Council of State - · Governing and advisory body set up in February 1649
after the beheading of Charles I. Cromwell was its first chairman.
After Cromwell assumed the title of Lord Protector, the Council
of State functioned as his personal advisory committee, not unlike the
Privy Council of King Charles I.
Levellers - · A political faction that favored a radically republican
and democratic form of government. The Levellers, who had a strong
base of support in the army, were opposed to the power of the landed
nobility and favored more equal political representation. Disappointed
with what they saw as Cromwell's conservative political leanings,
the Levellers threatened armed revolt on more than one occasion.
Lord Protector - · Title Cromwell received in 1653, effectively granting
him the position of ruler of England. As Lord Protector, Cromwell
had complete control of the army, as well as the power to call
and dissolve Parliament. In many ways, the office of Lord Protector gave
Cromwell as much power as the kings he replaced.
New Model Army - · Name of the consolidated armed forces under Cromwell's leadership
at the end of the English Civil War. The New Model Army was a standing
army composed of men, including officers, from diverse backgrounds.
Previous English armies were commanded by officers drawn almost
exclusively from the English noble classes.
Presbyterian - · Protestant denomination inspired, like Puritanism,
by the teachings of John Calvin. The Presbyterians tended toward
a less austere form of worship than the Puritans, and their politics
in Cromwell's time tended to favor a more moderate, conciliatory policy
Protectorate - · Term describing the governing regime in England from
1653 to 1660. During the Protectorate, the country had no king
in power but was governed instead by Cromwell, in collaboration
with the Army and, at times, with Parliament.
Puritan - · Protestant denomination inspired by Calvinism to which Cromwell
belonged. The Puritans were particularly concerned with the state
of the Church of England, which they felt needed to purify itself
by abandoning rituals and forms of worship identified with Roman
Catholicism. Puritanism was often characterized by austerity and
by a very strict moral outlook.
republican - · A school of political thought that believes in a popular government
where the power to make laws rests in the hands of representatives
elected by the people. A republic may have a king who serves in
an executive capacity, but who cannot, in principle, use his power
to put his own needs over the wishes of the people.
Restoration - · The period when the royal Stuart family returned to
the throne, effectively ending the Protectorate. Charles Stuart,
the son of the deposed King Charles I, became King Charles II of
England in 1660, and the English form of government returned to
a system wherein the crown reigned supreme.
Royalist - · Noun or adjective denoting those who supported King
Charles I and the idea of a monarchy during the era of the English
- King of England from 1625 to 1649,
when he was deposed by Parliament and beheaded. Charles I was a member
of the royal Stuart family and the son of King James I, who ruled
from 1603 to 1625. Charles I's two sons would go on to become Kings
Charles II and King James II, respectively. His wife was Queen Henrietta
son of King Charles I, who later became King Charles II of England
at the time of the Restoration in 1660. As heir to his deposed
father's throne, Charles Stuart was the central figure of Royalist
opposition to Cromwell's government. Many areas of England and Scotland
were in favor of Charles's reclaiming the throne, and these Royalist
areas remained a threat to the Protectorate regime throughout the
- Born in 1599, a member of the lesser gentry who later
became a leading figure in the English Civil War and in the non-monarchic
government that replaced the regime of the beheaded King Charles
I. He was Lord Protector of England from 1653 until his death in September
- Nee Bourchier, wife of Oliver Cromwell. Elizabeth's
family connections were instrumental to Cromwell's political rise
in the 1640s. She bore Cromwell eight children and outlived him
by fourteen years, dying in 1672.
- Queen of England, wife of King Charles I. Originally
from France, Henrietta Maria was a Roman Catholic and was permitted
to celebrate private Catholic masses in the royal palace. This
enraged many members of Parliament, especially the Puritans. Henrietta
Maria was the mother of Kings Charles II and James II, the second
of whom practiced Catholicism openly as king.
brother-in-law. Ireton commanded troops in the English Civil War
and became a close friend of Cromwell's. He was second-in-command
to Cromwell during Cromwell's Irish campaign, and died in Ireland
of the Long Parliament who was instrumental in moving the House
of Commons along the road of opposition to King Charles I. Cromwell
allied himself with Pym during the 1640 and 1641 sessions.
a leader of the Long Parliament, along with John Pym.
Barebones Parliament - Parliament called by Cromwell in 1653. The members of
the Barebones Parliament were handpicked by Cromwell and the Council
of State, largely from among the lesser gentry and merchant classes.
The name itself comes from the fantastic name of one of its members,
Praise-God Barebones, a Puritan leather merchant. A coup
d'état in December 1653 caused this Parliament to hand
its power back to Cromwell, who was proclaimed Lord Protector that
Drogheda - Irish town taken by Cromwell and his army in September
1649 as part of his anti- Catholic crusade in Ireland. The siege
lasted for eight days, and when Cromwell's troops finally entered
the city over a thousand inhabitants of the town were massacred.
English Civil War - War fought between 1642 and 1646 between supporters of
King Charles I and supporters of the English Parliament. Parliament's army
won, and the end of the war set the stage for King Charles I's
removal from the throne, as well as allowing Lieutenant-General
Oliver Cromwell to rise to primary importance in the English government.
Grand Remonstrance - An act of Parliament passed in November 1641 that listed Parliament's
numerous grievances against King Charles I. This act was a major
step on the road to the English Civil War, as it explicitly marked
Parliament's opposition to the overall course of Charles's reign.
Long Parliament - Parliament called to session by Charles I in 1640 that
enacted reforms such as the Triennial Act and was openly hostile
against the Royalists. Cromwell sat in this Parliament, which did
not bend to Charles's wishes and eventually took up arms against him
in the English Civil War.
Penruddock's Rebellion - Royalist rebellion against the Protectorate that occurred
in March 1655 under the leadership of John Penruddock. This was the
most significant outbreak of violent Royalist opposition to Cromwell's
government during the years of the Protectorate.
Rump Parliament - Parliament which convened after the beheading of King
Charles I and was later forcibly disbanded by Cromwell in April
1653. The Rump Parliament was known for its slow-paced reform efforts
and generally conservative outlook on what the English constitution
should look like.
Triennial Act - 1641 act of Parliament that stipulated that the king
must call a Parliament into session at least once every three years.
This act displeased King Charles I, who had a history of ignoring Parliament
and only calling Parliamentary sessions to help him raise revenues
to pay for wars and other expenditures of the Crown.