Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

PART FOURTH. FROM THE YEAR 1660 TO .THE YEAR 1665. THE death of Oliver Cromwell, which tookplace . on'the third of September, 1658, was soon followed by great and amazing changes in the commonwealth which he had so long and prosper- ously governed. His eldest son, Richard, succeeded to the vacant throne, as peaceably, and received the congratulations ofthe nation, on his accession, as unanimously, as if he had trtced back his title through a line of kings, even to the age of William the Conqueror. But Richard had little of the talent, and less of the spirit, of his father. The hopes of tile disappointed republicans began to re- vive. A parliament was summoned, the majority of which, with the Presbyterian part of the army, was friendly to the young pro- tector. The principal officers of the army, however, some from disappointed ambition, and some from principle as republicans, soon began to enter into cabals against him. In an unfortunate moment, he was persuaded to consent to the meetingof a "gen- eral council of officers ;" and from that moment the military aristocracy, which had governed before Oliver concentrated the power into his own hands, was revived. The parliament, alarmed at this movement, made an ineffectual resistance. The heads of the armydemanded of the protector the dissolution of the parlia- ment. Richard saw that his refusal would immediately involve the nation in another civil war; he felt himself unequal to such a conflict; his kind and peaceful temper shrunk from the prospect of bloodshed; and the parliamentwas instantly dissolved. A few days afterwards, he formally abdicated his authority, and retired to private life, probably without,a sigh over his fallen' grandeur. In the obscurity, for which his nature fitted him, he lived, respected for his private virtues, and unmolested, through several succeeding reigns. The "council of officers" found themselves once more at the head of the British empire.. By them, the remnant of the old Long Parliament, the despised and hated Rump, was revived and reinstated in its authority, as it existed immediately before its dis- solution by Oliver Cromwell. No movementcould have had more