Cromwell and the Dissolution of Parliament

Vernon Coleman

Here are the details of Oliver Cromwell’s speech at the dissolution of the Long Parliament in 1653:

`At 11.15 am on 20th April 1653, Oliver Cromwell entered parliament to dissolve it. After listening to the debate for a time, then beginning to speak in calm tones, he changed to `a furious manner', walking up and down the House, stamping the ground with his feet and shouting `with so much passion and discomposure of mind as if he had been distracted'. He said: `It is time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue and defiled by your practice of every vice. Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of potage; and, like Judas, betray your God for a few Pieces of Money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice that you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your Conscience for Bribes? Is there a Man amongst you that has the least Care for the Good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid Prostitutes, Have you not defiled this Sacred Place and turned the Lord’s Temple into a Den of Thieves, by your immoral Principles and wicked Practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole Nation. You were deputed here to get Grievances redressed. Are you not yourselves become the greatest Grievance? Your Country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean Stable by putting a final Period to your iniquitous Proceedings in this House – and which by God’s Help, and the Strength he has given Me, I am now come to do.’

Cromwell then pointed to individuals, and called them `whoremasters, drunkards, corrupt and unjust men' adding `Ye have no more religion than my horse. Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation...Perhaps ye think this is not parliamentary language. I confess it is not, neither are you to expect any such from me...It is not fit that ye should sit as a parliament any longer. Ye have sat long enough unless you had done more good.'

When Sir Peter Wentworth protested at such language from one they had `so highly trusted and obliged', Cromwell retorted: `Come, come, I will put an end to your prating. Ye are no parliament. I say ye are no parliament. I will put an end to your sitting.'

Cromwell shouted to Thomas Harrison, `Call them in', and the musketeers entered. He pointed to the Speaker: `Fetch him down.' Harrison hesitated: `The work is very great and dangerous,' then obeyed. Sir Henry Vane protested: `This is not honest, yea it is against morality and common honesty.'

Cromwell replied: `Oh Sir Henry Vane, Sir Henry Vane, the Lord deliver me from Sir Henry Vane.' Then, turning to the mace: `What shall we do with this bauble? Here, take it away.'

Turning to the Members of Parliament he said: `I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place. Go, get ye out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! Take away that shining bauble and lock up the doors.'

By 11.40 the House was cleared and locked.

Someone put up a poster: `This House is to be Lett; now unfurnished.'

We need Cromwell back.

We need to empty the House of Commons of the crooked rabble resident therein.

Never in our history have we had an obstinate Prime Minister with such little integrity and so much conceit. Never have we had MPs with so little hope and so much ignorance.

The Brexit Fiasco has taught us the names of the traitors in parliament; the women and men who believe more fiercely in the EU (despite its Nazi history) than in their own country.

And we have, of course, learnt a good deal about our enemies abroad – Ireland, France, Germany and Spain in particular.

Eternal damnation to them all.

The neo-Nazi Remainers think they have won.

They haven’t.

But they have exposed themselves to our contempt.

Taken in part from England’s Glory by Antoinette Coleman and Vernon Coleman, now available as a paperback on Amazon.

Copyright Vernon Coleman April 2019