The previous month, in what has become known as 'Pride's Purge', Colonel Thomas Pride had effectively implemented a military coup d'etat on behalf of the New Model Army, by forcing out of Parliament over 200 MPs who did not support its radical proposals. This left the House of Commons dominated by radical members of Independent religious sects. They responded by implementing a similar purge in the Navy and dockyards, to ensure that these institutions shared the core beliefs of the New Model Army.
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