HumanitiesWeb HumanitiesWeb
WelcomeHistoryLiteratureArtMusicPhilosophyResourcesHelp
Sort By Author Sort By Title
pixel

Resources
Sort By Author
Sort By Title

Search

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

& etc
FEEDBACK

(C)1998-2012
All Rights Reserved.

Site last updated
28 October, 2012
Real Time Analytics
The Origins Of Modern Constitutionalism
The Constitutions of 1659
by Wormuth, Francis D.


On September 3, 1658 Oliver Cromwell died. In accordance with the provisions of the Humble Petition and Advice he had nominated his successor; this was his elder son, Richard. In December Richard decided to call a Parliament. The need for money was pressing and apparently the ill fortune his father had experienced with Parliaments was not taken so seriously by Richard and his Council as it should have been. Carrying on the plan of returning to the Stuart constitution which Oliver and his Council had pursued for the past two years, Richard caused the writs for election of members to the Commons to be sent to the old constituencies which had been superseded by the apportionment of the Instrument of Government. This legally required the exclusion of the Scotch and Irish representatives brought in by the Instrument, but these sixty members were virtually chosen by the administration and the Protector needed their votes. The republican faction in the House challenged their right to sit, but the Protectoral party won the day.

The Parliament met on January 27, 1659 and was addressed by the Protector and by Fiennes. Once more Fiennes praised the Humble Petition and Advice. It was so well contrived, he said, that "there will be no need of any new hammering." Nevertheless, a large part of the House was determined to destroy it. On a direct challenge to the existing constitution, the republicans and those acting with them were able to muster one-third of the votes; when the issue was less clearly drawn, the opposition party numbered nearly half.

In December a group of republicans — Thomas Scot, John Weaver, Edmund Ludlow, Henry Neville, and others — met at the house of Sir Henry Vane and agreed to stand for election to the coming Parliament, thinking, says Ludlow, that it was the duty of a good man to serve the public and, whenever possible, to be useful to his country. These men were for the most part members of the Rump and had opposed Cromwell throughout his rule. Apparently some of them had come to accept the whole Harringtonian gospel and desired a new constitution of Senate, popular chamber, and executive magistracy. "But the greatest part of the Parliament-men perfectly hated this design of rotation by balloting; for they were cursed tyrants, and in love with their power, and 'twas death to them, except eight or ten, to admit of this way, for H. Neville proposed it in the House, and made it out to them, that except they embraced that model of government they would be ruined — sed quos perdere vult Jupiter, etc., hos, etc."1

The republican opposition in Richard's Parliament was supported by other factions. Those who sympathized with the Stuarts voted with the republicans against the house of Cromwell. John Lambert also joined forces with the republicans. He had opposed the Petition and Advice vigorously in 1657, for it meant the defeat of his well-grounded expectation to succeed Cromwell as Protector, and he had refused to take the oath prescribed by that instrument. In consequence Cromwell had withdrawn all his commissions, civil and military. For almost two years Lambert had lived in retirement at Wimbledon; now, with the death of Oliver, he returned to politics. It is not clear that he had absolute command of any votes in the House except his own and that of Captain Adam Baynes, but he had close ties with many officers in the Army, and he had greater influence with the common soldiers than any other man. The common soldiers remembered him for his gallantry and his success and for the many occasions on which he had interceded in their behalf in matters of pay and grievances.

There was also a dissatisfied faction in the city of London. In dissolving Parliament in 1658 Oliver had charged the republicans with promoting a seditious petition which called for Parliamentary supremacy and the right of court-martial for all soldiers. On February 15, 1659, this petition was presented to Richard's House of Commons by Samuel Moyer in the name of "many thousand citizens and inhabitants in and about the city of London."2 Samuel Moyer may well be the Mr. Moyer "of the Independent party" who acted with Lilburne in 1648.3 He had been a member for London in the Little Parliament and seems to have been a chief political leader among the extreme sectarians of the city. On May 12, 1659, he presented a petition to the Rump asking for successive Parliaments, rotation in office, and the immediate creation of a typically Harringtonian device, a committee "to receive propositions from any such person or persons as may be able to give light and direction in such things, as may conduce unto the frame or constitution of a good and equal commonwealth, or free estate."4 He received a pardon from Charles II in 1660.5

