Charles Fleetwood

(c. 1618—1692) army officer

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(d. 1692), a son-in-law and principal supporter of Oliver Cromwell. Coming to Ireland as commander-in-chief of the army and a civil commissioner in 1652, he encouraged his fellow commissioners to recognize Cromwell's protectorate and selected pro-Cromwell Irish MPs for a united British parliament. Fleetwood was made lord deputy in 1654, despite the opposition of those who would have preferred civilian rule. He set up the High Court of Justice to try rebels and implemented the Cromwellian land settlement. Anxious to satisfy his fellow soldiers when disbanding the army, Fleetwood took a doctrinaire approach to the transplantation to Connacht, jailing, court-martialling, and seizing the assets of those refusing to transplant. Fleetwood remained lord deputy until 1657, though his tolerance of Baptists enabled opponents, notably Roger Boyle (see orrery), to have him recalled to England in 1655.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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