"the days of the Protectorate"
Oliver Cromwell
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeOliver Cromwell - Credit: George S. Stuart
Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament
Public DomainCromwell dissolving the Long Parliament - Credit: Andrew Carrick Gow

The Protectorate was a brief period in British history when the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), the first lord protector to hold such powers, was in post from 1653 up until his death. He was succeeded by his son, Richard Cromwell (1626-1712), who, however, was incapable of keeping control of either the military or parliament, and was elbowed out of power by the Rump Parliament’s Committee of Safety in 1659.