Charles Fleetwood (c. 1618 – 4 October 1692) was an English Parliamentarian soldier and politician, Lord Deputy of Ireland from 1652–55, where he enforced the Cromwellian Settlement. Brother of George Fleetwood (1623 – 1672).
At the beginning of the English Civil War joined Essex’s life-guard, was wounded at the first battle of Newbury, 1643 obtained a regiment in 1644 and fought at Naseby. In 1649 he was appointed a governor of the Isle of Wight, and in 1650, as lieutenant-general of the horse, took part in Cromwell’s campaign in Scotland and assisted in the victory of Dunbar. The next year recalled from Scotland was entrusted with the command of the forces in England, and played a principal part in gaining the final triumph at Worcester (3 September 1651).
In 1652 he became commander-in-chief of the Parliamentarian forces in Ireland, to which title that of Lord Deputy of Ireland was added. The first year of his tenure saw the mopping up of the last Catholic Irish guerrilla resistance to the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. Fleetwood negotiated with the remaining guerrilla bands (known as "tories") to either surrender or to leave the country for service in the army of a country not at war with the Commonwealth of England. The last organised Irish force surrendered in 1653.
The chief feature of his civilian administration, which lasted from September 1652 until September 1655, was the implementation of the Act of Settlement 1652, which decreed the settlement of the New Model Army's soldiers on the confiscated estates of Catholic landowners and the transplantation of the original owners. Fleetwood carried out these policies ruthlessly. (For details of this period see The Cromwellian Plantation). He showed also great severity in the prosecution of the Roman Catholic priests, and favoured the Anabaptists and the extreme Puritan sects to the disadvantage of the moderate Presbyterians, exciting great and general discontent, a petition being finally sent in for his recall.
in 1655 was appointed one of the administrative major-generals for the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Oxford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Buckingham. He approved of the Humble Petition and Advice, only objecting to the conferring of the title of "king" on Cromwell; became a member of the Other House.
In 1675 was named as the first Governor-general and Major-general of the forces in the Dominion of New England. His immediate duties were to command militia in King Philip's War. He was also also Governor of Massachusetts (August 1675- May 1678).
Member of parliament for Marlborough (1646-1653, 1654-1656) for Norfolk (1656-1657), named member of the Other House (1659-1663), named Senator (1663-1675). Member of the Council of State (1651, 1655-1675).