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Barebones Parliament

The Barebones Parliament came into being on June 4 1653. It was an assembly entirely nominated by Oliver Cromwell and his council of army officers. It acquired its name from the nominee for the City of London, Praise-God Barebones. The total number of nominees was 140, 129 from England, five from Scotland and six from Ireland.

The intention of the army leaders was to have an assembly more congenial to themselves than the Rump Parliament had been, but in the six months in which the Barebones Parliament sat, the growing strength of the Fifth monarchy men became ever more apparent. Fearing their ultra-radical ideas, which crystallised in an attack on tithes, the moderates, supported by the military, engineered a vote for its own dissolution, which was passed on December 12 1653.