Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

Overview
Oliver Cromwell was an English military
Military history of the United Kingdom
The military history of the United Kingdom covers the period from the creation of the united Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, with the political union of England and Scotland, to the present day....

 and political
Politics of England
The Politics of England forms the major part of the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with England being more populus than all the other countries of the United Kingdom put together. As England is also the largest in terms of area and GDP, its relationship to the UK is somewhat different from...

 leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, and served as Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Cromwell was one of the commanders of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 which defeated the royalists
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. After the execution of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.

Cromwell was born into the ranks of the middle gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

, and remained relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life.
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Timeline

1649   Siege of Drogheda ends: Oliver Cromwell's English Parliamentarian troops take the town and execute its garrison.

1649   Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.

1649   New Ross town, Co. Wexford, Ireland, surrenders to Oliver Cromwell.

1650   Third English Civil War: in the Battle of Dunbar, English Parliamentarian forces lead by Oliver Cromwell defeat an army loyal to King Charles II of England and lead by David Leslie, Lord Newark.

1653   Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.

1661   Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England is ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.

 
Quotations

I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that you call a Gentleman and is nothing else.

Letter to Sir William Spring, 1st Baronet|Sir William Spring (September 1643)

A few honest men are better than numbers.

Letter to Sir William Spring (September 1643)

The State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions. If they be willing faithfully to serve it, that satisfies.

Statement before the battle of Battle of Marston Moor|Marston Moor (2 July 1644)

God made them as stubble to our swords.

Letter to Colonel Valentine Walton (5 July 1644)

Truly England and the church of God hath had a great favour from the Lord, in this great victory given us.

Letter to Colonel Valentine Walton (5 July 1644)

We study the glory of God, and the honour and liberty of parliament, for which we unanimously fight, without seeking our own interests... I profess I could never satisfy myself on the justness of this war, but from the authority of the parliament to maintain itself in its rights; and in this cause I hope to prove myself an honest man and single-hearted.

Statement to Colonel Valentine Walton, 5 or 6 September 1644

I could not riding out alone about my business, but smile out to God in praises, in assurance of victory because God would, by things that are not, bring to naught things that are.

Before the Battle of Battle of Naseby|Naseby (14 June 1645)

This is our comfort, God is in heaven, and He doth what pleaseth Him; His, and only His counsel shall stand, whatsoever the designs of men, and the fury of the people be.

Letter to Sir Thomas Fairfax (21 December 1646)
Encyclopedia
Oliver Cromwell was an English military
Military history of the United Kingdom
The military history of the United Kingdom covers the period from the creation of the united Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, with the political union of England and Scotland, to the present day....

 and political
Politics of England
The Politics of England forms the major part of the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with England being more populus than all the other countries of the United Kingdom put together. As England is also the largest in terms of area and GDP, its relationship to the UK is somewhat different from...

 leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, and served as Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Cromwell was one of the commanders of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 which defeated the royalists
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. After the execution of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.

Cromwell was born into the ranks of the middle gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

, and remained relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. Along with his brother, Henry, he kept a smallholding of chickens and sheep, selling eggs and wool to support himself. His lifestyle resembled that of a yeoman
Yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

 farmer until he received an inheritance from his uncle. After undergoing a religious conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 during the same decade, Cromwell made an independent
Independent (religion)
In English church history, Independents advocated local congregational control of religious and church matters, without any wider geographical hierarchy, either ecclesiastical or political...

 style of puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

ism an essential part of his life. As a ruler he executed an aggressive and effective foreign policy and did as much as any English leader to shape the future of the land he governed. But his Commonwealth collapsed after his death and the royal family was restored in 1660. An intensely religious man—a self-styled Puritan Moses—he fervently believed God was guiding his victories. He was never identified with any one sect or position, however, and strongly favoured religious tolerance for all the various Protestant groups.

He was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
Huntingdon (UK Parliament constituency)
Huntingdon is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election....

 in 1628 and for Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

 in the Short
Short Parliament
The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England, so called because it lasted only three weeks....

 (1640) and Long (1640–49) Parliaments
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

. He entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians and became a key military leader. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides
Ironside (cavalry)
The Ironsides were troopers in the Parliamentarian cavalry formed by English political leader Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century, during the English Civil War. The name came from "Old Ironsides", one of Cromwell's nicknames...

", he was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to command of the entire army. In 1649 he was one of the signatories of Charles I's death warrant and was a member of the Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

 (1649–1653), which selected him to take command of the English campaign in Ireland during 1649–50. He led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651. On 20 April 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as the Barebones Parliament
Barebones Parliament
Barebone's Parliament, also known as the Little Parliament, the Nominated Assembly and the Parliament of Saints, came into being on 4 July 1653, and was the last attempt of the English Commonwealth to find a stable political form before the installation of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector...

, before being made Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland on 16 December 1653. He was buried in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

. After the Royalists returned to power
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded
Oliver Cromwell's head
Following the death of Oliver Cromwell on 3 September 1658, he was given a public funeral at Westminster Abbey, equal to those of monarchs before him. After successfully defeating and executing King Charles I after the English Civil War, Cromwell had become Lord Protector and ruler of the English...

.

Cromwell has been one of the most controversial figures in the history of the British Isles
History of the British Isles
The history of the British Isles has witnessed intermittent periods of competition and cooperation between the people that occupy the various parts of Great Britain, Ireland, and the smaller adjacent islands, which together make up the British Isles, as well as with France, Germany, the Low...

—considered a regicidal
Regicide
The broad definition of regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for the killing of a monarch. In a narrower sense, in the British tradition, it refers to the judicial execution of a king after a trial...

 dictator by some historians such as David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

 and Christopher Hill
Christopher Hill (historian)
John Edward Christopher Hill , usually known simply as Christopher Hill, was an English Marxist historian and author of textbooks....

 as quoted by David Sharp, he was considered a hero of liberty by others such as Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era.He called economics "the dismal science", wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and became a controversial social commentator.Coming from a strict Calvinist family, Carlyle was...

 and Samuel Rawson Gardiner
Samuel Rawson Gardiner
Samuel Rawson Gardiner was an English historian.The son of Rawson Boddam Gardiner, he was born near Alresford, Hampshire. He was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained a first class in literae humaniores. He was subsequently elected to fellowships at All Souls ...

. In a 2002 BBC poll in Britain, Cromwell was elected as one of the Top 10 Britons of all time
100 Greatest Britons
100 Greatest Britons was broadcast in 2002 by the BBC. The programme was the result of a vote conducted to determine whom the United Kingdom public considers the greatest British people in history. The series, Great Britons, included individual programmes on the top ten, with viewers having further...

. His measures against Catholics in Scotland and Ireland have been characterised as genocidal
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 or near-genocidal. In Ireland his record is harshly criticised.

Early years


He was born at Cromwell House in Huntingdon
Huntingdon
Huntingdon is a market town in Cambridgeshire, England. The town was chartered by King John in 1205. It is the traditional county town of Huntingdonshire, and is currently the seat of the Huntingdonshire district council. It is known as the birthplace in 1599 of Oliver Cromwell.-History:Huntingdon...

 on 25 April 1599, to Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward. He was descended from Katherine Cromwell (born c. 1482), an elder sister of Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, , was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540....

. Katherine was married to Morgan ap William, son of William ap Yevan of Wales. The family line continued through Richard Williams, alias Cromwell, (c. 1500–1544), Henry Williams
Henry Williams (alias Cromwell)
Sir Henry Williams, alias Cromwell was a Knight of the Shire for Huntingdonshire and a grandfather of Oliver Cromwell.-Biography:Sir Henry Williams, of Welsh descent, the eldest son and heir of Sir Richard Williams, was highly esteemed by Queen Elizabeth I, who knighted him in 1563, and did him...

, alias Cromwell, (c. 1524–6 January 1604), then to Oliver's father Robert Cromwell (c. 1560–1617), who married Elizabeth Steward (c. 1564–1654) on the day of Oliver Cromwell's birth. Thomas thus was Oliver's great-great-great-uncle.

His father was a younger son of a family founded by Thomas Cromwell (c. 1485–1540), a minister of Henry VIII, which had acquired considerable wealth by taking over monastery property during the Reformation. At the time of Oliver's birth his grandfather, Sir Henry Williams, was one of the two wealthiest landowners in Huntingdonshire, Oliver's father was of modest means but still inside the gentry class. As a younger son with many siblings, Robert's inheritance was limited to a house at Huntingdon and a small amount of land. This land would have generated an income of up to £300 a year, near the bottom of the range of gentry incomes. Cromwell himself in 1654 said "I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in considerable height, nor yet in obscurity".

Records survive of Cromwell's baptism on 29 April 1599 at St. John's Church, and his attendance at Huntingdon Grammar School
Hinchingbrooke School
Hinchingbrooke School is a large school situated on the outskirts of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Originally all of the surrounding land—including what is now Huntingdon Town—comprised the grounds of Hinchingbrooke House. In fact, the Town was given the name "Huntingdon" as the owners of the house...

. He went on to study at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Sidney Sussex College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England.The college was founded in 1596 and named after its foundress, Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex. It was from its inception an avowedly Puritan foundation: some good and godlie moniment for the mainteynance...

, which was then a recently founded college with a strong Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

 ethos. He left in June 1617 without taking a degree, immediately after the death of his father. Early biographers claim he then attended Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond...

, but there is no record of him in the Inn's archives. Fraser (1973) concludes he likely did train at one of the London Inns of Court
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All such barristers must belong to one such association. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional...

 during this time. His grandfather, his father, and two of his uncles had attended Lincoln's Inn, and Cromwell sent his son Richard there in 1647.

Cromwell probably returned home to Huntingdon after his father's death, for his mother was widowed and his seven sisters were unmarried, and he, therefore, was needed at home to help his family.

Marriage and family



On 22 August 1620 at St Giles-without-Cripplegate
St Giles-without-Cripplegate
St Giles-without-Cripplegate is a Church of England church in the City of London, located within the modern Barbican complex. When built it stood without the city wall, near the Cripplegate. The church is dedicated to St Giles, patron saint of beggars and cripples...

, London, Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier
Elizabeth Bourchier
Elizabeth Cromwell [née Bourchier] was the wife of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. She is sometimes referred to as the Lady Protectress or Protectress Joan.- Family and marriage :...

 (1598–1665). They had 9 children.
  • Robert (1621–1639), died while away at school.
  • Oliver (1622–1644), died of typhoid fever
    Typhoid fever
    Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

     while serving as a Parliamentarian officer.
  • Richard
    Richard Cromwell
    At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

     (1626–1712), his father's successor as Lord Protector.
  • Henry
    Henry Cromwell
    Henry Cromwell was the fourth son of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth Bourchier, and an important figure in the Parliamentarian regime in Ireland.-Life:...

     (1628–1674), later Lord Deputy of Ireland
    Lord Deputy of Ireland
    The Lord Deputy was the King's representative and head of the Irish executive under English rule, during the Lordship of Ireland and later the Kingdom of Ireland...

    .
  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth Claypole
    Elizabeth Claypole ,also Cleypole and Claypoole second daughter of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth, she married John Claypole in 1646 and is said to have interceded for royalist prisoners. After Cromwell created a peerage for her husband, she was known as Lady Claypole...

     (1629–1658), married John Claypole
    John Claypole
    John Claypole , was an officer in the Parliamentary army in 1645 during the English Civil War. He was created Lord Cleypole by Oliver Cromwell, but this title naturally came to an end with the Restoration of 1660....

    .
  • James (b. & d. 1632), died in infancy.
  • Mary (1637–1713), married Thomas Belasyse, 1st Earl Fauconberg
    Thomas Belasyse, 1st Earl Fauconberg
    Thomas Belasyse, 1st Earl Fauconberg PC was an English peer. He supported the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War drawing close to Oliver Cromwell and married Cromwell's third daughter Mary...

    .
  • Frances (1638–1720), married (1) Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick
    Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick
    Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick , was the son of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick and Frances Hatton. His only son, also Robert, predeceased him by 15 months dying of consumption...

    , (2) Sir John Russell, 3rd Baronet
    Sir John Russell, 3rd Baronet
    Sir John Russell, 3rd Baronet of Chippenham , first a Royalist, but afterwards a colonel of foot for Parliament and distinguished himself at the Battle of Marston-Moor, and in the Protectorate's wars in Ireland and Flanders....

    .
  • Bridget (1624-1662), married (1) Henry Ireton, (2) Charles Fleetwood

Elizabeth's father, Sir James Bourchier, was a London leather merchant who owned extensive land in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

 and had strong connections with puritan gentry families there. The marriage brought Cromwell into contact with Oliver St John
Oliver St John
Sir Oliver St John , was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1653. He supported the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War.- Early life :...

 and with leading members of the London merchant community, and behind them the influence of the earls of Warwick
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick was an English colonial administrator, admiral, and puritan.Rich was the eldest son of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and his wife Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, and succeeded to his father's title in 1619...

 and Holland
Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland
Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland was an English aristocrat, courtier and soldier.-Life:He was the son of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and of Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, and the younger brother of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick...

