Richard Cromwell

Richard Cromwell (4 October 1626  12 July 1712) was an English statesman who was the second and last Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland and son of the first Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell.


Richard Cromwell
Portrait by Gerard Soest
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
In office
3 September 1658  25 May 1659
Preceded byOliver Cromwell
Succeeded byCouncil of State
Personal details
Born(1626-10-04)4 October 1626
Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England
Died12 July 1712(1712-07-12) (aged 85)
Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England
NationalityEnglish
Spouse(s)
(m. 1649; died 1675)
RelationsOliver Cromwell (father)
Elizabeth Bourchier (mother)
Children
See list
  • Elizabeth Cromwell
    (1650–1731)
    Edward Cromwell
    (1644–1688)
    Anne Cromwell
    (1651–1652)
    Mary Cromwell
    (1654)
    Oliver Cromwell
    (1656–1705)
    Dorothy Cromwell
    (1657–1658)
    Anna Cromwell Gibson
    (1659–1727)
    Dorothy Cromwell Mortimer
    (1660–1681)
Nickname(s)Tumbledown Dick
Queen Dick

On his father's death in 1658 Richard became Lord Protector, but lacked authority. He tried to mediate between the army and civil society and allowed a Parliament containing many disaffected Presbyterians and Royalists to sit. Suspicions that civilian councillors were intent on supplanting the army were brought to a head by an attempt to prosecute a major-general for actions against a Royalist. The army made a threatening show of force against Richard and may have had him in detention. He formally renounced power nine months after succeeding.

Although a Royalist revolt was crushed by the recalled civil war figure General John Lambert, who then prevented the Rump Parliament from reconvening and created a Committee of Safety, Lambert found his troops melted away in the face of General George Monck's advance from Scotland. Monck then presided over the Restoration of 1660. Richard Cromwell subsisted in straitened circumstances after his resignation.[clarification needed] He went abroad and lived in relative obscurity for the remainder of his life. He eventually returned to his English estate and died in his eighties. He has no living descendants.[1]