Oliver Cromwell

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Image:Cooper, Oliver Cromwell.jpg Oliver Cromwell (April 25 1599September 3 1658) was an English military leader and politician. After leading the rebellion against the British monarchy, he ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland as a semi-autocratic Lord Protector, from December 16 1653 until his death, which is believed to have been by either malaria or poisoning. After his burial he was exhumed and hanged, drawn and quartered by the Royalists after the Restoration of the monarchy, which was the traditional punishment for treason in England at the time.

Cromwell was born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. He studied at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, which was then a recently-founded college with a strong Puritan ethos. However, he left without taking a degree, probably due to the death of his father.

At the outset of the English Civil War, Cromwell began his military career by raising a cavalry troop, known as the "Ironsides Cavalry", which became the basis of the horse of the New Model Army. Prince Rupert gave Cromwell the nickname of "Old Ironsides" which later historians have applied to his Regiment of Horse. Cromwell's success on the left wing at the Battle of Marston Moor (in 1644) brought him to great prominence amongst certain parties in London. And by a series of lucky coincidences Cromwell managed to retain his commission after the Self Denying Ordinance of 1645 (he was the second, and possibly third, choice as commander of the New Model Army's Horse) although he never actually commanded in a formal battle until 1648. These circumstances allowed him to take command of the Army when Sir Thomas Fairfax resigned in 1650 and shortly afterwards become England's only Military Dictator.



Oliver Cromwell descended from Catherine Cromwell (born circa 1482), an older sister of Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell. Catherine was married to Morgan ap Williams, son of William ap Yevan of Wales and Joan Tudor. There is speculation that Joan was an illegitimate daughter of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford.

Although Catherine married, her children kept her name; possibly to maintain their connection with their famous uncle. The family line continued through Richard Cromwell (c. 15001544), Henry Cromwell (c. 1524January 6 1603), then to Oliver's father Robert Cromwell, Esquire (c. 15601617), who married Elizabeth Steward or Stewart (15641654) on April 25, 1599, the day of Oliver's birth.

Another interesting feature of the Cromwell bloodline is that the mother's maiden name, as an alternative to the argument above, might have been kept as the surname for a different purpose: to disguise the male side of the family's heritage, instead of merely accentuating the female's side from Thomas Cromwell. This heritage goes through the Tudors, de Valois, and Wittelsbach—three royal dynasties of England, France, and the Holy Roman Empire, respectively.

Cromwell's alleged paternal ancestor, Jasper Tudor, was a younger brother of Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, uncle to his son Henry VII of England, and son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. However, the descent of Oliver Cromwell from Jasper is unverified; and is 'doubtful', in view of the tendency of Cromwell's supporters to 'fabricate' claims of his descent from the Royal line. This also occurred with the claim that Cromwell's ancestors on his mother's side could be traced back to a Scottish Stuart (from Stewart and originally Steward) prince shipwrecked on the Norfolk coast in 1406. This claim for a Scottish royal "pedigree" was unfounded, as Cromwell's Steward ancestors actually descended from the Skywards (or Stywards) of Calais.

The Thomas Cromwell genealogy lineage shows Katherine Cromwell's descent from the Earl of Arundel; however it mistakenly gives descent from William d'Aubigny, 3rd Earl of Arundel instead of William d'Aubigny, 4th Earl of Arundel and Mabel of Chester, daugther of Hugh de Kevelioc, 3rd Earl of Chester (see Earl of Chester for lineage from King Henry I of England). Likewise a nephew of Katherine Cromwell had been married to Elizabeth Seymour a sister of Queen Jane Seymour; also an aunt of Oliver Cromwell was the mother of Edward Whalley.

Member of Parliament

Having decided against following an uncle to Virginia, Cromwell instead became the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in the Parliament of 16281629. His maiden speech was the defence of a radical democrat, who had argued in an unauthorised pamphlet in favour of "giving the vote to all men." Oliver was also prominent in defending the people of The Fens from wealthy landowners, who wanted to drive them off their land, 'improve' it by draining the marshland, and take their cut.

