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Lord Protector

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Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland
Coat of Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659).svg
RichardCromwell.png
Richard Cromwell
StyleHis Highness
ResidencePalace of Whitehall
AppointerHereditary
Formation16 December 1653
First holderOliver Cromwell
Final holderRichard Cromwell
Abolished25 May 1659

Lord Protector (plural: Lords Protector) was a title that has been used in British constitutional law for the head of state. It was also a particular title for the British heads of state in respect to the established church. It was sometimes used to refer to holders of other temporary posts; for example, a regent acting for the absent monarch.

Feudal royal regent

The title of "The Lord Protector" was originally used by royal princes or other nobles exercising a role as protector and defensor of the realm, while sitting also in a council of government, usually when the English monarch was still a minor or otherwise unable to rule. It differs from a continental regency because of the separation of powers.

Notable cases in England:

and in Scotland:

Discover more about Feudal royal regent related topics

Minor (law)

Minor (law)

In law, a minor is someone under a certain age, usually the age of majority, which legally demarcates childhood or an underage individual from adulthood. The age of majority depends upon jurisdiction and application, but it is commonly 18. Minor may also be used in contexts that are unconnected to the overall age of majority. For example, the smoking and drinking age in the United States is 21, and younger people below this age are sometimes called minors in the context of tobacco and alcohol law, even if they are at least 18. The terms underage or minor often refers to those under the age of majority, but it may also refer to a person under other legal age limits, such as the drinking age, smoking age, age of consent, marriageable age, driving age, voting age, etc. Such age limits are often different from the age of majority.

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester

Humphrey of Lancaster, Duke of Gloucester was an English prince, soldier, and literary patron. He was "son, brother and uncle of kings", being the fourth and youngest son of Henry IV of England, the brother of Henry V, and the uncle of Henry VI. Gloucester fought in the Hundred Years' War and acted as Lord Protector of England during the minority of his nephew. A controversial figure, he has been characterised as reckless, unprincipled, and fractious, but is also noted for his intellectual activity and for being the first significant English patron of humanism, in the context of the Renaissance.

Henry VI of England

Henry VI of England

Henry VI was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather, Charles VI, shortly afterwards.

Act of Accord

Act of Accord

The Act of Accord was an Act of the Parliament of England which was passed on 25 October 1460, three weeks after Richard of York had entered the Council Chamber and laid his hand on the empty throne. Under the Act, King Henry VI of England was to retain the crown for life but York and his heirs were to succeed him, excluding Henry's son, Edward of Westminster. Henry was forced to agree to the Act.

Battle of Wakefield

Battle of Wakefield

The Battle of Wakefield took place in Sandal Magna near Wakefield in northern England, on 30 December 1460. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to the captive King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster and his Queen Margaret of Anjou on one side, and the army of Richard, Duke of York, the rival claimant to the throne, on the other.

Edward V of England

Edward V of England

Edward V was de jure King of England and Lord of Ireland from 9 April to 25 June 1483. He succeeded his father, Edward IV, upon the latter's death. Edward V was never crowned, and his brief reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle and Lord Protector, the Duke of Gloucester, who deposed him to reign as King Richard III; this was confirmed by the Act entitled Titulus Regius, which denounced any further claims through his father's heirs.

Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset

Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset

Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, also known as Edward Semel, was the eldest surviving brother of Queen Jane Seymour (d. 1537), the third wife of King Henry VIII. He was Lord Protector of England from 1547 to 1549 during the minority of his nephew King Edward VI (1547–1553). Despite his popularity with the common people, his policies often angered the gentry and he was overthrown.

Duke of Somerset

Duke of Somerset

Duke of Somerset, from the county of Somerset, is a title that has been created five times in the peerage of England. It is particularly associated with two families: the Beauforts, who held the title from the creation of 1448, and the Seymours, from the creation of 1547, in whose name the title is still held. The present dukedom is unique, in that the first holder of the title created it for himself in his capacity of Lord Protector of the Kingdom of England, using a power granted in the will of his nephew King Edward VI.

John Stewart, Duke of Albany

John Stewart, Duke of Albany

John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany was the regent of the Kingdom of Scotland and the count of Auvergne and Lauraguais in France.