If we can trust the evidence offered by a pamphlet published in the last week of April, 1659, there was an explicit alliance among these opposition forces before the Parliament assembled. The pamphlet was entitled The Army's Duty: Or, Faithful Advice to Soldiers and purported to print two letters to Lieutenant-General Fleetwood, the first written after Oliver's death and the second written after the Army had made to Richard an address of loyalty, which the pamphlet called "gross hypocrisy, and palpable flattery." The pamphlet exhorted Fleetwood to return to the principles from which he had fallen, and claimed a right on the part of the authors to give such advice. "We are such as engaged with you in the war against the late King, and do believe that you and we must render an account to the dreadful God of the justice and sincerity of our intentions therein." So far as the authorship goes there is no likelihood that it was a forgery, for it was an academic Harringtonian production which it would advance no one's interests to counterfeit. It is, of course, possible that it was cast in the form of letters to Fleetwood merely as a literary device and was thus antedated by the authors.

The pamphlet is signed with the initials H. M., H. N., I. L., I. W., I. I., S. M. H. N. was certainly Henry Neville, who must have written the Harringtonian part of the pamphlet. I. L. was, of course, John Lambert. I. W. was probably John Weaver, a member of the Rump and a leader of the republican faction; the name of John Wildman, the Leveller, has, however, been suggested.6 I. I. must have been John Jones — Colonel John Jones, the regicide, rather than the Captain John Jones who sat for London in Richard's Parliament. The most plausible conjecture for H. M. was Herbert Morley, a republican colonel. S. M. was likely to be Samuel Moyer. Whatever the date of composition of the letters or pamphlet, these signatures suggested a combination of Harringtonians and republicans with Lambert and Moyer as representative of the radical sectarians of London.7 The purpose of the combination was, of course, to overthrow the Protectorate. The existence of any magistrate independent of the people, the pamphlet argued, led to tyranny. Moreover, since the land was in the hands of the commons, "England is now become an unnatural soil for a monarch." The only solution was a free state, a Senate debating and proposing, a popular assembly deciding, and a magistracy to execute, with triennial terms and yearly changes in the legislative chambers.

This confederation was in a minority in Richard's House of Commons. The first important piece of business was the passage of a bill recognizing Richard as Lord Protector. The republicans exhausted all the tricks of sophistry and delay, and the bill was passed on second reading, after eight days of debate, on February 8. But then John Trevor, one of the strongest supporters of Richard, in an imprudent attempt at conciliation moved that the bill not be committed until other clauses limiting the power of the Protector and securing the rights of Parliament and the privileges of the people had been added. This resolution, for want of proper Parliamentary management on the part of the court party, was carried, and the revision of the Petition and Advice thus became the business of the House.

After protracted debate it was resolved to postpone decision on the question of the Protector's negative voice. The House then turned to the problem of the other House. The case for the second House was simply stated: "This House is a fluid body. God knows who you shall see here next Parliament; and unless the other House be faithful and fixed to your interest, I doubt the consequence." The Cromwellian party was satisfied with the existing House, but the Presbyterians, though they favored a second chamber, disliked the military character of Oliver's nominees. They wished to add to the other House such of the old Lords as had adhered to the Commons during the Civil Wars. The republicans were hostile to Lords of any sort. They argued that power belonged only to the representatives of the people. Furthermore, there was no economic basis for a second house; the barons had once possessed power by virtue of their estates, but now the commons held the over-balance and it was futile to set another house against them. This Harringtonian argument was employed by virtually all the republican speakers. Only Neville and Baynes, however, advocated the creation of Harrington's bicameral legislature. The issue was debated for weeks and at last, on March 28, the House resolved to transact with the persons sitting in the other House as a House of Parliament during the present session, with the proviso that this was not intended to deprive those of the old peers who had been faithful of their right to sit in that House. The majority made bad use of its victory. The first "transaction" offered to the other House was a proposal for a day of fasting and public humiliation. The Declaration proposed included a rebuke to the magistrates, who were said to have permitted the growth of "abominations" by failing to maintain purity of doctrine and indulging corrupt principles and practices under the pretext of liberty of conscience. This, naturally enough, caused a rift in the other House, where the Cromwellians and Presbyterians combined against the Independent Army officers.