Charles I ruled without a Parliament for the next eleven years (having dissolved Parliament, of which Cromwell was a member, in 1629), and alienated many people with his policies of raising extra-parliamentary taxes, and imposing his Catholicised vision of Protestantism on the Church of England. When King Charles was facing a Scottish rebellion known as the Bishop's War, and forced by shortage of funds to call a Parliament again in 1640, Oliver Cromwell was one of many MPs who bitterly opposed voting for any new taxes, until the King agreed to govern with the consent of Parliament on both civil and religious issues. Failure to resolve these issues led to armed conflict breaking out between 'Parliamentarians', MPs and magnates who wished to challenge Charles' interpretation of the monarch's role in the English constitution concentrated in London, the South-East and Midlands and 'Royalists', other MPs and magnates who defended Charles' perceived rights and were themselves concentrated in Wales, the North and Cornwall.

Cromwell was a passionate supporter of the Parliament, primarily on religious grounds. Although not an accomplished speaker, Cromwell was prominent in the Parliamentary cause from the outset, making up in courage and conviction what he lacked by way of art and polish. Cromwell was related to a significant number of members of Parliament by blood or marriage, and his views were later to be influential although prior to the War he was personally an insignificant member of the House. He did not become a leader of the Parliamentary cause until well after the first civil war, when his military ability had brought him to prominence.

Although he was later involved in the King's overthrow and execution, Cromwell did not start the civil war as a radical republican; rather, he did so with the intention of forcing Charles to reign with the consent of Parliament, and with a more consensual, Protestant, religious policy.

Religious beliefs

Cromwell's understanding of religion and politics were very closely intertwined. Cromwell was a committed "Puritan" - a Calvinist Protestant a faith which denied free will and believed that salvation was not something earned by works, nor something one decided, but rather was a gift of God by faith in Jesus Christ alone. However, Cromwell was not a doctrinaire Calvinist. He strongly believed that all true Christians (from which he excluded Roman Catholics) had a right to worship as they pleased. He welcomed followers of many radical sects into the ranks of his New Model Army, including Quakers, Anabaptists and Fifth Monarchists and gave them toleration during his Protectorate. As Protector, he disestablished the Church of England and abolished the Anglican Hierarchy. He also re-admitted Jews into England in this period and tolerated the practice of their religion. One of the main reasons for Cromwell's opposition to Charles I before the Civil Wars was the persecution of radical Protestant groups. - 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 tyranny and persecution of Protestants in Europe. For this reason, he was bitterly-opposed to Charles I's "reforms" of the Church of England, which introduced Catholic-style Bishops and Prayer Books, in place of Bible study. Cromwell's feelings of association between Catholicism and persecution were deepened with the Irish Rebellion of 1641. This rebellion was marked by massacres by Irish Catholics of English and Scottish Protestant settlers, which were wildly exaggerated in Puritan circles in Britain. This would later be one of the reasons why Cromwell acted so harshly in his later military campaign in Ireland. Addressing the Irish defenders of New Ross in 1649, while negotiating the surrender of the town, Cromwell stated, "if by liberty of conscience you mean the liberty to exercise the Mass... where the Parliament of England has authority, that will not be allowed of." In a letter to the Irish Catholic Bishops later that year he wrote, "you are part of the Anti-Christ and before long you must have, all of you, blood to drink."

Cromwell was also opposed to the more radical religious groups on the Protestant side of the Civil Wars. Although he co-operated with Quakers and Presbyterians, Cromwell was opposed to their authoritarian imposition of their beliefs upon other Protestants. He became associated with the "Independent" faction, which argued for religious freedom for all Protestants in a post-war settlement.

Finally, Cromwell was also a firm believer in "Providentialism" - the belief 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.

The Oxford historian Christopher Hill has written a semi-popular account of his influential studies in this area in God's Englishman (ISBN 0140137114, Penguin, 1970). Barry Coward has also written a good introduction to this area in 'Oliver Cromwell' (ISBN 0582553857).

Military Commander

Image:Oliver Cromwell.jpgImage:English Civil war Battle.jpg Cromwell's influence as a military commander and politician during the English Civil War dramatically altered the military and the political landscape of the British Isles.

Having joined the Parliamentary Army with no military experience at the age of 43, Cromwell recruited a cavalry unit from among his home county after blocking a shipment of silver meant for the king, and gained experience and victories in a succession of successful battles in East Anglia. Cromwell famously recruited his officers based upon merit rather than on the basis of 'noble' birth, saying: "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."

