chapter  9
25 Pages

The Republic, 1649–60

Some six weeks after the execution of Charles I, the Rump passed ‘The Act Abolishing the office of King’. It dispensed with the institution of monarchy, on the grounds that it was something ‘unnecessary, burdensome and dangerous to the liberty, safety and public interest of the people’, and ‘that for the most part, use hath been made of the regal power and prerogative to oppress, impoverish and enslave the subject’. The House of Lords, who had refused to support proceedings against the King, was also to be dispensed with as it had shown itself to be ‘useless and dangerous to the people of England’. Authority was now to be vested solely in the Rump, working alongside a council of State made up of its own members. The new republic was declared to be a ‘Commonwealth and Free State’.