Oliver Cromwell

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Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.jpg
A 1656 Samuel Cooper portrait of Cromwell
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
In office
16 December 1653 – 3 September 1658
Preceded byCouncil of State
Succeeded byRichard Cromwell
Member of Parliament
for Cambridge
In office
1640–1649
MonarchCharles I
Member of Parliament
for Huntingdon
In office
1628–1629
MonarchCharles I
Personal details
Born25 April 1599
Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, Kingdom of England
Died3 September 1658 (aged 59)
Palace of Whitehall, London, The Protectorate
Resting placeTyburn, London
NationalityEnglish
Spouse(s)
Children
Parents
  • Robert Cromwell (father)
  • Elizabeth Steward (mother)
Alma materSidney Sussex College, Cambridge
OccupationFarmer, parliamentarian, military commander
Signature
Military service
Nickname(s)Old Noll;[1] Old Ironsides
AllegianceRoundhead
Branch/serviceEastern Association (1643–1645); New Model Army (1645–1646)
Years of service1643–1651
RankColonel (1643 – bef. 1644); Lieutenant-General of Horse (bef. 1644–1645); Lieutenant-General of Cavalry (1645–1646)
CommandsCambridgeshire Ironsides (1643 – bef. 1644); Eastern Association (bef. 1644–1645); New Model Army (1645–1646)
Battles/warsEnglish Civil War (1642–1651):
Royal styles of
Oliver Cromwell,
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth
Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659).svg
Reference styleHis Highness
Spoken styleYour Highness
Alternative styleSir

Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 – 3 September 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for making England a republic and leading the Commonwealth of England.

Cromwell's actions during his career seem confusing to us today. He supported Parliament against the King, yet he ordered his soldiers to break up parliament. Under his rule, the Protectorate said that people's religious beliefs should be respected, but people who went against what most people believed were sometimes tortured and imprisoned.

Cromwell was the first ruler of England to be a Puritan. He created a new model army. Many English people today think he was one of their greatest leaders, and many Irish people still hate him.

Early life[change | change source]

Cromwell started off as a gentleman from Huntingdon. He first studied at Huntingdon Grammar School. He had a bad relationship with his father. He went on to Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge. This was a new, small college where he had the chance to talk about his new Puritan ideas. However, he never took a degree because his father died in 1617 while he was studying.[2]

The English Civil War[change | change source]

In 1628, Cromwell became an MP and a Puritan and supported Parliament in its quarrel with the King. When war broke out, the King's army was stronger and better-prepared than the army of Parliament. Cromwell saw this, and he decided to train men to fight better. Soon the "New Model Army" he had trained began to win battles. As a result, Parliament won the war. By the end of the war, Cromwell was very powerful.

The Commonwealth: 1649–1653[change | change source]

During the following years, Oliver Cromwell conducted two campaigns to subdue the Irish Catholics (1649-1650), and in the battles of Dunbar and Worcester (1650-1651) crushed the Scottish royalists, who had proclaimed King Charles II. , first-born of the executed sovereign.

The Rump Parliament[change | change source]

After the execution of the King, a republic was declared, known as the Commonwealth of England. A Council of State was appointed to manage affairs, which included Cromwell among its members. His real power base was in the army.

Takeover of Ireland[change | change source]

In 1652, Cromwell took over Ireland. Many historians believe that Cromwell committed an ethnic cleansing against the Irish Catholic people.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Cromwell wanted the Irish Catholics to move out of eastern Ireland into the northwest.[4] According to these historians, Cromwell and his army used massacres, starvation, and threats of execution to force the Irish to leave.[9][10][11] Historian Frances Stewart says that 600,000 Irish people – 43% of the Irish population – died from these policies.[11]

The Protectorate: 1653–1658[change | change source]

The House of Commons tried hard to control the army, but could not: in 1653, Cromwell dissolved the House of Commons, yielded legislative power to 139 people of his confidence and took the title of Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, with powers wider than those enjoyed by the monarch. During his tenure he reorganized public finances, promoted the liberalization of commerce in order to ensure the prosperity of the mercantile bourgeoisie, promulgated the Navigation Act (1651), through which he imposed on the Netherlands the English maritime supremacy, defeated the United Provinces (1654), snatched Jamaica to Spain (1655), persecuted the Catholics and placed England at the head of the European Protestant countries.

A new constitution known as the Instrument of Government made Cromwell Lord Protector for life. He had the power to call and dissolve parliaments.

In 1657, Cromwell was offered the crown by Parliament. Cromwell thought about the offer for six weeks. Then he rejected it and was ceremonially re-installed as "Lord Protector" (with greater powers than had previously been granted him under this title) at Westminster Hall.