Cromwell had no formal training in military tactics, but had an instinctive gift for command. He succeeded on several occasions in outmanouevring Prince Rupert, who was a veteran of European warfare and fought on the Royalist side. Image:Roundheads Cavaliers.jpg Cromwell's troops came to respect his bravery and his concern for their well-being. Promoted to General in charge of cavalry for the New Model Army, Cromwell trained his men to regroup rapidly after an attack – tactics that he first employed with great success at the Battle of Naseby, and which showed a very high level of discipline and motivation on the part of his troops. With successive military victories he also gained political power, until he became the leading politician of the time. By the end of the first civil war in 1646, King Charles I was a prisoner of the Parliament. Cromwell, however, commanded the army that had won this victory and as a result, was in a position to dictate the future of England. Cromwell showed in the English Civil Wars that he was a brave and daring cavalry commander. However, in the years to come, he would also be recognised as an exceptional commander of entire armies. His successful conquests of Ireland and Scotland showed a great mastery of organising supplies and logistics for protracted campaigns in hostile territory. This also reflected Cromwell's thinking, wishing to maintain morale and order among his troops, and to not have them loot and ravish the land, but instead to bring their own supplies.

Execution of the king

The Parliamentarians, including Cromwell, hoped to reach a compromise settlement with Charles I. However, Charles would not accept a solution at odds with his own "Divine right" of kingship doctrines. The so-called "second civil war", which broke out in 1648 after Charles I's escape from prison, suggested to Cromwell that no future compromise with the King would be possible. After being recaptured, Charles was tried for treason. Cromwell came under pressure from the radicals among his own officers to execute the King, whom they termed, "Charles Stuart, that man of blood." In January 1649, when the Rump Parliament at Whitehall voted on whether to execute Charles I, Cromwell's troops broke into the Parliament's chambers and only permitted the regicides, those in favour of Charles' execution, to vote on the matter. The death warrant for Charles was signed by 59 members of Parliament including Cromwell himself, and Charles I was executed that January. Cromwell did not have long to dwell on the future form of government in England, however, as he immediately left the country to crush the remaining Royalist strongholds in Ireland and Scotland, which had allied themselves with Charles.


Ireland and Scotland

See also: Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Irish Confederate Wars, and Scottish Civil War.

Cromwell's actions made him very unpopular in Scotland and Ireland which, as previously independent nations, were effectively conquered by English forces during the civil wars. In particular, Cromwell's sometimes brutal suppression in 1649 of the Royalists in Ireland still has a strong resonance for many Irish people. The most enduring symbol of this brutality is the siege of Drogheda in September 1649. The massacre of nearly 3,500 people in Drogheda after its capture — comprising around 2,700 Royalist soldiers and all the men in the town carrying arms, including some civilians, prisoners, and Catholic priests — is one of the historical memories that has fuelled Irish-English and Catholic-Protestant strife for over three centuries.


The extent of Cromwell's intentions has been strongly debated. For example, it is clear that Cromwell saw the Irish in general as enemies - he justified his sack of Drogheda as revenge for the massacres of Protestant settlers in Ulster in the Irish Rebellion of 1641, calling the massacre, "The righteous judgement of God on these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands with so much innocent blood"- and the records of many churches such as Kilkenny Cathedral accuse Cromwell's army of having defaced and desecrated the churches and having stabled their horses in them. On the other hand, it is also clear that on entering Ireland, Cromwell demanded that no supplies were to be seized from the inhabitants, and that everything should be fairly purchased. It has been claimed Template:Fn that his actual orders at Drogheda followed military protocol of the day, where a town or garrison was first given the option to surrender and receive 'just treatment', and the protection of the invading force. The refusal to do this, even after the walls had been breached, meant that Cromwell's orders to 'show no mercy' in the treatment of men-of-arms was made inevitable by the standards of the day. This view has been disputed by historians Template:Fn. Cromwell's men committed another infamous massacre at Wexford, when they broke into the town during surrender negotiations, and killed over 2,000 Irish soldiers and civilians. These two atrocities, while horrifying in their own right, were not exceptional in the war in Ireland since its start in 1641, but are well-remembered even today because of a concerted propaganda campaign by the Royalists, which portrayed Cromwell as a monster who indiscriminately slaughtered civilians wherever he went.

