The Interregnum - Overview

Brief overview of the Interregnum (1649-1560) covering the Dissolution of the Rump Parliament, The 'Barebones' Parliament and the start of Oliver Cromwell's protectorate.

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  • Created on: 24-03-14 22:37
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The Interregnum
Dissolution of the Rump:
Cromwell expected the Rump to take advantage signs of God's Providence
(as he saw it) to push through religiously inspired reformist legislation.
However, the Rump only showed distrust towards the growing power
of the Army and was primarily concerned with legislation ensuring its
own survival.
Cromwell finally became so frustrated that on 20 April 1653 he led an
armed force into the Commons Chamber (as Charles I had done in January
1642) and forcibly dissolved the Rump, stating: " You have sat too long
for any good you have been doing lately ... In the name of God, go!"
The Barebones Parliament
In its place Cromwell established a Nominated Assembly in July 1653,
popularly known as Barebones Parliament.
The 144 Members of this Parliament were not elected, but selected by the
Army officers for their "godly" religious fervour.
This hand-picked group went some way in satisfying Cromwell's wishes, but
ultimately it scared the conservative in him and his colleagues with some of
its measures for legal and social reform, and for its hostility to the Army.
Lord Protector Cromwell
Early in the morning on 12 December 1653 a group of Army supporters, led
by the general John Lambert, gathered together to vote to dissolve the
Lambert had acted because he had already developed another system
which he believed would work better than sovereign government.
Lambert put forward his ideas in a written constitution, the Instrument of
Government, which instead placed sovereignty in "a single person and a
On 16 December 1653 Cromwell, the "single person" intended, was
installed as Lord Protector of the realm.


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