But that is not the end of the story. As that interpretation implies, the 1640 elections had divided the corporation. Under other circumstances, those who had opposed Cromwell and Lowry might have been able to let this pass. For all they knew, the Parliament elected in late 1640 might have proved to be as short-lived as its predecessor. A er all, no English Parliament for almost three decades had lasted for more than about a year. What the aldermen could certainly not have foreseen was that Cromwell and Lowry would serve as their MPs continuously for over twelve years. Worse, the wider crisis that soon unfolded at Westminster and then throughout the rest of the kingdom did nothing to lessen the tensions within the Cambridge corporation. e issues at stake in the elections at Cambridge in 1640 were among those that less than two years later helped push Parliament and the king into a civil war. at national con ict then only exacerbated those di erences that already existed in Cambridge. e preceding interpretation can thus be extended. e divisions that can be discerned among the members of the corporation in 1640 can be shown to have persisted in the years that followed, becoming all the more evident as the stakes became higher. ose involved were mostly the same individuals as before and what now motivated them was probably not so very di erent from what had caused them to take sides in the parliamentary elections. Not that this should be regarded as reinforcing what has been argued in the earlier chapters. What is being proposed is not that the later, more obvious divisions can be projected back to 1640 to con rm the preceding analysis. Rather, it is that what had happened in 1640 helps make sense of what happened later.