However, Cromwell himself 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." In fact, the worst atrocities committed in that country, such as mass evictions, killings and deportation for slave labour to Barbados, were carried out by Cromwell's subordinates after he had left for England. The Parliamentary campaign may, nevertheless, have resulted in the death or exile of up to a third of the Irish population. In the wake of the Cromwellian conquest, all Catholic-owned land was confiscated in the Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652 and given to English settlers and Parliamentary soldiers (see Plantations of Ireland). The practice of Roman Catholicism was banned, and bounties were offered for priests. Regardless, Ireland remained a Roman Catholic nation, as most Irish Catholics refused to abandon their faith. Nor was any concerted effort made to convert them to Protestantism.

No matter his intentions, Cromwell was not alone in his apparent truculence towards the Irish. Long seen as "savages" and inferior by the English (and they were Catholic to the British Protestants as well) the Parliamentarian side in particular nursed a hatred towards the Irish during the civil wars. The Royalists were less hostile, and ultimately allied themselves with the Irish Confederates - which discredited them in the eyes of many English and Scottish Protestants. The massacres in Ulster during the Irish Rebellion of 1641 claimed roughly 4,000 lives, not the 180,000 that was reported to the British public. The incident was used as effective propaganda to drum up anti-Irish and anti-Royalist sentiment, and it is evident Cromwell believed it.


Cromwell also invaded Scotland in 1650-1651, after the Scots had crowned Charles I's son as "Charles II", and when they tried to re-impose the monarchy upon England, with Charles as the proposed king of 'both Scotland and England'. Cromwell had been prepared to tolerate an independent Scotland, but had to react after the Scots threatened to invade England. Cromwell, much less hostile to Scottish Presbyterians (some of whom had been his allies in the first Civil War) than to Irish Catholics, saw them as, "His [God's] people, though deceived." Nevertheless, he acted with ruthlessness in Scotland, eventually subduing the entire country from end-to-end. Despite being outnumbered, Cromwell's veteran troops smashed bigger Scottish armies at the Dunbar and the Worcester, and occupied the country. Cromwell treated very badly the thousands of prisoners of war he took in this campaign; allowing thousands of them to die of disease, and deporting others to penal colonies in Barbados. Cromwell's men, under George Monck viciously sacked the town of Dundee, in the manner of Drogheda. During the Commonwealth, Scotland was ruled from England, and was kept under military occupation; with a line of fortifications sealing off the Highlands, which had provided manpower for Royalist armies in Scotland, from the rest of the country. Presbyterianism was allowed to be practised as before, but the Kirk (the Scottish church) did not have the backing of the civil courts to impose its rulings, as it had previously.

In both Scotland and Ireland, Cromwell is remembered as a remorseless and ruthless enemy. However, the reason for the peculiar bitterness that the Irish especially held for Cromwell's memory has as much to do with his mass-transfer of Catholic-owned property into the hands of his soldiers as it does with his wartime actions.

Political rule

In the wake of the Army's 1648 recapture of the King, the monarchy was abolished; and between 1649 and 1653, the country became nominally a "republic," a rarity in Europe at that time. The republic was known as the Commonwealth of England. However, (at least in the eyes of his detractors), Cromwell ruled in practice as a military dictator.

Many of Cromwell's actions upon gaining power were decried by some commentators as "harsh, unwise, and tyrannical." He was often ruthless (though perhaps no more than was then expected) in putting down the mutinies which occurred within his own army towards the end of the war (which were sometimes prompted by Parliament's failure to pay the troops). Cromwell showed little sympathy for the Levellers, an 'egalitarian' movement which had contributed greatly to Parliament's cause. The Leveller point of view had been strongly represented in the Putney Debates, held between the various factions of the Army in 1647, just prior to the King's escape. Cromwell and the Grandees were not prepared to countenance such a radical democracy, - and indeed many amongst the Levellers would have been surprised if the radical position of Colonel Rainsborough, which appears most in tune with modern democratic ideals, had succeeded. As events were to show, Cromwell could not engineer a stable oligarchic Parliamentary republic, either.

With the king gone (and with him their common cause), Cromwell's unanimous backing dissolved, and the various factions in Parliament became engaged in infighting. In a repeat of the actions the former king had taken that had led to civil war, Cromwell eventually dismissed the republican Rump Parliament in 1653, and instead took personal control; as England's only ever military dictator. Cromwell's power was buttressed by his continuing popularity among the army, which he had built up during the civil wars, and which he subsequently prudently guarded, and during his period of dictatorship he divided England into military districts 'ruled' by Army Major Generals who answered only to him.

