A Humble Petition and the Lessons of Liberty *
Some members of the English Parliament want to make the Lord Protector Cromwell into a King so they have quickly thrown together something called "The Humble Petition and Advice." It is a second constitution for England, and it is designed to appeal to Cromwell, while limiting his power, and reducing the army. England is currently a republic, but most British citizens feel uncomfortable with the new arrangement. The British Civil War did not set out to create a republic and Oliver Cromwell had no plan for one. As a consequence, everyone is uncertain what to do. The old British institutions still serve a purpose and are maintained while Cromwell figures this thing out. He rejects the title of king and also rejects the idea of individual voting. That has always led to disaster in the past. Unfortunately he is going to run out of time. By next year he will be dead. His son, Richard, will take over, but the son is not the father. Richard Cromwell will be deposed. After that, the only thing certain will be chaos.   
Spanish Christians Suddenly Become Jews in England
Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell has been trying to attract Jewish commerce and banking to England and thus deny the same resources to the Spanish Crown. He begins negotiations in 1655 by allowing one Jewish diplomat to come to England. Officially speaking, Jews have been forbidden from England since the year 1290. (Unofficially, Jewish advisors, spies and doctors to the king have been around the whole time.) This official exception for the purposes of diplomatic negotiations creates an uproar. Clearly Cromwell will never be able to allow boatloads of Jews to come to England. However, everyone knows that not all Spanish Christians currently in England doing business are actually Christians. Some of them are Jews who are practicing Christianity. Cromwell tacitly allows these Christian Jews to practice their Judaism in England (as long as its not too noticeable). This avoids an official debate and public spectacle of Jews arriving in England with their luggage. With a wave of his hand, the Jews have suddenly appeared! After 367 years of exile, the first Jew is allowed to buy land in England.    
Coffee, Tea, Table Knives and Fingers. The Possibilities Are Endless
- * Coffee is served in France this year. 
- * Chocolate drinks are served in England! 
- * Table settings are introduced so that you no longer have to "bring your own silverware."
- * Table knives are blunted on one side because Cardinal Richelieu didn't like guests picking their teeth with daggers. 
- * People will stop drinking directly from the soup bowl... eventually. 
- * The King of France still eats with his hands in 1657.
- * The 1st book on probability and game theory is published. 
- * And the former Queen of Sweden has done something outrageous... again. 
This Year on Wikipedia
Year 1657, Wikipedia.
- * The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
- Grun, Bernard. "1657 (History, Politics)", The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster. “Oliver Cromwell rejects offer of title "king".”
- Lord Protector - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 October 2015. “The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland was the title of the head of state during the Commonwealth (or, to monarchists, the Interregnum), following the first period when a Council of State held executive power.”
- Humble Petition and Advice - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 October 2015. “The Humble Petition and Advice wanted to offer hereditary monarchy to Oliver Cromwell, assert Parliament's control over issuing new taxation, provide an independent council to advise the king, safeguard 'Triennial' meetings (every three years) of Parliament and reduce the size of the army in order to save money, amongst other things. These had the effect of limiting, not increasing, Cromwell’s power.”
- Blair Worden (November 1985). "Providence and Politics in Cromwellian England". Past & Present (Oxford University Press on behalf of Past and Present Society) (109): 55-99. http://www.jstor.org/stable/650610. "The more spectacular and revolutionary the event, indeed, the more obvious is the influence which providentialism exerted. For did not Oliver Cromwell and his soldiers proclaim themselves 'instruments of providence', 'raised up' by God to re-enact the military history and to implement the political precepts of the Old Testament? Did they not execute Charles I 'since providence and necessity had cast them upon it', and then abolish monarchy because 'the providence of God has laid this title aside'?".
- A. H. Woolrych (1957). "The Good Old Cause and the Fall of the Protectorate". The Cambridge Historical Journal (Cambridge University Press) 13 (2): 133-161. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3020682. "If any single turn of events condemned the Great Rebellion to its final collapse and made the Restoration ultimately inevitable, it surely took place that April night in I659 when the regiments about London gathered at St James's in defiance of Richard Cromwell, 'unanimusly crieing up the good ould cause And A Comanwealth, and noe single person'. The coup d'etat which virtually ended the Protectorate left England at the mercy of the military grandees who had headed it and the Republican politicians who meant to profit by it.".
- John Locke (Second Treatise of Civil Government, Ch. IV, sec. 21) - Wikiquote. en.wikiquote.org (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “Freedom of Men under Government is, to have a standing Rule to live by, common to every one of that Society, and made by the Legislative Power erected in it; a Liberty to follow my own Will in all things, where the Rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, Arbitrary Will of another Man: as Freedom of Nature is, to be under no other restraint but the Law of Nature.”
- Lionel Abrahams (October 1901). "Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell". The Jewish Quarterly Review (University of Pennsylvania Press) 14 (1): 1-25. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1450525. "In 1655, Menasseh ben Israel came to England in the hope of obtaining from the Lord Protector and the Council of State permission for Jews to settle in England, and to practise without secrecy or restraint the rights of their religion.".
- Denization - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “Denization is an obsolete or defunct process in England and Ireland and the later Kingdom of Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and the British Empire, dating back to the 13th century, by which an alien (foreigner), through letters patent, became a denizen, thereby obtaining certain rights otherwise only normally enjoyed by the King's (or Queen's) subjects, including the right to hold land.”
- Edict of Expulsion - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. The expulsion edict remained in force for the rest of the Middle Ages. The edict was not an isolated incident, but the culmination of over 200 years of increased persecution. Oliver Cromwell permitted Jews to return to England in 1657, over 360 years after their banishment by Edward I, in exchange for finance.”
- Antonio Fernandez Carvajal - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “When Menasseh Ben Israel came to England in 1655 to petition Parliament for the return of the Jews to England, Carvajal, though his own position was secured, associated himself with the petition; and he was one of the three persons in whose names the first Jewish burial-ground was acquired after the Robles case had forced the Jews in England to acknowledge their creed.”
- Marrano - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “During the 16th and 17th centuries, some conversos migrated to the Americas, often the Castilian territories of the Viceroyalties of New Spain (North and Central America) and Peru (South America and Colombia), where they believed that they would be able to live without persecution.”
- Crypto-Judaism - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; practitioners are referred to as 'crypto-Jews'. The term crypto-Jew is also used to describe descendants of Jews who maintain some Jewish traditions of their ancestors while publicly adhering to other faiths.”
- 1657 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “Coffee is introduced to France.”
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster. “Drinking chocolate introduced in London”
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster. “Tea first drunk in England”
- Bee Wilson. Consider the fork. Basic Books. “In 1637, Cardinal Richelieu, chief adviser to King Louis XIII of France, is supposed to have witnessed a dinner guest using the sharp tip of a double-edged knife to pick his teeth.”
- Bee Wilson. Consider the fork. Basic Books. “People suddenly felt revolted by ways of eating that had once been acceptable: taking meat from a common dish using fingers, drinking soups straight from the bowl, and using a single sharp knife to cut everything.”
- 1657 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “Christiaan Huygens writes the first book to be published on probability theory, De ratiociniis in ludo aleae ('On Reasoning in Games of Chance').”
- 1657 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 October 2015. “November 10 – Christina, former Queen of Sweden, has Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi killed in her presence at the Palace of Fontainebleau.”