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plot to


"judging that Lambert would be the worst tyrant of the two." Colonel This brave man, "who may be regarded as the type of a reveals the Christian gentleman and sincere republican,"* had, ever Cromwell. since the expulsion of the Long Parliament, retired into private life; the Protector received him with every expression of kindness and good will, and earnestly solicited him to join his government; but the colonel steadily refused, and, having put Cromwell on his guard against the assassins, left the court.+

influence in

When he had secured the officers of the army, the Protector appealed to the corporation of London, and explained to them the reasons why he had so abruptly dissolved the parliament. He Royalist was fully alive to the necessity of retaining the support London. of this powerful body; for latterly, with a view to acquire influence in city matters, many Royalists had bound their sons apprentices to London tradesmen, and opposition to the Protector was making rapid progress in the metropolis.

The dangers which threatened the government were indeed manifold. Charles not only had an army on the coasts of the Spanish Netherlands, ready to invade England, but the Royalists in the country itself had promised, as soon as these troops landed, to rise and secure Gloucester, Bristol, Shrewsbury, and Windsor; the Anabaptists also offered to join Charles as soon as he should set foot on English soil. But the vigilance of Cromwell's police was everywhere equal to the emergency. Ormond, who came over in disguise, for the purpose of observing the state of affairs, and estimating the strength of the rebels on the spot, received a very intelligible hint that he had better make a speedy return to his master. The apprentices of London made some wild boasts of seizing London; but, when the lieutenant of the Tower brought out five pieces of artillery against them, they thought it Conspiracy the best plan to escape into their masters' houses again. Their ringleaders, together with some members of the Knot. Sealed Knot, a secret committee of Royalists who organised the insurrections, were arrested; others were arrested in the country, and condemned; Sir Charles Slingsby, who had conspired to deliver Hull into the hands of Charles, and Dr. Hewet, an episcopal divine, were executed, although the former was the uncle of Lord Falconberg, the Protector's son-in-law, and the life of the latter was interceded for by Cromwell's favourite daughter, Elizabeth Claypole (June 8th). This severity taught the Royalists to fear the Protector's resentment, and they made no more insurrections during his life.

of the


* Guizot, 426. + Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, 373-376. Lingard, XI., 110-116; Knight, IV., 210-12; Guizot, 426-433; Carlyle, III., 353-55.


33. Alliance with France. Operations in the Spanish Netherlands. At the very moment when the Protector was thus so earnestly struggling against plots in England, he obtained his most brilliant successes on the continent. He had not been slow to perceive that, in order to wage an effectual warfare against Spain, his treaty of peace and commerce with France would not be sufficient, and he had readily met the proposals of Cardinal Mazarin for a closer and more active alliance. For this purpose Lockhart, one of the Scottish judges, who had married Cromwell's niece, went to France, and concluded a treaty at Paris, to last twelve months (March 23rd, 1657), by which the Protector The treaty engaged to send 6,000 troops to join the French army, of all 20,000 strong, in the Spanish Netherlands, and besiege Gravelines, Mardyke, and Dunkirk, the last of which was to remain in the hands of the English. The pay and expenses of the English auxiliaries were to be divided equally between the King of France and the Protector.

of alliance


The combined force was placed under the command of the celebrated Turenne, who was opposed by the Spaniards under Don John of Austria, with the British exiles, commanded by the Duke of York, and the French exiles, by the Prince of Condé. Instead of attacking the fortresses stipulated in the treaty, the English were employed in securing fortresses in the interior. Cromwell, however, was not a man to be duped, and he ordered his ambassador to see that the treaty was carried out, or send the English troops home. Mazarin was not inclined to quarrel with "a prince" whom his master "considered as the greatest and happiest in Europe," and Mardyke was besieged and delivered, provisionally, to the English general, Sir John Reynolds. Turenne then marched against Gravelines, but the Spaniards opened the sluices, inundated the environs of the town, and rendered a near approach impossible. The next spring, amidst all those domestic distractions which marked the dissolution of his last parliament, Cromwell sent over more troops, and renewed the treaty for another year. On the 25th of May, 1658, Dunkirk Dunkirk was invested. The intelligence was received the allies. by the Spaniards with surprise and apprehension, and they hastened to the defence of the place, leaving behind them their artillery, and a portion of their cavalry. Condé entreated them to remain within their entrenchments until these arrived; but Don John wished to advance along the Dunes, and march to meet the French army. Condé in vain showed him the utter folly of risking a battle under such unfavourable circumstances;

besieged by

of the


the French, said the proud Spaniard, will not even dare to look the army of his Catholic majesty in the face. Turenne, aware of The battle the discord and disorganization in the enemy's camp, Dunes. resolved to attack at once, before the Spaniards had received their ammunition and artillery, and the next morning (June 4th), the allied force was seen advancing in battle array. Don John hastily placed his men along a ridge of sand hills, which extended from the sea-coast to the canal; he gave the right wing to the Duke of York, the left to Condé, and reserved the centre to himself. The English, who formed the French left wing, commanded by Lockhart, began the battle; their ardour to distinguish themselves in the presence of two rival nations carried them considerably in advance of their allies; and, having halted to gain breath at the foot of the opposite sand hill, they mounted with impetuosity, received the fire of the enemy, and at the point of the pike drove them from their position. The Duke of York, with his small band of English and Irish Royalists, contested the palm of bravery in hand-to-hand encounters with their Republican countrymen, and in Lockhart's regiment scarcely an officer remained to take the command. By this time the action had commenced on the left, where Condé, after some sharp fighting, was compelled to retreat by the bank of the canal. The centre never engaged; for, seeing itself flanked on both sides, it precipitately abandoned its position, and fled from the field. In the meantime, the Duke of York had rallied his infantry; but a few squadrons of French horse soon broke his strength; and the victory, on the part of the allies, was then complete. Ten days after this brilliant achievement, the garrison of Dunkirk was reduced to extremities; the old governor, the Marquis of Leyden, had been mortally wounded in a sortie; the place surrendered; and on the 25th of June, Louis XIV. entered the town, and Dunkirk delivered the keys with his own hand to the English England. ambassador. Gravelines was soon after reduced; Ypres opened its gates; and all the towns on the banks of the Lys successively submitted to the conquerors.*

