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was refused any demand, justified his anger by the Chap. specious colours of conscience and of duty. Such difficulties surrounded the protector, that his dying 1658. at so critical a time is esteemed by many the most fortunate circumstance that ever attended him; and it was thought, that all his courage and dexterity could not much longer have extended his usurped administration.
But when that potent hand was removed, which conducted the government, every one expected a sudden dissolution of the unwieldy and ill-jointed fabric. Richard, a young man of no experience, educated in the country, accustomed to a retired life, unacquainted with the officers, and unknown to them, recommended by no military exploits, endeared by no familiarities, could not long, it was thought, maintain that authority, which his father had acquired by so many valorous achievements and such signal successes. And when it was observed, that he possessed only the virtues of private life, which in his situation were so many vices; that indolence, incapacity, irresolution, attended his facility and good nature; the various hopes of men were excited by the expectation of some great event or revolution. For some time, however, the public was disappointed in this opinion. The council re- Richard cognised the succession of Richard: Fleetwood, in J^^r" whose favour, it was supposed, Cromwel had for- protectormerly made a will, renounced all claim or pretension to the protectorship: Henry, Richard's brotliert who governed Ireland with popularity, ensured him the obedience of that kingdom: Monk, whose authority was well established in Scotland, being much attached to the family of Cromwel, immediately proclaimed the new protector: The army, every where, the fleet, acknowledged his title: Above ninety addresses, from the counties and most considerable corporations, congratulated him on his accession, in all the terms of dutiful allegiance: Fo
294 HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN.c H A P. reign ministers were forward in paying him the ^/ usual compliments : And Richard, whose moderate, 1658. unambitious character never would have led him to contend for empire, was tempted to accept of so rich an inheritance, which seemed to be tendered to him by the consent of all mankind. iuen"1"1 'T yvas f°uno- necessary to call a parliament, in order to furnish supplies, both for the ordinary administration, and for fulfilling those engagements with foreign princes, particularly Sweden, into which the late protector had entered. In hopes of obtaining greater influence in elections, the ancient right was restored to all the small boroughs; and the counties were allowed no more than their usual i6W. members The house of peers, or the other house, consisted of the same persons that had been appointed by Oliver. 7thofja- All the^ommons, at first, signed, without hesitation, an^^ngagement not to alter the present government. They next proceeded to examine the humble petition and advice; and after great opposition and many vehement debates, it was at length, with much difficulty, carried by the court-party to confirm it. An acknowledgment too of the authority of the other house was extorted from them; though it was resolved not to treat this house of peers with any greater respect than they should return to the commons. A declaration was also made, that the establishment of the other house should nowise prejudice the right of such of the ancient peers as had, from the beginning of the war, adhered to the parliament. But in all these proceedings, the opposition among the commons was so considerable, and the debates were so much prolonged, that all business was retarded, and great alarm given to the partisans of the young protector.
But there was another quarter from which greater dangers were justly apprehended. The most considerable officers of the army, and even Fleetwood, ; brotherbrother-in-law to the protector, were entering into c H A v. cabals against him. No character in human society \^^/ is more dangerous than that of the fanatic; because, 16». if attended with weak judgment, he is exposed to the suggestions of others; if supported by more discernment, he is entirely governed by his own illusions, which sanctify his most selfish views and passions. Fleetwood was of the former species; and as he was extremely addicted to a republic, and even to the fifth monarchy or dominion of the saints, it was easy for those, who had insinuated themselves into his confidence, to instil disgusts against the dignity of protector. The whole republican party in the army, which was still considerable, Fitz, Mason, Moss, Farley, united themselves to that general. The officers too of the same party, whom Cromwel had discarded, Overton, Ludlow, Rich, Okey, Alured, began to appear, and to recover that authority, which had been only for a time suspended. A party likewise, who found themselves eclipsed in Richard's favour, Sydenham, Kelsey, Berry, Haines, joined the cabal of the others. Even Desborow, the protector's uncle, lent his authority to that faction. But above all, the intrigues of Lambert, who was now roused from his retreat, inflamed all those dangerous humours, and threatened the nation with some great convulsion. The discontented officers established their meetings in Fleetwood's apartments; and because he dwelt in Wallingfordhouse, the party received a denomination from that place.
Richard, who possessed neither resolution nor „ . , .
r ., , . . .Cabal of penetration, was prevailed on to give an unguarded waiiingconsent for calling a general council of officers, whojj"^ might make him proposals, as they pretended, for the good of the army. No sooner were they assembled than they voted a remonstrance. They there lamented, that the good old cause, as they termed it,
Chap. that is, the cause for which they had engaged against s^^I^, the late king, was entirely neglected; and they protest posed as a remedy, that the whole military power should be entrusted to some person, in whom they might all confide. The city militia, influenced by two aldermen, Tichburn and Ireton, expressed the same resolution of adhering to the good old cause.
The protector was justly alarmed at those movements among the officers. The persons in whom he chiefly confided, were, all of them, excepting Broghill, men of civil characters and professions; •Fiennes, Thurloe, Whitlocke, Wolsey; who could only assist him with their advice and opinion. He possessed none of those arts which were proper to gain an enthusiastic army. Murmurs being thrown out against some promotions which he had made, Would you have me, said he, prefer none but the godly P Here is Dick Ingoldsby, continued he, who can neither pray nor preach; yet will I trust him before ye all.* This imprudence gave great offence to the pretended saints. The other qualities of the protector were correspondent to these sentiments: He was of a gentle, humane, and generous disposition. Some of his party offering to put an end to those intrigues by the death of Lambert, he declared, that he would not purchase power or dominion by such sanguinary measures.
ThE parliament was no less alarmed at the military cabals. They voted that there should be no meeting or general council of officers, except with the protector's consent, or by his orders. This vote brought affairs immediately to a rupture. The officers hastened to Richard, and demanded of him the dissolution of the parliament. Desborow, a man of a clownish and brutal nature, threatened him, if he should refuse compliance. The protector wanted the resolution to deny, and possessed
fessed little ability to resist. The parliament wasC H A p. dissolved; and by the same act the protector was, by every one, considered as effectually dethroned. 1659. Soon after, he signed his demission in form. Ki'dwrd Henry, the deputy of Ireland, was endowed deposed. with the same moderate disposition as Richard; but as he possessed more vigour and capacity, it was apprehended that he might make resistance. His popularity in Ireland was great; and even his personal authority, notwithstanding his youth, was considerable. Had his ambition been very eager, he had, no doubt, been able to create disturbance: But being threatened by sir Hardress Waller, colonel John Jones, and other officers, he very quietly resigned his command, and retired to England. He had once entertained thoughts, which he had not resolution to execute, of proclaiming the king in Dublin.1
Thus fell suddenly, and from an enormous height, but by a rare fortune, without any hurt or injury, the family of the Cromwels. Richard continued to possess an estate which was moderate, and burthened too with a large debt, which he had contracted for the interment of his father. After the restoration, though he remained unmolested, he thought proper to travel for some years; and at Pezenas in Languedoc he was introduced, under a borrowed name, to the prince of Conti. That prince, talking of English affairs, broke out into admiration of Cromwel's courage and capacity. "But as for that poor pitiful fellow, Richard," said he, "what has become of him? How could "he be such a blockhead as to reap no greater "benefit from all his father's crimes and successes?" Richard extended his peaceful and quiet life to an extreme old age, and died not till the latter end of queen Anne's reign. His social virtues, more valuable
1 Carte's Collections, vol. ii. p. 243.