Why was Richard Cromwell in exile?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The son of the British Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, Richard ascended to the throne as Lord Protector in 1658. The third son of Oliver Cromwell, he rose in power after the deaths of his older brothers and was appointed successor to the realm upon his father's deathbed. Richard Cromwell was immediately scorned by military leaders, and he soon dissolved the Protectorate and reinstated the "Rump" Parliament in January 1659. When Cromwell dissolved Parliament again, an army marched on London in order to again reinstate Parliament and the monarchy itself when Charles II took the throne.

Cromwell moved to France in 1660 and changed his name to John Clarke. He later moved to Spain, Italy and, possibly, Switzerland, before finally returning to England in 1680. He lived in a home in Hertfordshire, paying 10 shillings a week in rent. He lived the life of a pauper before dying at the age of 85 in 1712. 


mkcapen1 | Student

"A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Richard Cromwell was the third son of Oliver Cromwell.  His brothers died before his father so Richard was appointed his successor.  Richard made a poor leader because he had no experience and his personality did not lend to leadership.  He gained the nickname Tumbledown Dick because of his poor performance.

During Cromwell's time as Procter England was undergoing a Restoration.  He was unable to carry on his father's duties.  Due to anarchy in England he had to leave and placed himself in exile.  He was also running from his debts.  He stayed in France until his return many years later to England.  He stayed in seclusion even after his return to his homeland.