray give me leave to expostulate with you; How came these two or three hundred officers together? If they came of their own heads, their being absent from their charge without licence would have flown in their face when they petitioned for a due observance of martial discipline. If they were called together, were they not also taught what to say and do? If they were called, was it with his highness's privity? If they met without leave in so great a number, were they told of their error? I shall not meddle with the matter of their petition; but, dear brother, I must tell you, I hear that dirt was thrown upon his late highness at that great meeting: that they were exhorted to stand up for that good old cause which had long lain asleep. I thought my father had pursued it to the last. He died, praying for those that desired to trample on his dust. Let us then not render evil for good, and make his memory stink before he is under ground. Let us remember his last legacy, and for his sake render his successor considerable, and not make him vile, a thing of nought, and a by-word. Whither do these things tend? What a hurlyburly is there! One hundred Independent ministers called together; a council, as you call it, of two or three hundred officers of a judgment. Remember what has always befallen imposing spirits. Will not the loins of an imposing Independent or Anabaptist, be as heavy as the loins of an imposing prelate or presbytery? And is it a dangerous opinion, that dominion is founded in grace, when it is held by the church of Rome, and a sound
principle when it is held by the fifth-monarchy men? Dear brother, let us not fall into the sins of other men, lest we partake of their plagues. Let it be so carried, that all the people of God, though under different forms; yea, even those whom you count without, may enjoy their birthright and civil liberty; and that no one party may tread upon the neck of another. It does not become the magistrate to descend into parties; but can the things you do tend to this end? Can these things be done, and the world not think his highness a knave or a fool, or oppressed with mutinous spirits? Dear brother, my spirit is sorely oppressed with the consideration of the miserable state of the innocent people of these nations: what have these sheep done that their blood should be the price of our lust and ambition? Let me beg you to remember, how his late highness loved you; how he honoured you with the highest trust, by leaving the sword in your hand, which must defend or destroy us. And his declaring his highness his successor, shews that he left it there to preserve him and his reputation. O brother! use it to curb extravagant spirits, and busy-bodies, but let not the nations be governed by it. Let us take heed of arbitrary power; let us be governed by the known laws of the land; and let all things be kept in their proper channels; and let the army be so governed, that the world may never hear of them unless there be occasion to fight. And truly, brother, you must pardon me, if I say God, and man may require this duty at your hand, and lay all miscarriages of the army, in point of discipline, at your door. You see I deal freely and plainly with you, as becomes your friend, and a good subject. And the great God, in whose presence I speak, knows that I do it not to reproach you, but out of my tender affection and faithfulness to you. And you may rest assured, that you shall always find me your true friend and loving brother. "H. C."
In other letters to lord Broghill, afterward earl of Orrery, with whom he maintained an intimate correspondence, "he complains of his being forbid to come over into England; and that the clause in his new commission was left out; namely, the power of appointing a deputy, or juries, in order to prevent his coming over to England, which he hopes his highness will permit, there being much more cause to press it now than ever." "I find (says he in a letter to the protector) that my enemies have sentenced me to an honourable banishment; I am not conscious of any crime which might deserve it; but if they can denounce judgment upon my innocence, they will easily be able to make me criminal. They have already begot a doubt among my friends, whether all be right; but I will rather submit to any sufferings with a good name, than be the greatest man upon earth without it." In a letter to secretary Thurloe, he writes, "that since he was not allowed to leave Ireland, he could do no more than sit still and look on. The elections for parliament are like to be
good here (says he), though I could wish the writs had come timely that the members might have been there before they had been excluded by a vote, which, it is said, will be the first thing brought upon the stage."-From these, and some other of his letters, it is natural to conclude, that lieutenant-general Fleetwood was at the head of the councils which deposed Richard, which might be owing either to his republican principles, or to his disappointment of the protectorship. However, when he found he could not keep the army within bounds, who were for new changes, he retired from public business, and spent the remainder of his life privately among his friends at Stoke-Newington, where he died soon after the Revolution, being more remarkable for piety and devotion than for courage and deep penetration in politics*.
To return:-After the Rump parliament had sat about a week, the officers petitioned, "1. That the laws might have their free course. 2. That all public debts unsatisfied might be paid. 3. That all who profess faith in the holy Trinity, and acknowledge the Holy Scriptures to be the revealed will of God, may have protection and encouragement in the profession of their religion, while they give no disturbance to the state, except Papists, Prelatists, and persons who teach licentious doctrines. 4. That the two universities, and all schools of learning, may be countenanced. 5. That those who took part with the king in the late wars, or are notoriously disaffected to the parliament's cause, may be removed from all places of trust. 6. That the protector's debts be paid, and an allowance of 10,000l. per annum be allowed to Richard and his heirs for ever. 7. That there may be a representative of the people, consisting of one house, successively chosen by the people: and that the government of the nation may be placed in such a representative body, with a select senate co-ordinate in power; and that the administration of all executive power of government may be in a council of state, consisting of a convenient number of persons eminent for godliness, and who are, in principle, for the present cause."
The parliament thanked the officers for their petition, but postponed the affair relating to Richard, till he should acquiesce in the change of government. The protector, having parted with the parliament, who were his chief support, had not the resolution to strike a bold stroke for three kingdoms, but tamely submitted to resign his high dignity †, by a writing under his hand, after he
"He thought that prayers superseded the use of carnal weapons, and that 'it was sufficient to trust in the hand of Providence without exerting the arm of flesh.' He would fall on his knees and pray when he heard of a mutiny among the soldiers; and was with the utmost difficulty roused to action on several emergencies." Granger's History of England, vol. 3. 8vo. p. 17.-Ed.
Richard Cromwell has been reproached as "extremely pusillanimous," as " fool and a sot," and "a titmous prince," because he yielded to the times, and relinquished power and royalty. But in the name of common sense (says Dr. Harris with virtuous animation), what was there weak and foolish in laying down a burden too heavy for the shoulders? What in preferring the peace and welfare