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Title: The Cromwellian 'Other House' and the search for a settlement, 1656-1659
Author: Fitzgibbons, Jonathan Raymond
ISNI:       0000 0000 7994 8814
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis seeks to illuminate a blind spot in the scholarship of the later Cromwellian Protectorate by focusing on an intriguing innovation in the parliamentary constitution of 1657 – the creation of an upper chamber or "Other House". The Other House may have filled the void left vacant by the defunct House of Lords, but it did not necessarily mean that the Protectorate was backsliding its way towards the ancient constitution of King, Lords and Commons. Although many aspects of ceremony and procedure remained exactly the same as its predecessor, its functions were reformulated and its membership was significantly different. The life peers nominated by Oliver Cromwell to sit there were politically, religiously, socially and geographically diverse. Yet, Cromwell's attempt to nominate a chamber that would please all sides ultimately ended up pleasing nobody; instead of bringing definition to the constitutional arrangement, his choices simply muddied the waters further. The resulting mood was one of apathy among civilian Cromwellian MPs in the second session of the second Protectorate Parliament towards both the Other House and the settlement as a whole. More importantly, the Other House was never a bulwark for the military Cromwellians; it did not institutionalise the army's position within the constitution. Although this posed no immediate problem under the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, it came to the fore following the succession of his conservative-minded son Richard. When the Commons and Protector united behind an anti-military programme in April 1659, the military Cromwellians found themselves outnumbered and outmanoeuvred in the Other House. Unable to protect their interests by constitutional means, the military men turned to their ultimate source of strength – the army. In forcing the Protector to dissolve Parliament, they undermined completely the constitutional arrangement and effectively sealed the end of the Protectorate regime.
Supervisor: Holmes, Clive Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Early Modern Britain and Europe ; Oliver Cromwell ; Richard Cromwell ; Cromwell ; House of Lords ; Other House