. Membership in this influential network would prove crucial to Cromwell’s military and political career.

Crisis and recovery


At this stage, though, there is little evidence of Cromwell's own religion. His letter in 1626 to Henry Downhall, an Arminian minister, suggests that Cromwell had yet to be influenced by radical puritanism. However, there is evidence that Cromwell went through a period of personal crisis during the late 1620s and early 1630s. He sought treatment for valde melancolicus (depression) from London doctor Theodore de Mayerne
Theodore de Mayerne
Sir Théodore Turquet de Mayerne was a Swiss-born physician who treated kings of France and England and advanced the theories of Paracelsus....

 in 1628. He was also caught up in a fight among the gentry of Huntingdon over a new charter for the town, as a result of which he was called before the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 in 1630.

In 1631 Cromwell sold most of his properties in Huntingdon—probably as a result of the dispute—and moved to a farmstead in St Ives
St Ives, Cambridgeshire
St Ives is a market town in Cambridgeshire, England, around north-west of the city of Cambridge and north of London. It lies within the historic county boundaries of Huntingdonshire.-History:...

. This was a major step down in society compared with his previous position, and seems to have had a significant emotional and spiritual impact. A 1638 letter survives from Cromwell to his cousin, the wife of Oliver St John, and gives an account of his spiritual awakening. The letter outlines how, having been "the chief of sinners", Cromwell had been called to be among "the congregation of the firstborn". The language of this letter, which is saturated with biblical quotations and which represents Cromwell as having been saved from sin by God's mercy, places his faith firmly within the Independent
Independent (religion)
In English church history, Independents advocated local congregational control of religious and church matters, without any wider geographical hierarchy, either ecclesiastical or political...

 beliefs that the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 had not gone far enough, that much of England was still living in sin, and that Catholic beliefs and practices needed to be fully removed from the church.
In 1636 Cromwell inherited control of various properties in Ely
Ely, Cambridgeshire
Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, 14 miles north-northeast of Cambridge and about by road from London. It is built on a Lower Greensand island, which at a maximum elevation of is the highest land in the Fens...

 from his uncle on his mother's side, as well as his uncle's job as tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

 collector for Ely Cathedral. As a result, his income is likely to have risen to around £300–400 per year; by the end of the 1630s Cromwell had returned to the ranks of acknowledged gentry. He had become a committed puritan and had established important family links to leading families in London and Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

.

Member of Parliament: 1628–29 and 1640–42


Cromwell became the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
Huntingdon (UK Parliament constituency)
Huntingdon is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election....

 in the Parliament of 1628–1629, as a client of the Montagus. He made little impression: records for the Parliament show only one speech (against the Arminian
Arminianism
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

 Bishop Richard Neile
Richard Neile
Richard Neile was an English churchman, bishop of several English dioceses and Archbishop of York from 1631 until his death.-Early life:...

), which was poorly received. After dissolving this Parliament, Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 ruled without a Parliament for the next eleven years. When Charles faced the Scottish rebellion known as the Bishops' Wars
Bishops' Wars
The Bishops' Wars , were conflicts, both political and military, which occurred in 1639 and 1640 centred around the nature of the governance of the Church of Scotland, and the rights and powers of the Crown...

, shortage of funds forced him to call a Parliament again in 1640. Cromwell was returned to this Parliament as member for Cambridge
Cambridge (UK Parliament constituency)
Cambridge is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first-past-the-post voting system....

, but it lasted for only three weeks and became known as the Short Parliament
Short Parliament
The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England, so called because it lasted only three weeks....

. Cromwell moved his family from Ely to London in 1640.

A second Parliament was called later the same year, and became known as the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

. Cromwell was again returned as member for Cambridge. As with the Parliament of 1628–29, it is likely that Cromwell owed his position to the patronage of others, which might explain why in the first week of the Parliament he was in charge of presenting a petition for the release of John Lilburne
John Lilburne
John Lilburne , also known as Freeborn John, was an English political Leveller before, during and after English Civil Wars 1642-1650. He coined the term "freeborn rights", defining them as rights with which every human being is born, as opposed to rights bestowed by government or human law...

, who had become a puritan martyr after his arrest for importing religious tracts from Holland. For the first two years of the Long Parliament Cromwell was linked to the godly group of aristocrats in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 and Members of the House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

 with whom he had established familial and religious links in the 1630s, such as the Earls of Essex
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex was an English Parliamentarian and soldier during the first half of the seventeenth century. With the start of the English Civil War in 1642 he became the first Captain-General and Chief Commander of the Parliamentarian army, also known as the Roundheads...

, Warwick
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick was an English colonial administrator, admiral, and puritan.Rich was the eldest son of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and his wife Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, and succeeded to his father's title in 1619...

 and Bedford
Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford
Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford PC was an English politician. About 1631 he built the square of Covent Garden, with the piazza and church of St. Paul's, employing Inigo Jones as his architect...

, Oliver St John, and Viscount Saye and Sele
William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele
William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele was born at the family home of Broughton Castle near Banbury, in Oxfordshire. He was the only son of Richard Fiennes, seventh Baron Saye and Sele...

. At this stage, the group had an agenda of godly reformation: the executive checked by regular parliaments, and the moderate extension of liberty of conscience. Cromwell appears to have taken a role in some of this group's political manoeuvres. In May 1641, for example, it was Cromwell who put forward the second reading of the Annual Parliaments Bill and later took a role in drafting the Root and Branch Bill for the abolition of episcopacy.

English Civil War begins



Failure to resolve the issues before the Long Parliament led to armed conflict between Parliament and Charles I in the autumn of 1642, the beginning of the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. Before joining Parliament's forces Cromwell's only military experience was in the trained bands, the local county militia. He recruited a cavalry troop in Cambridgeshire after blocking a valuable shipment of silver plate from Cambridge colleges that was meant for the king. Cromwell and his troop then rode to, but arrived too late to take part in the indecisive Battle of Edgehill
Battle of Edgehill
The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642....

 on 23 October 1642. The troop was recruited to be a full regiment in the winter of 1642 and 1643, making up part of the Eastern Association
Eastern Association
The Eastern Association of counties was a Parliamentarian or 'Roundhead' army during the English Civil War. It was formed from a number of pro-Parliamentary militias in the east of England in 1642, including a troop of cavalry led by Oliver Cromwell...

 under the Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester KG, KB, FRS was an important commander of Parliamentary forces in the First English Civil War, and for a time Oliver Cromwell's superior.-Life:...

. Cromwell gained experience in a number of successful actions in East Anglia
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

 in 1643, notably at the Battle of Gainsborough
Battle of Gainsborough
The Battle of Gainsborough was a battle in the English Civil War, fought on 28 July 1643.-Prelude:When the English Civil War was declared, Gainsborough in Lincolnshire lay in an area which supported Parliament, but the town itself had Royalist sympathies...

 on 28 July. He was subsequently appointed governor of Ely and a colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 in the Eastern Association.

Marston Moor


By the time of the Battle of Marston Moor
Battle of Marston Moor
The Battle of Marston Moor was fought on 2 July 1644, during the First English Civil War of 1642–1646. The combined forces of the Scottish Covenanters under the Earl of Leven and the English Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Manchester defeated the Royalists commanded by Prince...

 in July 1644, Cromwell had risen to the rank of Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 of horse in Manchester's army. The success of his cavalry in breaking the ranks of the Royalist cavalry and then attacking their infantry from the rear at Marston Moor was a major factor in the Parliamentarian victory. Cromwell fought at the head of his troops in the battle and was slightly wounded in the neck, stepping away briefly to receive treatment during the battle but returning to help force the victory. After Cromwell's nephew was killed at Marston Moor he wrote a famous letter to his brother-in-law
Valentine Walton
Valentine Walton was one of the regicides of King Charles I of England.Walton was of very ancient, and knightly family of Great Staughton, in Huntingdonshire. Upon a vacancy he was returned a member of the Long Parliament for the county of Huntingdon...

. Marston Moor secured the north of England for the Parliamentarians, but failed to end Royalist resistance.

The indecisive outcome of the Second Battle of Newbury
Second Battle of Newbury
The Second Battle of Newbury was a battle of the English Civil War fought on 27 October, 1644, in Speen, adjoining Newbury in Berkshire. The battle was fought close to the site of the First Battle of Newbury, which took place in late September the previous year.The combined armies of Parliament...

 in October meant that by the end of 1644 the war still showed no signs of ending. Cromwell's experience at Newbury, where Manchester had let the King's army slip out of an encircling manoeuvre, led to a serious dispute with Manchester, whom he believed to be less than enthusiastic in his conduct of the war. Manchester later accused Cromwell of recruiting men of "low birth" as officers in the army, to which he replied: "If you choose godly honest men to be captains of horse, honest men will follow them ... I would rather have a plain russet-coated captain who knows what he fights for and loves what he knows than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else". At this time, Cromwell also fell into dispute with Major-General Lawrence Crawford
Lawrence Crawford
Lawrence Crawford was a Scottish soldier who fought in English or other armies on the continent of Europe. However, his motives were not mercenary, as he fought only for Presbyterian principles or causes....

, a Scottish Covenanter
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

 Presbyterian attached to Manchester's army, who objected to Cromwell's encouragement of unorthodox Independents and Anabaptists. Cromwell's differences with the Scots, then allies of the Parliament, developed into outright enmity in 1648 and in 1650–51.


New Model Army


Partly in response to the failure to capitalise on their victory at Marston Moor, Parliament passed the Self-Denying Ordinance
Self-denying Ordinance
The first Self-denying Ordinance was a bill moved on 9 December 1644 to deprive members of the Parliament of England from holding command in the army or the navy during the English Civil War. It failed to pass the House of Lords. A second Self-denying Ordinance was agreed to on 3 April 1645,...

 in early 1645. This forced members of the House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

 and the Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, such as Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, to choose between civil office and military command. All of them—except for Cromwell, whose commission was given continued extensions and was allowed to remain in parliament—chose to renounce their military positions. The Ordinance also decreed that the army be "remodelled" on a national basis, replacing the old county associations; Cromwell contributed significantly to these military reforms. In April 1645 the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 finally took to the field, with Sir Thomas Fairfax in command and Cromwell as Lieutenant-General of cavalry, and second-in-command. By this time, the Parliamentarians' field army outnumbered the King's by roughly two to one.

Battle of Naseby


At the critical Battle of Naseby
Battle of Naseby
The Battle of Naseby was the key battle of the first English Civil War. On 14 June 1645, the main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Parliamentarian New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.-The Campaign:...

 in June 1645, the New Model Army smashed the king's major army. Cromwell led his wing with great success at Naseby, again routing the Royalist cavalry. At the Battle of Langport
Battle of Langport
The Battle of Langport was a Parliamentarian victory late in the English Civil War which destroyed the last Royalist field army and gave Parliament control of the West of England, which had hitherto been a major source of manpower, raw materials and imports for the Royalists...

 on 10 July, Cromwell participated in the defeat of the last sizeable Royalist field army. Naseby and Langport effectively ended the King's hopes of victory, and the subsequent Parliamentarian campaigns involved taking the remaining fortified Royalist positions in the west of England. In October 1645, Cromwell besieged and took the wealthy and formidable Catholic fortress Basing House
Basing House
Basing House was a major Tudor palace and castle in the village of Old Basing in the English county of Hampshire. It once rivaled Hampton Court Palace in its size and opulence. Today only its foundations and earthworks remain...

, later to be accused of killing one hundred of its three-hundred-man Royalist garrison there after its surrender. Cromwell also took part in successful sieges at Bridgwater
Bridgwater
Bridgwater is a market town and civil parish in Somerset, England. It is the administrative centre of the Sedgemoor district, and a major industrial centre. Bridgwater is located on the major communication routes through South West England...

, Sherborne
Sherborne
Sherborne is a market town in northwest Dorset, England. It is sited on the River Yeo, on the edge of the Blackmore Vale, east of Yeovil. The A30 road, which connects London to Penzance, runs through the town. The population of the town is 9,350 . 27.1% of the population is aged 65 or...

, Bristol, Devizes
Devizes
Devizes is a market town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. The town is about southeast of Chippenham and about east of Trowbridge.Devizes serves as a centre for banks, solicitors and shops, with a large open market place where a market is held once a week...

, and Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

, then spent the first half of 1646 mopping up resistance in Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

 and Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

. Charles I surrendered to the Scots on 5 May 1646, effectively ending the First English Civil War
First English Civil War
The First English Civil War began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War . "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War and...

. Cromwell and Fairfax took the formal surrender of the Royalists at Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 in June.

