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The National Archives Civil War
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Why did Britain become a republic?

Case study 2: New government - Source 4

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Accounts of public money used in Ireland, with the portrait and symbols of Cromwell and the Commonwealth

(Catalogue ref: SP 63/281)

[Extra explanations are in square brackets.]

[The portrait is Oliver Cromwell. The coat of arms at the top of the document is the arms of the Commonwealth, with the symbols of England, Ireland and Scotland. The coat of arms below Cromwell's picture is that of his brother, Henry. On the left side of the document there are a number of shields that represent those people named in the source]

The account of all money received and paid for public use in Ireland, both what has been received from the Treasurers of War in England and what has come from within the Dominion of Ireland

The money came from taxes, seizing property and rents, customs duty, and all sorts of methods and was taken out of the accounts of various departments and other persons responsible for public income (details later in this account). These accounts have been examined and approved by William Steele, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and various other Commissioners appointed by official letters given to them by his Highness, the Lord Protector. The official letters say: Oliver, by the Grace of God, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland and their dominions, to our trusty and well-loved

Greetings. While we understand that great sums of money and large quantities of arms, ammunition and provisions of all sorts have been issued by several persons in Ireland, the accounts of these have not yet been fully worked out, because of the rebellions and war. This is a matter of great importance for the Commonwealth. Know you then that we set up, name, authorise, assign and appoint you to be our commissioners to do this. We give you (or any five or more of you) full power and authority to call before you

You should get them to show to you all accounts, declarations, books, certificates, orders and bills that concern these matters - anything that the accountants have and anything in the hands of any of our officers or ministers in Ireland. …