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protector of the commonwealth of England, and one of the most remarkable

, protector of the commonwealth of England, and one of the most remarkable characters in English history, was descended, both by his father and mother, from families of great antiquity. He was the son of Mr. Robert Cromwell, who was the second son of sir Henry Cromwell of Hinchinbrooke, in the county of Huntingdon, knt. whose great grandfather is conjectured to have been Walter Cromwell, the blacksmith at Putney, spoken of in the preceding article; and his grandmother sister to Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex. Yet we are told that when Goodman, bishop of Gloucester, who turned papist, and was very desirous of making his court to the protector, dedicated a book to him, and presented a printed paper to him, by which he pretended to claim kindred with him, as being himself someway allied to Thomas earl of Essex, the protector with some warmth told him, “that lord was not related to his family in any degree.” For this story, however, told by Fuller, there seems little foundation . Robert Cromwell, father of the protector, was settled at Huntingdon, and had four sons (including the protector) and seven daughters. Though by the interest of his brother sir Oliver, he was put into the commission of the peace for Huntingdonshire, he had but a slender fortune; most of his support arising from a brewhouse in Huntingdon, chiefly managed by his wife. She was Elizabeth, daughter of a Stewart, of Rothseyth in Fifeshire, and sister of sir Robert Stewart, of the isle of Ely, knt. who has been reported, and not without some foundation of truth, to have been descended from the royal house of Stuart; as appears from a pedigree of her family still in being. Out of the profits of this trade, and her own jointure of 60l. per annum, Mrs. Cromwell provided fortunes for her daughters, sufficient to marry them into good families. The eldest, or second surviving, was the wife of Mr. John Desborough, afterwards one of the protector’s major-generals; another married, first, Roger Whetstone, esq. and afterwards colonel John Jones, who was executed for being one of the king’s judges; the third espoused colonel Valentine Walton, who died in exile; the fourth, Robina, married first Dr. Peter French, and then Dr. John Wilkins, a man eminent in the republic of letters, and after the restoration bishop of Chester. It may be also added, that an aunt of the protector’s married Francis Barrington, esq. from whom descended the Barringtons of Essex; another aunt, John Hampden, esq. of Buckinghamshire, by whom she was mother of the famous John Hampden, who lost his life in Chalgrave field; a third was the wife of Mr. Whaley, and the mother of colonel Whaley, in whose custody the king was while he remained at Hampton-court; the fourth aunt married Mr. Dunch.

rms contained in a paper, entitled “The Instrument of Government;” and that his excellency should be protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and have

The true reason why Cromwell thus dismissed this council of state, was, because he intended to have another of his own framing; these being men entirely devoted to the parliament, from whom they derived their authority. He now projected such measures as appeared to him the most proper for the support of that great authority which he had attained. He continued for a few days to direct all things by the advice of the council of officers; but afterwards a new council of state was called, by virtue of letters or warrants under the lord-general’s hand. But this consisting chiefly of fifth-monarchy and other madmen, soon dissolved of itself; and then the power returned into the hands of Cromwell, from whom it came. Harrison, and about twenty more, remained in the house, and seeing the reign of the saints at an end, placed one Moyer in the speaker’s chair, and began to draw up protests; but they were soon interrupted by colonel White with a party of soldiers. White asking them what they did there, they told him, “they were seeking the Lord;” to which he replied, “that they might go somewhere else, for to his knowledge, the Lord had not been there many years;” and so turned them out of doors. The scene thus changed, the supreme power was said to be in the council of officers again; and they very speedily resolved, that the lordgeneral, with a select council, should have the administration of public affairs, upon the terms contained in a paper, entitled “The Instrument of Government;” and that his excellency should be protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and have the title of Highness. Accordingly he was invested therewith Dec. 16, 1653, in the court of chancery in Westminster-hall, with great solemnity; and thus, in his 54th year, assumed the sovereign power, which he well knew how to exercise with firmness. When he had thus reduced the government into some order at least, he proceeded very wisely and warily; appointed a privy-council, in which there were great and worthy men, who he knew would either not act at all, or not very long with him; but their names giving a sanction for the present, he proceeded, with the advice of as many of them as attended, to make several ordinances that were necessary, as also to dispose matters for the holding a new parliament. He applied himself also to the settlement of the public affairs, both foreign and domestic; he concluded a peace with the states of Holland and Sweden; he obliged the king of Portugal, notwithstanding all that had passed between the parliament and bim, to accept of a peace upon his terms; and adjusted matters with France, though not without some difficulty. As to affairs at home, he filled the courts in Westminsterhall with able judges; and directed the lawyers themselves to make such corrections in the practice of their profession, as might free them from public odium. The same moderation he practised in church matters; professing an unalterable resolution to maintain liberty of conscience. He gave the command of all the forces in Scotland to general Monk, and sent his son Henry to govern Ireland. By an ordinance dated April 12, 1654, he united England and Scotland, fixing the number of representatives for the latter at 30; and soon after he did the same by Ireland. He affected to shew great zeal for justice, in causing the brother of the ambassador from Portugal to be executed for murder; which he did July 10, in spite of the greatest application to prevent it.