|Who is it?||Actor, Soundtrack, Art Department|
|Birth Day||October 04, 1626|
|Birth Place||Long Beach, California, United States|
|Age||393 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||12 July 1712(1712-07-12) (aged 85)\nCheshunt, Hertfordshire, England|
|Preceded by||Oliver Cromwell|
|Succeeded by||Council of State|
|Spouse(s)||Dorothy Maijor (m. 1649; d. 1675)|
|Relations||Oliver Cromwell (father) Elizabeth Bourchier (mother)|
|Children||See list Elizabeth Cromwell (1650–1731) Edward Cromwell (1644–1688) Anne Cromwell (1651–1652) Mary Cromwell (1654) Oliver Cromwell (1656–1705) Dorothy Cromwell (1657–1658) Anna Cromwell Gibson (1659–1727) Dorothy Cromwell Mortimer (1660–1681) Edith Cromwell Gist (1660–1694)|
|Nickname(s)||Tumbledown Dick Queen Dick|
|Reference style||His Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Highness|
Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on 4 October 1626, the third son of Oliver Cromwell and his wife Elizabeth. Little is known of his childhood. He and his three brothers were educated at Felsted School in Essex close to their mother's family home. There is no record of his attending university. In May 1647, he became a member of Lincoln's Inn. He may have served as a captain in Thomas Fairfax's lifeguard during the late 1640s, but the evidence is inconclusive.
In 1649 Cromwell married Dorothy Maijor, daughter of Richard Maijor, a member of the Hampshire gentry. He and his wife then moved to Maijor's estate at Hursley in Hampshire. During the 1650s they had nine children, five of whom survived to adulthood. Cromwell was named a Justice of the Peace for Hampshire and sat on various county committees. During this period Cromwell seems to have been a source of concern for his father, who wrote to Richard Maijor saying, "I would have him mind and understand Business, read a little history, study the mathematics and cosmography: these are good, with subordination to the things of God. Better than idleness, or mere outward worldly contents. These fit for public services, for which a man is born".
In 1653, Cromwell was passed over as a member of Barebone's Parliament, although his younger brother Henry was a member of it. Neither was he given any public role when his father was made Lord Protector in the same year; however, he was elected to the First Protectorate Parliament as M.P. for Huntingdon and the Second Protectorate Parliament as M.P. for Cambridge University.
Under the Protectorate's constitution, Oliver Cromwell was required to nominate a successor, and from 1657 he involved Richard much more heavily in the politics of the regime. He was present at the second installation of his father as Lord Protector in June, having played no part in the first installation. In July he was appointed chancellor of Oxford University, and in December was made a member of the Council of State.
Richard was faced by two immediate problems. The first was the army, which questioned his position as commander given his lack of military experience. The second was the financial position of the regime, with a debt estimated at £2 million. As a result, Cromwell's Privy council decided to call a parliament in order to redress these financial problems on 29 November 1658 (a decision which was formally confirmed on 3 December 1658). Under the terms of the Humble Petition and Advice, this Parliament was called using the traditional franchise (thus moving away from the system under the Instrument of Government whereby representation of rotten boroughs was cut in favour of county towns). This meant that the government was less able to control elections and therefore unable to manage the parliament effectively. As a result, when this Third Protectorate Parliament first sat on 27 January 1659 it was dominated by moderate Presbyterians, crypto-royalists and a small number of vociferous Commonwealthsmen (or Republicans).
During the political difficulties of the winter of 1659, there were rumours that Cromwell was to be recalled as Protector, but these came to nothing. In July 1660, Cromwell left for France, never to see his wife again. While there, he went by a variety of pseudonyms, including John Clarke. He later travelled around Europe, visiting various European courts. As a visiting Englishman, he was once invited to dine with Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, who was unaware of who he was. At dinner, the Prince questioned Cromwell about affairs in England and observed, "Well, that Oliver, tho' he was a traitor and a villain, was a brave man, had great parts, great courage, and was worthy to command; but that Richard, that coxcomb and poltroon, was surely the basest fellow alive; what is become of that fool?". Cromwell replied, "He was betrayed by those he most trusted, and who had been most obliged by his father". Cromwell departed the following morning. During this period of voluntary exile, he wrote many letters to his family back in England; these letters are now held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office in Huntingdon.
Although a Royalist revolt was crushed by recalled civil war figure General John Lambert, who then prevented the Rump Parliament from reconvening and created a Committee of Safety, he found his troops melted away in the face of general George Monck's advance from Scotland. Monck then presided over the Restoration of 1660. Richard Cromwell subsisted in straitened circumstances after his resignation, he went abroad and lived in relative obscurity for the remainder of his life. He eventually returned to his English estate, dying in his eighties. None of his children had offspring of their own and he has no descendants.
In 1680 or 1681, he returned to England and lodged with the merchant Thomas Pengelly in Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, living off the income from his estate in Hursley. He died on 12 July 1712 at the age of 85. His body was returned to Hursley and interred in a vault beneath All Saints' Parish Church, where a memorial tablet to him has been placed in recent years.
Until 29 January 2012, when Queen Elizabeth II surpassed Cromwell's age at death (85 years 282 days) he was the longest-lived ruler of Britain, although he was only in power for a very short period.
The "Other House" of Parliament – a body which had been set up under the Humble Petition and Advice to act as a balance on the Commons – was also revived. It was this second parliamentary chamber and its resemblance to the House of Lords (which had been abolished in 1649) that dominated this Parliamentary session. Republican malcontents gave filibustering speeches about the inadequacy of the membership of this upper chamber (especially its military contingent) and also questioned whether it was indicative of the backsliding of the Protectorate regime in general and its divergence from the "Good Old Cause" for which parliamentarians had originally engaged in Civil War. Reviving this House of Lords in all but name, they argued, was but a short step to returning to the Ancient Constitution of King, Lords and Commons.