or Interregnum (1649-1660)
Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 Click here for more information

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageIreland
Rump Parliament

The Rump Parliament was the remnant of the Long Parliament after Pride's Purge of December 6th and 7th, 1648 when the Presbyterian members of the House of Commons were removed.

It was the Rump Parliament which ordered the execution of king Charles I in January 1649, abolishing the monarchy and House of Lords, and forming the republican Commonwealth of England.

England . . .

. . . shall henceforth be governed as a Commonwealth and Free State by the supreme authority of this nation, the representatives of the People in Parliament . . . and that without any King or House of Lords

  - declaration of the Rump of the Long Parliament, May 19th, 1649

Parliament appointed a "Council of State" which was composed largely of its own Members to act as the executive branch of government. On January 2nd, 1650, it ordered that every adult male take the Engagement;-

I do declare and promise, that I will be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now established, without a King or House of Lords

Cromwell sought acquiescence at home to free him to deal with the problem of Ireland but the Rump was widely viewed as illigitimate, surviving solely by the support of the Army, and many were unwilling to subsribe to the Engagement.

Cromwell and other members of the regime tried to increase their support amongst the moderate gentry by suppressing the Levellers and arresting their leaders. They also launched a propaganda campaign encouraging subscription to the Engagement on the pragmatic acceptance of the regime de facto, regardless of the queston of legitimacy.

The Rump was dissolved by Oliver Cromwell in 1653, replacing it with the "Barebones Parliament" and leaving him as, effectively, a military dictator.

The Rump was recalled by Cromwell's son, Richard, who succeeded him as Lord Protector after his death in 1658. It demanded the Protector's resignation, which was readily obtained.

BibliographyDiscuss this PageFirst Dutch War
Foreign PolicyHits on this PageIrelandLegalsLinks
LocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line
Barebones Parliament

The Barebones Parliament or Nominated Assembly which followed the discreditted Rump Parliament first met on July 4th, 1653, was the most radical experiment of the Commonwealth.

The idea behind the Barebones Parliament was proposed by Major-General Thomas Harrison who sought inspiration from the ancient Jewish Sanhedrin or Assembly of Saints and was enthusiastically supported by Oliver Cromwell and the radicals of the Army.

The Assembly consisted of one hundred and thirty nine "persons fearing God and of approved fidelity and honesty" who were nominated for the Parliament by the separatist congregations (five other members such as Cromwell and Major-General Harrison were co-opted later).

Forasmuch as upon the dissolution of the late Parliament it became necessary that the peace, safety, and good government of this Commonwealth should be provided for; and, in order thereunto, divers persons fearing God, and of approved fidelity and honesty, are by myself, with the advice of my council of officers, nominated, to whom the great charge and trust of so weighty affairs is to be committed; and having good assurance of your love to, and courage for, God and the interest of His cause, and of the good people of this Commonwealth:

I, Oliver Cromwell, Captain-General and Commander-in-chief of all the armies and forces raised, and to be raised, within this Commonwealth, do hereby summon and require you (being one of the said persons nominated) personally to be and appear at the Council-Chamber, commonly known or called by the name of the Council-Chamber at Whitehall, within the City of Westminster, upon the 4th day of July next ensuing the date hereof; then and there to take upon you the said trust unto which you are hereby called and appointed, to serve as a member for the county of And hereof you are not to fail.

Given under my hand and seal the 6th day of June, 1653.

O. Cromwell.

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageLegalsLinks
LocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line


As in Scotland, Cromwell's actions made him very unpopular in Ireland; as a nominally independent nation, it was effectively conquered by English forces.

His suppression of the Royalists in Ireland during 1649 still has a strong resonance for many Irish people; nearly 3,500 people were massacred in Drogheda (around 2,700 Royalist soldiers and all the men in the town carrying arms, including civilians, prisoners, and Catholic priests) after its capture. The event is one of the historical memories that has fuelled Irish-English and Catholic-Protestant strife which has troubled Ireland for over three centuries and continues to do so.

Cromwell felt justified in ordering the massacre because the city's defenders had continued to fight after the walls of Drogheda had been breached - in violation of what were then the conventions of warfare;-

I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood, and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are the satisfactory grounds to such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret.

Cromwell returned to England in May 1650 leaving the English army, under the command of Edmund Ludlow and Henry Ireton, to conquer the whole of Ireland. Ireland was fianlly subdued by the Commonwealth on April 27th, 1653 when Philip O'Reilly surrendered at Cloghoughton.

