Rump Parliament

views updated May 18 2018

Rump Parliament. What remained of the Long Parliament's House of Commons after Pride's Purge. Claiming to be the representative of the sovereign people, it assumed full legislative authority, and its early acts (January–May 1649) set up the tribunal that sentenced Charles I to death, abolished the monarchy and the House of Lords, and declared England to be a commonwealth. Regarded by the army as a mere caretaker government, it soon readmitted many more than its original 70 or so members, forgot its promises of early elections, took on a more conservative temper, and settled down to surviving. It only came under serious pressure to make way for a successor when Cromwell and his officers returned from the wars in Scotland and Ireland in 1651, and even then it sought to hold elections only to the many vacant seats. Eventually it introduced a bill for a genuinely new parliament, but the army remained unsatisfied, and Cromwell forcibly expelled the Rump on 20 April 1653. The army reinstated it in May 1659 after a coup against Richard Cromwell, but interrupted it again from 13 October to 26 December. Its independent existence finally ended when General Monck readmitted the members ‘secluded’ in Pride's Purge on 21 February 1660.

Austin Woolrych

Rump Parliament

views updated May 29 2018

Rump Parliament the part of the Long Parliament which continued to sit after Pride's Purge in 1648, and voted for the trial which resulted in the execution of Charles I. Dissolved by Oliver Cromwell in 1653, the Rump Parliament was briefly reconvened in 1659 but voted its own dissolution early in 1660.

The origin of the name is uncertain; it is said to derive from The Bloody Rump, the name of a paper written before the trial, the word being popularized after a speech by Major General Brown, given at a public assembly; it is alternatively said to have been coined by Clem Walker in his History of Independency (1648), as a term for those strenuously opposing the king.

Rump Parliament

views updated May 17 2018

Rump Parliament (1648–53) Name given to the Long Parliament in England after 140 members were expelled. Unrepresentative and quarrelsome, Oliver Cromwell dissolved it in 1653. It was recalled after the collapse of the Protectorate in 1659, and expelled members were reinstated.