Act for the union of England and Scotland — Act for the settlement of Ireland — outbreak of the First Anglo-Dutch War


  (Early January) The Marquis of Clanricarde attempts to muster an Irish army at Galway but few soldiers arrive. Source: CIR
  (Early January) Lord Willoughby of Parham opens negotiations with Sir George Asycue for the surrender of Barbados. CWS
1 Dutch ambassadors complain about the seizure of Dutch vessels and other abuses. HCP2
8 Parliament's commissioners in Ireland — Edmund Ludlow, Miles Corbet, John Jones, John Weaver — begin planning the settlement of Irish land. HCP4
11 The General Assembly of Barbados submits to the Commonwealth. HCP2
14 Parlaiment votes to maintain a naval squadron in the Mediterranean to safeguard England's trade with the Levant. ETM1
15 Parliamentary commissioners arrive at Dalkeith to begin negotiations for union between England and Scotland. HCP2
  John Lilburne found guilty of libel against Sir Arthur Hesilrige. Lilburne fined and sentenced to banishment from England. HCP2
17 Parliament appoints a 21-man commission led by the lawyer Matthew Hale to investigate reform of the legal system. HCP2, ODNB
20 Parliament begins discussion of the proposed Act of Pardon and Oblivion. TRP
  A London petition in support of John Lilburne rejected by Parliament. TRP
21 English commissioners in Scotland issue a declaration in Edinburgh proclaiming their resolution to provide for the administration of justice and to resist any authority not derived from the Commonwealth of England. HCP2
23 Parliament decrees that judges are to be paid by a fixed salary rather than by fees and perquisites. HCP2
26 Prince Rupert's squadron sails from Cape Blanco in west Africa for the Cape Verde Islands. PRA
28 Commonwealth forces occupy Orkney. TCW
30 Parliament nominates Major-General John Lambert to replace Ireton as lord-deputy in Ireland. HCJ


  (February) Lieutenant-General George Monck resigns his command in Scotland because of ill-health. Major-General Richard Deane appointed in his place. Sources: ODNB, CG
1 Prince Rupert's squadron arrives at Boa Vista Island in the Cape Verde Islands, where he learns of Ayscue's expedition to the West indies. PRA
4 Parliament passes an Act making void all titles, honours and dignities granted by King Charles I since 4 January 1642. AOI
13 The declaration for the Tender of Union read at Dalkeith to representatives of the Scottish shires and burghs. HCP2
14 The Marquis of Clanricarde offers to negotiate a peace treaty in Ireland. The English commander Edmund Ludlow rejects the proposal saying he expects submission not negotiation. HCP2
  (Mid-February) Prince Rupert's squadron moves to Santiago in the Cape Verde Islands where he learns from the Portuguese governor that English ships are trading from the mouth of the River Gambia. PRA
20 Publication of Gerrard Winstanley's Law of Freedom. HCP2
21-3 Prince Rupert sails to the River Gambia and seizes three English merchant vessels and one Spaniard. PRA
24 The Act of Pardon and Oblivion passed, aiming to win the support of former Royalists. A pardon granted for all treasonous acts against the Commonwealth committed before 3 September 1651. However, the Act provokes hostility from many Parliamentarians and is undermined among the Royalists because so many are excepted from pardon. HCP2, TRP


2 Prince Rupert's squadron explores the River Gambia in west Africa. Prince Maurice raises his flag as vice-admiral in a captured English ship, renamed the Defiance. Source: MPRC
5 Dutch ambassadors warn the Council of State that the States General intends to increase the Dutch navy to defend against English aggression. HCP2
7 Colonel Fitzpatrick surrenders Irish forces in West Meath. HCP2
12 The colony of Virginia submits to the Commonwealth. HCP2
15 The Council of State demands compensation for wrongs committed by the Dutch against the English, including the murder of English merchants at Amboyna in the East Indies in 1623 and the failure of the Dutch authorities to punish the killers of Dr Dorislaus in 1649. HCP2
  (Mid-March) Prince Rupert wounded by an arrow in a fight with natives near Cape Verde. PRA
18 An Act for the Union of England and Scotland presented at Westminster. Scottish constituencies instructed to select representatives to discuss the proposals. HCP2
  Vice-Admiral William Penn's squadron arrives at Falmouth from the Mediterranean with thirty-six French prizes. RN2
23 Colonel O'Dwyer surrenders Irish forces in Tipperary and Waterford. HCP2
29 The colony of Maryland submits to the Commonwealth. HCP2
  John Thurloe appointed secretary to the Council of State. ODNB