Cromwell's military style


Cromwell had no formal training in military tactics, and followed the common practice of ranging his cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 in three ranks and pressing forward, relying on impact rather than firepower. His strengths were an instinctive ability to lead and train his men, and his moral authority. In a war fought mostly by amateurs, these strengths were significant and are likely to have contributed to the discipline of his cavalry.

Cromwell also introduced close-order cavalry formations, with troopers riding knee to knee; this was an innovation in England at the time, and was a major factor in his success. He kept his troops close together following skirmishes where they had gained superiority, rather than allowing them to chase opponents off the battlefield. This facilitated further engagements in short order, which allowed greater intensity and quick reaction to battle developments. This style of command was decisive at both Marston Moor and Naseby.

Politics: 1647–49


In February 1647 Cromwell suffered from an illness that kept him out of political life for over a month. By the time he had recovered, the Parliamentarians were split over the issue of the king. A majority in both Houses pushed for a settlement that would pay off the Scottish army, disband much of the New Model Army, and restore Charles I in return for a Presbyterian settlement of the Church. Cromwell rejected the Scottish model of Presbyterianism, which threatened to replace one authoritarian hierarchy with another. The New Model Army, radicalised by the failure of the Parliament to pay the wages it was owed, petitioned against these changes, but the Commons declared the petition unlawful. In May 1647 Cromwell was sent to the army's headquarters in Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden is a medium-sized market town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England. It is located north of Bishop's Stortford, south of Cambridge and approx north of London...

 to negotiate with them, but failed to agree.

In June 1647, a troop of cavalry under Cornet George Joyce
George Joyce
Cornet George Joyce was an officer in the Parliamentary New Model Army during the English Civil War.Between 2 June and June 5 1647, while the New Model Army was assembling for rendezvous at the behest of the recently formed Army Council, George Joyce seized King Charles I from Parliament's custody...

 seized the king from Parliament's imprisonment. After the King was in arm's reach of Cromwell, he was eager to find out what conditions the king would be willing to compromise on if we was restored his authority. The king appeared to be willing to compromise, so Cromwell employed his son in law, Henry Ireton to draw up proposals for a constitutional settlement. Proposals where drafted up multiple times with different changes until finally the "Head of the Proposals" pleased Cromwell in principle and would allow for further negotiations. It was designed to check the powers of the executive, to set up regularly elected parliaments, and to restore a non-compulsory Episcopalian
Episcopal polity
Episcopal polity is a form of church governance that is hierarchical in structure with the chief authority over a local Christian church resting in a bishop...

 settlement.

Many in the army, such as the Levellers
Levellers
The Levellers were a political movement during the English Civil Wars which emphasised popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law, and religious tolerance, all of which were expressed in the manifesto "Agreement of the People". They came to prominence at the end of the First...

 led by John Lilburne
John Lilburne
John Lilburne , also known as Freeborn John, was an English political Leveller before, during and after English Civil Wars 1642-1650. He coined the term "freeborn rights", defining them as rights with which every human being is born, as opposed to rights bestowed by government or human law...

, thought this was not enough and demanded full political equality for all men, leading to tense debates in Putney during the autumn of 1647 between Fairfax, Cromwell and Ireton on the one hand, and radical Levellers like Colonel Rainsborough
Thomas Rainsborough
Thomas Rainsborough , or Rainborough or Raineborough or Rainborowe or Rainbow or Rainborow, was a prominent figure in the English Civil War, and was the leading spokesman of the Levellers in the Putney Debates.-Life:He was the son of William Rainsborough, a captain and Vice-Admiral in the Royal...

 on the other. The Putney Debates
Putney Debates
The Putney Debates were a series of discussions between members of the New Model Army – a number of the participants being Levellers – concerning the makeup of a new constitution for England....

 ultimately broke up without reaching a resolution. The debates, and the escape of Charles I from Hampton Court on 12 November, are likely to have hardened Cromwell's resolve against the king.

Second Civil War


The failure to conclude a political agreement with the king led eventually to the outbreak of the Second English Civil War
Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War was the second of three wars known as the English Civil War which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and also include the First English Civil War and the...

 in 1648, when the King tried to regain power by force of arms. Cromwell first put down a Royalist uprising in south Wales led by Rowland Laugharne
Rowland Laugharne
Major General Rowland Laugharne was a soldier in the English Civil War.His family came from St. Brides House, Pembrokeshire, Wales.Major-General Laugharne, Parliament's commander in south Wales during the First Civil War, sided with the insurgents and took command of the rebel army...

, winning back Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle , located in Chepstow, Monmouthshire in Wales, on top of cliffs overlooking the River Wye, is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain...

 on 25 May and six days later forcing the surrender of Tenby
Tenby
Tenby is a walled seaside town in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, lying on Carmarthen Bay.Notable features of Tenby include of sandy beaches; the 13th century medieval town walls, including the Five Arches barbican gatehouse ; 15th century St...

. The castle at Carmarthen
Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648....

 was destroyed by burning. The much stronger castle at Pembroke
Pembroke Castle
Pembroke Castle is a medieval castle in Pembroke, West Wales. Standing beside the River Cleddau, it underwent major restoration work in the early 20th century. The castle was the original seat of the Earldom of Pembroke....

, however, fell only after a siege of eight weeks. Cromwell dealt leniently with the ex-royalist soldiers, but less so with those who had previously been members of the parliamentary army, John Poyer
John Poyer
John Poyer was a soldier in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War in South Wales. He later rebelled and was executed for treason.- Background :...

 eventually being executed in London after the drawing of lots.

Cromwell then marched north to deal with a pro-Royalist Scottish army (the Engagers
Engagers
The Engagers were a faction of the Scottish Covenanters, who made "The Engagement" with King Charles I in December 1647 while he was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle by the English Parliamenterians after his defeat in the First Civil War....

) who had invaded England. At Preston
Battle of Preston (1648)
The Battle of Preston , fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory by the troops of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton...

, Cromwell, in sole command for the first time and with an army of 9,000, won a brilliant victory against an army twice as large.

During 1648, Cromwell's letters and speeches started to become heavily based on biblical imagery, many of them meditations on the meaning of particular passages. For example, after the battle of Preston, study of Psalms 17 and 105 led him to tell Parliament that "they that are implacable and will not leave troubling the land may be speedily destroyed out of the land". A letter to Oliver St John in September 1648 urged him to read Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 8, in which the kingdom falls and only the godly survive. This letter suggests that it was Cromwell's faith, rather than a commitment to radical politics, coupled with Parliament's decision to engage in negotiations with the king at the Treaty of Newport
Treaty of Newport
The Treaty of Newport was a failed treaty between Parliament and King Charles I of England, intended to bring an end to the hostilities of the English Civil War...

, that convinced him that God had spoken against both the king and Parliament as lawful authorities. For Cromwell, the army was now God's chosen instrument. The episode shows Cromwell’s firm belief in "Providentialism
Providentialism
Providentialism is a belief that God's will is evident in all occurrences. It can further be described as a belief that the power of God is so complete that humans cannot equal His abilities, or fully understand His plan...

"—that God was actively directing the affairs of the world, through the actions of "chosen people" (whom God had "provided" for such purposes). Cromwell believed, during the Civil Wars, that he was one of these people, and he interpreted victories as indications of God's approval of his actions, and defeats as signs that God was directing him in another direction.

King tried and executed




In December 1648, those members of parliament who wished to continue negotiations with the king were prevented from sitting for parliament by a troop of soldiers headed by Colonel Thomas Pride
Thomas Pride
Thomas Pride was a parliamentarian general in the English Civil War, and best known as the instigator of "Pride's Purge".-Early Life and Starting Career:...

, an episode soon to be known as Pride's Purge
Pride's Purge
Pride’s Purge is an event in December 1648, during the Second English Civil War, when troops under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the Long Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the Independents...

. Thus weakened, the remaining body of MPs, known as the Rump
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

, agreed that Charles should be tried on a charge of treason. Cromwell was still in the north of England, dealing with Royalist resistance, when these events took place, but after he had returned to London, on the day after Pride's Purge, he became a determined supporter of those pushing for the king's trial and execution, believing that killing Charles was the only way to end the civil wars. The death warrant for Charles was eventually signed by 59 of the trying court's members, including Cromwell (who was the third to sign it); Fairfax conspicuously refused to sign. Charles was executed on 30 January 1649.

Establishment of the Commonwealth: 1649


After the execution of the King, a republic was declared, known as the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

. The Rump Parliament exercised both executive and legislative powers, with a smaller Council of State
English Council of State
The English Council of State, later also known as the Protector's Privy Council, was first appointed by the Rump Parliament on 14 February 1649 after the execution of King Charles I....

 also having some executive functions. Cromwell remained a member of the Rump and was appointed a member of the Council. In the early months after the execution of Charles I, Cromwell tried but failed to unite the original group of 'Royal Independents' centred around St John and Saye and Sele, which had fractured during 1648. Cromwell had been connected to this group since before the outbreak of war in 1642 and had been closely associated with them during the 1640s. However, only St John was persuaded to retain his seat in Parliament. The Royalists, meanwhile, had regrouped in Ireland, having signed a treaty with the Irish Confederate Catholics
Confederate Ireland
Confederate Ireland refers to the period of Irish self-government between the Rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the "Confederation of Kilkenny"...

. In March, Cromwell was chosen by the Rump to command a campaign against them. Preparations for an invasion of Ireland occupied Cromwell in the subsequent months. In the latter part of the 1640’s, Cromwell came across political dissidence in his New Model Army. The “Leveller,” or “Agitator,” movement was a political movement that emphasized popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law, and religious tolerance. These sentiments were expressed in the manifesto “Agreement of the People” in 1647. Cromwell and the rest of the Grandees disagreed with these sentiments in that they gave too much freedom to the people; they believed that the vote should only extend to the landowners. In the Putney Debates of 1647, the two groups debated these topics in hopes of forming a new constitution for England. There were rebellions and mutinees following the debates, and in 1649, the Bishopsgate mutiny resulted in the execution of Leveller Robert Lockyer by firing squad. The next month, the Banbury mutiny occurred with similar results. Cromwell led the charge in quelling these rebellions. After quelling Leveller mutinies within the English army at Andover and Burford in May, Cromwell departed for Ireland from Bristol at the end of July.

Irish campaign: 1649–50


Cromwell led a Parliamentary invasion of Ireland from 1649–50. Parliament's key opposition was the military threat posed by the alliance of the Irish Confederate Catholics
Confederate Ireland
Confederate Ireland refers to the period of Irish self-government between the Rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the "Confederation of Kilkenny"...

 and English royalists (signed in 1649). The Confederate-Royalist alliance was judged to be the biggest single threat facing the Commonwealth. However, the political situation in Ireland in 1649 was extremely fractured: there were also separate forces of Irish Catholics who were opposed to the royalist alliance, and Protestant royalist forces that were gradually moving towards Parliament. Cromwell said in a speech to the army Council on 23 March that "I had rather be overthrown by a Cavalierish interest than a Scotch interest; I had rather be overthrown by a Scotch interest than an Irish interest and I think of all this is the most dangerous".

Cromwell's hostility to the Irish was religious as well as political. He was passionately opposed to the Roman Catholic Church, which he saw as denying the primacy of the Bible in favour of papal and clerical authority, and which he blamed for suspected tyranny and persecution of Protestants in Europe. Cromwell's association of Catholicism with persecution was deepened with the Irish Rebellion of 1641
Irish Rebellion of 1641
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule...

. This rebellion, although intended to be bloodless, was marked by massacres of English and Scottish Protestant settlers by Irish
Gaël
Gaël is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department of Brittany in north-western France.It lies southwest of Rennes between Saint-Méen-le-Grand and Mauron...

 and Old English
Old English (Ireland)
The Old English were the descendants of the settlers who came to Ireland from Wales, Normandy, and England after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71. Many of the Old English became assimilated into Irish society over the centuries...

, and Highland Scot Catholics in Ireland. These settlers had settled on land seized from former, native Catholic owners to make way for the non-native Protestants. These factors contributed to the brutality of the Cromwell military campaign in Ireland.