The soldiers had already shown themselves restive. When the Commons went behind the Petition and Advice and looked instead to the Stuart constitution as a guide, they impliedly disowned all that had been done since 1648. This was an affront to the principles and a threat to the security of the Army. Moreover, the House had proved itself indifferent to the grievances of the Army and eager to subject it to civil authority. As early as March 7 one member of the Commons complained of the soldiery, "They begin to look with an ill face upon us." Richard Cromwell was helpless. His position was the inevitable outcome of his father's decision to seek civilian support through a return to the old constitution. In precise measure as the Protector received that support, he drew away from the Army, and this the Army could not tolerate. Before Oliver was in the ground the Army had asked Richard to resign the post of commander-in-chief and appoint one of its number to that position. The demand that no officer or soldier be discharged except by court-martial was another claim to autonomy. It now became imperative that the Army assert itself.

On April 6 the officers presented to Richard an address asking for the payment of soldiers' wages, which were, as always, in arrears, and calling for a more vigorous prosecution of the "good old cause."8 This retrospective phrase appears to have been used for the first time in 1656;9 it implied that Cromwell had abandoned the cause. It was taken up by both commonwealth's-men and Fifth Monarchy men — to the one group it meant the Rump Parliament; to the other, such an institution as the Little Parliament. Outside these circles it connoted a vague republicanism and embraced also such ideas as reform of the law, the abolition of tithes, and religious freedom. The petition of the officers was printed and it called forth a commendatory address to the officers by the common soldiers of Pride's regiment.

The House became alarmed and on April 18 voted that there should be no Councils of the Army held during the session of Parliament. Richard attempted to enforce this order, and the Army mutinied. The officers then forced Richard to agree to dissolve the Parliament. To avert this the House of Commons adjourned itself for three days, but Richard dissolved it by proclamation on April 22.

The Council of Officers then displaced those officers who had adhered to Richard and gave their regiments to Lambert and others who had been cashiered at an earlier date. The next business was to establish a government. At least one petition was delivered to Lieutenant-General Fleetwood by the Fifth Monarchy men; this called for a new nominated Parliament like the Little Parliament.10 Others demanded the restoration of the Rump, and this was the only feasible solution. The Army needed money, and needed a Parliament with some show of legality to vote it. The officers had been in close relation with the republicans in the House for some weeks. On April 29 a conference took place between Lambert and other officers representing the Army, and Vane, Ludlow, Haslerig, and Salway on behalf of the Rump.11 The officers stated their conditions: an act of indemnity for the Army, suitable provision for Richard Cromwell, reformation of the law and the clergy, and a "select Senate" — undoubtedly to be composed largely of officers — co-ordinate with the elective house of the legislature. The republicans allowed the officers to believe that these terms would be met. On May 6, therefore, the Council of Officers summoned the Long Parliament as of April 20, 1653, to meet in the name of the good old cause.12 On May 13 Lambert presented to the House a Humble Petition and Address on behalf of the Army. This set forth fifteen requests to the House which were alleged to be the purposes of the restoration. The Army asked that the legislative power be placed in "a Representative of the people, consisting of a House successively chosen by the people, in such way and manner as this Parliament may judge meet; and of a select Senate, co-ordinate in power, of able and faithful persons, eminent for godliness, and such as continue adhering to this cause." The executive power was to be in a Council of State, which should also consist of godly and faithful persons. The Petition contained a stipulation for religious freedom slightly broader than that in the Petition and Advice but less generous than that of the Instrument of Government. The inevitable plea for a due and just regulation of the law and the courts of law and equity was included.

Richard Cromwell acquiesced in his deposition. The Army in Scotland sent a congratulatory address to the Rump, and pledges of adherence came in from various civilian groups. Nevertheless many of those who welcomed the restoration regarded it as a mere temporary expedient. A number of pamphlets and petitions to the Rump urged the revival of the Agreement of the People or the adoption of a Harringtonian constitution. England's Safety in the Law's Supremacy advocated the creation of a unicameral Parliament chosen yearly and the election of executive officers by the Parliament; eleven topics were put beyond the reach of Parliament. The Humble Petition of Divers Well-Affected Persons,13 delivered to Parliament on July 6, combined Leveller ideas with the recommendations of Harrington and proposed an additional institution to safeguard the settlement. It declared for a Parliament elected by all free men, one third of the members to be chosen each year for a three-year term; a Senate to propose and a popular assembly to resolve; the separation of legislative and executive power; and religious freedom for all Christians. In addition it was to be declared treason to propose, in either chamber of the Parliament, the restoration of kingship or the establishment of any single person as chief magistrate, or the abridgment of the freedom of conscience guaranteed by the "fundamental order." A body of about twelve men of the most undoubted fidelity and integrity was to be authorized to arrest and bring to trial any person making such a treasonable proposal, "but for no other matter or cause whatsoever." The petition concluded with the suggestion that the people be permitted to subscribe to the "fundamental orders of the government" if this seemed convenient.

