The Cromwellian Protectorate

The Cromwellian Protectorate

Edited by Patrick Little


Boydell Press



The neglected period of the Protectorate is reviewed and reassessed in this stimulating collection.
The Protectorate is arguably the Cinderella of Interregnum studies: it lacks the immediate drama of the Regicide, the Republic or the Restoration, and is often dismissed as a 'retreat from revolution', a short period of conservative rule before the inevitable return of the Stuarts. The essays in this volume present new research that challenges this view. They argue instead that the Protectorate was dynamic and progressive, even if the policies put forward were not always successful, and often created further tensions within the government and between Whitehall and the localities. Particular topics include studies of Oliver Cromwell and his relationship with Parliament, and the awkward position inherited by his son, Richard; the role of art and architecture in creating a splendid protectoral court; and the important part played by the council, as a law-making body, as a political cockpit, and as part of a hierarchy of government covering not just England but also Ireland and Scotland. There are also investigations of the reactions to Cromwellian rule in Wales, in the towns and cities of the Severn/Avon basin, and in the local communities of England faced with a far-reaching programme of religious reform. PATRICK LITTLE is Senior Research Fellow at the History of Parliament Trust. Contributors: BARRY COWARD, DAVID L. SMITH, JASON PEACEY, PAUL HUNNEYBALL, BLAIR WORDEN, PETER GAUNT, LLOYD BOWEN, STEPHEN K. ROBERTS, CHRISTOPHER DURSTON.


January 2007
8 black and white, 1 line illustrations
230 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843832829
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Barry Coward
Oliver Cromwell and the Protectorate Parliaments - David L Smith
The Protector Humbled: Richard Cromwell and the Constitution - Jason Peacey
Cromwellian Style: the Architectural Trappings of the Protectorate - Paul M. Hunneyball
Oliver Cromwell and the Council - Blair Worden
`To Create a Little World out of Chaos': the Protectoral Ordinances of 1653-4 Reconsidered - Peter G I Gaunt
The Irish and Scottish Councils and the Dislocation of the Protectoral Union - Patrick Little
`This Murmuring and Unthankful Peevish Land': Wales and the Protectorate - Lloyd Bowen
Cromwellian Towns in the Severn Basin: a Contribution to Cis-Atlantic History? - Stephen K Roberts
Policing the Cromwellian Church: the Activities of the County Ejection Committees, 1654-1659 - C. Durston


Patrick Little and his talented team have presented with a portrait of Cromwell as an even more remarkable, and powerful, individual, presiding over a government that was even less successful in accomplishing its own aims, than has formerly been supposed. CROMWELLIANA,
If you are looking for a set of probing, well-judged and refreshing essays on the Protectorate, here it is. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY
(An) important volume (that) offers new evidence on the workings of the Protectorate across the Three Kingdoms. (...) Must be welcomed as a major contribution to our understanding of the Cromwellian Protectorate. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY
One of the most successful volumes to arise from a conference.(...)Handsomely presented and well edited (it) deserves to be very widely read. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW,

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