Parliament had planned to re-conquer Ireland since 1641 and had already sent an invasion force there in 1647. Cromwell's invasion of 1649 was much larger and, with the civil war in England over, could be regularly reinforced and re-supplied. His nine month military campaign was brief and effective, though it did not end the war in Ireland. Before his invasion, Parliamentarian forces held only outposts in Dublin and Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

. When he departed Ireland, they occupied most of the eastern and northern parts of the country. After his landing at Dublin on 15 August 1649 (itself only recently defended from an Irish and English Royalist attack at the Battle of Rathmines
Battle of Rathmines
The Battle of Rathmines was fought in and around what is now the Dublin suburb of Rathmines in August 1649, during the Irish Confederate Wars, the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

), Cromwell took the fortified port towns of Drogheda
Drogheda
Drogheda is an industrial and port town in County Louth on the east coast of Ireland, 56 km north of Dublin. It is the last bridging point on the River Boyne before it enters the Irish Sea....

 and Wexford
Wexford
Wexford is the county town of County Wexford, Ireland. It is situated near the southeastern corner of Ireland, close to Rosslare Europort. The town is connected to Dublin via the M11/N11 National Primary Route, and the national rail network...

 to secure logistical supply from England. At the Siege of Drogheda
Siege of Drogheda
The siege of Drogheda at the outset of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The town of Drogheda in eastern Ireland was held by a combined English Royalist and Irish Catholic garrison when it was besieged and stormed by English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell...

 in September 1649, Cromwell's troops massacred nearly 3,500 people after the town's capture—comprising around 2,700 Royalist soldiers and all the men in the town carrying arms, including some civilians, prisoners and Roman Catholic priests. Cromwell wrote afterwards that:


I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are satisfactory grounds for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret.


At the Siege of Wexford in October, another massacre took place under confused circumstances. While Cromwell was apparently trying to negotiate surrender terms, some of his soldiers broke into the town, massacred 2,000 Irish troops and up to 1,500 civilians, and burned much of the town. No disciplinary actions were taken against his forces subsequent to this second massacre.

After the taking of Drogheda, Cromwell sent a column north to Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 to secure the north of the country and went on to besiege Waterford
Siege of Waterford
The city of Waterford in south eastern Ireland was besieged from 1649–50 during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The town was held by Irish Confederate Catholic and English Royalist troops under general Thomas Preston...

, Kilkenny
Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a city and is the county town of the eponymous County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated on both banks of the River Nore in the province of Leinster, in the south-east of Ireland...

 and Clonmel
Clonmel
Clonmel is the county town of South Tipperary in Ireland. It is the largest town in the county. While the borough had a population of 15,482 in 2006, another 17,008 people were in the rural hinterland. The town is noted in Irish history for its resistance to the Cromwellian army which sacked both...

 in Ireland's south-east. Kilkenny surrendered on terms, as did many other towns like New Ross
New Ross
New Ross is a town located in southwest County Wexford, in the southeast of Ireland. In 2006 it had a population of 7,709 people, making it the third largest town in the county after Wexford and Enniscorthy.-History:...

 and Carlow
Carlow
Carlow is the county town of County Carlow in Ireland. It is situated in the south-east of Ireland, 84 km from Dublin. County Carlow is the second smallest county in Ireland by area, however Carlow Town is the 14th largest urban area in Ireland by population according to the 2006 census. The...

, but Cromwell failed to take Waterford
Waterford
Waterford is a city in the South-East Region of Ireland. It is the oldest city in the country and fifth largest by population. Waterford City Council is the local government authority for the city and its immediate hinterland...

, and at the siege of Clonmel
Siege of Clonmel
The Siege of Clonmel took place in April – May 1650 during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland when the town of Clonmel in County Tipperary was besieged by Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army. Cromwell's 8,000 men eventually took the town from its 2,000 Irish defenders, but not before they...

 in May 1650 he lost up to 2,000 men in abortive assaults before the town surrendered.

One of his major victories in Ireland was diplomatic rather than military. With the help of Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery
Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery
Roger Boyle redirects here. For others of this name, see Roger Boyle Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery was a British soldier, statesman and dramatist. He was the third surviving son of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork and Richard's second wife, Catherine Fenton. He was created Baron of Broghill on...

, Cromwell persuaded the Protestant Royalist troops in Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

 to change sides and fight with the Parliament. At this point, word reached Cromwell that Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 had landed in Scotland and been proclaimed king by the Covenanter
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

 regime. Cromwell therefore returned to England from Youghal
Youghal
Youghal is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Sitting on the estuary of the River Blackwater, in the past it was militarily and economically important. Being built on the edge of a steep riverbank, the town has a distinctive long and narrow layout...

 on 26 May 1650 to counter this threat.

The Parliamentarian conquest of Ireland dragged on for almost three years after Cromwell's departure. The campaigns under Cromwell's successors Henry Ireton
Henry Ireton
Henry Ireton was an English general in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War. He was the son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell.-Early life:...

 and Edmund Ludlow
Edmund Ludlow
Edmund Ludlow was an English parliamentarian, best known for his involvement in the execution of Charles I, and for his Memoirs, which were published posthumously in a rewritten form and which have become a major source for historians of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. After service in the English...

 mostly consisted of long sieges of fortified cities and guerrilla warfare in the countryside. The last Catholic-held town, Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

, surrendered in April 1652 and the last Irish troops capitulated in April of the following year.

In the wake of the Commonwealth's conquest, the public practice of Catholicism was banned and Catholic priests were murdered when captured. All Catholic-owned land was confiscated in the Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652
Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652
The Act for the Settlement of Ireland imposed penalties including death and land confiscation against participants and bystanders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and subsequent unrest.-Background:...

 and given to Scottish and English settlers, the Parliament's financial creditors and Parliamentary soldiers. The remaining Catholic landowners were allocated poorer land in the province of Connacht
Connacht
Connacht , formerly anglicised as Connaught, is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the west of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for...

—this led to the Cromwellian attributed phrase "To hell or to Connacht". Under the Commonwealth, Catholic landownership dropped from 60% of the total to just 8%.

Debate over Cromwell's effect on Ireland


The extent of Cromwell's brutality in Ireland has been strongly debated. Some historians argue that Cromwell never accepted that he was responsible for the killing of civilians in Ireland, claiming that he had acted harshly but only against those "in arms". Other historians, however, cite Cromwell's contemporary reports to London including that of 27 September 1649 in which he lists the slaying of 3,000 military personnel, followed by the phrase "and many inhabitants". In September 1649, he justified his sacking of Drogheda as revenge for the massacres of Protestant settlers in Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 in 1641, calling the massacre "the righteous judgement of God on these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands with so much innocent blood." However, Drogheda had never been held by the rebels in 1641—many of its garrison were in fact English royalists. On the other hand, the worst atrocities committed in Ireland, such as mass evictions, killings and deportation of over 50,000 men, women and children as slaves to Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

 and Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, were carried out under the command of other generals after Cromwell had left for England. On entering Ireland, Cromwell demanded that no supplies were to be seized from the civilian inhabitants and that everything should be fairly purchased; "I do hereby warn....all Officers, Soldiers and others under my command not to do any wrong or violence toward Country People or any persons whatsoever, unless they be actually in arms or office with the enemy.....as they shall answer to the contrary at their utmost peril." Several English soldiers were hanged for disobeying these orders.

While the massacres at Drogheda and Wexford were in some ways typical of the day, especially in the context of the recently ended Thirty Years War which reduced the male population of Germany by up to half, there are few comparable incidents during Parliament's campaigns in England or Scotland. One possible comparison is Cromwell's Siege of Basing House in 1645—the seat of the prominent Catholic the Marquess of Winchester—which resulted in about 100 of the garrison of 400 being killed after being refused quarter. Contemporaries also reported civilian casualties, six Catholic priests and a woman. However, the scale of the deaths at Basing House was much smaller. Cromwell himself said of the slaughter at Drogheda in his first letter back to the Council of State: "I believe we put to the sword the whole number of the defendants. I do not think thirty of the whole number escaped with their lives." Cromwell's orders—"in the heat of the action, I forbade them to spare any that were in arms in the town"—followed a request for surrender at the start of the siege, which was refused. The military protocol of the day was that a town or garrison that rejected the chance to surrender was not entitled to quarter
No quarter
A victor gives no quarter when the victor shows no clemency or mercy and refuses to spare the life in return for the surrender at discretion of a vanquished opponent....

. The refusal of the garrison at Drogheda to do this, even after the walls had been breached, was to Cromwell justification for the massacre. Where Cromwell negotiated the surrender of fortified towns, as at Carlow, New Ross, and Clonmel, he respected the terms of surrender and protected the lives and property of the townspeople. At Wexford, Cromwell again began negotiations for surrender. However, the captain of Wexford castle surrendered during the middle of the negotiations, and in the confusion some of his troops began indiscriminate killing and looting. Amateur Irish historian (and Drogheda native) Tom Reilly
Tom Reilly (author)
Tom Reilly is an Irish author and newspaper columnist , who has written books on Oliver Cromwell and religion, as well as a book based on his own newspaper columns among others...

 has taken this argument further, claiming that the accepted versions of the campaigns in Drogheda and Wexford in which wholesale killings of civilians on Cromwell's orders took place "were a 19th century fiction". However, Reilly's conclusions have been rejected by other scholars.

Although Cromwell's time spent on campaign in Ireland was limited, and although he did not take on executive powers until 1653, he is often the central focus of wider debates about whether, as historians such as Mark Levene and John Morrill
John Morrill (historian)
John Morrill FBA is a British historian. He specialises in the political, religious, social and cultural histories of early-modern Britain....

 suggest, the Commonwealth conducted a deliberate programme of ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

 in Ireland. Most Irish remember him as the man responsible for the mass slaughter of civilians at Drogheda and Wexford and as the agent of the greatest episode of ethnic cleansing ever attempted in Western Europe as, within a decade, the percentage of land possessed by Catholics born in Ireland dropped from sixty to twenty. In a decade, the ownership of two-fifths of the land mass was transferred from several thousand Irish Catholic landowners to British Protestants. The gap between Irish and the English views of the seventeenth-century conquest remains unbridgeable and is governed by O.K. Chesterton's mirthless epigram of 1917, that "it was a tragic necessity that the Irish should remember it; but it was far more tragic that the English forgot it."
  • James M Lutz, Brenda J Lutz, (2004). Global Terrorism, Routledge:London, p.193: "The draconian laws applied by Oliver Cromwell in Ireland were an early version of ethnic cleansing. The Catholic Irish were to be expelled to the northwestern areas of the island. Relocation rather than extermination was the goal."
  • Mark Levene (2005). Genocide in the Age of the Nation State: Volume 2. ISBN 978-1845110574 Page 55, 56 & 57. A sample quote describes the Cromwellian campaign and settlement as "a conscious attempt to reduce a distinct ethnic population".
  • Mark Levene (2005). Genocide in the Age of the Nation-State, I.B.Tauris: London:
    [The Act of Settlement of Ireland], and the parliamentary legislation which succeeded it the following year, is the nearest thing on paper in the English, and more broadly British, domestic record, to a programme of state-sanctioned and systematic ethnic cleansing of another people. The fact that it did not include 'total' genocide in its remit, or that it failed to put into practice the vast majority of its proposed expulsions, ultimately, however, says less about the lethal determination of its makers and more about the political, structural and financial weakness of the early modern English state.
    By the end of the Cromwellian campaign and settlement there had been extensive dispossession of landowners who were Catholic, and a huge drop in population.


The sieges of Drogheda and Wexford have been prominently mentioned in histories and literature up to the present day. James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

, for example, mentioned Drogheda in his novel Ulysses
Ulysses (novel)
Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature,...

: "What about sanctimonious Cromwell and his ironsides that put the women and children of Drogheda to the sword with the bible text God is love pasted round the mouth of his cannon?" Similarly, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 described the impact of Cromwell on Anglo-Irish relations:

...upon all of these Cromwell's record was a lasting bane. By an uncompleted process of terror, by an iniquitous land settlement, by the virtual proscription of the Catholic religion, by the bloody deeds already described, he cut new gulfs between the nations and the creeds. 'Hell or Connaught' were the terms he thrust upon the native inhabitants, and they for their part, across three hundred years, have used as their keenest expression of hatred 'The Curse of Cromwell on you.' ... Upon all of us there still lies 'the curse of Cromwell'."


Cromwell is still a figure of hatred in Ireland, his name being associated with massacre, religious persecution, and mass dispossession of the Catholic community there. As Churchill notes, a traditional Irish curse was mallacht Chromail ort or "the curse of Cromwell upon you".

The key surviving statement of Cromwell's own views on the conquest of Ireland is his Declaration of the lord lieutenant of Ireland for the undeceiving of deluded and seduced people of January 1650. In this he was scathing about Catholicism, saying that "I shall not, where I have the power... suffer the exercise of the Mass." However, he also declared that: "as for the people, what thoughts they have in the matter of religion in their own breasts I cannot reach; but I shall think it my duty, if they walk honestly and peaceably, not to cause them in the least to suffer for the same." Private soldiers who surrendered their arms "and shall live peaceably and honestly at their several homes, they shall be permitted so to do." As with many incidents in Cromwell's career, there is debate about the extent of his sincerity in making these public statements: the Rump Parliament's later Act of Settlement
Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652
The Act for the Settlement of Ireland imposed penalties including death and land confiscation against participants and bystanders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and subsequent unrest.-Background:...

 of 1652 set out a much harsher policy of execution and confiscation of property of anyone who had supported the uprisings.