A pamphlet entitled The Leveller14 departed far from the original Leveller principles. It indorsed the recommendations of Oceana and extolled the principle of checks and balances. "And 'tis the Levellers' doctrine, that the government ought to be settled upon such equal foundations of common right and freedom, that no man, or number of men, in the nation, should have the power to invade or disturb the common freedom, or the common course of impartial justice; and therefore that every authority ought to be of small continuance, and the several authorities, to be so balanced each by other, that without such agreement of men, against their own interest, as human prudence cannot think possible, the people cannot suffer any common injury. ..."

The fullest statement of pure Leveller doctrine was in PANARMONIA: Or, The Agreement of the People Revived, published in September. The pamphlet consisted of a document entitled "The Humble Address and Petition of Several of the Justices of the Peace, Gentlemen, and Others, of the County of Gloucester, Well-Affected to the Peace and Settlement of this Commonwealth" and a commentary on the petition by the person who caused it to be published. The introduction stated that the petition had been laid aside for another, and in the end neither was delivered, but the commentator could not in conscience suffer it to lie dormant. The petition was obviously the work of Independents or sectarians. It attributed the disorder of past years to the want of a firm basis to the commonwealth; this had permitted the Cavaliers and the rigid Presbyterians to attempt to promote their particular interests, which were inconsistent with common freedom. No such basis could be established by act of Parliament, for any statute could be repealed or altered by any succeeding Parliament. It was therefore necessary "that some expedient be found out, and seasonably concluded on, which may be a boundary, in reason and common judgment, to all future representatives of the people: which expedient may contain a basis for government stated and made unalterable." The petition proposed, therefore, that an Agreement of the People like that offered to Parliament in 1649 be subscribed by the people, or by the well-affected among them, and thereafter be unalterable. To prevent the infringement of the Agreement by any future Parliament, a special electorate was to be created, consisting only of men "who are expressly against the old monarchy, and against all exercise of force, or of the civil sword in those things which are more especially of God, or over the consciences of men." This electorate was to choose men who would sit, during the session of Parliament, "to observe whether anything be promoted or intended by the Parliament or any particular member thereof, contrary to such an Agreement; and to signify it to the Commonwealth; and to take such other courses as the exigency of such a thing shall require." The petition ended with a request for freedom of conscience, reform of the courts, revival of trade, the encouragement of godliness and virtue, and the settlement of the militia in the hands of trustworthy persons.

The commentator argued that it was altogether reasonable that Parliaments should be restrained from injuring the people. Even if the major part of the people would not subscribe to the Agreement, the well-affected should not permit this to keep them from securing their own rights and liberties. But if the conquered Royalists were left out of the reckoning, the great majority of the people could surely be brought in by threatening to disqualify non-subscribers from voting and holding office and by a campaign of education in all the counties. The stability of the new constitution could be insured by exacting an oath of loyalty, which surely none would violate, and by creating a body of men, one from each county, to see that nothing was done in Parliament contrary to the fundamental law. For good measure, let the Army be kept up. No commonwealth's-man should object to the creation of an assembly to protect the people's liberties from Parliament, there being nothing more probable than that the friends of religious freedom would be outvoted. "Let not then the formalities and punctilios of a commonwealth, become the subject of contention, to the loss of the substance and life of the whole interest."

These pamphlets showed that many of the Independents had come to believe that the power of Parliaments must be limited and that some regular institutional check must be contrived for that purpose. Whereas the Leveller Agreement had provided no sanction but rebellion, and the Instrument and the Petition and Advice none but a legislative veto, the proposals of 1659 looked to the creation of a special organ charged with the defense of the constitution. This was highly distasteful to most of the members of the Rump. In 1649 the House had protested against the Agreement that it would set up a "super-Parliamentary law."15 Men like Haslerig believed that nothing could limit the power which Parliament received from the people. The Rump could safely defy the opinion of ordinary petitioners on this point, but not the opinion of the Army. Fleetwood had written to Secretary of State Thurloe in 1655 declaring that freedom for tender consciences and limitation of the powers and duration of Parliament were the two essentials of any settlement. The select Senate recommended in the Petition and Address of May 13 was intended to achieve these objectives in part. The House passed resolutions adopting several of the proposals in the Army's Petition and Address but took no action with regard to the select Senate. Moreover, it menaced the Army's security as well as its principles. On June 6 it voted that all commissions must be signed by the Speaker, a very imprudent action toward an Army which had recently overthrown a government to preserve its autonomy. The Act of Indemnity passed by the House was not completely satisfactory to the Army, and it gave rise to a dispute between Haslerig and Lambert which threatened the good relations between Parliament and Army.

