‘Cromwell’s trunks’

Journal article

Ted Vallance, last updated: 11th May 2018

Loyalty, public opinion and the downfall of the Cromwellian Protectorate

Ted Vallance discusses the extent to which Richard Cromwell was able to muster broader support for his rule than is sometimes acknowledged.

If the second Lord Protector, Richard Cromwell, is remembered at all, it is as a byword for political failure. Succeeding to the position of head of state after his father, Oliver Cromwell’s death in September 1658, Richard submitted his resignation in May of 1659, his rapid rise and equally frantic fall earning him the soubriquet ‘Tumbledown Dick.’ In broader terms, the failure of Richard’s Protectorate is often seen as symptomatic of the instability that followed Oliver’s demise and which was only resolved by the restoration of monarchy in 1660...

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