Scots proclaim Charles as King



Cromwell left Ireland in May 1650 and several months later, invaded Scotland after the Scots had proclaimed Charles I's son Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 as king. Cromwell was much less hostile to Scottish Presbyterians, some of whom had been his allies in the First English Civil War, than he was to Irish Catholics. He described the Scots as a people "fearing His [God's] name, though deceived". He made a famous appeal to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

, urging them to see the error of the royal alliance—"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." The Scots' reply was robust: "would you have us to be sceptics in our religion?" This decision to negotiate with Charles II led Cromwell to believe that war was necessary.

Battle of Dunbar


His appeal rejected, Cromwell's veteran troops went on to invade Scotland. At first, the campaign went badly, as Cromwell's men were short of supplies and held up at fortifications manned by Scottish troops under David Leslie. Cromwell was on the brink of evacuating his army by sea from Dunbar
Dunbar
Dunbar is a town in East Lothian on the southeast coast of Scotland, approximately 28 miles east of Edinburgh and 28 miles from the English Border at Berwick-upon-Tweed....

. However, on 3 September 1650, unexpectedly, Cromwell smashed the main army at the Battle of Dunbar
Battle of Dunbar (1650)
The Battle of Dunbar was a battle of the Third English Civil War. The English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell defeated a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie which was loyal to King Charles II, who had been proclaimed King of Scots on 5 February 1649.-Background:The English...

, killing 4,000 Scottish soldiers, taking another 10,000 prisoner and then capturing the Scottish capital of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. The victory was of such a magnitude that Cromwell called it, "A high act of the Lord's Providence to us [and] one of the most signal mercies God hath done for England and His people".

Battle of Worcester


The following year, Charles II and his Scottish allies made a desperate attempt to invade England and capture London while Cromwell was engaged in Scotland. Cromwell followed them south and caught them at Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

 on 3 September 1651. At the subsequent Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

, Cromwell's forces destroyed the last major Scottish Royalist army. Charles II barely escaped capture
Escape of Charles II
The Escape of Charles II from England in 1651 is a key episode in his life. Although it took only six weeks, it had a major effect on his attitudes for the rest of his life.-The fugitive king:...

, and subsequently fled to exile in France and the Netherlands, where he would remain until 1660. Many of the Scottish prisoners of war taken in the campaigns died of disease, and others were sent as indentured labourers to the colonies. To fight the battle, Cromwell organised an envelopment followed by a multi pronged coordinated attack on Worcester which involved his forces attacking from three directions with two rivers partitioning his force. During the battle, Cromwell switched his reserves from one side of the river Severn to the other and back again. The editor of the Great Rebellion article of the Encyclopædia Britannica, eleventh edition noted that compared to the early Civil War Battle of Turnham Green, Worcester was a battle of manoeuvre, which the English parliamentary armies at the start of the war were unable to execute, and agreed with a German critic that it was a prototype for the Battle of Sedan (1870).

Conclusion


In the final stages of the Scottish campaign, Cromwell's men, under George Monck, sacked the town of Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

, killing up to 2,000 of its population of 12,000 and destroying the 60 ships in the city's harbour. During the Commonwealth, Scotland was ruled from England, and was kept under military occupation, with a line of fortifications sealing off the Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

, which had provided manpower for Royalist armies in Scotland, from the rest of the country. The north west Highlands was the scene of another pro-royalist uprising in 1653–55, which was only put down with deployment of 6,000 English troops there. Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 was allowed to be practised as before, but the Kirk
Kirk
Kirk can mean "church" in general or the Church of Scotland in particular. Many place names and personal names are also derived from it.-Basic meaning and etymology:...

 (the Scottish church) did not have the backing of the civil courts to impose its rulings, as it had previously.

Cromwell's conquest, unwelcome as it was, left no significant lasting legacy of bitterness in Scotland. The rule of the Commonwealth and Protectorate was, the Highlands aside, largely peaceful. Moreover, there was no wholesale confiscations of land or property. Three out of every four Justices of the Peace in Commonwealth Scotland were Scots and the country was governed jointly by the English military authorities and a Scottish Council of State. Although not often favourably regarded, Cromwell's name rarely meets the hatred in Scotland that it does in Ireland.

Return to England and dissolution of the Rump Parliament: 1651–53




From the middle of 1649 until 1651, Cromwell was away on campaign. In the meantime, with the king gone (and with him their common cause), the various factions in Parliament began to engage in infighting. On his return, Cromwell tried to galvanise the Rump into setting dates for new elections, uniting the three kingdoms under one polity, and to put in place a broad-brush, tolerant national church. However, the Rump vacillated in setting election dates, and although it put in place a basic liberty of conscience, it failed to produce an alternative for tithes or dismantle other aspects of the existing religious settlement. In frustration, in April 1653 Cromwell demanded that the Rump establish a caretaker government of 40 members (drawn both from the Rump and the army) and then abdicate. However, the Rump returned to debating its own bill for a new government. Cromwell was so angered by this that on 20 April 1653, supported by about forty musketeers, he cleared the chamber and dissolved the Parliament by force. Several accounts exist of this incident: in one, Cromwell is supposed to have said "you are no Parliament, I say you are no Parliament; I will put an end to your sitting". At least two accounts agree that Cromwell snatched up the mace
Ceremonial mace
The ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon...

, symbol of Parliament's power, and demanded that the "bauble" be taken away. Cromwell's troops were commanded by Charles Worsley
Charles Worsley
Charles Worsley was an English soldier and politician. He was an ardent supporter of Oliver Cromwell and was an officer in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War and the Interregnum...

, later one of his Major Generals and one of his most trusted advisors, to whom he entrusted the mace.

Establishment of Barebone's Parliament: 1653


After the dissolution of the Rump, power passed temporarily to a council that debated what form the constitution should take. They took up the suggestion of Major-General Thomas Harrison for a "sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

" of saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s. Although Cromwell did not subscribe to Harrison's apocalyptic
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

, Fifth Monarchist
Fifth Monarchists
The Fifth Monarchists or Fifth Monarchy Men were active from 1649 to 1661 during the Interregnum, following the English Civil Wars of the 17th century. They took their name from a prophecy in the Book of Daniel that four ancient monarchies would precede Christ's return...

 beliefs—which saw a sanhedrin as the starting point for Christ's rule on earth—he was attracted by the idea of an assembly made up of men chosen for their religious credentials. In his speech at the opening of the assembly on 4 July 1653, Cromwell thanked God’s providence that he believed had brought England to this point and set out their divine mission: "truly God hath called you to this work by, I think, as wonderful providences as ever passed upon the sons of men in so short a time." Sometimes known as the Parliament of Saints or more commonly the Nominated Assembly, it was also called the Barebone's Parliament after one of its members, Praise-God Barbon. The assembly was tasked with finding a permanent constitutional and religious settlement (Cromwell was invited to be a member but declined). However, the revelation that a considerably larger segment of the membership than had been believed were the radical Fifth Monarchists led to its members voting to dissolve it on 12 December 1653, out of fear of what the radicals might do if they took control of the Assembly.

The Protectorate: 1653–58


After the dissolution of the Barebones Parliament, John Lambert
John Lambert (general)
John Lambert was an English Parliamentary general and politician. He fought during the English Civil War and then in Oliver Cromwell's Scottish campaign , becoming thereafter active in civilian politics until his dismissal by Cromwell in 1657...

 put forward a new constitution known as the Instrument of Government, closely modelled on the Heads of Proposals
Heads of Proposals
The Heads Of Proposals was a set of propositions intended to be a basis for a constitutional settlement after King Charles I was defeated in the first English Civil War...

. It made Cromwell Lord Protector for life to undertake “the chief magistracy and the administration of government”. Cromwell was sworn in as Lord Protector on 16 December 1653, with a ceremony in which he wore plain black clothing, rather than any monarchical regalia. However, from this point on Cromwell signed his name 'Oliver P', the P being an abbreviation for Protector, which was similar to the style of monarchs who used an R to mean Rex or Regina, and it soon became the norm for others to address him as "Your Highness". As Protector, he had the power to call and dissolve parliaments but was obliged under the Instrument to seek the majority vote of a Council of State. Nevertheless, Cromwell's power was buttressed by his continuing popularity among the army. As the Lord Protector he was paid £100,000 a year.

Cromwell had two key objectives as Lord Protector. The first was "healing and settling" the nation after the chaos of the civil wars and the regicide, which meant establishing a stable form for the new government to take. Although Cromwell declared to the first Protectorate Parliament that, "Government by one man and a parliament is fundamental," in practice social priorities took precedence over forms of government. Such forms were, he said, "but ... dross and dung in comparison of Christ". The social priorities did not, despite the revolutionary nature of the government, include any meaningful attempt to reform the social order. Cromwell declared, "A nobleman, a gentleman, a yeoman; the distinction of these: that is a good interest of the nation, and a great one!", Small-scale reform such as that carried out on the judicial system
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 were outweighed by attempts to restore order to English politics. Direct taxation was reduced slightly and peace was made with the Dutch, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War
First Anglo-Dutch War
The First Anglo–Dutch War was the first of the four Anglo–Dutch Wars. It was fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Caused by disputes over trade, the war began with English attacks on Dutch merchant shipping, but...

.

England's American colonies in this period consisted of the New England Confederation
New England Confederation
The United Colonies of New England, commonly known as the New England Confederation, was a short-lived military alliance of the English colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. Established in 1643, its primary purpose was to unite the Puritan colonies against the Native...

, the Providence Plantation, the Virginia Colony and the Maryland Colony. Cromwell soon secured the submission of these and largely left them to their own affairs, intervening only to curb his fellow Puritans who were usurping control over the Maryland Colony at the Battle of the Severn
Battle of the Severn
The Battle of the Severn was a skirmish fought on March 25, 1655, on the Severn River at Horn Point, across Spa Creek from Annapolis, Maryland, in what at that time was referred to as "Providence", in what is now the neighborhood of Eastport. Following the battle, Providence changed its name to...

, by his confirming the former Catholic proprietorship and edict of tolerance there. Of all the English dominions, Virginia was the most resentful of Cromwell's rule, and Cavalier emigration there mushroomed during the Protectorate.

Cromwell famously stressed the quest to restore order in his speech to the first Protectorate parliament
First Protectorate Parliament
The First Protectorate Parliament was summoned by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the terms of the Instrument of Government. It sat for one term from 3 September 1654 until 22 January 1655 with William Lenthall as the Speaker of the House....

 at its inaugural meeting on 3 September 1654. He declared that "healing and settling" were the "great end of your meeting". However, the Parliament was quickly dominated by those pushing for more radical, properly republican reforms. After some initial gestures approving appointments previously made by Cromwell, the Parliament began to work on a radical programme of constitutional reform. Rather than opposing Parliament’s bill, Cromwell dissolved them on 22 January 1655.
Cromwell's second objective was spiritual and moral reform. He aimed to restore liberty of conscience and promote both outward and inward godliness throughout England. During the early months of the Protectorate, a set of "triers" was established to assess the suitability of future parish ministers, and a related set of "ejectors" was set up to dismiss ministers and schoolmasters who were deemed unsuitable for office. The triers and the ejectors were intended to be at the vanguard of Cromwell's reform of parish worship. This second objective is also the context in which to see the constitutional experiment of the Major Generals
Rule of the Major-Generals
The Rule of the Major-Generals from August 1655 – January 1657, was a period of direct military government during Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate.England was divided into 10 regions each governed by a Major-General who answered to the Lord Protector....

 that followed the dissolution of the first Protectorate Parliament. After a royalist uprising
Penruddock uprising
The Penruddock uprising was one of a series of coordinated uprisings planned by the Sealed Knot for a Royalist insurrection to start in March 1655 during the Protectorate of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell....

 in March 1655, led by Sir John Penruddock
John Penruddock
Colonel John Penruddock , of Compton Chamberlayne, was an English Cavalier during the English Civil War and the English Interregnum. He is remembered as the leader of the Penruddock uprising in 1655....

, Cromwell (influenced by Lambert) divided England into military districts ruled by Army Major Generals who answered only to him. The 15 major generals and deputy major generals—called "godly governors"—were central not only to national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

, but Cromwell's crusade to reform the nation's morals. The generals not only supervised militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 forces and security commissions, but collected taxes and ensured support for the government in the English and Welsh provinces. Commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth were appointed to work with them in every county. While a few of these commissioners were career politicians, most were zealous puritans who welcomed the major-generals with open arms and embraced their work with enthusiasm. However, the major-generals lasted less than a year. Many feared they threatened their reform efforts and authority. Their position was further harmed by a tax proposal by Major General John Desborough to provide financial backing for their work, which the second Protectorate parliament
Second Protectorate Parliament
The Second Protectorate Parliament in England sat for two sessions from 17 September 1656 until 4 February 1658, with Thomas Widdrington as the Speaker of the House of Commons...