The Act for the the Settlement of Ireland was passed in August 1652 and authorized the expropriation of irish lands on a grand scale - eleven million acres out of approximately twenty million. Much of the confiscated land was given to English soldiers in lieu of their pay and they, in turn, sold it to Protestant settlers - by 1656, four-fifths of Irish land had passed into Protestant hands.

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarHits on this PageIrelandLegalsLinks
LocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line
Foreign Policy

Cromwell's foreign policy led England into the First Anglo-Dutch War in 1652 against the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands which was eventually won by Ganeral-at-Sea Robert Blake (1598-1657) in 1654.

England and Holland, both Protestant countries in a predominantly Roman Catholic Europe had political interests in common but they were also rivals in trade, exploration and commerce.

The Netherlands became completely independent of Spain by 1648 and both England and the Netherlands were Protestant republics after 1650. William II of Orange, the son-in-law of Charles I was the Stadholder of the Netherlands but died in 1650, a fortnight before the birth of his heir (the son of Mary Stuart, and grandson of Charles I). The office of Stadholder was abolished the merchants, jealous of their trade, gained more power in the Netherlands.

There was long-standing competition between the two countries over the carrying trade and, in 1650, the Council of State of the Commonwealth which was reluctant to make a Protestant enemy and to see the return of the Orange family, made overtures to the Dutch to settle the differences by compromise. The Dutch saw the proposals of the Commonwealth as an attempt to undermine their sovereignty, and rejected it, Parliament passed the Navigation Act in 1651;-

. . . that from and after the first day of December and from thence forwards, no goods or commodities whatsoever of the growth, production, or manufacture of Asia, Africa, or America, or of any part thereof; or of any islands belonging to them �as well of the English plantations as others, shall be imported or brought into this Commonwealth of England, or into Ireland, . . . in any other ship or ships, vessel or vessels whatsoever, but only in such as do truly and without fraud belong only to the people of this Commonwealth . . .

  - the Navigation Act, October 9th, 1651

In 1652 the Dutch, under Admiral Maarten Van Tromp (1598-1653) gained the upper hand in the ensuing conflict over the English Navy commanded by Robert Blake. Fortunes turned the following year as the Commonwealth won a series of engagements with the Dutch, capturing or sinking four times as many Dutch vessels as they lost themselves.

Dover   May 19th, 1652
Battle of Dover or Battle of Goodwin Sands

Dutch fleet of 42 encountered 20 English warships commanded by General-at-Sea Robert Blake in English waters and Tromp provocatively refused to make the conventional salute of lowering his flag to the English General-at-Sea. Blake's warning shot was replied with a broadside from Tromp's flagship, the Brederode resuting in a five-hour battle. The Dutch fleet lost two ships and withdrew as darkness fell.

July, 1652

Blake attacked and captured a large part of the Dutch fishing fleet.

England declares war on the Netherlands.

Plymouth   August 16th, 1652
Battle of Plymouth

Thirty-two warships commanded by admiral Michiel de Ruyter escorting a merchant convoy of 60 ships down the English Channel from Calais to the Mediterranean sight and attack a British fleet of 38 ships commanded by General-at-Sea George Ayscue off Plymouth. Fiercely fought, the result was indecisive (both sides claimed victory) and the Dutch merchantmen successfully escaped down the Channel.

Kentish Knock   September 28th, 1652
Battle of the Kentish Knock

The Dutch fleet of 59 warships under Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de Witt were sighted by Blake's fleet of 68 warships off the Kentish Knock (a sandbank in the southern North Sea about 18 miles NE of North Foreland) and immediately attacked. Two Dutch ships were captured and several others were damaged with many casualties (a number of the Dutch warships holding back from joining in the action because of discontent among their crews). Blake pursued the retreating Dutch fleet for two days until de Witt took refuge in Goeree harbour.

Dungeness   November 30th, 1652
Battle of Dungeness

42 ships under under Blake were engaged by 80 Dutch warships under Tromp and gradually overwhelmed them through force of numbers until Blake retreated for the refuge of the Thames With three ships sunk, two captured, and his flagship, the Triumph, badly damaged. The Dutch victory allowed their merchant convoys free passage through the Channel with the English fleet was blockaded in its own harbours.

The defeat prompted the Commissioners of the Navy to make a thorough review of naval tactics and the first official Articles of War and Fighting Instructions were issued to English naval commanders in March 1653.

