Journal Article

John Lisle, Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal, and the Last Months of the Cromwellian Protectorate

Clive Holmes

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXII, issue 498, pages 918-936
Published in print September 2007 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online September 2007 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cem217
John Lisle, Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal, and the Last Months of the Cromwellian Protectorate

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The sources for the last years of the Protectorate are limited and, when they survive, often opaque. However, a neglected manuscript, the ‘Abridgements of Chancery Causes’, prepared by John Lisle, one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal during the Interregnum, does enable us to cast a little more light on this period. The emphasis on strict constitutional formality in Lisle's work enhances the sense of Oliver Cromwell's waning grip on affairs during the last months of his life, and of the uncertainty, confusion and division at the centre that followed his death. The contextualisation of the manuscript in terms of the political career of its author, a notorious timeserver, provokes some reflection on the better known period of factional infighting during the session Richard Cromwell's Parliament, which eventually led to the overthrow of the Protectorate.

Journal Article.  9491 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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