Cromwell's Other House

Cromwell's Other House

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.[1]


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.[2]

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.[3]

On the 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.[1][4]

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.[5][nb 1]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

In the Third Protectorate Parliament included a second chamber, but republicans in the House of common 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 advise of the Army when it became clear that the house was seeking ways to disband the Army on 22 April 1659.[8] With that dissolution the Second Chamber which had come into existence in 1656 never reconvened.

When Oliver Cromwell died, 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.[9][10]

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 untill the six and twentieth day of June last past, and then Adjourned untill 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)[11][nb 2]

sig order name title comments[nb 3]
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 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.[12]
10 John[nb 4] earl of Cassilis A Scottish earl and Lord Justice General of Scotland.[13] 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.[14]
§ 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.[15]
§ 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.[16]
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,[nb 5] 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[nb 6] Sir William Roberts, knt.
63[nb 6] John Clarke, esq.


  1. ^ For more details of these men see Noble Volume 1. Judges of the Upper Bench (Noble pp. 430,431); Judges of the Common Bench (Noble pp. 431,433); Barons of Exchequer (Noble pp. 433–435)
  2. ^ Then follow the names of the other lords, with the words "sworne" added to them, written with a different ink, a proof that it was put in after the names had been written; to prevent a needless repetition of the same word, this mark (§) is placed against such who had that word placed to their names, as it shows they complied with the writ of summons. At the end of the names is added, "This agreeth with the originall remayning in the Pettie Bag, John Thompfon:" there seems to have been a Seal appendant to it, and that it has been torn off. The persons are given the style of the person as in the original but Noble changed the orthography of both that and the names. (Noble (Volume 1), p. 371 Citing: The Rev. Mr. Ayscough's catalogue of M.S.S. in the British Museum, no. 3246.)
  3. ^ The text in the first three columns (although not headings) is taken from Cobbett pp. pp. 1518,1519 and Noble (Volume 1), pp. 371–427, Citing: The Rev. Mr. Ayscough's catalogue of M.S.S. in the British Museum, no. 3246. The fourth and last column is an editorial comment and is not part of the original source.
  4. ^ Noble (Volume 1), p. 376 and Cobbett p. 1581, name him David.
  5. ^ Noble (Volume 1) p. 416, names the man as Richard, but Cobbett p. 1518, names him Robert.
  6. ^ a b Besides the 61 Protectorate lords of the other house listed above, two more gentlemen were given as Protectorate lords by Thurloe, but if so Mark Noble surmises they must have been invited to join the house after the year 1657. (Noble (Volume 1), p. 426)
  1. ^ a b The Humble partition states "to create the 'Other House,' the members to be such as should be nominated by his highness and approved by the commons." George Craik notes "The commonwealth-men, it appears, would tolerate neither the designation 'House of Lords.' nor that of 'Upper House.' The thing was, therefore, termed 'the Other House;' that branch of the legislature losing not less in real power than it lost in name or dignity: they were not to exceed seventy in number, nor to be less than forty, whereof one-and-twenty were to form a quorum; they were not to give any vote by proxy; on death or removal no new members were to be admitted to sit and vote but by consent of the House of Commons, &c." (Craik, p. 422)
  2. ^ Royle, p. 723.
  3. ^ Royle, p. 729
  4. ^ Royle, p. 733.
  5. ^ a b Cobbett, p. 1519
  6. ^ Royle, p. 735.
  7. ^ Royle, pp. 735,736.
  8. ^ Royle, pp. 743-746
  9. ^ Rutt, p. 527
  10. ^ Forster, 641
  11. ^ Noble, pp. 370,371
  12. ^ Noble (Volume 1), p. 415, entry 48.
  13. ^ Person Page - 2426,, cites S6, G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 76. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  14. ^ Walford p. 222
  15. ^ Jenkins (2002), p. 112
  16. ^ Noble (Volume 1), p. 415.


  • Cobbett, William (editor), Cobbett's parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest, in 1066 to the year, 1803 : from which last-mentioned epoch it is continued downwards in the work entitled, "Cobbett's parliamentary debates", Volume 3 (Comprising the period from the Battle of Edge-Hill, in October 1642, to the restoration of Charles the Second, in April 1660). R. Bagshaw London (England) London (England).
  • Forster, John. The Statesmen of the Commonwealth of England: With a Treatise on the Popular Progress in English History,Volume 5,Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1846.
  • Jenkins, Philip. The Making of a Ruling Class: The Glamorgan Gentry 1640-1790, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0521521947, 9780521521949
  • Noble, Mark, Robinson G. G. J. and Robinson J. (Paternoster-Row, London, England) Memoirs of the protectoral-house of Cromwell;: deduced from an early period, and continued down to the present time ... collected chiefly from original papers and records ... together with an appendix ... Embellished with elegant engravings, Volume I, printed for G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1787 pp. 370–427
  • Noble Mark, Memoirs of the protectorate-house of Cromwell: deduced from an early period, and continued down to the present time, Volume II, Printed Pearson and Rollason, sold by R. Baldwin [etc.] London, 1784.
  • Royal, Trevor; "Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660"; Pub Abacus 2006; (first published 2004); ISBN 978-0-349-11564-1
  • Rutt, John Towill (editor). "Diary, of Thomas Burton, Esq. Member in the Parliaments of Oliver and Richard Cromwell from 1656-59 ...: With an introduction containing an Account of the Parliament of 1654; from the Journal of Guibon Goddard,Volume II of IV, H. Colburn, 1828
  • Walford, W. S. "Notice of the Roll of Arms belonging to Wilkinson Mathews esq. Q.C.", British Archaeological Association. Volume 17, Central Committee, Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Central Committee, Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Council, Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Royal Archaeological Institute (Great Britain), Longman, Rrown,(sic) Green, and Longman, 1860, pp. 218–223

Further reading

  • Cokayne, George Edward, ed (1916). "Appendix G". Complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extict or dormant (Dacre to Dysart). 4. London: The St. Catherine Press, ltd.. pp. 585–648.  A complete list of the members of the Other House with bibliographies.
  • Oldys, William (editor). The Harleian Miscellany:: A Collection of Scarce, Curious, and Entertaining Pamphlets and Tracts, as Well in Manuscript as in Print, John White, and John Murray, Fleet-Street; and John Harding, St. James's-Street. 1810. pp. 483–507 "A second narrative and the Oath" contemporary pamphlet written by a supporter of the Good Old Cause on the persons sitting in Cromwell's House of Lords.
  • Notes and queries, a medium of intercommunication for literary men and general readers, etc, Volume 10, July–December 1908, published at the office, bream's Buildings, Chancery Land, E.C. By John C. Francis and J Edward Francis. p. 112
    • Titles conferred by Cromwell (10 S. x. 49).
      • 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 Dr. W. A. 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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