given up to

34. The Protector's family and private life. Now that he had re-established for his country a footing on the continent—a proud thing for England in those days, and not an impolitic one, as we think now, the Protector began once more to hope that a parliament would sanction, support, and consolidate his power. For notwithstanding all his triumphs, he was painfully conscious of

* Lingard, XI., 116-119; Guizot, 434-440.



the daily embarrassments of his government; he lacked The both credit and money. Though the last parliament had poverty. made ample provision, as it was then thought, for the war, he had already contracted enormous debts; his ministry, so Thurloe writes, were frequently compelled to go a begging for even the temporary loan of a few thousand pounds, with the cheerless anticipation of a refusal. He looked on the army, the greater part of which he had quartered in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, as his chief and only support against his enemies; and while the soldiers were comfortably clad and fed, he might with confidence rely on their attachment. But now that their pay was in arrear, he had reason to apprehend that discontent might induce them to listen to the suggestions of those He fears officers who sought to subvert his power. Formerly he because had relieved himself from similar embarrassments by the arrear. imposition of taxes on his own authority; but according to the new scheme of government, founded on the "Petition and Advice," this was illegal, and he, therefore, refrained from it. He attempted to raise a loan in the city, but failed; because the Spanish war was unpopular among the merchants, whose profits it cut off. There only remained a third expedient-the assembling of parliament, which Thurloe repeatedly advised him to summon. He therefore appointed a committee to report upon what was to be done in the next parliament to defend the government against the attacks of the Royalists and Republicans. Its deliberations came to nothing.

the army

its pay is in


of his

But the cares of government, and all thoughts of worldly power and dignity, were now absorbed in other cares and other anxieties, of a much deeper interest in the Protector's mind. Throughout his career, the interests and destiny of his family and children had been a source of deep anxiety to treatment him. No paternal illusion, or ambitious desire, ever led children. this great man to overrate the talents or merits of his children, whose affairs he treated as an affectionate and prudent father, and not as a powerful sovereign, desirous to shed the lustre of his dignity over all his relatives. Aware of the natural indolence of his third, but eldest surviving son, Richard, he allowed him to live with his father-in-law, Mr. Major, at Hursley Manor, like a quiet country gentleman; and he did not intrust the government of Ireland to his younger son, Henry, until he made trial of his abilities; and then he promoted him by slow degrees, and under modest titles. When he became Protector, he resolved to have a court; but the austerity of his party, the military character of His court.


Influence of his

children in


his government, and the manners, tastes, and jealousies of most of his adherents, confined it within very narrow limits. His own family was the centre, and the chief element in it. His wife, Elizabeth Bourchier, while she had all that simplicity, of his wife. modesty, and good sense, which had contented her with her husband's former humble station, had yet spirit and dignity sufficient for the exalted station she now held. She educated her children with much ability, and governed her family with address; and she was the only relative of the Protector, whose kinsmen received no place of profit or emolument under the Protectorate. She survived her husband seven years, and was buried at Norborough.* The Protector relied more upon his children for the direction of his court; he made Richard a privy counsellor, and caused him to be elected member of the court. parliament, and chancellor for the University of Oxford. His son-in-law, John Claypole, was a man of elegant tastes, and, like Richard, was on friendly terms with a great many Cavaliers. After the marriage of his two younger daughters, Mary with Lord Falconberg, and Frances with Mr. Rich, grandson of the Earl of Warwick, Cromwell had about him four young and wealthy families, desirous to enjoy life, and to share their enjoyments with all who came near them in rank and fortune. The Protector was fond of social amusements, and brilliant assemblies; he was passionately fond of music, and took delight in surrounding himself with musicians, and in listening to their performances. Under the direction of his daughters, therefore, his court became numerous and gay. One alone of them, the widow of Ireton and the wife of Fleetwood, was a zealous and austere Republican, and took but little part in their festivities; she deplored the monarchical and worldly tendencies which prevailed in the household as well as in the policy of the Protector.

But in the midst of all this domestic prosperity, family afflictions fell heavy upon Cromwell, and brought forth, in every visitation, the tenderness of his nature. In 1648, his second son, Oliver, a His family promising youth, was killed in battle, and, although we afflictions. find no trace of the father's sorrow until ten years afterwards, when a new affliction called up the bitter remembrance, he felt it poignantly. Hearing some one read the passage in Philippians, beginning with "Not that I speak in respect of want," and ending with "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me," he said, "This Scripture did once save my life, when my eldest son * * died; which went to

* Forster's Lives, VI., 32-34.


+ Guizot's Cromwell, 443.

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