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Cromwell's Other House facts for kids

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The Other House (also referred to as the Upper House, House of Peers and House of Lords), established by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the terms of the Humble Petition and Advice, was one of the two chambers of the parliaments that legislated for England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, in 1658 and 1659, the final years of the Protectorate.


During the Rule of the Major-Generals and the selection of members for the Second Protectorate Parliament there was a firming of opinion that a second chamber was needed.

During the debate over the Humble Petition and Advice, the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell and others wanted an upper chamber as a check on the power of the Lower House because he had found it difficult to control over the Naylor case. He pushed for a second chamber which would consist of nominated members who in Thurloe's words would be "a great security and a bulwark to the common interest". On 11 March 1656 the House of Commons passed a bill creating a second house which would consist of up to 70 members nominated by the Lord Protector.

On 6 May 1656 Cromwell rejected the title of King as proposed in the draft version of the Humble Petition, but accepted a reworded Humble Petition on 25 May. It included provisions for him as Lord Protector, tri-annual parliaments and an Other House of 40 to 70 members nominated for life by the Lord Protector, with a quorum of 21. Thus the second house became a fixture of the Protectorate cemented in place by the Humble Petition and Advice, a new written constitution.

The Judges of the Upper Bench, who at this time were Warburton and Newdigate; of the Common Bench, Atkins, Hale, and Wyndham; with Barons of the Exchequer, Nicholas, Parker and Hill, were summoned as assistants to the second chamber.

All the peers but one (Lord Eure), of the peers summoned to attend this second chamber declined to sit, and to show his contempt for them, Sir Arthur Hesilrige, took his seat in the Commons as member for Leicester. So filling the second house proved more difficult than creating it. Of the 63 nominees only 42 accepted and only 37 came to the first meeting.

Matters were made worse when Parliament reconvened on 20 January 1658, republicans in the lower house attempted to kill off the second house before a name for the chamber had been decided upon, after five days of debate with no agreement on whether it should be called the House of Lords or the Other House, Cromwell addressed both houses warning them that such disagreements encouraged Royalist and threatened the country with a new civil war. Parliament was in no mood to heed his warning and continued to disagree among themselves, so on 4 February 1658 Cromwell dissolved Parliament.

After Oliver Cromwell's death in September 1658, those in the funeral procession who had noble titles under the ancient regime were so called (for example Edward, Earl of Manchester), those who had sat in Cromwell's Other House were called lord (for example Philip, Lord Skipton), but those such as "George Monck, General in Scotland", who had not taken up their seats in the Other House, were not referred to as lord.

The Third Protectorate Parliament (27 January 1659 – 22 April 1659) included a second chamber, but republicans in the House of Commons treated it with suspicion as they considered some of the members to be Presbyterians and closet Royalists, Parliament was soon deadlocked and was dissolved by Richard Cromwell the new Lord Protector on the advice of the Army when it became clear that the Commons was seeking ways to disband the Army. With that dissolution the Other House that had come into existence in 1656 never reconvened.

List of those nominated by Cromwell

Oliver, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Domynions and Territories thereunto belonging. To our trusty and wellbeloved Sonne Lord Richard Cromwell, Greeting.—— Whereas by the advise and assent of our Councell for certain greate and weighty affaires concerning toe the state and defence of the saide Comonwealth, We ordayned our present parliament to be held at our City of Westminster, the seventeenth day of September, in the yeare of our Lorde one thousand six hundred fiftie and six, and there to consult and advise with the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of our said comonwealth, which Parliament was then and there held, and continued until the six and twentieth day of June last past, and then Adjourned until the twentieth day of January now next coming: Therefore we command and firmely enjoyne you, that considering the difficultie of the said affaires and eminent dangers, all excuses being left aside, you be personally present att Weftminster aforesaid the said twentieth day of January next comeinge, there to treate, conferr, and give your advise with us and with the Greate Men and Nobles in and concerninge the affaires aforesaid. And this as you Love and Honor our safety and the defence of the commonwealth aforefaid, you shall in noe wise omitt. Witness ourselfe at Westminster, the nynth day of December, in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty and seaven.

Lett the like writts be directed to the respective persons under written, dated as aforefaid (to wit)

