The Lord Protector: Religion and Politics in the Life of Oliver Cromwell

By Robert S. Paul | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
PRINCEPS: HOME AND FOREIGN POLICY (1653-1656)

I
Scotland and Ireland

IF the establishment of a constitution and the maintenance of civil peace were the central problems for Cromwell in home affairs, there were others which were threatening enough, and almost as urgent. In Scotland, for example, the situation had deteriorated during the time that Robert Lilburne was in command there, and if it can be said to have improved under George Monk it was only because Monk was a more efficient commander. His appointment to the command had been signalized by an ordinance of union between England and Scotland,1 but that could not obscure the fact that to all intents and purposes Scotland was a foreign country under an army of occupation. On his arrival Monk found that he was faced not only with the rising in the highlands under the Earl of Glencairn and Lieutenant- General John Middleton, but with general hostility. The English commander immediately took the offensive, so that by the early days of July (1654) he had crushed all resistance, although the result could not be called peace. Meanwhile the Lord Protector tried to persuade some of the Scottish ministers to visit London to confer with him on the situation,2 and special ordinances were passed for the support of the Scottish universities and public preachers. There was also an ill-fated attempt to extend the English ecclesiastical system across the border.

In Ireland a far more drastic policy had been started,3 but the situation was complicated by the hostility of some of the officers

____________________
1
April 12, 1654. Firth and Rait, Acts and Ordinances, II, 8 71)-5.
2
See letter to Robert Lilburne requesting him to pay the expenses of Gillespie, Menzies and Livingstone, March 7, 1654, W.S., III, 211; L-C, III, 448 (Supp. 86); also a letter summoning Blair, Douglas and Guthrie to London, May 6, 1654. W.S., III, 284.
3
Supra, p. 288 f.

-322-

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