World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Heads of Proposals

Article Id: WHEBN0007242337
Reproduction Date:

Title: Heads of Proposals  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Instrument of Government, Oliver Cromwell, Agreement of the People, John Wildman, Thomas Rawton
Collection: 1647 in England, English Civil War, Republicanism in England
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Heads of Proposals

The Heads of Proposals was a set of propositions intended to be a basis for a constitutional settlement after King Charles I was defeated in the First English Civil War.[1] It was drafted in the summer of 1647 by Commissionary-General Henry Ireton and Major-General John Lambert.

Contents

  • Background and Newcastle propositions 1
  • Main propositions 2
  • King Charles' reaction 3
  • Historical importance 4
  • References 5
  • Footnotes 6

Background and Newcastle propositions

In 1646 the Scots captured King Charles I and opened negotiations with Parliament. It demanded the Newcastle propositions that included accepting the covenant, installing a Presbyterian form of church government, giving Parliament control of the Army for 20 years, and turnover key supporters for punishment. Charles refused to accept these stiff terms.[2]

Main propositions

The main propositions were:

  • Royalists had to wait five years before running for or holding an office.
  • The Book of Common Prayer was allowed to be read but not mandatory, and no penalties should be made for not going to church, or attending other acts of worship.
  • The sitting Parliament was to set a date for its own termination. Thereafter, biennial Parliaments were to be called (i.e. every two years), which would sit for a minimum of 120 days and maximum of 240 days. Constituencies were to be reorganized.
  • Episcopacy would be retained in church government, but the power of the bishops would be substantially reduced.
  • Parliament was to control the appointment of state officials and officers in the army and navy for 10 years.

King Charles' reaction

Even after the occupation of London by the New Model Army had taken place, Parliament, instead of taking up the Heads of the Proposals as the basis of a settlement of the kingdom, sent to the King a revised edition of the Newcastle Propositions, differing mainly in that it proposed a limited toleration for dissentient Puritans, whilst forbidding all use of the book of Common Prayer. In his reply to their propositions, the King, on 14 September, expressed a preference for the Proposals of the Army, as more conducive "to the satisfaction of all interests and a fitter foundation for a lasting peace".[3] Major Huntington's letter[4] shows that the King expected the leaders of the Army to stand by him in procuring an offer of better terms from parliament.[5]

The question of a new treaty was discussed in the House of Commons on 22 and 23 September 1647. Henry Marten and his party were eager for the passing of a vote to make no further addresses to the King. Cromwell and Ireton, on the other hand, opposed Marten's motion, and the House finally resolved on 23 September that they would once again make application to the King. This decision led to much discontent amongst the Levelling party in the Army as also outside of it, and "the credit and reputation" of both Cromwell and Ireton was much blasted thereby.[6] They were accused of falsely representing it to be the desire and sense of the Army that this new application should be made to the King. The charge is thus stated by Wildman in his Putney Projects (p. 43).[5]

Because Oliver Cromwell and Henry Ireton negotiated with the King, they lost the army radicals' support. The radicals criticized their "servility" to the king. Without an amicable solution between the Army, King, English Parliament, and the Scots the Second English Civil War started.

Historical importance

Although the "Heads of Proposals" was never adopted, Ireton promoted it in the Putney Debates. He presented it as a moderate alternative to the Agreement of the People. Elements of "Heads of Proposals" were incorporated in the Instrument of Government.[7][8] The Instrument of Government was the written constitution that defined Oliver Cromwell's powers as Lord Protector. The religious settlement proposed by Ireton in 1647 was virtually identical to that finally adopted in the Toleration Act 1688.

References

  • The Heads of the Proposals offered by the Army August 1, 1647. Cites as a source Rushworth, vii. 731. See Great Civil War, iii. 329-333, 340-343.]
  • Far, David (2006). Henry Ireton and the English Revolution, Boydell Press, ISBN 1-84383-235-6, ISBN 978-1-84383-235-5
  • Firth, C. H. (editor, Camden Society, 1901). Politics and the Army in the English Civil War Part 1, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, Volume I.
  • Plant, David Heads of the Proposals, 1647, British Civil Wars & Commonwealth website, Retrieved 2009-12-07
  • Tyacke, Nicholas (2001). Aspects of English Protestantism, c. 1530-1700, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-5392-7, ISBN 978-0-7190-5392-4
Attribution
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660]", Volume I. by Charles Harding Firth

Footnotes

  1. ^ Plant, Heads of the Proposals, 1647
  2. ^ Charles L. Hamilton, "Anglo-Scottish Militia Negotiations, March-April 1646." Scottish Historical Review (1963): 86-88 in JSTOR.
  3. ^ Firth (1901), Cites: Rushworth vii. 810.
  4. ^ Firth (1901), p. 225.
  5. ^ a b Firth (1901)
  6. ^ Firth (1901), p. 228.
  7. ^ Tyacke p. 69
  8. ^ Farr pp. 80,81. See Declaration of Representation of 14 June 1647
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.