  (First week of April) Prince Rupert's squadron arrives back at the Cape Verde Islands where several more prizes are taken. However, he loses one of his ships when prisoners overpower the crew of the Revenge and sail for England. PRA
3 Surrender of Roscommon to Commonwealth forces. Source: HCP2
6 Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp's fleet of 42 ships puts to sea to defend Dutch merchant shipping in the Channel. HCP2
7 Surrender of Jamestown to Commonwealth forces. HCP2
8 The Council of State appoints four English and three Scottish judges to form a provisional Court of Judicature for Scotland. HCP2
13 Second reading of the Act for the Union of England and Scotland at Westminster. The Act is then referred to a committee and never enacted by Parliament. HCP2
17 Commonwealth officers and civilian officials meet at Kilkenny to discuss the settlement of Ireland. HCP4
21 Declaration for the Union of England and Scotland proclaimed in Edinburgh. HCP2
27 Parliament passes an Act for the relief of impoverished prisoners. A committee appointed to consider how the poor may be set to work and to consider measures for the relief of those unable to work. TRP, HCJ
29 A petition from Middlesex presented in Parliament demanding the abolition of tithes. TRP


  (May) First full publication of the depositions of Protestant settlers dispossessed by the Irish uprising of 1641. Source: 1641D
3 Opening of negotiations for a new treaty between the Commonwealth and the United Provinces. HCP2
5 Parliament's commissioners in Ireland call for punishment of Irish rebels and a swift settlement of the nation. HCP4
7 Parliament begins discussing procedure for new elections. HCP2
9 Prince Rupert's squadron sets sail from the Cape Verde Islands for the West Indies. PRA
11 Gregory Clement MP discharged from the House of Commons after being discovered in bed with a maidservant. ODNB
12 Major-General Thomas Preston surrenders Galway to Sir Charles Coote. Articles for surrender of remaining Irish forces signed at Kilkenny. HCP2, CIR
  A squadron of English warships under Captain Anthony Young fires on a Dutch merchant convoy off Start Point when its escorts refuse to salute the English flag. RN2
14 French envoy M. de Gentillot sent to England by Cardinal Mazarin in the hope of negotiating an alliance against Spain. HCP2
18 The new Court of Judicature established in Edinburgh. HCP2
19 Parliament votes to abolish the office of lord-lieutenant of Ireland. John Lambert subsequently refuses to accept any lesser office. HCJ, HCP2
  The battle of Dover: General-at-Sea Robert Blake's fleet clashes with Lieutenant-Admiral Tromp. Beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch war. HCP2
26 Colonel Morgan accepts the surrender of Dunottar Castle, the last Scottish castle still holding out for Charles II. The Scottish Crown Regalia smuggled out of the castle and hidden. HCP2
  Sir George Ayscue arrives back at Plymouth from Barbados with thirty-six prizes taken mainly from the Dutch. RN2
29 Prince Rupert's squadron arrives at St Lucia in the Windward Islands. Moving north to Marinique, he learns of Ayscue's success in securing Barbados for the Commonwealth. PRA


  (June) Prince Rupert's squadron begins taking prizes in the Caribbean. Source: MPRC
5 Prince Rupert captures two English prizes at Montserrat. PRA
7 The Council of State orders General-at-Sea Robert Blake to intercept the Dutch East Indies convoy that is making its way around the coast of Scotland to avoid English warships in the Channel. CWS
12 Sir George Ayscue's squadron attacks a Dutch convoy bound for Portugal off the Lizard and captures six of them. Ayscue then sails to join Blake in the Downs. RN2
15 Parliament authorises Cromwell to appoint a commander of Commonwealth forces in Ireland. HCJ
  In response to declarations of loyalty from Scottish nobles and Highland chieftains, Charles II appoints John Middleton lieutenant-general in Scotland. HCP3
20 Dutch ambassadors deliver an ultimatum against continued English aggression towards Dutch shipping. HCP2
  Ayscue's squadron arrives in the Downs anchorage. RN2
22 Viscount Muskerry surrenders his forces in Munster. CIR
23 Parliament receives a petition demanding reform of the law, free trade, annual parliaments and the payment of soldiers' arrears. This prompts a brief revival of discussion of reform in Parliament. TRP
26 The Council of State sends Blake to disrupt the Dutch fishing fleet in the North Sea. Ayscue's squadron ordered to intercept Dutch merchant convoys in the Straits of Dover. HCP2
27 Blake's fleet sails into the North Sea. RN2
28 The Marquis of Clanricarde surrenders to Commonwealth forces. CIR
30 Dutch ambassadors leave England. HCP2


