The Short and Troublesome Reign of Richard IV:’ A reappraisal of Richard Cromwell and his role in the collapse of the Protectorate

Porter, J. (2018) The Short and Troublesome Reign of Richard IV:’ A reappraisal of Richard Cromwell and his role in the collapse of the Protectorate. Undergraduate theses, University of Chichester.

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Abandoned’ and in darkness was the way Oliver Cromwell, the great liberator of the
English people, was left without so much as prayer.2 The similarities this event shares with
the eventual abdication of Richard Cromwell and the collapse of his Protectorate are all too
similar. The political uprisings with Charles Fleetwood at its helm dealt a death blow to
Richard’s Protectorate. History has dictated that it was Richard’s fault for this happening,
however, one man could not hope to control the minds of so many capable and politically
astute individuals such as Fleetwood and John Desborough, and as such faced an uphill battle
from the beginning. The fiasco with Oliver Cromwell’s funeral and the squabbles between
Thurloe, Desborough and Fleetwood, who sought to carve out their own piece of the
government and degrade the position and influence of the rightful ruler, highlighted the
uphill struggle Richard’s regime would face. Traditionally the collapse of the Protectorate has
been attributed to the inabilities of Richard Cromwell to govern and steward the country
effectively, this has been amplified by the work of Earl Malcolm Hause, who labelled Richard
as ‘Tumble-down Dick’, a name that has persisted and become a common description of the
Protector in historical study which has left Richard Cromwell as no more than a scapegoat for
the collapse of the Protectorate.3 This description, however, no longer holds credence, and
requires a thorough re-appraisal, that this essay will undertake.

Publication Type: Theses (Undergraduate)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > History
Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Gail Graffham
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2018 13:16
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2018 13:16

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