James V of Scotland

James V of Scotland

James V was King of Scotland from 9 September 1513 until his death in 1542. He was crowned on 21 September 1513 at the age of seventeen months. James was the son of King James IV and Margaret Tudor, and during his childhood Scotland was governed by regents, firstly by his mother until she remarried, and then by his second cousin, John, Duke of Albany. James's personal rule began in 1528 when he finally escaped the custody of his stepfather, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus. His first action was to exile Angus and confiscate the lands of the Douglases.

James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault

James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault

James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Châtellerault, 2nd Earl of Arran, was a Scottish nobleman and head of the House of Hamilton. A great-grandson of King James II of Scotland, he was heir presumptive to the Scottish throne. Arran was Regent of Scotland during the minority of Mary, Queen of Scots from 1543 to 1554, when he lost the regency to Mary of Guise. At first pro-English and Protestant, he converted to Catholicism in 1543 and supported a pro-French policy. He reluctantly agreed to Mary's marriage to Francis, eldest son of King Henry II of France, and was rewarded by Henry by being made Duke of Châtellerault in 1549. During the Scottish Reformation, Châtellerault joined the Protestant Lords of the Congregation to oppose the regency of Mary of Guise, and lost his French dukedom as a result.

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, was Queen of Scotland from 14 December 1542 until her forced abdication in 1567.

Cromwellian Commonwealth

Standard of the Lord Protector
Standard of the Lord Protector

The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland was the title of the head of state and Head of government during the Commonwealth[1] (often called the Interregnum), following the first period when a Council of State held executive power. The title was held by Oliver Cromwell[1] (December 1653 – September 1658) and subsequently his son and designated successor Richard Cromwell (September 1658 – May 1659) during what is now known as The Protectorate.

The 1653 Instrument of Government (republican constitution) stated:

Oliver Cromwell, Captain-General of the forces of England, Scotland and Ireland, shall be, and is hereby declared to be, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging, for his life.

The replacement constitution of 1657, the Humble Petition and Advice,[1] gave "His Highness the Lord Protector" the power to nominate his successor. Cromwell chose his eldest surviving son, the politically inexperienced Richard. That was a nonrepresentative and de facto dynastic mode of succession, with royal connotations in both styles awarded, (even a double invocation 16 December 1653 – 3 September 1658 "By the Grace of God and Republic Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland") and many other monarchic prerogatives, such as that of awarding knighthoods.

Richard Cromwell, who succeeded after his father's death in September 1658, held the position for only eight months before he resigned in May 1659. He was followed by the second period of Commonwealth rule until the Restoration of the exiled heir to the Stuart throne, Charles II, in May 1660.

Lords Protector (1653–1659)

Lord Protector Lifespan Term began Term ended
Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.jpg
Oliver Cromwell
Old Ironsides
(1599-04-25)25 April 1599 –
3 September 1658(1658-09-03) (aged 59)
16 December 1653 3 September 1658 (Died)
RichardCromwell.png
Richard Cromwell
Tumbledown Dick
(1626-10-04)4 October 1626 –
12 July 1712(1712-07-12) (aged 85)
3 September 1658 25 May 1659 (Resigned)

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Head of state

Head of state

A head of state is the public persona who officially embodies a state in its unity and legitimacy. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government and more.

Head of government

Head of government

The head of government is either the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. In diplomacy, "head of government" is differentiated from "head of state" although in some countries, for example the United States, they are the same person.

Commonwealth of England

Commonwealth of England

The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, were governed as a republic after the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I. The republic's existence was declared through "An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth", adopted by the Rump Parliament on 19 May 1649. Power in the early Commonwealth was vested primarily in the Parliament and a Council of State. During the period, fighting continued, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, between the parliamentary forces and those opposed to them, in the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland and the Anglo-Scottish war of 1650–1652.

Interregnum (England)

Interregnum (England)

The Interregnum was the period between the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649 and the arrival of his son Charles II in London on 29 May 1660 which marked the start of the Restoration. During the Interregnum, England was under various forms of republican government.

English Council of State

English Council of State

The English Council of State, later also known as the Protector's Privy Council, was first appointed by the Rump Parliament on 14 February 1649 after the execution of King Charles I.