—instated in September 1656—voted down for fear of a permanent military state. Ultimately, however, Cromwell's failure to support his men, sacrificing them to his opponents, caused their demise. Their activities between November 1655 and September 1656 had, however, reopened the wounds of the 1640s and deepened antipathies to the regime.

As Lord Protector, Cromwell was aware of the contribution the Jewish community made to the economic success of Holland, now England's leading commercial rival. It was this—allied to Cromwell's tolerance of the right to private worship of those who fell outside evangelical Puritanism—that led to his encouraging Jews to return to England
Resettlement of the Jews in England
The resettlement of the Jews in England was a historic commercial policy dealing with Jews in England in the 17th century, and forms a prominent part of the history of the Jews in England.-Background:...

 in 1657, over 350 years after their banishment by Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, in the hope that they would help speed up the recovery of the country after the disruption of the Civil Wars.

In 1657, Cromwell was offered the crown by Parliament as part of a revised constitutional settlement, presenting him with a dilemma, since he had been "instrumental" in abolishing the monarchy. Cromwell agonised for six weeks over the offer. He was attracted by the prospect of stability it held out, but in a speech on 13 April 1657 he made clear that God's providence had spoken against the office of king: “I would not seek to set up that which Providence hath destroyed and laid in the dust, and I would not build Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

 again”. The reference to Jericho harks back to a previous occasion on which Cromwell had wrestled with his conscience when the news reached England of the defeat of an expedition against the Spanish-held island of Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

 in the West Indies in 1655—comparing himself to Achan
Achan (Bible)
Achan , also called Achar, is a figure mentioned by the Book of Joshua in connection with the fall of Jericho and conquest of Ai.According to the narrative of Joshua chapter 7, Achan pillaged an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver, and a costly garment, from Jericho; the text states "But all the...

, who had brought the Israelites defeat after bringing plunder back to camp after the capture of Jericho.
Instead, Cromwell was ceremonially re-installed as Lord Protector on 26 June 1657 at Westminster Hall, sitting upon King Edward's Chair
King Edward's Chair
King Edward's Chair, sometimes known as St Edward's Chair or The Coronation Chair, is the throne on which the British monarch sits for the coronation. It was commissioned in 1296 by King Edward I to contain the coronation stone of Scotland — known as the Stone of Scone — which he had captured from...

 which was specially moved from Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 for the occasion. The event in part echoed a coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

, utilising many of its symbols and regalia, such as a purple ermine-lined robe, a sword of justice and a sceptre (but not a crown or an orb). But, most notably, the office of Lord Protector was still not to become hereditary, though Cromwell was now able to nominate his own successor. Cromwell's new rights and powers were laid out in the Humble Petition and Advice
Humble Petition and Advice
The Humble Petition and Advice was the second, and last, codified constitution of England after the Instrument of Government.On 23 February 1657, during the sitting of the Second Protectorate Parliament, Sir Christopher Packe, a Member of Parliament and former Lord Mayor of London The Humble...

, a legislative instrument which replaced the Instrument of Government. Despite failing to restore the Crown, this new constitution did set up many of the vestiges of the ancient constitution including a house of life peers (in place of the House of Lords). In the Humble Petition it was called the Other House
Cromwell's Other House
The Other House , established by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the terms of the Humble Petition and Advice, was one of the two chambers of the Parliaments that legislated for England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, in 1658 and 1659, the final years of the Protectorate.During the Rule of...

 as the Commons could not agree on a suitable name. Furthermore, Oliver Cromwell increasingly took on more of the trappings of monarchy. In particular, he created two baronages after the acceptance of the Humble Petition and Advice—Charles Howard was made Viscount Morpeth and Baron Gisland in July 1657 and Edmund Dunch
Edmund Dunch, Baron Burnell of East Wittenham
Edmund Dunch was an English Member of Parliament who supported the Parliamentary cause before and during the English Civil War. During the Interregnum he sat as an Member of Parliament. In 1659, after the Protectorate and before the Restoration, regaining his seat in the Rump he also sat in...

 was created Baron Burnell of East Wittenham in April 1658. Cromwell himself, however, was at pains to minimise his role, describing himself as a constable or watchman.

Death and posthumous execution




Cromwell is thought to have suffered from malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 and from "stone
Kidney stone
A kidney stone, also known as a renal calculus is a solid concretion or crystal aggregation formed in the kidneys from dietary minerals in the urine...

", a common term for urinary/kidney
Kidney
The kidneys, organs with several functions, serve essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and...

 infections. In 1658 he was struck by a sudden bout of malarial fever, followed directly by illness symptomatic of a urinary or kidney complaint. A Venetian
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 physician tracked Cromwell's final illness, saying Cromwell's personal physicians were mismanaging his health, leading to a rapid decline and death. The decline may also have been hastened by the death of his favourite daughter, Elizabeth Claypole
Elizabeth Claypole
Elizabeth Claypole ,also Cleypole and Claypoole second daughter of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth, she married John Claypole in 1646 and is said to have interceded for royalist prisoners. After Cromwell created a peerage for her husband, she was known as Lady Claypole...

, in August. He died aged 59 at Whitehall on Friday 3 September 1658, the anniversary of his great victories at Dunbar
Dunbar
Dunbar is a town in East Lothian on the southeast coast of Scotland, approximately 28 miles east of Edinburgh and 28 miles from the English Border at Berwick-upon-Tweed....

 and Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

. The most likely cause of Cromwell's death was septicaemia
Sepsis
Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition that is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected infection. The body may develop this inflammatory response by the immune system to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues...

 following his urinary infection. He was buried with great ceremony, with an elaborate funeral based on that of James I, at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, his daughter Elizabeth also being buried there.

He was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son Richard
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

. Although Richard was not entirely without ability, he had no power base in either Parliament or the Army, and was forced to resign in May 1659, ending the Protectorate. There was no clear leadership from the various factions that jostled for power during the short lived reinstated Commonwealth, so George Monck, the English governor of Scotland, at the head of New Model Army regiments was able to march on London, and restore the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

. Under Monck's watchful eye the necessary constitutional adjustments were made so that in 1660 Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 could be invited back from exile to be king under a restored
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 monarchy.
On 30 January 1661, (symbolically the 12th anniversary of the execution of Charles I), Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and was subjected to the ritual of a posthumous execution
Posthumous execution
Posthumous execution is the ritual or ceremonial mutilation of an already dead body as a punishment.-Examples:* Li Linfu, Chancellor of Tang China during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong in the latter years, was exhumed and executed for crimes of high treason by his rival Yang Guozhong for his...

, as were the remains of John Bradshaw
John Bradshaw (judge)
John Bradshaw was an English judge. He is most notable for his role as President of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I and as the first Lord President of the Council of State of the English Commonwealth....

 and Henry Ireton
Henry Ireton
Henry Ireton was an English general in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War. He was the son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell.-Early life:...

. (The body of Cromwell's daughter was allowed to remain buried in the Abbey.) His body was hanged in chains at Tyburn
Tyburn, London
Tyburn was a village in the county of Middlesex close to the current location of Marble Arch in present-day London. It took its name from the Tyburn or Teo Bourne 'boundary stream', a tributary of the River Thames which is now completely covered over between its source and its outfall into the...

. Finally, his disinterred body was thrown into a pit, while his severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685.

However, doubts began to circulate about the identity of the body mutilated at Tyburn and about the true resting place of Cromwell's mortal remains. These doubts are based upon the assumption that at some point between his death in September 1658 and the exhumation of January 1661 Cromwell's corpse was buried or reburied somewhere other than the designated vault in the Abbey in order to protect it from vengeful royalists. The stories suggest that his remains rest undisturbed in the soil of London, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire or Yorkshire. It is continually questioned whether the body mutilated at Tyburn was in fact that of Oliver Cromwell.

Ironically the Cromwell vault was then used as a burial place for Charles II’s illegitimate descendants. Afterwards the head changed hands several times, including the sale in 1814 to a man named Josiah Henry Wilkinson, before eventually being buried in the grounds of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Sidney Sussex College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England.The college was founded in 1596 and named after its foundress, Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex. It was from its inception an avowedly Puritan foundation: some good and godlie moniment for the mainteynance...

, in 1960.

Political reputation


During his lifetime, some tracts painted him as a hypocrite motivated by power—for example, The Machiavilian Cromwell and The Juglers Discovered, both part of an attack on Cromwell by the Levellers
Levellers
The Levellers were a political movement during the English Civil Wars which emphasised popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law, and religious tolerance, all of which were expressed in the manifesto "Agreement of the People". They came to prominence at the end of the First...

 after 1647, present him as a Machiavellian figure. More positive contemporary assessments—for instance, John Spittlehouse in A Warning Piece Discharged—typically compared him to Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, rescuing the English by taking them safely through the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 of the civil wars. Several biographies were published soon after his death. An example is The Perfect Politician, which described how Cromwell "loved men more than books" and gave a nuanced assessment of him as an energetic campaigner for liberty of conscience brought down by pride and ambition. An equally nuanced but less positive assessment was published in 1667 by Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon was an English historian and statesman, and grandfather of two English monarchs, Mary II and Queen Anne.-Early life:...

, in his History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England. Clarendon famously declared that Cromwell "will be looked upon by posterity as a brave bad man". He argued that Cromwell's rise to power had been helped not only by his great spirit and energy, but also by his ruthlessness. Clarendon was not one of Cromwell's confidantes, and his account was written after the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 of the monarchy.

During the early eighteenth century, Cromwell's image began to be adopted and reshaped by the Whigs
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

, as part of a wider project to give their political objectives historical legitimacy. A version of Edmund Ludlow
Edmund Ludlow
Edmund Ludlow was an English parliamentarian, best known for his involvement in the execution of Charles I, and for his Memoirs, which were published posthumously in a rewritten form and which have become a major source for historians of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. After service in the English...

’s Memoirs, re-written by John Toland
John Toland
John Toland was a rationalist philosopher and freethinker, and occasional satirist, who wrote numerous books and pamphlets on political philosophy and philosophy of religion, which are early expressions of the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment...

 to excise the radical Puritanical elements and replace them with a Whiggish brand of republicanism, presented the Cromwellian Protectorate as a military tyranny. Through Ludlow, Toland portrayed Cromwell as a despot
Dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

 who crushed the beginnings of democratic rule in the 1640s.

During the early nineteenth century, Cromwell began to be adopted by Romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 artists and poets. Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era.He called economics "the dismal science", wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and became a controversial social commentator.Coming from a strict Calvinist family, Carlyle was...

 continued this reassessment of Cromwell in the 1840s by presenting him as a hero in the battle between good and evil and a model for restoring morality to an age that Carlyle believed to have been dominated by timidity, meaningless rhetoric, and moral compromise. Cromwell's actions, including his campaigns in Ireland and his dissolution of the Long Parliament, according to Carlyle, had to be appreciated and praised as a whole.

By the late 19th century, Carlyle's portrayal of Cromwell, stressing the centrality of puritan morality and earnestness, had become assimilated into Whig
Whig history
Whig history is the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians stress the rise of constitutional government,...

 and Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

. The Oxford civil war historian Samuel Rawson Gardiner
Samuel Rawson Gardiner
Samuel Rawson Gardiner was an English historian.The son of Rawson Boddam Gardiner, he was born near Alresford, Hampshire. He was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained a first class in literae humaniores. He was subsequently elected to fellowships at All Souls ...

 concluded that "the man—it is ever so with the noblest—was greater than his work". Gardiner stressed Cromwell’s dynamic and mercurial character, and his role in dismantling absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

, while underestimating Cromwell’s religious conviction. Cromwell’s foreign policy also provided an attractive forerunner of Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 imperial expansion
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

, with Gardiner stressing his “constancy of effort to make England great by land and sea”.

During the first half of the twentieth century, Cromwell's reputation was often influenced by the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and in Italy
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

. Wilbur Cortez Abbott
Wilbur Cortez Abbott
Wilbur Cortez Abbott was an American historian and educator, born at Kokomo, Ind., and graduated from Wabash College in 1892. Afterward, he studied at Cornell University Wilbur Cortez Abbott (1869–1947) was an American historian and educator, born at Kokomo, Ind., and graduated from Wabash...

, for example—a Harvard historian—devoted much of his career to compiling and editing a multi-volume collection of Cromwell's letters and speeches. In this work, which was published between 1937 and 1947, Abbott began to argue that Cromwell was a proto-fascist. However, subsequent historians such as John Morrill
John Morrill (historian)
John Morrill FBA is a British historian. He specialises in the political, religious, social and cultural histories of early-modern Britain....

 have criticised both Abbott's interpretation of Cromwell and his editorial approach. Ernest Barker
Ernest Barker
Sir Ernest Barker was a liberal British political scientist who served as Principal of King's College London from 1920 to 1927....

 similarly compared the Independents to the Nazis. Nevertheless, not all historical comparisons made at this time drew on contemporary military dictators.

