Ireton, Henry

Ireton, Henry

(ī`ərtən), 1611–51, English parliamentary general; son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell. He held various commands in the parliamentary army during the first civil war (see English civil warEnglish civil war,
1642–48, the conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians," that culminated in the defeat and execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth.
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) and in 1646 married Cromwell's daughter Bridget. A conservative reformer and advocate of limited monarchy, he opposed the radical constitutional demands of the LevelersLevelers
or Levellers,
English Puritan sect active at the time of the English civil war. The name was apparently applied to them in 1647, in derision of their beliefs in equality. The leader of the movement and its most indefatigable propagandist was John Lilburne.
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 and drafted the peace settlement known as the Heads of the Proposals, presented to the king by the army in 1647. In 1648 he took the part of the army against Parliament, became a republican, and signed (1649) the death warrant of Charles I. Appointed (1650) lord deputy of Ireland, he sternly carried out Cromwell's policy of dispossessing the Irish and settling Englishmen there.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ireton, Henry

 

Born 1611; died Nov. 26, 1651. Figure in the English bourgeois revolution of the 17th century; ideologist of the moderate Independents; associate of O. Cromwell.

Ireton was one of the organizers of the new army (the so-called New Model Army), in which he served as commissary general. In 1645 he was elected to the Long Parliament. Ireton was the main opponent of the Levellers at the conference in Putney in 1647; he supported the continuation of the king and the House of Lords and opposed the ideas of the Agreement of the People. However, in the fall of 1648, when it became clear that the Independents could not retain power without executing the king, Ireton became one of the organizers and participants in the trial of Charles I. He set out on the Irish campaign in 1649 as an aide of Cromwell and remained in Ireland as lord lieutenant.

REFERENCE

Ramsey, R. W. Henry Ireton. London, 1949.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.