The Fighting Instructions included line-ahead fleet formations (hence "Ship of the Line") to maximise the use of the broadside and remained the basis of naval tactics throughout the next century.

The English fleet was strengthened so that, by early 1653, around 80 warships had been assembled at Portsmouth under the joint command of Generals-at-Sea Blake, Monck and Deane.

Portland   February 18th-20th, 1653
Battle of Portland or the Three Days Battle

Tromp's fleet of eighty warships escorted a large convoy of 200 merchantmen up the Channel as they returned from the Mediterranean when they were intercepted by the main English battle fleet under the joint command of Blake, Monck and Deane about 20 miles south of Portland Bill. Both sides had lost several ships when a squadron of English frigates bypassed the main action, making for the unprotected convoy and forcing Tromp to disengage from the battle to protect the merchantmen. Although sporadic fighting continued, the English fleet was becalmed and prevented from following the Dutch.

Thew following afternoon, the English caught up with the Dutch, Tromp deploying his warships in a defensive crescent protect the merchant convoy. Although the Dutch successfully resisted English attempts to break through the formation, by dusk they had run short of ammunition.

The battle was rejoined off Beachy Head in Sussex and the English broke through the Dutch defences to get in amongst the merchant convoy. Blake anchored the fleet at dusk intending to pursue the Dutch who escaped overnight into the shallows off the Flemmish and Zeeland coasts where the English dared not follow.

The Dutch had lost eight warships and possibly as many as fifty merchantmen and the Commonwealth reigned supreme in the Channel, now closed to Dutch mariners.

North Foreland   June 2nd-3rd, 1653
Battle of North Foreland or Battle of Gabbard Shoal

A Dutch fleet of ninety-eight warships and six fireships under Admiral Tromp, with de Witt and de Ruyter as vice-admirals, engaged the English with one hundred ships and five fireships under Generals-at-Sea George Monck and Richard Deane near the Gabbard sandbak (off Orfordness on the Suffolk coast). The Dutch withdrew after seven hours of battle with the loss of three warships.

The following day, Monck having been reinforced by eighteen ships commanded by Robert Blake and, after four hours of battle, the Dutch withdrew in disarray, pursued by the English until nightfall. They had lost eleven ships, with a further nine captured, while the English fleet lost no ships and suffered light casualties.

General-at-Sea Richard Deane was killed during the first Dutch broadside.

Following the victory, Monck's fleet imposed a total blockade on Dutch ports, capturing hundreds of Dutch merchantmem and fishing vessels, bringing all Dutch overseas commerce to a complete standstill and forcing the Netherlands to consider suing for peace with the Commonwealth.

Scheveningen   July 31st, 1653
Battle of Scheveningen or Battle of the Texel

A Dutch fleet of one hundred warships sailed on July 24th, 1653, to lift the English blockade of the Dutch coast. Tromp made for the island of Texel, where twenty-seven Dutch warships and ten fireships under de Witt was blockaded by one hundred and twenty English ships under George Monck. Monk was lured from Texel to a partial engagement off Katwijk on July 29th, allwoing de Witt to escape to the open sea and meet Tromp off Scheveningen the following day.

The two fleets engaged off Scheveningen on the 31st, watched by hundreds of spectators from the beaches and, in the early stages, Tromp was killed by a musket shot (his death was kept secret for hours to avoid undermining morale). Gradually the Dutch were overwhelmed and, with up to thirty ships sunk or badly damaged, retreated to shelter at Texel.

The death of Maarten Tromp was not only a severe blow to the Dutch navy, but also to the Orangists who sought the defeat of the Commonwealth and restoration of the Stuart monarchy in England; the Republican influence strengthened after Scheveningen and the peace negotiations with the Commonwealth, culminating in the Treaty of Westminster, began in earnest.

Peace was concluded with the Dutch on generous terms by the Treaty of Westminster which was signed on April 5th, 1654. The principal aims of the treaty were to limit the powers of the pro-Stuart House of Orange in the Netherlands and secure the expulsion of English Royalist exiles from the Dutch territories.

While the Treaty of Westminster ended the hostilities of the First Anglo-Dutch War, it did little to alleviate the commercial rivalry in maritime trade between the two nations, especially in the extensive colonies of both countries, and hostilities continued between the trade companies (which had warships and troops of their own). The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) was thus inevitable.