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, first as a senior commander in the Parliamentarian army and then as a politician. A leading advocate of the execution of Charles I in January 1649, which led to the establishment of the Republican Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, he ruled as Lord Protector from December 1653 until his death in September 1658. Cromwell nevertheless remains a deeply controversial figure in both Britain and Ireland, due to his use of the military to first acquire, then retain political power, and the brutality of his 1649 Irish campaign.

Richard Cromwell

Richard Cromwell

Richard Cromwell 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.

The Protectorate

The Protectorate

The Protectorate was the period of the Commonwealth during which England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the English overseas possessions were governed by a Lord Protector as a republic. The Protectorate began in 1653, when the dissolution of the Rump Parliament and then Barebone's Parliament allowed Oliver Cromwell to be appointed Lord Protector of the Commonwealth under the terms of the Instrument of Government. In 1659, the Protectorate Parliament was dissolved by the Committee of Safety as Richard Cromwell, who had succeeded his father as Lord Protector, was unable to keep control of the Parliament and the Army. That marked the end of the Protectorate and the start of a second period of rule by the Rump Parliament as the legislature and the Council of State as the executive.

Instrument of Government

Instrument of Government

The Instrument of Government was a constitution of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Drafted by Major-General John Lambert in 1653, it was the first sovereign codified and written constitution in England.

Humble Petition and Advice

Humble Petition and Advice

The Humble Petition and Advice was the second and last codified constitution of England after the Instrument of Government.

By the Grace of God

By the Grace of God

By the Grace of God is a formulaic phrase used especially in Christian monarchies as an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch. For example in England and later the United Kingdom, the phrase was formally added to the royal style in 1521 and continues to be used to this day. For example, on UK coinage, the abbreviation DG still appears.

Charles II of England

Charles II of England

Charles II was King of Scotland from 1649 until 1651, and King of England, Scotland and Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death in 1685.

Post-Cromwell

Since the Restoration the title has not been used in either of the above manners. George, Prince of Wales, appointed to the regency in 1811, was referred to as "His Royal Highness the Prince Regent". George exercised the powers of the monarchy, just as Lords Protector had, but the title's republican associations had rendered it distasteful.

Protector of the church

'Lord Protector' has also been used as a rendering of the Latin Advocatus in the sense of a temporal Lord (such as a Monarch) who acted as the protector of the mainly secular interests of a part of the church; compare the French title of vidame.

In fiction

In The Last Man by Mary Shelley, Britain becomes a republic with its elected head of state styled as Lord Protector. The title is held by Lord Raymond, and Ryland.

In The New Statesman finale episode "The Irresistible Rise of Alan B'Stard", after B'Stard's New Patriotic Party wins a landslide majority in a special general election called over British membership of the European Economic Community but with himself not having contested a seat, he briefly considered adopting the title of Lord Protector before being permitted to serve as an extra-parliamentary Prime Minister.

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The Last Man

The Last Man

The Last Man is an apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, first published in 1826. The narrative concerns Europe in the late 21st century, ravaged by a mysterious plague pandemic that rapidly sweeps across the entire globe, ultimately resulting in the near-extinction of humanity. It also includes discussion of the British state as a republic, for which Shelley sat in meetings of the House of Commons to gain insight to the governmental system of the Romantic era. The novel includes many fictive allusions to her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, who drowned in a shipwreck four years before the book's publication, as well as their close friend Lord Byron, who had died two years previously.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was an English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), which is considered an early example of science fiction. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft.

The New Statesman (1987 TV series)

The New Statesman (1987 TV series)

The New Statesman is a British sitcom made in the late 1980s and early 1990s satirising the United Kingdom's Conservative government of the period. It was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran at the request of, and as a starring vehicle for, its principal actor Rik Mayall.

European Economic Community

European Economic Community

The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957, aiming to foster economic integration among its member states. It was subsequently renamed the European Community (EC) upon becoming integrated into the first pillar of the newly formed European Union in 1993. In the popular language, however, the singular European Community was sometimes inaccuratelly used in the wider sense of the plural European Communities, in spite of the latter designation covering all the three constituent entities of the first pillar.

Source: "Lord Protector", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Protector.

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References
  1. ^ a b c Holland, Arthur William (1911). "Instrument of Government" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 655–656.
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