The Royalists were completely crushed. Charles took refuge with the Scottish army (5 May 1646), but was soon given up by them to the Parliament, on which occasion Cromwell was one of the commissioners. When Parlia ment, in which the Presbyterian element pre dominated, wished to disband the army, the soldiers, headed by the Independents, appointed a council of officers and a body of subalterns and privates called Adjutators (misspelt agita tors), who declared to the Parliament that they would not lay down their arms till the freedom of the nation was established. Some of the soldiers conducted themselves so boldly that Parliament ordered their arrest; on which occa sion Cromwell not not only supported the House, but deplored the seditious temper of the troops, 'which he said had even put his own life in dan ger. Cromwell seems at this time to have con templated the restoration of the king, and, supported by Fairfax and others, even entered into a treaty with him; but he soon discovered that Charles was not to be trusted and that the king's success would be his destruction. Fight ing now took place with the Royalist party in Wales, but Cromwell soon finished the strug gle in this quarter; after which he proceeded against the Soots, who had raised a strong army ato deliver the king from As Fairfax, from Presbyterian scruples, de clined the command of the expedition against Scotland, Cromwell undertook it. With a much inferior force he defeated the Scots in a three days' action at Preston (17-19 Aug. 1648) and marched on to Edinburgh.
Now followed the tragedy of the king's execution, 29 Jan. 1649. Cromwell's name stood third in order in the death-warrant, and though he may have been impelled to the step by force of circumstances and by his knowl edge of the king's faithlessness, there is no reason to suppose that he regretted the share he took in the death of the king, or thought that he was unjustly punished. Affairs in Ire land now demanded his presence, and having been appointed lord-lieutenant and commander in-chief, he joined the troops there in August 1649. He took Drogheda by storm (September 1649), where he gave orders that nothing should be spared. Most of the cities opened their gates without resistance, and within six months the Royalist party in Ireland was wholly crushed.
Resigning the command to Ireton, he now undertook, at the request of the Parliament, a similar expedition against Scotland, where Prince Charles, afterward Charles II, had been proclaimed king. The victory at Dunbar, 3 Sept, 1650, rid Cromwell of the menace in that direction. Meanwhile, however, Prince Charles had collected new forces; but Cromwell, by skilful marches near Stirling, cut him off from his points of support, when, contrary to his expectation, the prince entered England and threatened the metropolis itself. Cromwell hastened from the Scottish troops into England. Charles was totally defeated at Worcester, 3 Sept. 1651, and this victory, which Cromwell called the crowning mercy of God, gave the commonwealth party full power over the three nations.
Cromwell already exerted a weighty in fluence on the supreme direction of public affairs. He succeeded in restoring the conti nental relations of England, which had been almost entirely dissolved, and regulated them so as to promote the interests of commerce. The Navigation Act, from which may be dated the rise of the naval power of England, was framed upon his suggestion and passed in 1651. Meanwhile the Long Parliament, aiming to establish its own power, was growing more and more unpopular in consequence of its un disguised tyranny, the war which it had pro voked with the Dutch and its treatment of the prisoners taken at Worcester, some of whom were put to death in prison and others sold for slaves in the colonies. Cromwell now spoke openly to his friends of the ambition, the god lessness and injustice of the Parliament. En
couraged by their support, he, with five or six files of soldiers, dispersed that body 20 April 1653. He then summoned a council of state consisting mainly of his principal officers, which finally chose a Parliament of persons selected from the three kingdoms, which, from Praise God Barebone or Barbone, one Of the principal characters in it, by trade a leather seller, was nicknamed Praise-God Barebone's Parliament, another name being the Little Parliament. Cromwell opened the session with a speech, in which he said that the day was come on which the saints were to commence their reign upon earth. Fifteen months after, a new annual Parliament was chosen; but after five months Cromwell prevailed on this body to place the charge of the commonwealth in his hands. The chief power now devolving again upon the council of officers (12 Dec. 1653), they dgclared Oliver Cromwell sole governor of the common wealth, under the title of lord-protector.
The new protector behaved with dignity and firmness. With the aid of General Lambert he formed a constitution called the Instrument of Government, by which the Protector with his council was invested with the power of peace and war, and was to summon a Parliament once every three years; the supreme legislative au thority was declared to be and to reside in the lord-protector and Parliament; all commissions, patents, writs, processes, etc., were to run in the name of the lord-protector; all the forces of the kingdom were to be under the protector and Parliament during the sitting of the latter, but in the intervals of Parliament, under him and his council alone. In case of his death the council were immediately to choose a new protector; but no protector after him was to command the army. Cromwell treated Ireland with great severity. Apart from that, his polit ical administration was masterly and adapted to the circumstances of his situation. He established large magazines of provisions; the pay of the soldiers was regularly delivered to them a month in advance; yet the public reve nues were strictly and economically managed, without any additional imposts. He appointed for judges the most upright and distinguished men. He never intetfered with the proceedings of the courts of justice. Every man had lib erty of conscience — a principle for which the protector was a lifelong contender. In other things, too, Cromwell, as his own correct judg ment prompted, would have governed with mild ness and justice, and promoted the arts and sciences, but was obliged to maintain his power, as he had acquired it, by a severity often amounting to tyranny. He cultivated the friendliest relations with the Protestant powers, Holland, Sweden and Denmark, and concluded an 'advantageous commercial treaty with Por tugal. The skilful and fortunate conduct of the war with Spain, from 1655 to 1658, in which Jamaica and Dunldrk were taken, made the new Parliament, from which Cromwell had carefully excluded all Republicans, so obsequi ous, that they at last offered him the title of king. Sonic individuals opposed the measure so resolutely that Cromwell, fearing the fate of Cesar, declined the title. Parliament gave him the title of *Highness,* and the right of appointing his successor; and he was a second time solemnly invested by the Speaker with the ensigns of his office (26 June 1657). He died at Whitehall, whither he had been brought from his favorite residence, Hampton Court, and was buried in King Henry VII's Chapel, in West minster Abbey. Most of the European courts went into mourning for him, even that of Ver sailles. After the Restoration his body was taken up and hanged at Tyburn, the fixed on a pole at Westminster Abbey, and the rest of the remains buried under the gallows.