Flag of the British East India Company

Flag of the Dutch East Indies Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie)

The Anglo-Spanish War

As with the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-1654), the Anglo-Spanish War which broke out in February 1656 was fought because of commercial rivalries.

General-at-Sea Robert Blake blockaded Cadiz. During the blockade, one of his captains, Richard Stayner, destroyed most of the Spanish Plate Fleet and a galleon of treasure was captured - the overall loss to Spain was estimated at £2-million. Blake maintained the blockade throught the winter of 1656, the first time the English fleet had stayed at sea over winter.

In 1657, Blake won against the Spanish West Indian Fleet over the English seizure of Jamaica although the English failed in capturing their object, the island of Hispaniola. On April 20th, Blake totally destroyed a Spanish silver fleet of sixteen ships at Santa Cruz Bay, Tenerife, with the loss of only one ship despite being under fire from shore batteries and attacking and withdrawing on the tide.

For the action in Santa Cruz Bay, Blake was given an expensive diamond ring by the Lord Protector, Cromwell.

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageIreland
LegalsLinksLocallyRump ParliamentTime-Line

King Charles I   King of England (1625-1649)

Like his father the Stuart monarch believed in the divine right of kings which, coupled with the poverty of the crown, led to a rift with parliament which led to the Civil War, Parliament's victory, the execution of the King (1649) and rule by Parliament during the Commonwealth or Interregnmum until the Restoration of Charles II in 1660.

Oliver Cromwell   (1599-1658)

Robert Blake   (1599-1657)

One of Oliver Cromwell's most important commanders during the Civil War and the Commonwealth, the most famous British Admiral until eclipsed by Horatio Nelson.

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageIreland
LegalsLinksLocallyPeopleRump Parliament

This time-line has been generated for this page from our general time-line
which you can view by clicking here or on the dates in the left-hand column.

To view links to related pages, click here

1560.Jul.06Treaty of Edinburgh secures peace with Scotland, French undertaking to withdraw troops from Scotland and recognise Elizabeth\\\'s right to rule England; Mary, Queen of Scots claims to the English annulled - but 18-year-old Mary (still in France) refuses to ratify the treaty
1599Birth of Robert Blake (-1657), Commonwealth admiral, at Bridgewater, Somerset
He was the most influential admiral until Horatio Nelson
1619A number of English merchants killed by the Dutch at Amboyna in the East Indies
1640.Nov.03The Long Parliament called by king Charles I
The parliament sat through the Civil War (1640-1645), the execution of Charles I and the Interregnum or Commonwealth which followed to be dissolved on March 14th, 1660
1649Commonwealth reform of the Navy (-1652)
1649.FebOliver Cromwell made Lord Protector of the Commonwealth
1650Cromwell returns to England from Ireland, leaving the reduction of the Island (-1652) to his generals
1650Newly arrived governor of Barbados (1650-51), Francis, Lord Willoughby of Parham, declares for Charles II.
1650.Jan.02The Rump Parliament orders every adult male to take the Engagement;-
I do declare and promise, that I will be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now established, without a King or House of Lords
1651.Oct.09Passage of the Navigation Act by the Commonwealth Parliament forbidding ships other than English or colonial from carrying English ports to/from English ports
The Act caused the First Anglo-Dutch war in 1652
1652Commonwealth reform of the Navy (1649-)
1652.Jan2 warships and about 1,000 soldiers under General-at-Sea George Ayescue, sent by the Commonwealth quell the Royalists on Barbados in the Caribbean who had taken refuge there
1652.May.19Battle of Godwin Sands or Battle of Dover - start of the First Anglo-Dutch War (-1654)
1652.JulEngland declares war on the Netherlands
1652.AugAct for the the Settlement of Ireland passed by the Commonwealth: authorizes the expropriation of Irish lands on a grand scale
By 1656, four-fifths of Irish land had passed into Protestant hands
1652.Aug.16Battle of Plymouth: 32 Dutch warships escorting a merchant convoy engage 38 English warships in an indecisive battle during which the merchantmen escape
1652.Sep.28Battle of the Kentish Knock: 59 Dutch warships under de Witt were engaged by Blake\'s fleet of 68 warships off the Kentish Knock (about 18 miles NE of North Foreland). The retreating Dutch pursued for 2 days before taking refuge in Goeree harbour
1653Strengthening of the Navy against the Dutch threat with 80 warships assembled at Portsmouth under the joint command of Generals-at-Sea Blake, Monck and Deane
1653.Feb.18During the three-day Battle of Portland, three miles off the promontory: the 32-gun Sampson and several Dutch ships sunk
The English, under Blake, chase Admiral Tromp\\\'s Dutch fleet up the channel to eventual defeat of the Isle of Wight on the 20th
1653.MarPublication of Articles of War and Fighting Instructions for the instruction of Naval officers in naval tactics by Robert Blake following the defeat at the Battle of Dungeness
The Fighting Instructions remained the basis of naval tactics throughout the next century
1653.Apr.27Subjugation of Ireland by the Commonwealth as Philip O\'Reilly surrenders at Cloghoughton
1653.Jul.04First sitting of the Barebones Parliament consisting of members nominated by separatist congregations
1653.Dec.16Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament and became Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, effectively a military dictator
1654Cromwell launches the Western Design against Spanish possessions in the West Indies
1654.Apr.05Treaty of Westminster signed ending the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-)
1654.Sep.12Cromwell orders the exclusion of members of Parliament who are hostile to him
1655Army Military Districts created by the Commonwealth
1656.FebThe Anglo-Spanish War breaks out
1656.OctBlake maintains the blockade throught the winter, the first time the English fleet had stayed at sea over winter
by 1656Four-fifths of Irish land had passed into Protestant hands since the Act for the the Settlement of Ireland passed by the Commonwealth in August 1652
1658.Sep.03Death of Oliver Cromwell (-1599), Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, from malaria (or poisoning). He was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son Richard
The dying Puritan refused quinine from cinchona, the only known treatment for malaria, because it was introduced by the Catholic Jesuits
1660.Apr.16Dissolution of the Long Parliament summoned by Charles I in 1640
The parliament, called by Charles I in 1640, had sat through the Civil War (1640-1645), the execution of the king and the Interregnum or Commonwealth which followed