sig order name title comments
1 The lord Richard Cromwell The eldest surviving son of the Lord Protector Oliver.
2 Lord Henry Cromwell our deputy of Ireland. The other surviving son of the Lord Protector.
§ 3 Nathaniel Fiennes one of the commissioners of our great-seal.
§ 4 John Lisle one of the lords commissioners of our great-seal
§ 5 Henry Lawrence president of our privy council
§ 6 Charles Fleetwood lieutenant-general of our army Son in-law to the Lord Protector.
7 Robert Earl of Warwick He refused to sit in this house with Pride and Hewson, one of whom had been a drayman and the other a cobbler.
8 Edward earl of Manchester
9 Edmund earl of Mulgrave One of four Scots.
10 John earl of Cassilis A Scottish earl and Lord Justice General of Scotland. One of four Scots.
11 William lord viscount Saye and Sele
§ 12 Thomas lord Fauconberg In 1657 he was a viscount, and married to Mary younger daughter of Oliver Cromwell.
§ 13 Charles lord visc. Howard. in 1657 Cromwell bestowed upon him the title Baron Gilsland and Viscount Howard of Morpeth.
§ 14 Philip lord viscount Lisle
§ 15 Sir Gilbert Pickering bart, chamberlain of our household
§ 16 George lord Evres (or Eure) He was the only peer created before the Interregnum to sit in the Other House.
§ 17 Philip lord Wharton
§ 18 Roger lord Broghill One of the Irish members, he was fifth son of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork.
19 William Pierpoint, esq.
§ 20 John lord Claypoole master of our horse Married to Elizabeth Claypole, Oliver Cromwell's second and favourite daughter.
§ 21 Sir Bulstrode Whitlock one of the lord commissioners of our Treasury
§ 22 John Disbrowe one of the generals of our fleet Married Eltisley Jane Cromwell, sister to the Lord Protector.
§ 23 Edward Montagu one of the generals of our fleet, and one of the lords commissioners of our Treasury
24 George Monk commander in chief of our forces in Scotland
§ 25 John Glynn, chief-justice assigned to hold pleas before us in the Upper Bench One of four Welsh members
26 William Lenthall, master of the rolls in Chancery
27 Oliver St. John, chief justice of our court of Common-Pleas Married to Elizabeth Cromwell, a cousin of the Lord Protector
28 William Steel, chancellor of Ireland
§ 29 Sir Charles Wolseley, bart.
§ 30 William Sydenham one of the lords commissioners of our Treasury
§ 31 Philip Skippon, esq.
§ 32 Walter Strickland, esq.
§ 33 Francis Rouse, esq.
§ 34 Philip Jones, esq. comptroller of our household One of four Welsh members.
§ 35 John Fiennes, esq. Third son of the William, Lord Viscount Saye and Sele
§ 36 Sir John Hobart, bart.
37 Sir Gilbert Gerrard, bart.
38 Sir Arthur Hasilrigge, bart.
§ 39 Sir Francis Russell, bart. A near relation to the protector by the marriage of Russell's daughter Elizabeth to Henry Cromwell.
§ 40 Sir William Strickland, knt. and bart.
§ 41 Sir Richard Onslow, knt.
§ 42 Edward Whalley, commissary-general of the horse
43 Alexander Popham, esq.
44 John Crewe, esq. Raised to a peerage by Charles II after the restoration of the monarchy.
45 Sir William Lockhart, knt. Nephew by marriage to Oliver Cromwell.
§ 46 Richard Hampden, esq. Eldest son and heir of John Hampden
§ 47 Sir Thomas Honywood, knt. Brother-in-law to Henry Vane the Younger.
48 Sir Archibald Johnston, Laird of Wareston. One of four Scots.
§ 49 Richard Ingoldsby, esq. A near relation to the protector.
§ 50 Sir Christopher Packe knt.
§ 51 Sir Robert Tichborne, knt. was an alderman of London
§ 52 John Jones, esq. brother-in-law to the protector, and one of four Welsh members.
§ 53 Sir Thomas Pride, knt. Famous for his leading part in Pride's Purge. He was foundling in a church porch. He was at first a drayman, and before the start of the Civil War he had established a brewery.
§ 54 Sir John Barkstead, lieutenant of our Tower of London
§ 55 Sir George Fleetwood, knt.
56 Sir Matthew Tomlinson, knt.
§ 57 Sir John Hewson, knt. A cobbler by trade before the Civil War.
§ 58 Edmund Thomas, esq. One of four Welsh members.
§ 59 James Berry, esq.
§ 60 William Goffe, esq.
§ 61 Thomas Cooper, esq.
62 Sir William Roberts, knt.
63 John Clarke, esq.
    • .
  • A complete list of the members of the Other House with bibliographies.
  • contemporary pamphlet written by a supporter of the Good Old Cause on the persons sitting in Cromwell's House of Lords.
    • A list of these will be found in vol. ii. of Noble's Memoirs of the Protectorate House of Cromwell.
      • For an exhaustive list of Cromwell's "Other House" or "House of Lords" see G. E. C.'s Complete Peerage, vol. ii. pp. 84–9.
      • For full particulars of Cromwellian baronets see G. E. C.'s Complete Baronetage, vol. iii. pp. 3 to 9.
      • The knights made by both the Protectors, Oliver and Richard, are enumerated in William Arthur Shaw's Knights of England vol. ii. pp. 223–4.
    • — W.D. Pink, Lowton, Newton-le-Willows.
    • The MS. Journal of the Protectorate House of Lords, in possession of the late Sir Richard Tangye, was published this year for the first time in The House of Lords' Manuscripts, Vol. IV. (New Series), ... . This contains the lists of the different peers attending the meetings of Cromwell's House of Lords, with mention also of the various offices held by them. — R. B. Upton.
    • There is a list of many of these persona (with armorial bearings) in Sir J. Prestwich's Respublica, 1787, at pp. 149 et seqq. — M.
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