  (July) French envoy M. Gentillot dismissed from England because of France's refusal to recognise the Commonwealth. Source: HCP2
2 Sir George Ayscue attacks a Dutch merchant fleet near Calais; most of the ships are driven ashore, seven are captured, three destroyed. HCP2
8 Formal proclamation of war between the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. RN2
  Maarten Tromp sails against Ayscue's squadron in the Downs. HCP2
9 Cromwell appoints Charles Fleetwood commander-in-chief in Ireland after Lambert refuses to accept an office lower than lord-deputy. HCP2
10 With the wind and tide against him, Tromp abandons his attack on Ayscue and sails north to search for Blake's main fleet. HCP2
12 Blake's frigates capture twelve Dutch escorts guarding the Dutch fishing fleet between Orkney and Shetland; thirty fishing boats captured, the rest dispersed. HCP2
21 Hugh Peter instigates a petition calling for peace negotiations with the Dutch. Oliver Cromwell supports the petition. HCP2
24 Tromp sights Blake's fleet off Fair Isle between Orkney and Shetland. A storm prevents the two fleets from engaging. CWS
26 Tromp's fleet scattered as the storm rages off the Shetland Islands. HCP2
27 Tromp sails for home with less than half his fleet. HCP2


2 Petition of Army officers calls for religious, legal and financial reforms, the elimination of tithes, the dissolution of the present Parliament and elections for a new representative. Source: HCP2
4 Parliament orders the sale of lands of twenty-six Royalists to raise funds for the navy. HCP2
9 Charles II orders Lieutenant-General Middleton to go to the Netherlands to collect funds from exiled Royalists for an uprising in Scotland, but Middleton falls ill soon after his arrival. HCP3
12 Parliament passes the Act for the Settlement of Ireland. HCP4, AOI
  The Army petition amended by Cromwell to avoid demands for an immediate dissolution and to say that only pious and godly representatives should stand for Parliament. HCP2, PP
13 The revised Army petition presented to Parliament and referred to a select committee. HCP2
  Death of Lord Byron reported at Charles II's court in Paris. ODNB
16 Battle of Plymouth between Ayscue and de Ruyter. HCP2
19 The Marquis of Argyll signs an agreement accepting the authority of the Commonwealth in Scotland and undertakes to live peaceably under the new government. HCP2
23 Parliament offers a reward of £300 for the capture of Sir Phelim O'Neill. DNB
27-28 Commodore Badily's English squadron defeated off Elba in the Mediterranean and blockaded in Porto Longone by the Dutch. HCP2
30 Edward Massie escapes from the Tower of London.


  (Beginning of September) Charles Fleetwood arrives in Dublin as commander-in-chief in Ireland. Source: HCP4
2 Spanish ambassador Alonso de Cardenas proposes a commercial treaty between Spain and England. The Council of State agrees to intervene in the war between Spain and France. HCP2
4 Blake destroys a French supply convoy on its way to relieve the siege of Dunkirk, resulting in the surrender of Dunkirk to the Spanish the following day. HCP2
8 French sailors captured by Blake released, but captured vessels retained. HCP2
  Parliament appoints seventy commissioners to examine witnesses, conduct trials and impose punishments on alleged Irish rebels. 1641D
13-16 Prince Maurice lost at sea in a hurricane off the Virgin Islands in the West Indies. MPRC
14 Parliament refers the bill for a new representative to a parliamentary select committee headed by John Carew. HCP2, TRP, PP
15 Vice-Admiral William Penn with a squadron of eighteen ships sights de Ruyter's fleet in the western Channel. CWS
16 Penn's squadron reinforced by a further twelve ships from Blake's main fleet, but de Ruyter evades him. CWS
22 Vice-Admiral de With joins forces with de Ruyter off Ostend. HCP2
23 Parliament issues a Calling of the House for 3 November 1652 in a bid to counter falling attendance at Westminster. TRP
25 De With's fleet sails from Schoonveld to confront Blake but the enemy fleets are kept apart by storms. CWS
28 Battle off the Kentish Knock. Blake defeats de With. HCP2
  Parliament orders the building of thirty new frigates. HCJ
  Death of Lord Hopton at Bruges. ODNB


  (October) Highland chieftains urge Charles II to appoint leaders for a Scottish uprising. Source: HCP3
1 A parliamentary committee appointed to review of the government's financial administration. HCP2, TRP
3 Blake urges Parliament to hasten the re-supplying of his fleet. HCP2
5 Prince Rupert captures an English ship off Montserrat. PRA
8 The Committee for the Propagation of the Gospel revived and ordered to meet daily. HCP2, TRP
  Parliament passes an act disqualifying Royalist "delinquents" from standing for public office and from taking part in the election of officials. AOI
10 Prince Rupert at Guadeloupe. PRA
11 Proclamation of the Act of Settlement in every province in Ireland. HCP4
  Johan van Galen withdraws his squadron from the blockade of English ships in Porto Longone on Elba. ADW
22 In support of the Dutch, the King of Denmark detains English merchant ships carrying materials for the construction and repair of shipping. HCP2
28 Cromwell addresses the Committee for the Propogation of the Gospel and appeals for discussions between Presbyterians, Independents and the sects in the hope of reconciling their differences. TRP
30 Prince Rupert captures two English ships at Antigua. PRA


