The royalist anecdotes relating to his youth, including charges of ill-conduct, do not deserve credit, the entries in the register of St John's, Huntingdon, noting Oliver's submission on two occasions to church censure being forgeries; but it is not improbable that his youth was wild and possibly dissolute.'
After Oliver's death Henry hailed with delight the succession of his brother Richard to the office of protector, but although he was now appointed lieutenant and governor general of Ireland, it was only with great reluctance that he remained in that country.
But he was not brought forward by his father or prepared in any way for his future greatness, and lived in the country occupied with field sports, till after the institution of the second protectorate in 16J7 and the recognition of Oliver's right to name his successor.
The officers in the council, moreover, showed jealousy of the civil members, and to settle these difficulties and to provide money a parliament was summoned on the 27th of January 1659, which declared Richard protector, and incurred the hostility of the army by criticizing severely the arbitrary military government of Oliver's last two years, and by impeaching one of the major-generals.
He got, however, upon more dangerous ground when, passing wholly by the political insinuation against himself, he roundly charged Hobbes with having written Leviathan in support of Oliver's title, and deserted his royal master in distress.