Cromwell's Bauble

Although Oliver Cromwell initially sought a reconciliation with Charles I, he eventually signed the king's death warrant. The civil war which followed, however, compelled Cromwell to assume the office of Lord Protector of the Commonwealth and in April 1653, after more than a decade of chaos, his forces dissolved the Long Parliament by force.

As the musketeers led the Speaker away, Cromwell took up the mace in front of the Speaker's chair. "What shall we do with this bauble?" Cromwell mused, coldly regarding the emblem of parliamentary authority. "Take it away."

[Cromwell's death heralded the collapse of the Commonwealth and the restoration of the monarchy.]

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