The rebellion of Sir George Booth was the indirect cause of the final rupture. Booth was a leader of the Presbyterian faction and had sat in Richard's Parliament; apparently he was even then intriguing with Charles Stuart. Like all Royalist plots, Booth's rebellion was badly managed. Lambert easily defeated him and brought him prisoner to London. The officers of Lambert's brigade, exhilarated by this success, framed a document called The Humble Petitions and Proposals of the Officers under the Command of the Right Honorable the Lord Lambert, in the Late Northern Expedition.16 This was signed by fifty officers at Derby on September 16. According to one of the authors, Colonel Mitchell, Lambert was not aware of this action.17 The officers sent the petition to London, Scotland, and Ireland in order to gain the adherence of the whole Army. The petition requested that new life be given to the Humble Petition and Address, that the malignants be ousted from positions of trust, and that those involved in the late rebellions be punished. The controversial request was that Fleetwood, whose commission was but temporary, be appointed permanent commander-in-chief; that Colonel Lambert be raised to Major-General, and made second in command to Fleetwood; and that Colonels Desborough and Monk be made Major-Generals of horse and foot respectively. Probably the purpose of this request was not merely to reward and entrench the leaders of the Army, but to demote Ludlow, whom the House had made a Lieutenant-General, and to protect the Army against intrusions of that sort in the future.

Haslerig learned of the existence of this petition and procured a vote to have it brought to the House. The House resolved that to create new general officers would be "needless, chargeable, and dangerous," and instructed Fleetwood to put a stop to the circulation of the petition. One member proposed that Lambert be sent to the Tower. The officers resented the action of the House and on September 27 held a Council of Officers to frame an address to Parliament. The outcome was the Humble Representation and Petition,18 signed by 230 officers, which Desborough presented to the House on October 5. This petition reaffirmed the loyalty of the Army and asked that those persons who aspersed the Army to the Parliament be punished. It vindicated the right of soldiers as freemen to petition the Parliament. Then came the revolutionary proposal: that no officer be dismissed except by court-martial, and that no officers be appointed by Parliament unless they were first nominated by the Army. The request of Lambert's officers that Fleetwood's commission be made permanent was repeated.

The House so clearly resented this petition that the officers in London, to secure themselves, sought additional signatures. Letters were sent to Monk in Scotland, to the Army in Ireland, and to forces elsewhere asking for concurrence. Monk refused to permit the Humble Representation and Petition to reach his subordinate officers. One of the letters fell into the hands of Colonel Okey and he turned it over to Sir Arthur Haslerig, who of course communicated it to the House. The House voted to cashier the officers who had signed the letter and to put the position of commander-in-chief in a commission consisting of Fleetwood and six adherents of the Rump. This was on October 12. On the following morning Lambert, who was one of the signers of the letter in question, led out troops and turned back the members seeking to enter the House. The Parliament was once more interrupted.

The Council of Officers created a Committee of Safety to administer the country and to contrive a form of government without single person, kingship, or house of peers. In the meantime Monk had declared for the Parliament, and Lambert was sent to York to intercept him in case he marched on England. Negotiations between the English and Scotch armies were then undertaken, and on November 15 a treaty was signed by Fleetwood and by the commissioners for Monk. Both parties agreed to oppose Charles Stuart and to endeavor to settle the government without a chief magistrate or a House of Lords. A general council of the officers of the Army and Navy, consisting of two officers from each regiment, the governors of garrisons, and a delegation chosen by the officers of the fleet, was to be summoned. This council would convoke a Parliament, the qualifications of whose members were to be determined by a commission created for that purpose. But Monk's commissioners had exceeded their instructions. Monk had no wish to settle the dispute and insisted on continuing negotiations. Lambert knew this to be a ruse but he dared not march on Monk, for a war within the Army would be fatal. In the end Monk's strategy was successful.

