The Cromwell Association Study Day 2023

Huntingdon Library, Princes Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3PA, Saturday 14th October 2023

The Cromwell Association with the History of Parliament Trust

Parliament, politics and people: the History of Parliament, House of Commons 1640-1660

The definitive history of the House of Commons from 1640-1660 will be published this year. Edited by Stephen K. Roberts, this monumental nine-volume set comprises detailed biographies of over 1800 MPs and studies of over 320 constituencies, and is the result of over twenty-five years of effort by a small team of professional historians. It is an extraordinary achievement which the Study Day will celebrate.

All of the speakers are part of the team that researched and produced the text, and will cover some interesting general themes of the period, as well as aspects specific to Cromwell.

Huntingdon Library is the home of the Cromwell Collection and the library of the Association. It is in the centre of Huntingdon, approximately 50m from the bus station and a ten-minute walk from the railway station, which is on the east coast mainline. For information about car parks see here.


Registration and coffee

Welcome and opening remarks, Professor Peter Gaunt, President of the Association and Jonathan Djanogly MP, Trustee of the History of Parliament Trust.

An introduction to the work of The History of Parliament Trust,
Paul Seaward Director of the Trust.

John Pym 1584-1643 People, places and perspectives: local, national and international experiences and the careers of mid-17th century MPs,
Dr Vivienne Larminie, Assistant Editor

Experience of education and foreign travel; professional, business and property interests; local alignments and rivalries; the course of the civil wars and interregnum in different regions. All these shaped MPs’ contribution to Westminster politics. The History of Parliament’s comprehensive study illuminates hitherto obscure parliament-men, reveals varied and complex motivation, and explains some otherwise perplexing decisions and allegiances.

Party politics in the 1640s,
Dr David Scott, Senior Research Fellow

This paper will trace the emergence of national political parties in England during the 17th century, with particular reference to parliamentary politics in the 1640s. It will argue that factional divisions at Westminster during the civil-war years spread in unprecedented fashion across society and gave rise to many of the political mentalities, behaviours and structures associated with the ‘rage of party’ of the late Stuart period.


Charles Fleetwood, John Disbrowe and the fall of the House of Cromwell,
Dr Patrick Little, Senior Research Fellow

The role of Charles Fleetwood and John Disbrowe in bringing an end to Richard Cromwell’s regime in 1659 is well known, but their problems with the protectorate stretched back much further. This paper will use the History of Parliament’s findings to reconsider their relationship with Oliver Cromwell, and the structural weaknesses of the protectorate itself.

Beyond Cromwell,
Dr Andrew Barclay, Senior Research Fellow

Oliver Cromwell continues to overshadow all his contemporaries in popular views of the civil war. The 1640-1660 Commons volumes correct that imbalance. His friends, allies, rivals and enemies from his East Anglian heartland can now at last be understood as rounded figures in their own right.

Questions, final discussion and concluding remarks



The cost of attendance includes coffee on arrival and a buffet lunch. Please email if you have any specific dietary requirements. They will be accommodated if possible, if not you will be advised.

Please repeat payment process for each additional attendees.

Alternatively, download the booking form, complete and send to:

Richard Warrren,
Swatchford Cottage,
Lower Kingsbury,
Milborne Port,
along with your cheque made payable to: The Cromwell Association.

The Association reserves the right to cancel the event if circumstances demand.

All bookings must be received by Saturday 7th October, no refunds for cancellations after Friday 29th September.

Please email if you need assistance or would like further information