This left in the field only the remaining Irish Catholic armies and a few diehard English Royalists. From this point onwards, many Irish Catholics, including their bishops and clergy, questioned why they should accept Ormonde's leadership when his master, the King, had repudiated his alliance with them. Cromwell left Ireland in May 1650 to fight the Third English Civil War against the new Scottish-Royalist alliance. He passed his command onto Henry Ireton .
There were further dark mutterings the next year. On 24 December 1644, the editor of a pro-parliamentarian news-pamphlet expressed his support for the MPs’ decision to favour the monthly fast over the traditional feast, but admitted that “the parliament is cried out on” by the common people as a result, with incredulous shouts of “What, not keep Christmas? Here’s a Reformation indeed!”
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