In spite of his near relationship to the Protector's family, he was one of the most violent opponents of the assumption by Cromwell of the royal title, and after the Protector's death, instead of supporting the interests and government of his nephew Richard Cromwell, he was, with Fleetwood, the chief instigator and organizer of the hostility of the army towards his administration, and forced him by threats and menaces to dissolve his parliament in April 1659.
Tudor policy did its work well, and noblemen, however illustrious their pedigrees, could no longer be counted as menaces by the Crown, which was, indeed, finding another rival to its power.
On the 1st Prairial he presided over the Convention, and remained unmoved by the insults and menaces of the insurgents.
In these proceedings there was no semblance of respect for law or justice, the Lords yielding (4th of January 1645) to the menaces of the Commons, who arrogated to themselves the right to declare any crimes they pleased high treason.
Macpherson is said to have sent Johnson a challenge, to which Johnson replied that he was not to be deterred from detecting what he thought a cheat by the menaces of a ruffian.