Cromwell is thought to have suffered from malaria (probably first contracted while on campaign in Ireland). He died at Whitehall on 3 September 1658, the anniversary of his great victories at Dunbar and Worcester.[12]

After Cromwell's death[change | change source]

At his death (3 September 1658), however, the Republic was immersed in a period of chaos, which ended with the restoration of the monarchy in the person of Charles II of England by the Parliament (1660). Despite his prudence, the new monarch did not hesitate to order the exhumation of the corpse of the man who had signed the death sentence of his father, to cut off his head and expose it in the Tower of London.

He was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son Richard. Although Richard was not entirely without ability, he had no power base in either Parliament or the Army, and was forced to resign in the spring of 1659, bringing the Protectorate to an end. A year later Parliament restored Charles II as king.

When the Royalists returned to power, Cromwell's corpse was dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded. It is said that his head was lost for months until a solider found it. His skull was passed around as a token until it was buried at Tyburn.

References[change | change source]

  • Adamson, John (1990). "Oliver Cromwell and the Long Parliament", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Adamson, John (1987). "The English Nobility and the Projected Settlement of 1647", in Historical Journal, 30, 3.
  • Carlyle, Thomas (ed.) (1904 edition). Oliver Cromwell's letters and speeches, with elucidations [1]; [2]
  • Coward, Barry (2003). The Stuart Age: England, 1603-1714, (Longman), ISBN 0-582-77251-6.
  • Durston, Christopher (1998). The Fall of Cromwell's Major-Generals, in English Historical Review 1998 113(450): pp. 18–37, ISSN 0013-8266 .
  • Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1901). Oliver Cromwell, ISBN 1-4179-4961-9. [3]
  • Gaunt, Peter (1996). Oliver Cromwell (Blackwell), ISBN 0-631-18356-6.
  • Hirst, Derek (1990). The Lord Protector, 1653-8, in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Kenyon, John & Ohlmeyer, Jane (eds.) (2000). The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638-1660 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-280278-X.[4]
  • Kishlansky, Mark (1990), "Saye What?" in Historical Journal 33, 4.
  • Lenihan, Padraig (2000). Confederate Catholics at War (Cork University Press), ISBN 1-85918-244-5
  • Morrill, John (1990). '"Cromwell and his contemporaries", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Morrill, John (1990). "The Making of Oliver Cromwell", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Roots, Ivan (1989). Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (Everyman classics), ISBN 0-460-01254-1.
  • Woolrych, Austin (1982). Commonwealth to Protectorate (Clarendon Press), ISBN 0-19-822659-4.
  • Woolrych, Austin (1990). "Cromwell as a soldier" in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Woolrych, Austin (1987). Soldiers and Statesmen: the General Council of the Army and its Debates (Clarendon Press), ISBN 0-19-822752-3.
  • Worden, Blair (1985). "Oliver Cromwell and the sin of Achan", in Beales, D. and Best, G. (eds.) History, Society and the Churches, ISBN 0-521-02189-8.
  • Worden, Blair (2001). Roundhead Reputations: the English Civil Wars and the passions of posterity (Penguin), ISBN 0-14-100694-3.
  • Worden, Blair (1977). The Rump Parliament (Cambridge University Press), ISBN 0-521-29213-1.
  • Worden, Blair (2000). "Thomas Carlyle and Oliver Cromwell", in Proceedings Of The British Academy 105: pp. 131–170. ISSN 0068-1202 .
  • Young, Peter and Holmes, Richard (2000). The English Civil War (Wordsworth), ISBN 1-84022-222-0.

Footnotes[change | change source]

  1. Dickens, Charles (1854). A Child's History of England volume 3. Bradbury and Evans. p. 239.
  2. "Cromwell, Oliver". Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  3. Norbrook, David (2000).Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627–1660. Cambridge University Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-0521785693.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lutz, James M.; & Lutz, Brenda J. (2004). Global Terrorism. Routledge. p. 193. ISBN 978-0415700511.
  5. Levene, Mark (2005). Genocide in the Age of the Nation-State. I.B.Tauris. pp. 55-57. ISBN 978-1-84511-057-4.
  6. Coogan, Tim Pat (2002). The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal and the Search for Peace. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-312-29418-2.
  7. Axelrod, Alan (2002). Profiles in Leadership. Prentice Hall Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0735202566.
  8. Ellis, Peter Berresford (2002). Eyewitness to Irish History. John Wiley & Sons Inc. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-471-26633-4.
  9. Parliament of England (August 12, 1652). Act for the Settlement of Ireland. Constitution Society. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  10. Morrill, John (December 2003). Rewriting Cromwell – A Case of Deafening Silences. Canadian Journal of History 38 (3): 553.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Stewart, Frances (2000). War and Underdevelopment: Economic and Social Consequences of Conflict, Volume I. Oxford University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0199241873.
  12. Gaunt, p.204.

