• Protectoral Rule in the North Western Association: the role and consequence of military and civil governance in the north west of England 1655 to 1657

      Gaunt, Peter; Williams, David A. (University of Chester, 2021)
      This thesis is a study of the role and consequence of military and civil governance in the Protectoral government’s North Western Association. It seeks to understand how the creation of the association contributed to the security and maintenance of unopposed Protectoral rule. It examines the impact on traditional structures of local government and communities within the association. Ultimately, it shows that uninterrupted control over the association’s regions contributed to the continued stability of Cromwell’s Protectorate. The first chapter examines North Western society’s religious and political allegiances in the aftermath of the civil wars and finds that, while the parish continued to play a prominent role within the community, some political adversaries of the same ascribed social status within county society continued to maintain pre-war social relationships. Chapter two assesses the role and impact of state imposed martial governance within the association and finds that central government’s policy of promoting godly reform to counter irreligion reaffirmed measures previously pursued by godly officials and magistrates. The third chapter examines the backgrounds and careers of the association’s two major-generals, Charles Worsley and Tobias Bridge, and finds that, before his death, Worsley was the driving force behind the instigation of measures to deal with anti-government activities and godly reformation. Finding that the association’s three county militias were wholly remodelled in 1655, chapter four assesses their reorganisation and role, along with that of the regime appointed commissioners for securing the peace of the Commonwealth, as well as the work of the magistracy. Chapter five considers the efficacy of raising revenues through sequestration and finds that more than sufficient funds were raised by way of the levied decimation tax to maintain the association’s three new troops of horse militia. The sixth chapter examines the parliamentary election campaign of 1656 and considers its relevance to the Northern anti-government rising staged by Sir George Booth in August 1659. It finds that many of the same protagonists at the centre of the election campaign of August 1656 were also at the heart of the events of Booth’s rising. The thesis concludes that the imposition of military governance ensured that stable unopposed Protectoral rule was maintained throughout the life of the North Western Association and that Tobias Bridge’s oversight of the association lasted well into 1658.