Part III: 1653 and 1658
in Literature of the Stuart successions
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The installation of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland was a key event amid one of the most unpredictable periods in British political history. Mercurius Politicus began in June 1650 and continued until 1660. This account of Oliver's inauguration as Protector offers a wealth of detail about the ceremonial proceedings. In An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland, Andrew Marvell had depicted Cromwell as an active, almost elemental force. Oliver Cromwell died on 3 September 1658, probably from a chest infection and pneumonia. John Dryden worked for the protectoral government from at least 1657, and he walked in Cromwell's funeral procession with his colleagues Andrew Marvell and John Milton. Heroic Stanzas appeared in early 1659, somewhat late in the day even by Dryden's admission, by which time Richard Cromwell's own rule was slowly beginning to unravel.

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