Ireland, Scotland and downfall of Rump 1649-1653


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The Rump and Barebones Parliament, 1649-53
Ireland and Scotland and the Downfall of the Rump
The external threats were the first priority of the rump. Ireland had not been reconquered since the
rebellion of 1641. Many Irish royalists were holding out with an uneasy with the alliance with the
Roman Catholics which they only put up with due to their hate of the Republic.
The Irish threat as not as big as the Scottish one but the re-conquest of Ireland was important for the
rump for many reasons.
First of all it would keep the army occupied and the massacres of 1641 should be avenged and the
`Protestant acendency' confirmed.
Royalism also still held out in Ireland and they feared that Ireland would be used as a backdoor
springboard for invasion of England by Charles.
Cromwell arrived in Ireland in August 1649 wanting to strike the Royalist leader, Earl of Ormonde,
before winter and the key garrison towns of Drogheda and Wexford were stormed by October with
the garrisons slaughtered.
Early in the following year Cromwell left Ireland having smashed any armies which may have resisted.
The rest of the Irish campaign was completed with Ireton commanding the English forces.
The Irish were divided and the confederate Catholics refused to cooperate with the Royalists which
helped towards the final defeat of 1652 ­ but Ireton had died of malaria by this time.
The Irish campaign was significant because Cromwell was very keen on winning over the old
Anglo-Irish gentry from their Royalist allegiance and his success with Lord Broghill was a key factor in
bringing many of them over to the royalist side.
Cromwells success in Ireland made him an important figure in English affairs as well as becoming a
symbol of English oppression for the Roman Catholics in Ireland.
In February 1649 the Scots became a threat to the Republic as this was when they proclaimed Charles
II their king.
Originally this was merely a gesture as practical Scottish help for Charles to regain his throne in
England depended on him being prepared to abandon Anglicanism and take the Presbyterian
covenant. Charles prolonged his discussion with the Scots in hope of the Royalists Montrose or
Ormande would have decisive victories which would provide a strong Royalist base for him.
Cromwell put paid to Ormonde, as seen above, and Montrose was defeated and executed by the
Presbyterians whose religious convictions overrode support for Charles II.

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Therefore Charles had no choice and had to accept the terms of the Scottish Presbyterians who he
hated and made a public statement opposing his parent's religion.
In 1650 Cromwell led an army across the border and won a victory at Dunbar in September with an
army of 3000 defeating the Scottish 10,000. He then set about reducing the rest of Scotland and
was helped by the division among the Scots who had only reluctantly taken up Charles' cause.…read more

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On April 20 1653 the Rump was debating a bill for a new representative and Cromwell ejected them
using Harrisons regiment to force them out of the Chamber. The army was now the masters and the
public did not mourn the passing of the Rump.…read more


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