Year   Word/Phrase    
Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageIreland
LegalsLocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line

Links to Other Pages on this Site

MAARTEN TROMP   (Dutch Admiral)

Links to Other Sites

. . . . . the inclusion of these links to other sites is for the interest and convenience of visitors to this site only and does not imply any endorsement of the products or services offered by the individuals or organisations involved nor the accuracy of the information contained therein . . . . .


Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageIreland
LegalsLinksPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line

Barebones ParliamentDiscuss this PageFirst Dutch War
Foreign PolicyHits on this PageIrelandLegalsLinks
LocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line

Recommend a Book for this Page

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyIrelandLegalsLinksLocally
PeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line
Hits on this Page
Hits on this page since December 6th


current year: previous year:

 Home Page  Useful National Web Links  Back: Display Previous Frame  Show Page Title Bar  Resize Window: 800x600 Resize Window: 1024x768

 Click here for more information

 Close this Menu Panel
Select ;-

Aa-Az   Ba-Bz   Ca-Cz   Da-Dz   Ea-Ez   Fa-Fz   Ga-Gz   Ha-Hz   Ia-Iz   Ja-Jz   Ka-Kz   La-Lz   Ma-Mz   Na-Nz   Oa-Oz   Pa-Pz   Qa-Qz   Ra-Rz   Sa-Sz   Ta-Tz   Ua-Uz   Va-Vz   Wa-Wz   Ya-Yz   
Barebones ParliamentBibliographyFirst Dutch War
Foreign PolicyHits on this PageIrelandLegalsLinks
LocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line
Discuss this Page

No messages posted on this page

Only Members of the Site can post messages in this section. Signing in is easy from our Home Page.

Barebones ParliamentBibliographyDiscuss this Page
First Dutch WarForeign PolicyHits on this PageIreland
LinksLocallyPeopleRump ParliamentTime-Line

DISCLAIMER: Whilst we endeavour to ensure the content of this site is correct, we cannot undertake that information you find here, is, or will remain accurate and complete. We do not warrant that any information contained on this site is fit for any purpose. If you wish to place reliance on any such information you must check its accuracy by some other means before doing so.

MEMBERS get aditional features on our pages and will soon be able to interact with the site and add their views and informastion. Sign up, from the Home-Page, is simple and involves typing in your email address and a password of your choice.

If you are in any way connected with any location or interested in the subject mentioned on this page and have an hour or two a month to spare, we would welcome you as a local moderator - please email the webmaster by CLICKING HERE.

Privacy Policy

last updated on
Copyright © 2000-2003
page ref: BAAAGEKB

Commercial Building / Office building|