Late twentieth century historians re-examined the nature of Cromwell's faith and of his authoritarian regime. Austin Woolrych explored the issue of "dictatorship" in depth, arguing that Cromwell was subject to two conflicting forces: his obligation to the army and his desire to achieve a lasting settlement by winning back the confidence of the political nation as a whole. Woolrych argued that the dictatorial elements of Cromwell's rule stemmed not so much from its military origins or the participation of army officers in civil government, as from his constant commitment to the interest of the people of God and his conviction that suppressing vice and encouraging virtue constituted the chief end of government.

Historians such as John Morrill, Blair Worden and J. C. Davis have developed this theme, revealing the extent to which Cromwell’s writing and speeches are suffused with biblical references, and arguing that his radical actions were driven by his zeal for godly reformation.

Monuments and posthumous honours



The noted 19th century engineer Sir Richard Tangye
Richard Tangye
Sir Richard Trevithick Tangye was a British manufacturer of engines and other heavy equipment.-Biography:...

 was a noted Cromwell enthusiast, and noted collector of Cromwell manuscripts and memorabilia. His collection included many rare manuscripts and printed books, medals, paintings, objets d'art and a bizarre assemblage of "relics." This includes Cromwell's bible, button, coffin plate, death mask and funeral escutcheon. On Tangye's death, the entire collection was donated to the Museum of London
Museum of London
The Museum of London documents the history of London from the Prehistoric to the present day. The museum is located close to the Barbican Centre, as part of the striking Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 70s as an innovative approach to re-development within a bomb damaged...

, where it can still be seen today.
  • In 1776, one of the first ships commissioned to serve in the Continental Navy
    Continental Navy
    The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. Through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron, John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, the fleet cumulatively became relatively...

     during the American Revolutionary War
    American Revolutionary War
    The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

     was named the Oliver Cromwell.
  • In Westminster Abbey
    Westminster Abbey
    The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

     the site of Cromwell’s burial was marked, during the 19th century, by a floor stone, laid in what is now the Air Force Chapel
    RAF Chapel
    At the eastern end of Westminster Abbey in the magnificent Lady Chapel built by King Henry VII is the RAF Chapel dedicated to the men of the Royal Air Force who died in the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940....

    , reading THE BURIAL PLACE OF OLIVER CROMWELL 1658–1661.
  • In 1851, the newly-incorporated town of Cromwell
    Cromwell, Connecticut
    Cromwell is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States located in the middle of the state. The population was 12,871 at the 2000 census.The town was named after Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England.-Points of interest:...

    , Connecticut in the United States was named after him.
  • In 1875, a statue of Cromwell by Matthew Noble
    Matthew Noble
    Matthew Noble was a British sculptor.-Life:Noble was born in Hackness, near Scarborough, as the son of a stonemason, and served his apprenticeship under his father. He left Yorkshire for London when quite young, there he studied under John Francis...

     was erected in Manchester outside the cathedral, a gift to the city by Mrs Abel Heywood in memory of her first husband. It was the first such large-scale statue to be erected in the open anywhere in England and was a realistic likeness, based on the painting by Peter Lely
    Peter Lely
    Sir Peter Lely was a painter of Dutch origin, whose career was nearly all spent in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court.-Life:...

     and showing Cromwell in battledress with drawn sword and leather body armour. The statue was unpopular with the local Conservatives and with the large Irish immigrant population alike. When Queen Victoria was invited to open the new Manchester Town Hall
    Manchester Town Hall
    Manchester Town Hall is a Victorian-era, Neo-gothic municipal building in Manchester, England. The building functions as the ceremonial headquarters of Manchester City Council and houses a number of local government departments....

    , she is alleged to have consented on condition that the statue of Cromwell be removed. The statue remained, Victoria declined, and the Town Hall was opened by the Lord Mayor. During the 1980s the statue was relocated outside Wythenshawe Hall
    Wythenshawe Hall
    Wythenshawe Hall is a 16th-century medieval timber-framed historic house and former stately home in Wythenshawe, Manchester, England. It is east of Altrincham and south of Stretford, five miles south of Manchester city centre, in Wythenshawe Park.-History:The half-timbered Tudor house was the home...

    , which had been occupied by Cromwell and his troops – image.
  • During the 1890s plans to erect a statue of Cromwell outside Parliament caused considerable controversy. Pressure from the Irish Nationalist Party
    Nationalist Party (Ireland)
    The Nationalist Party was a term commonly used to describe a number of parliamentary political parties and constituency organisations supportive of Home Rule for Ireland from 1874 to 1922...

     forced the withdrawal of a motion to seek public funding for the project and eventually it was funded privately by Lord Rosebery. In 2008 the statue was restored to mark the 350th anniversary of Cromwell’s death.
  • There is an above life-sized statue of Cromwell in the centre of St Ives, Cambridgeshire
    St Ives, Cambridgeshire
    St Ives is a market town in Cambridgeshire, England, around north-west of the city of Cambridge and north of London. It lies within the historic county boundaries of Huntingdonshire.-History:...

     where he blew up the bridge to prevent the royalist troops approaching London – image.
  • A statue of Cromwell also stands outside The Academy in Bridge Street, Warrington
    Warrington
    Warrington is a town, borough and unitary authority area of Cheshire, England. It stands on the banks of the River Mersey, which is tidal to the west of the weir at Howley. It lies 16 miles east of Liverpool, 19 miles west of Manchester and 8 miles south of St Helens...

    , an historic building which is now home to the Warrington Guardian newspaper. Cromwell fought the battle of Warrington Bridge against Scottish Royalists in the town in 1648.
  • As First Lord of the Admiralty before the First World War, Winston Churchill suggested naming a British battleship HMS Oliver Cromwell. The suggestion did not meet with royal approval.
  • In 1940 "Cromwell" was the codeword warning that German invasion of Britain was imminent.
  • The Cromwell Tank
    Cromwell tank
    Tank, Cruiser, Mk VIII, Cromwell ,The designation as the eighth Cruiser tank design, its name given for ease of reference and its General Staff specification number respectively and the related Centaur tank, were one of the most successful series of cruiser tanks fielded by Britain in the Second...

    , a British WWII cruiser tank, first used in 1944, was named after him.
  • A steam locomotive built by British Railways in 1951, 70013 Oliver Cromwell
    BR standard class 7 70013 Oliver Cromwell
    70013 Oliver Cromwell is a British Railways standard class 7 preserved steam locomotive. The locomotive is notable as one of the four steam locomotives which worked the last steam railtour on British Railways in 1968 before the introduction of a steam ban.-Career:One of 55 of the "Britannia"...

     was named after Cromwell.
  • A statue of Cromwell is included amongst 35 English monarchs depicted on the facade of Bradford City Hall
    Bradford City Hall
    Bradford City Hall is a Grade I listed, 19th century town hall in Centenary Square, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, and is notable for its landmark bell/clock tower.- As town hall :The building was designed by Lockwood and Mawson, and opened in 1873....

    , which are arranged in chronological order. Cromwell's statue appears between Charles I
    Charles I of England
    Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

     and Charles II
    Charles II of England
    Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

    .

Popular culture



  • In one of the earliest novels to feature Cromwell as a character, Abbe Prevost
    Antoine François Prévost
    Antoine François Prévost , usually known simply as the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist.- Life and works :...

    's Le philosophe anglais (1731–39), he is portrayed as a hypocritical womaniser, a deceitful tyrant, and a coward. The protagonist of this novel, Mr Cleveland, is the illegitimate son of Cromwell via one of Charles I's cast-off mistresses. For a synopsis, go to: this link
  • Cromwell’s adoption by the French Romantic movement was typified by Victor Hugo
    Victor Hugo
    Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

    's 1827 play Cromwell
    Cromwell (play)
    Cromwell is a play by Victor Hugo written in 1827. It was a result of the creation of the literary circle around Hugo which identified itself as Romanticist, taking Shakespeare as their model dramatist rather than the Classicist models of Jean Racine and Pierre Corneille supported by the French...

    , often considered to be symbolic of the French romantic movement, which represents Cromwell as a ruthless yet dynamic Romantic hero. A similar impression of a world-changing individual with a strong will
    Will (philosophy)
    Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

     and personality was provided in 1831 in the picture by French artist Hippolyte Delaroche
    Hippolyte Delaroche
    Hippolyte Delaroche , commonly known as Paul Delaroche, was a French painter born in Paris. Delaroche was born into a wealthy family and was trained by Antoine-Jean, Baron Gros, who then painted life-size histories and had many students.The first Delaroche picture exhibited was the large Josabeth...

    , depicting the legendary visit by Cromwell to the body of Charles I after the King’s execution.
  • Alexandre Dumas's sequel to the Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After
    Twenty Years After
    Twenty Years After is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père, first serialized from January to August, 1845. A book of the D'Artagnan Romances, it is a sequel to The Three Musketeers and precedes The Vicomte de Bragelonne .The novel follows events in France during La Fronde, during the childhood reign...

    , is set against the backdrop of the Second English Civil War, with the four friends split to fight on opposing sides on behalf of Cromwell and Charles I. The main antagonist, Mordaunt, is portrayed as Cromwell's secretary and spy.
  • Rutland Boughton
    Rutland Boughton
    Rutland Boughton was an English composer who became well known in the early 20th century as a composer of opera and choral music....

    's Symphony No. 1 (1904–05) was subtitled "Oliver Cromwell".
  • 1970 saw the release of the Ken Hughes
    Ken Hughes
    Ken Hughes was a British film director, writer, and producer.-Personal history:Wife Charlotte Hughes living in LA...

     film Cromwell
    Cromwell (film)
    Cromwell is a 1970 film, based on the life of Oliver Cromwell who led the Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War and, as Lord Protector, ruled Great Britain and Ireland in the 1650s. It features an all-star cast led by Richard Harris as Cromwell and Alec Guinness as King Charles I...

    starring Richard Harris in the leading role. To Kill a King
    To Kill a King
    To Kill a King is a UK 2003 English Civil War film directed by Mike Barker, starring Tim Roth and Dougray Scott. It relates the relationship between Oliver Cromwell and Thomas Fairfax in the post-war period from 1648 until the former's death, in 1658. It deals with the corruption of Parliament...

    , a film of 2003 focussed on the relationship between Dougray Scott
    Dougray Scott
    -Early life:The son of Elma, a nurse, and Alan Scott, an actor and salesperson, Stephen Dougray Scott was born in Glenrothes, Fife and attended Auchmuty High School...

     as Fairfax and Tim Roth
    Tim Roth
    Simon Timothy "Tim" Roth is an English film actor and director best known for his roles in the American films,Legend of 1900, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms, Skellig, Planet of the Apes, The Incredible Hulk and Rob Roy, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for...

     as Cromwell, with Rupert Everett
    Rupert Everett
    Rupert James Hector Everett is an English actor. He first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film Another Country as an openly gay student at an English public school, set in the 1930s...

     as King Charles I
    Charles I of England
    Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

    . Jack Shepherd's 2004 play Through a Cloud, set in 1656, imagines a meeting between Cromwell and John Milton
    John Milton
    John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

    .
  • Oliver Cromwell was played by Bernard Hepton
    Bernard Hepton
    Bernard Hepton is a British actor of stage, film and television.Hepton is known as a particularly versatile character actor. He trained at Bradford Civic Theatre school under Esme Church along with actors such as Robert Stephens...

     in the twelve-part radio series God's Revolution, which was written by Don Taylor
    Don Taylor (director)
    Donald Victor Taylor was an English writer, director and producer, active across theatre, radio and television for over forty years...

    , broadcast on BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

     in 1998 and rebroadcast on BBC Radio 7 in 2010.
  • Blackadder: The Cavalier Years
    Blackadder: The Cavalier Years
    Blackadder: The Cavalier Years is a 15 minute one-off edition of Blackadder set during the English Civil War, shown as part of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day on Friday 5 February . The episode included series regulars Rowan Atkinson as Sir Edmund Blackadder, Tony Robinson as Baldrick, and Stephen Fry...

    features a parody of Cromwell played by Warren Clarke
    Warren Clarke
    -Biography:Clarke was born in Oldham, Lancashire. His first television appearance was in the long running Granada soap opera Coronation Street, initially as Kenny Pickup in 1966 and then as Gary Bailey in 1968. His first major film appearance was in Stanley Kubrick's controversial A Clockwork...

    .
  • Cromwell has also been mentioned in popular songs, such as:
    • A more light-hearted take on Cromwell's life and deeds, "Oliver Cromwell
      Oliver Cromwell (song)
      "Oliver Cromwell" is a song released by Monty Python in 1989, and featured in their 1991 album Monty Python Sings. John Cleese, who wrote the lyric, originally debuted the song on February 2, 1969 in the radio show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, where it was introduced as "The Ballad of Oliver...