On November 1 the Committee of Safety at London created a committee of its members to frame a commonwealth government. The committee made little progress, for Sir Henry Vane, who was a member, "was hard to be satisfied, but did much stick to his own apprehensions." Vane had come to a private understanding with Lambert before the rupture between Army and Parliament, and was now acting with the Army. On December 6 the General Council of Officers provided for by the treaty between Fleetwood and Monk convened and superseded the Committee of Safety as a constituent assembly. On December 10 the Council resolved that a Parliament should be summoned to meet on or before February next. The Parliament was to be limited in such manner as should later be provided. Edmund Lud-

low, who like Vane was acting with the Army, protested that this meant merely a continuation of the old order, under which Parliaments must conform to the arbitrary will of the Army or be dissolved, and made a counter-proposal which he described thus:19

... for the prevention of these mischiefs I proposed to the Council of Officers that the essentials of our cause might be clearly stated, and declared inviolable by any authority whatsoever; and that in case any difference should hereafter arise between the Parliament and the Army touching those particulars or any of them, a certain number of persons of known integrity might be appointed by this Council finally to determine the matter.

Ludlow proposed that these guardians of the cause be twenty-one in number, and be known as the Conservators of Liberty. The Council adopted this plan and on December 13 voted "seven principles and unalterable fundamentals."20

I. That no kingship shall be exercised in these nations.

II. That they will not have any single person to exercise the office of chief magistrate in these nations.

III. That an army may be continued and maintained, and be conducted, so as it may secure the peace of these nations, and may not be disbanded nor altered but by the consent of the said Conservators appointed.

IV. That no imposition may be upon the consciences of those that fear God.

V. That there be no house of peers.

VI. That the legislative and executive powers be distinct, and not in the same hands.

VII. That both the assemblies of the Parliament shall be elected by the people of this commonwealth duly qualified.

Ludlow's purpose in joining with the Army was to prevent an irreconcilable breach between the Parliament and the Army. Accordingly, he offered a slate of nominees to be chosen Conservators of Liberty on which the Army and the Parliament were both well represented. But the Council departed from Ludlow's list, replacing Haslerig, Neville, and the other Parliamentarians with persons well disposed toward the Army. On December 14 a proclamation summoning a Parliament to meet on January 24 was issued.

But the support on which the officers relied was by this time disintegrating. One of the last actions of the Rump before its interruption had been the passage of a resolution declaring it high treason to levy taxes without the authority of Parliament. The officers dared not violate this act, and by December the soldiers were grumbling about their pay and beginning to look to Monk for leadership rather than to their own officers. The garrison of Portsmouth went over to the Parliament in early December. On December 13 the fleet declared for the Parliament. By the twenty-second the disaffection among the forces at London had become so great that Whitelocke advised Fleetwood to make terms with Charles Stuart. But Fleetwood had promised Lambert to take no action without him, and Lambert was far away in the north.

On December 24 Fleetwood sent the keys of the House to the Speaker and informed him that the Parliament might sit without hindrance from the Army. The House resumed its session two days later. It put command of the Army in commission and cashiered fifteen hundred officers. Monk now marched to London. To all those persons who solicited him to alter the government he replied that he was the humble servant of the Parliament. But on February 21, 1660, having consolidated his position, he restored to the House the "secluded members" who had been ousted by the Army in 1648. These did the work he expected from them, summoned a new Parliament which restored the King, Monk became the Duke of Albemarle, and others who had played a part in the Restoration were rewarded. Some of the regicides who escaped to Switzerland were given a dinner by the senators of Bern in 1663. Ludlow recounts that one of the hosts, Colonel Weiss, inquired "how it came to pass that we, who for many years had the whole power of the three nations in our hands, were removed from the government without shedding one drop of blood." Ludlow replied that the treachery of Cromwell and Monk was responsible. But of course the failure of all the governments of the Interregnum cannot be explained in terms of personalities. The schisms which divided the country were the true cause. The original cleavage was between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians; then came the division of the Parliamentarians into Presbyterians and Independents; eventually the Independents of Parliament found themselves at odds with the Independents of the Army. Even the Army experienced some disintegration, but military discipline kept this at a minimum. After 1648 no government could stand without the indorsement of the Army, and this meant that every government must be a minority government. The checks and balances employed in the constitutional experiments of Cromwell were attempts to safeguard the position and the principles of the Army and at the same time draw into the government some substantial civilian group. But no civilian party was willing to concede this privileged position to the Army. Consequently, when Oliver and Richard Cromwell came to terms with the Presbyterians the Army was obliged to overthrow the Protectorate. But the relations of the Army with the restored Rump were no more comfortable. The schemes for an accommodation, like Ludlow's Conservators of Liberty, were in substance mere repetitions of the Cromwellian formula and could have been no more successful than the Instrument of Government. As long as the Army stood there could be only military government in England; and the only power that could overthrow the Army was the Army itself. This Monk contrived. The only government that could stand without an army was Stuart kingship, which was made feasible by the conjunction of the Presbyterians with the Royalists. Perhaps the moral to be drawn is that checks and balances are no substitute for unity in the state.

