As dawn breaks, Bruno Robertson leads the Puritan soldiers in prayer before they set about their duties. Villagers enter in a festive mood and announce that it is Elvira’s wedding day. Sir Riccardo Forth appears, brooding and in despair. Lord Gualtiero Walton has yielded to his daughter Elvira’s wish to marry Lord Arturo Talbot, a royalist opposed to Cromwell and the Puritan cause. Lord Walton has thus broken his promise to Riccardo that Elvira should be his bride. Bruno’s attempts to comfort the rejected suitor are to no avail. Riccardo laments his lost happiness.