  (November) Cromwell discusses with Bulstrode Whitelocke the possibility of assuming the kingship. Source: HCP2
3 Eighty-two MPs attend the Calling of the House. A further thirty MPs arrive at Westminster during the next few weeks. TRP
11 Prince Rupert captures a fourth English ship at Guadeloupe. PRA
12 Blake ordered to detach twenty ships to the Mediterranean in support of commodores Badily and Appleton. HCP2
18 Parliament passes the Confiscation Bill. A list of over 600 Royalists and other delinquents drawn up whose property is to be confiscated to raise funds for the Navy. AOI
20 Captain Owen Cox leads a night raid to recapture the Phoenix from the Dutch at Leghorn. ODNB
21 Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp puts to sea to escort 250 merchantmen down the Channel. HCP2
22 French envoy M. de Bordeaux-Neufville instructed by Cardinal Mazarin to present a letter to Parliament officially recognising the Commonwealth. HCP2
24 Navy commissioners complain of lack of money to supply the fleet. HCP2
  Tromp's fleet sighted off the North Foreland. CWS
25 Owing to adverse weather conditions, Tromp anchors off the coast of Flanders with eighty-five men-of-war while the Dutch merchant convoy returns to Goeree. HCP2, CWS
26 George Monck and Richard Deane appointed joint generals-at-sea to assist Blake. HCP2
27 The Dutch convoy and Tromp's escort puts to sea again. CWS
29 Tromp's fleet at the Downs; Blake's fleet leaves the anchorage by its southern entrance. HCP2, CWS
30 Battle of Dungeness: Tromp defeats Blake. HCP2, CN
  Captain Owen Cox arrives at Naples with the recaptured Phoenix. CWS
  (End of November) Draft proposal for a commercial treaty between England and Spain presented to the Spanish ambassador. HCP2


  (Early December) The Portuguese ambassador agrees to pay £50,000 in compensation for losses to English merchants when Prince Rupert's fleet sheltered in Portugal. HCP3
2 Commissioners sent to the fleet to investigate the causes of the defeat at Dungeness. Source: HCP2
5 Prince Rupert returns to the Virgin Islands hoping to hear news of Prince Maurice. PRA
10 Parliament increases taxation to fund the navy. AOI
  A new six-man Admiralty Commission appointed: Sir Henry Vane, John Carew, Richard Salwey, George Thomson, John Langley, James Russell. CN
12 Prince Rupert sails for Europe with the Swallow and four captured prizes. PRA
17 Captains of armed merchantmen to be approved by the Admiralty. HCP2
20 Charles II appoints six commissioners from the Scottish chieftains and nobles, and authorises them to appoint a commander in Middleton's absence. HCP3
21 France acknowledges the Commonwealth. HCP2
  Parliament raises the pay of sailors; provision made for the sick and wounded; more advantageous arrangements for prize money implemented. HCP2
22 A petition organised by Richard Baxter's association of Worcestershire clergymen presented in Parliament calling for the establishment of a godly ministry and the suppression of the radical sects. TRP
24 Parliament resolves that Christmas Day is not to be observed or recognised. HCJ
25 Parliament approves the Articles of War, which are issued to the navy for the first time. HCP2, HCJ
30 Viscount Lisle appointed Commonwealth ambassador to Sweden. HCP2


1641D: 1641 Depositions website

ADW: Anglo-Dutch Wars blog Jim Bender, 2005

AOI: Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum C.H. Firth and R.S. Raitt (eds), 1911

CG: Cromwell's Generals, Maurice Ashley (Oxford 1954)

CIR: Cromwell in Ireland, James Scott Wheeler (New York 1999)

CN: Cromwell's Navy, Bernard Capp (Oxford 1989)

CWS: Cromwell's Wars at Sea, John Barratt (Barnsley 2006)

DNB: Dictionary of National Biography

ETM1: England in the Mediterranean 1603-1713 vol.i Sir J.S. Corbett (London 1904)

HCJ: House of Commons Journal

HCP2: History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate vol. ii, S.R. Gardiner (London 1903)

HCP3: History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate vol. iii, S.R. Gardiner (London 1903)

HCP4: History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate vol. iv, S.R. Gardiner (London 1903)

MPRC: Memoirs of Prince Rupert and the Cavaliers vol iii Eliot Warburton (London 1849)

ODNB: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

PP: Pride's Purge, David Underdown (Oxford 1971)

PRA: Prince Rupert, admiral and general-at-sea, Frank Kitson (London 1998)

RN2: The Royal Navy: a history from the earliest times to the present, vol.ii, Sir William Laird Clowes (London 1898)

TCW: The Civil Wars, a military history of England, Scotland & Ireland 1638-60 , Kenyon and Ohlmeyer (eds) (Oxford 1998)

TRP: The Rump Parliament, Blair Worden (Cambridge 1974)

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