NOTES

(1) John Aubrey, in Andrew Clark, ed., Aubrey's Brief Lives (Oxford, 1898), i, 291.

(2) The Humble Petition of Many Thousand Citizens and Inhabitants in and about the City of London. To the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England. Together with the Parliament's Answer thereunto.

(3) See Lilburne, Legal Fundamental Liberties (1649), m A. S. P. Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty (London, 1938), p. 344.

(4) The Humble Petition of Many Inhabitants in and about the City of London. Presented to the Parliament by Mr. Sam Moyer and Others.

(5) Calendar of State Papers Domestic, 1659-1660, p. 441.

(6) Zera S. Fink, The Classical Republicans (Northwestern Univ. Studies in Humanities, No. 9: Evanston, Ill., 1945), p. 86, where the name of Henry Marten is offered for H. M. According to the common story, Marten was in debtor's prison until the restoration of the Rump; in any case he was living in obscurity, and is not likely to have been consulted by the republican leaders.

(7) The conjunction of Lambert with the republicans was well known at the time. The participation of Moyer can perhaps be inferred from the fact that when Moyer's petition of February 15, 1659 — the same that Cromwell had denounced as a republican plot in 1658 — was first offered to the house on February 9, Neville, Weaver, and Lambert, among others, urged its reception, and from the positions of trust given to Moyer after the restoration of the Rump.

(8) "The Humble Representation and Petition of the General Council of the Officers of the Armies of England, Scotland, and Ireland." This and later documents are reprinted in Some Farther Intelligence of the Affairs of England (London, 1659).

(9) A Copy of a Letter from an Officer of the Army in Ireland, to His Highness the Lord Protector, concerning His Changing of the Government (1656), p. 22. For "the good old interest of Jesus Christ and his saints," see Thurloe State Papers, iii, 55, for December 30, 1654.

(10) A True Copy of a Paper Delivered to the Lt. G. Fleetwood ... the 26 day of the Second Month, Called April, 1659 (London, 1659). This was delivered to Fleetwood by a group of officers; see A Faithful Searching Home Word (1659).

(11) C. H. Firth, ed., The Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow (Oxford, 1894), ii, 74-75.

(12) A Declaration of the Officers of the Army, in Somers Tracts (London, 1811), vi, 504, and also in William Cobbett, Parliamentary History, iii, 1546.

(13) This is printed in Toland, ed., The Oceana of James Harrington (3d ed., 1747), pp. 541-546.

(14) This pamphlet is reprinted in William H. Dunham and Stanley Pargellis, Complaint and Reform in England (New York, 1938), p. 679, and in the Harleian Miscellany (London, 1810), vii, 36.

(15) A Declaration of the Parliament of England in Vindication of their Proceedings and Discovering the Dangerous Practices of Several Interests, against the Present Government, and Peace of the Commonwealth (London, 1649).

(16) This was published under the title, The Army's Proposals to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland (London, 1659). A substantially identical text is printed from manuscript in E. Phillips' continuation of Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle of the Kings of England (London, 1674), p. 673.

(17) W. H. Dawson, Cromwell's Understudy: The Life and Times of General John Lambert (London, 1938), p. 350.

(18) The text will be found in A True Narrative of the Proceedings in Parliament, Council of State, General Council of the Army, and Committee of Safety (London, 1659), which prints all the public documents from September 22 to November 16 except the Humble Petition and Proposals, and also in Phillips' continuation of Baker's Chronicle, p. 675.

(19) C. H. Firth, ed., The Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, ii, 172.

(20) Ibid., ii, 173 n.

Personae

Terms Defined

Referenced Works