For nine years, following the defeat of the Scots at Worcester, Oliver Cromwell ruled the ‘Commonwealth’ of England, Scotland and Ireland under the title of Lord Protector. It was a time of relative peace and prosperity following the Anglo-Scottish War.
Cromwell established a system of military government throughout the Isles. In the major towns he placed English garrisons to ensure order. In Scotland, an army of between ten and eighteen thousand men garrisoned four startegically located fortifications, from which they patrolled. Law and order was maintained, despite the occasional uprisings by the Highlanders.
In December of 1651 the country of Scotland was formally merged with England when the English Parliament passed a bill incorporating it as part of the ‘Commonwealth of England.’ The act of merging of the countries was the so-called Tender Of Union; it was proclaimed throughout the land on 04 February, 1652. The Tender Of Union reduced the Scottish Parliament from the body it once had been to just thirty-three members of the united Commonwealth Parliament.
A formal Act of Union was enacted in April, 1654 between England and Scotland. In May, 1655 a Council of State for Scotland was constituted. According to Fitzroy Maclean in his book, A Concise History Of Scotland:(2.38) “The resulting regime was probably the most efficient and orderly the country had ever experienced.” Stewart Ross in his book, Monarchs Of Scotland, expressed much the same sentiment when he stated:(2.39) “When the Cromwellian union came to an end not a few Scots were sorry at its passing, for it had brought efficient, tolerant government.”
Cromwell died on 3 September, 1658; his son, Richard was named as his successor. Unfortunately, Richard Cromwell was not the leader that his father had been. In 1660 Charles Stuart II was ‘restored’ to the throne.
2.38 op cit., A Concise History Of Scotland, p 133.
2.39 op cit., Monarchs Of Scotland, p 138.