      ", was released by Monty Python
      Monty Python
      Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

       in 1989, in which a factually accurate capsule biography is sung to the music of Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat, Op. 53, for piano.
    • Elvis Costello
      Elvis Costello
      Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

      's 1979 hit pop single "Oliver's Army
      Oliver's Army
      "Oliver's Army" is a song written by Elvis Costello, originally performed by Elvis Costello and the Attractions and appearing on the album Armed Forces in 1979. It remains his most successful single, spending four weeks at Nº2 in the UK singles chart....

      "
    • The Pogues
      The Pogues
      The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

       mention him in their 1989 song “Young Ned of the Hill”: A song about Cromwell's assault on Drogheda, it references him directly by saying: “A curse upon you Oliver Cromwell / You who raped our Motherland.”
    • "Irish Blood, English Heart", the 2004 single by Morrissey
      Morrissey
      Steven Patrick Morrissey , known as Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock band The Smiths. The band was highly successful in the United Kingdom but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career,...

       includes the lyrics: "I've been dreaming of a time when the English are sick to death of Labour
      Labour Party (UK)
      The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

       and Tories
      Conservative Party (UK)
      The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

       / And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell / And denounce this royal line that still salute him / And will salute him forever".
    • The song "Tobacco Island" by Irish-American
      Irish American
      Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

       celtic punk
      Celtic punk
      Celtic punk is punk rock mixed with traditional Celtic music. The genre was founded in the 1980s by The Pogues, a band of punk musicians in London who celebrated their Irish heritage. Celtic punk bands often play covers of traditional Irish folk and political songs, as well as original compositions...

       band Flogging Molly
      Flogging Molly
      Flogging Molly is a seven-piece Irish-descendant band from Los Angeles, California, that is currently signed to their own record label, Borstal Beat Records.-Early years:...

       describes the deportation of Irish citizens to Barbados.
  • Oliver Cromwell, played by Dominic West
    Dominic West
    Dominic Gerard Fe West is an English actor best known for his role as Detective Jimmy McNulty in the HBO drama series The Wire.-Film and TV:...

    , is one of the main characters in the 2008 Channel 4 TV miniseries The Devil's Whore
    The Devil's Whore
    The Devil's Whore is a four-part television series set during the English Civil War, produced by Company Pictures for Channel 4 in 2008. It centres on the adventures of the fictional Angelica Fanshawe, and the historical Leveller soldier Edward Sexby...

    .
  • Popular Australian fantasy author Kate Forsyth
    Kate Forsyth
    Kate Forsyth is an Australian fantasy author, best known for the Witches of Eileanan series, and the Rhiannon's Ride series, which is also set in Eileanan....

     wrote Oliver Cromwell into her series The Chain of Charms.
  • Protagonist "Alucard" of the Japanese manga
    Manga
    Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

    , Hellsing
    Hellsing
    is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. It first premiered in Young King Ours in 1997 and ended in September 2008. The individual chapters are collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shōnen Gahosha. As of March 2009 all chapters have been released in 10 volumes in...

    , refers to his power restriction system as the Cromwell Invocation.
  • In The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
    The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
    The Adventures of Luther Arkwright was a limited series comic book written and drawn by Bryan Talbot.-Publishing history:Luther Arkwright made his first appearance in the mid 1970s in "The Papist Affair", a short strip for Brainstorm Comix where Arkwright teamed up with a group of cigar-chewing...

    , a comic book fantasy adventure spanning countless alternative universes, modern day England is a fascist theocracy ruled by a descendant of Cromwell.
  • Orson Scott Card
    Orson Scott Card
    Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the...

    's alternate historical fantasy novel series The Tales of Alvin Maker
    The Tales of Alvin Maker
    The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of novels by Orson Scott Card that revolve around the experiences of a young man, Alvin Miller, who discovers he has incredible powers for creating and shaping things around him...

    diverges from reality in that folk magic actually works, and because at least one of his physicians had a healing "knack
    Aptitude
    An aptitude is an innate component of a competency to do a certain kind of work at a certain level. Aptitudes may be physical or mental...

    ", Cromwell did not die so young, so the English Restoration
    English Restoration
    The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

     never happened, causing drastic alterations in the 19th Century North American setting of the series (e.g. there were four separate nations in the area occupied by the real United States of the time, only one of which had that name). Cromwell himself does not appear in the series.
  • In a 2002 BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     telephone and internet poll in Britain, Cromwell was voted to be one of the Top 10 Britons of all time
    100 Greatest Britons
    100 Greatest Britons was broadcast in 2002 by the BBC. The programme was the result of a vote conducted to determine whom the United Kingdom public considers the greatest British people in history. The series, Great Britons, included individual programmes on the top ten, with viewers having further...

    .
  • "Cromwell Road" remains a popular street name in many British towns and cities, and towns in New Zealand and the United States have been named "Cromwell".
  • Neal Stephenson
    Neal Stephenson
    Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction.Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk...

    ’s alternate historical novel series The Baroque Cycle
    The Baroque Cycle
    The Baroque Cycle is a series of novels by American writer Neal Stephenson. It was published in three volumes containing 8 books in 2003 and 2004. The story follows the adventures of a sizeable cast of characters living amidst some of the central events of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in...

    contains many references to Cromwell, as well as extensive descriptions of his grass-roots supporters and their behaviour after The Restoration. This creates a detailed picture of the beliefs and attitudes of his supporters and the civil warriors after they have witnessed the destruction of all their dreams and accomplishments. The novel series begins in 1655, but Cromwell himself does not appear in the series.
  • The Morganville Vampires Novels features Cromwell as a vampire.

See also

  • Robert Walker
    Robert Walker (painter)
    Robert Walker was an English portrait painter, notable for his portraits of the "Lord Protector" Oliver Cromwell and other distinguished parliamentarians of the period...

     Article includes information about the various portraits of Cromwell by the artists Robert Walker, Peter Lely and Samuel Cooper.

Biographies

  • Adamson, John (1990). "Oliver Cromwell and the Long Parliament", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution Longman, ISBN 0582016754
  • Ashley, Maurice (1958). The Greatness of Oliver Cromwell Macmillan
  • Bennett, Martyn. Oliver Cromwell (2006), ISBN 0415319226
  • Clifford, Alan (1999). Oliver Cromwell: the lessons and legacy of the Protectorate Charenton Reformed Publishing, ISBN 095267162X. Religious study.
  • Davis, J. C. (2001). Oliver Cromwell Hodder Arnold, ISBN 0340731184
  • Fraser, Antonia (1973). Cromwell, Our Chief of Men, and Cromwell: the Lord Protector Phoenix Press, ISBN 0753813319. Popular narrative.
  • Firth, C.H. (1900). Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans online edition ISBN 1402144741; classic older biography
  • Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1901). Oliver Cromwell, ISBN 1417949619. Classic older biography.
  • Gaunt, Peter (1996). Oliver Cromwell Blackwell, ISBN 0631183566. Short biography.
  • Hill, Christopher
    Christopher Hill (historian)
    John Edward Christopher Hill , usually known simply as Christopher Hill, was an English Marxist historian and author of textbooks....

     (1970). God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell And The English Revolution Penguin, ISBN 0297000438.
  • Hirst, Derek (1990). "The Lord Protector, 1653-8", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution Longman, ISBN 0582016754
  • Mason, James and Angela Leonard (1998). Oliver Cromwell Longman, ISBN 0582297346
  • McKeiver, Philip (2007). "A New History of Cromwell's Irish Campaign", Advance Press, Manchester, ISBN 9780955466304
  • Morrill, John (2004). "Cromwell, Oliver (1599–1658)", in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press
  • Morrill, John (1990). "The Making of Oliver Cromwell", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution Longman, ISBN 0582016754.
  • Paul, Robert (1958). The Lord Protector: Religion And Politics In The Life Of Oliver Cromwell
  • Smith, David (ed.) (2003). Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum Blackwell, ISBN 0631227253
  • Wedgwood, C.V. (1939). Oliver Cromwell Duckworth, ISBN 0715606565
  • Worden, Blair (1985). "Oliver Cromwell and the sin of Achan", in Beales, D. and Best, G. (eds.) History, Society and the Churches, ISBN 0521021898

Military studies

  • Durston, Christopher (2000). "'Settling the Hearts and Quieting the Minds of All Good People': the Major-generals and the Puritan Minorities of Interregnum England", in History 2000 85(278): pp. 247–267, ISSN 0018-2648 . Full text online at Ebsco.
  • Durston, Christopher (1998). "The Fall of Cromwell's Major-Generals", in English Historical Review 1998 113(450): pp. 18–37, ISSN 0013-8266
  • Firth, C.H. (1921). Cromwell's Army Greenhill Books, ISBN 1853671207
  • Gillingham, J. (1976). Portrait Of A Soldier: Cromwell Weidenfeld & Nicholson, ISBN 0297771485
  • Kenyon, John & Ohlmeyer, Jane (eds.) (2000). The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638–1660 Oxford University Press, ISBN 019280278X
  • Kitson, Frank (2004). Old Ironsides: The Military Biography of Oliver Cromwell Weidenfeld Military, ISBN 0297846884
  • Marshall, Alan (2004). Oliver Cromwell: Soldier: The Military Life of a Revolutionary at War Brassey's, ISBN 1857533437
  • McKeiver, Philip (2007). "A New History of Cromwell's Irish Campaign", Advance Press, Manchester, ISBN 9780955466304
  • Woolrych, Austin (1990). "The Cromwellian Protectorate: a Military Dictatorship?" in History 1990 75(244): 207–231, ISSN 0018-2648 . Full text online at Ebsco.
  • Woolrych, Austin (1990). "Cromwell as a soldier", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution Longman, ISBN 0582016754
  • Young, Peter and Holmes, Richard (2000). The English Civil War, Wordsworth, ISBN 1840222220

Surveys of era

  • Coward, Barry (2002). The Cromwellian Protectorate Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719043174
  • Coward, Barry (2003). The Stuart Age: England, 1603–1714, Longman, ISBN 0-582-77251-6. Survey of political history of the era.
  • Davies, Godfrey (1959). The Early Stuarts, 1603–1660 Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198217048. Political, religious, and diplomatic overview of the era.
  • Korr, Charles P. (1975). Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy: England's Policy toward France, 1649–1658 University of California Press, ISBN 0520022815
  • Macinnes, Allan (2005). The British Revolution, 1629–1660 Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0333597508
  • Morrill, John (1990). "Cromwell and his contemporaries". In Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution Longman, ISBN 0582016754
  • Trevor-Roper, Hugh (1967). Oliver Cromwell and his Parliaments, in his Religion, the Reformation and Social Change Macmillan.
  • Venning, Timothy (1995). Cromwellian Foreign Policy Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0333633881
  • Woolrych, Austin (1982). Commonwealth to Protectorate Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198226594
  • Woolrych, Austin (2002). Britain in Revolution 1625–1660 Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199272686

Primary sources

  • Abbott, W.C. (ed.) (1937–47). Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, 4 vols. The standard academic reference for Cromwell's own words. Questia.com.
  • Carlyle, Thomas (ed.) (1904 edition), Oliver Cromwell's letters and speeches, with elucidations. ;
  • Haykin, Michael A. G. (ed.) (1999). To Honour God: The Spirituality of Oliver Cromwell Joshua Press, ISBN 1894400038. Excerpts from Cromwell's religious writings.

Historiography

  • Davis, J. C. Oliver Cromwell (2001). 243 pp; a biographical study that covers sources and historiography
  • Gaunt, Peter. "The Reputation of Oliver Cromwell in the 19th century," Parliamentary History, Oct 2009, Vol. 28 Issue 3, pp 425–428
  • Lunger Knoppers, Laura. Constructing Cromwell. Ceremony, Portrait and Print, 1645–1661 (2000), shows how people compared Cromwell to King Ahab, King David, Elijah, Gideon and Moses, as well as Brutus and Julius Caesar.
  • Morrill, John. "Rewriting Cromwell: a Case of Deafening Silences." Canadian Journal of History 2003 38(3): 553–578. Issn: 0008-4107 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Morrill, John (1990). "Textualizing and Contextualizing Cromwell", in Historical Journal 1990 33(3): pp. 629–639. ISSN 0018-246X . Full text online at Jstor. Examines the Carlyle and Abbott editions.
  • Worden, Blair (2001). Roundhead Reputations: the English Civil Wars and the passions of posterity Penguin, ISBN 0141006943
  • Worden, Blair. "Thomas Carlyle and Oliver Cromwell", in Proceedings Of The British Academy(2000) 105: pp. 131–170. ISSN 0068-1202 .
  • Worden, Blair. Roundhead Reputations: the English Civil Wars and the passions of posterity (2001), 387pp; ISBN 0-14-100694-3.

External links