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in any serious debate, but generally expressed great aniinosity and sharpness against the clergy, and against all learning. At last, on the 12th of December, one of them stood up and declared, that he did believe they were not equal to the burden that was laid upon them, and therefore that they should dissolve themselves, and deliver back their authority into the hands from whom they had received it, which being presently consented to, the speaker, with those who were of that mind, went to Whitehall, and re-delivered to Cromwell the instrument they had received from him, acknowledged their own impotency, and besought him to assume the management of the commonwealth.
This farce was generally foreseen as the necessary consequence of the ridiculous composition of this assembly; Cromwell and his council thought proper, however, to consider it as a legal investiture of the supreme sovereign power into their hands; and a few days after, his council being too modest to share with him in the royal authority, declared, " that the government of the commonwealth should « reside in a single person; that that person should "be Oliver Cromwell, that his title should be Lord « Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scot« land, Ireland, &c. &c. &c. and that he should
have a council of twenty-one persons to assist 6 him in the government.”
This declaration was read, December 16th, at Westminster hall, where the commissioners of the great seal, the lord mayor and aldermen, were sent for to attend Cromwell, and the ceremony concluded by the reading of a parchment, which was called the instrument of government; whereby it was ordained, “ that the protector should call a “ parliament once in every three years, the first of 66 which should be convened upon the 3d day of “ September following; and that he should not
“ dissolve any parliament till they had sat five 66 months; that such bills as should be presented to « him by the parliament, if they should not be “ confirmed by him within twenty days, should
pass without him, and be looked upon as laws; 66 that he should have a select council to assist him, 6 which should not exceed the number of twenty“ one, nor be less than thirteen ; that immediately
after his death, the council should choose another " protector before they rose; that no protector 6 after him should be general of the army; that “ the protector should have power to make peace " and war; that, with the consent of his council, " he should make laws which should be binding " to the subjects during the intervals of parlia« ment."
While this was reading Cromwell had his hand upon the Bible; he afterwards took his oath “ that " he would not violate any thing that was contain" ed in that instrument of government, but would “ observe and cause the same to be observed, and 6 in all things, according to the best of his under“ standing, govern the nation according to the 6. laws, statutes, and customs, seeking peace, and “ causing justice and law to be equally administer
ed.” Thus, by his abilities and energy alone, against the inclinations of nineteen twentieths of the nation, Cromwell ascended the throne without the name of king, but with more power and authority than any king had ever excercised ; and received greater manifestations of respect and esteem • from all the sovereigns in Europe, than had ever been shewed to any legitimate inonarch ; " which “ was so much the more notorious," says Clarendon, " that they all abhorred him, when they trembled at 56 his power, and courted his friendship.”
The protector was proclaimed in London and Westminster, and soon after all over England, with
the same solemnity as the kings of England were heretofore.
During these transactions the naval power of England was exerted with great vigour and success. Captain Hayton fell upon a squadron of French men of war, took the vice-admiral and another. The English fleet, commanded by Monk and Dean, after an engagement of two days, in which Dean was killed, defeated the Dutch under Tromp. In a second engagement, when Blake commanded the English, the battle continued very hot and bloody on both sides from six o'clock in the morning till one in the afternoon, when Tromp, while he was gallantly animating his men, was shot through the heart by a musquet ball. This blow alone, breaking the courage of the Dutch, decided the battle in favour of the English. This was the last engagement at sea between the two commonwealths, and the most bloody that had yet been fought, both sides rather endeavouring to destroy their enemies' fleet than to take their ships. Between twenty and thirty of the Dutch men of war were burnt or sunk, and above a thousand prisoners taken. The victory was also dearly bought by the English, as they had four hundred men and eight captains killed, seven hundred men and five captains wounded. They lost only one ship, and had two or three more disabled for further service,
from the English tolerone, which they minions ;
done, consented to make peace when he had drawn them to accept of such conditions as he thought fit to propose, or rather to dictate to them; among which, “ that they should not suffer any of the 66 king's party to reside within their dominions ; as that the island of Polerone, which they had taken 66 from the English in the East-Indies, should be " restored to the English East India company, with " a sum of eighty-five thousand pounds, as an in66 demnification for the barbarous violence exercised 66 so many years since at Amboyna, for which the 6 two last kings could never obtain satisfaction; w that those who had been concerned in the mas66 sacre at Amboyna should be punished, if any re66 mained ; that the honour of the flag should be s yielded to the English.”
There was another secret article, to which the great seal of the United Provinces was affixed, and by which they obliged themselves never to admit the prince of Orange to be their stadtholder, general, or admiral. The peace was concluded on these conditions about the middle of April.
Mr. Bourdeaux, ambassador extraordinary from France, makes his public entry in London, and in his speech to the protector extols his virtues, begs his friendship, and says, “ that the Divine Providence, “ after so many calamities, could not deal more fa“ vourably with the English, or cause them to for“ get their miseries with greater satisfaction, than 66 by submitting them to so just a government."
An ordinance issued by the protector, with the advice of his council, April 12th, confirms the union of Scotland into one commonwealth and one government with England.
Don Pantaleon Sa, brother to the Portuguese ambassador, having in a quarrel killed a gentleman, and taken shelter with his attendants in his brother's house, the populace surrounded it, and threatened to set fire to it. Cromwell sent a guard, who seized all the criminals, and, notwithstanding the opposition of the ambassador, who pleaded the privileges of his office, don Pantaleon was executed.
A high court of justice is erected by Cromwell for the trial of Vowel and colonel Gerard, two royalists who were accused of conspiring against his life ; both are sentenced to death.
As the treaty between France and England was proceeding very fast, Charles foresaw that he should soon be driven from that country where he was so ill treated, and thought of anticipating any further humiliation by retiring to some other place. But as he had no money to enable him to remove or to pay his debts, he applied to cardinal Mazarin, who was so pleased on hearing that his majesty had an inclination to depart from France, that to facilitate the execution of the plan, he promised that all the arrears of the allowance of six thousand livres per month, which at last had been granted to Charles, but always very irregularly paid, should be discharged immediately, and that the same allowance should be continued and paid to him with the greatest exactitude in any other country. Another circumstance occurred at this junc. turewhich enabled the king to pay all his debts. Prince Rupert arrived at Nantes with his fleet in a very disabled condition, and as it could not be now of any use to the king, his majesty sold the whole to cardinal Mazarin, who paid a very low price for it, but ready money. Soon after Charles departed from France and went to Cologne, where he was received with all the respect, pomp, and magnificence that could be expected. The people and their magistrates very handsomely made him a tender of any accommodation that city could yield him, and of all the affection and duty they could pay him. which his majesty most willingly accepted, and determined to fix there his residence.