The Interregnum

27 May, 2021 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the period between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the unexpected restoration of his son Charles II in 1660, known as The Interregnum. It was marked in England by an elusive pursuit of stability, with serious consequences in Scotland and notorious ones in Ireland. When Parliament executed Charles it had also killed Scotland and Ireland’s king, without their consent; Scotland immediately declared Charles II king of Britain, and Ireland too favoured Charles. In the interests of political and financial security, Parliament’s forces, led by Oliver Cromwell, soon invaded Ireland and then turned to defeating Scotland. However, the improvised power structures in England did not last and Oliver Cromwell’s death in 1658 was followed by the threat of anarchy. In England, Charles II had some success in overturning the changes of the 1650s but there were lasting consequences for Scotland and the notorious changes in Ireland were entrenched.

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  • Clare Jackson 6 episodes
    Senior Tutor at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge
  • Micheal O Siochru No other episodes
    Professor in Modern History at Trinity College Dublin
  • Laura Stewart 2 episodes
    Professor in Early Modern History at the University of York

Reading list

  • Cromwellian Ireland: English government and reform in Ireland, 1649-1660
    Toby Barnard (Clarendon Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • Disaffection and Everyday Life in Interregnum England
    Caroline Boswell (Melton, 2017) Google Books →
  • The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution
    Michael J. Braddick (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Empire and Enterprise: Money, Power and the Adventurers for Irish Land during the British Civil Wars
    David Brown (Manchester University Press, 2020) Google Books →
  • Prelude to Restoration in Ireland: The End of the Commonwealth, 1659-60
    Aidan Clarke (Cambridge University Press, 1999) Google Books →
  • The Cromwellian Protectorate
    Barry Coward (Manchester University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • Cromwell: The Protector
    David Horspool (Allen Lane, 2017)
  • Oliver Cromwell: New Perspectives
    Patrick Little (ed.) (Springer, 2009) Google Books →
  • Ireland in Crisis: War, Politics and Religion, 1641-50
    Patrick Little (ed.) (Manchester University Press, 2020) Google Books →
  • The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663
    Kirsteen M. MacKenzie (Routledge, 2017) Google Books →
  • Cromwell's Legacy
    Jane A. Mills (ed.) (Manchester University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland
    Micheal O Siochru (Faber & Faber, 2009) Google Books →
  • Ireland, 1641: Contexts and Reactions
    Micheal O Siochru and Jane Ohlmeyer (eds) (Manchester University Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • Cromwell and Scotland: Conquest and Religion, 1650-1660
    Scott Spurlock (John Donald Short Run Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Cromwellian Foreign Policy
    Timothy Venning (Palgrave Macmillan, 1995) Google Books →
  • Britain in Revolution, 1625-1660
    Austin Woolrych (Oxford University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • God's Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell
    Blair Worden (Oxford University Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England: John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Marchamont Nedham
    Blair Worden (Oxford University Press, 2007) Google Books →

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Programme ID: m000wcxn

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Auto-category: 941.06 (Stuarts, 1603-1714)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1649, England's parliament executed Charles I as it couldn't rule with a monarch and spent the next decade learning it couldn't rule without one.