Alternate History

Good King Olly

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Oliver Cromwell would be remembered as many things; a great general, a religious extremist and more importantly, a regicide. Despite his hatred of Charles I, Cromwell was not opposed entirely to the prospect of monarchy. The Humble Petition, a result of Cromwell's second Parliament offered Oliver the crown of England in an attempt to reinstate the lost status of the Crown within law and to provice stability to a shattered nation.

Oliver Cromwell rejected the idea of Kingship out of fear that the army, who voices opposition, would rise against him. However Cromwell would later find out that many within the army yearned for the stability of a crowned head and that opposition could have been managed.

In the original timeline on May 8th 1657, Oliver Cromwell rejected the crown and the petition officially established the Lord-Protectorate. The lack of royal prestige meant Oliver's heirs were common men, and held little legitimacy and little tact for office. Richard Cromwell's fall would usher in the restoration of Charles Stuart, Charles II.

In our alternative timeline on May 8th 1657, Oliver Cromwell accepted the Humble Petition, unedited, and in doing so grasped the crown for himself. To crowds at Whitehall, the place where monarchy died in England, Cromwell was proclaimed,

"Oliver, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Defender of the Faith."

As the crowds resounded the chorus of God Save the King! Many present ambassadors took note of Oliver's title. In claiming Scotland's crowd the assorted represenatives of the Kirk were outraged, yet the French ambassador wrote to Anne of Austria, regent of the French King, Louis XIV,

"...-it must be noted that your Majesty's title is unchallenged in Europe as the pretenses of the former English Kings has been set aside by this republican King."

The lack of claim to be King of France, a traditional claim of the English Kings was seen by Anne of Austria as an attempt by a fledging King in a shattered nation to attempt to bring peace. The still displaced Charles II in exile in Holland wrote to Anne, demanding she denounce this false King. The demand was ignored, the stage was set for King Oliver to sit amongst the crowned heads of Europe.

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