Bibliography[change | change source]

Biographies[change | change source]

  • Adamson, John (1990). "Oliver Cromwell and the Long Parliament", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Ashley, Maurice (1958). The Greatness of Oliver Cromwell (Macmillan). [5]
  • Bennett, Martyn. Oliver Cromwell (2006), ISBN 0-415-31922-6.
  • Clifford, Alan (1999). Oliver Cromwell: the lessons and legacy of the Protectorate (Charenton Reformed Publishing), ISBN 0-9526716-2-X. Religious study.
  • Davis, J. C. (2001). Oliver Cromwell (Hodder Arnold), ISBN 0-340-73118-4.
  • Fraser, Antonia (1973). Cromwell, Our Chief of Men, and Cromwell: the Lord Protector (Phoenix Press), ISBN 0-7538-1331-9. Popular narrative.
  • Firth, C.H. (1900). Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans ISBN 1-4021-4474-1.
  • Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1901). Oliver Cromwell, ISBN 1-4179-4961-9. Classic biography. [6]
  • Gaunt, Peter (1996). Oliver Cromwell (Blackwell), ISBN 0-631-18356-6. Short biography.
  • Hill, Christopher (1970). God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell And The English Revolution (Penguin), ISBN 0-297-00043-8.
  • Hirst, Derek (1990). "The Lord Protector, 1653-8", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4
  • Mason, James and Longman, Angela Leonard (1998). Oliver Cromwell (Longman), ISBN 0-582-29734-6.
  • Morrill, John (2004). "Cromwell, Oliver (1599–1658)", in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press) [7]
  • Morrill, John (1990). "The Making of Oliver Cromwell", in Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Paul, Robert (1958). The Lord Protector: Religion And Politics In The Life Of Oliver Cromwell. [8]
  • Smith, David (ed.) (2003). Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum (Blackwell), ISBN 0-631-22725-3.
  • Wedgwood, C.V. (1939). Oliver Cromwell (Duckworth), ISBN 0-7156-0656-5.
  • Worden, Blair (1985). "Oliver Cromwell and the sin of Achan", in Beales, D. and Best, G. (eds.) History, Society and the Churches, ISBN 0-521-02189-8.

Military studies[change | change source]

  • 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 1-85367-120-7.
  • Gillingham, J. (1976). Portrait Of A Soldier: Cromwell (Weidenfeld & Nicholson), ISBN 0-297-77148-5.
  • Kenyon, John & Ohlmeyer, Jane (eds.) (2000). The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638-1660 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-280278-X. [9]
  • Kitson, Frank (2004). Old Ironsides: The Military Biography of Oliver Cromwell (Weidenfeld Military), ISBN 0-297-84688-4.
  • Marshall, Alan (2004). Oliver Cromwell: Soldier: The Military Life of a Revolutionary at War (Brassey's), ISBN 1-85753-343-7.
  • 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 0-582-01675-4.
  • Young, Peter and Holmes, Richard (2000). The English Civil War, (Wordsworth), ISBN 1-84022-222-0.

Surveys of era[change | change source]

  • Coward, Barry (2002). The Cromwellian Protectorate (Manchester University Press), ISBN 0-7190-4317-4.
  • 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 0-19-821704-8. online. 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 0-520-02281-5. online
  • Macinnes, Allan (2005). The British Revolution, 1629-1660 (Palgrave Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-59750-8.
  • Morrill, John (1990). "Cromwell and his contemporaries". In Morrill, John (ed.), Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution (Longman), ISBN 0-582-01675-4.
  • Trevor-Roper, Hugh (1967). Oliver Cromwell and his Parliaments, in his Religion, the Reformation and Social Change (Macmillan). online
  • Venning, Timothy (1995). Cromwellian Foreign Policy (Palgrave Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-63388-1.
  • Woolrych, Austin (1982). Commonwealth to Protectorate (Clarendon Press), ISBN 0-19-822659-4.
  • Worden, Blair (2001). Roundhead Reputations: the English Civil Wars and the passions of posterity (Penguin), ISBN 0-14-100694-3.

Primary sources[change | change source]

  • Abbott, W.C. (ed.) (1937-47). Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, 4 vols. The standard academic reference for Cromwell's own words. [10].
  • Carlyle, Thomas (ed.) (1904 edition), Oliver Cromwell's letters and speeches, with elucidations. [11]; [12]
  • Haykin, Michael A. G. (ed.) (1999). To Honour God: The Spirituality of Oliver Cromwell (Joshua Press), Excerpts from Cromwell's religious writings.
  • 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.
  • Roots, Ivan (1989). Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (Everyman classics), ISBN 0-460-01254-1.
  • Worden, Blair (2000). Thomas Carlyle and Oliver Cromwell, in Proceedings Of The British Academy 105: pp. 131–170, ISSN 0068-1202 .

Other websites[change | change source]

Preceded by
Charles I
as King
Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland Succeeded by
Richard Cromwell