Cromwell's foreign policy led him into the First Anglo-Dutch War in 1652, against the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, eventually won by Admiral Robert Blake in 1654.Image:Cromwell8.png

Cromwell's absolute insistence upon religious freedom, for all except Roman Catholics, led to his encouraging Jews to return to England, 350 years after their "banishment" by Edward I.

In 1657, Cromwell was offered the crown by a re-constituted Parliament, presenting him with a dilemma, since he had been 'instrumental' in abolishing the monarchy. After six weeks of deliberation, he rejected the offer. Instead, he was ceremonially re-installed as "Lord Protector" (with greater powers than had previously been granted him under this title) at Westminster Hall, sitting upon King Edward's Chair which was specially moved from Westminster Abbey for the occasion. The event was practically a coronation, copying many features of the old coronation ceremony and utilising many of its symbols and regalia, and made him "king in all but name." 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, a legislative instrument which replaced the 1653 Instrument of Government which had previously conferred on him the title of Lord Protector. Many political radicals saw this as a betrayal, believing that Cromwell had become another king in all but name.

Death and posthumous execution

Cromwell suffered from malaria (probably first contracted while on campaign in Ireland) and from "stone", a common term for urinary/kidney infections. Yet, he was in generally good health. He was struck by a sudden bout of 'malaria', followed directly by an attack of urinary/kidney symptoms. Although weakened, he was optimistic about the future, as were his attendants. A Venetian diplomat, also a physician, was visiting at the time and tracked Cromwell's final illness. It was his opinion that The Lord Protector's personal physicians were mismanaging his health, leading to a rapid decline and his death.

Within two years of Cromwell's death on September 3, 1658, Parliament restored Charles II as king, as Cromwell's son Richard Cromwell had proved "an unworthy successor", who had unwisely allowed the split between Parliament and the New Model Army to go too far, and had supported the Parliament against the Army.

In 1661, Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and was subjected to the ritual of a posthumous execution – significantly, this took place on January 30 - the same date that Charles I had been executed. Cromwell's body was hanged, drawn and quartered. At the end, his body was thrown into a pit. His severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Abbey until 1685. Afterwards it changed hands several times, before eventually being buried in the grounds of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1960.


Despite his treatment upon the Restoration, and an awful reputation in Ireland that lingers to this day, in some sections of British society, Cromwell has gained esteem over the years. As one of British history's 'most notable parliamentarians', his statue outside the Palace of Westminster is understandable, despite the fact that many of his actions are officially regarded as 'treasonous' against the Monarchy (it is ironic however that this site was chosen for the statue since he forcibly dissolved more Parliaments than Charles I). He also has a particular following among Protestant groups; and has retained popularity in Cambridgeshire, where he was known as "Lord of The Fens." In Cambridge, he is commemorated in an unusual fashion: a painted glass window of Cromwell exists in the Emmanuel United Reformed Church, and in St Ives, there is a statue of Cromwell in the town centre.

In George Crabbe's poem, 'The Frank Courtship' about a family of Fenland dissenters, are the lines

'....No son or daughter of their order wed
a friend to England's king, who lost his head;
Cromwell was still their Saint, and when they met,
They mourn'd that Saints were not our rulers yet....'

His broader popularity today is evidenced by his ranking as 10th in the BBC poll of "Great Britons."

Oliver Cromwell did indeed die from Malaria, a disease not uncommon in the southern parts of the British Isles in the seventeenth century. Malaria was the cause of his death, but not the reason for his dying. Jesuits had travelled to Peru in search of trade and had found the indigenes using bark from the cinchona tree, which contained quinine, to treat "Quartian Ague" which we know as Malaria. Quantities of the bark were brought to Italy where Malaria was rife (until the Pontine marshes were drained); there bark was ground and sold as "Jesuit Powder". Cromwell's doctors had used all current methods to treat his disease but with no success. Finally, all that they could offer was the Jesuit Powder. Being a staunch Protestant he refused to take of the Jesuit Powder and died.


  • Some authors believe that Oliver Cromwell was a freemason, although no definitive record currently exists to prove this contention.
  • In 2003, Cromwell was ranked 10th in a popular BBC poll of "Great Britons."
  • Cromwell and some relatives nearly fled and emigrated to the New World before the English Civil Wars.



  • Oliver Cromwell was the first to coin the phrase "warts and all." Though he did not actually say "warts and all," the phrase comes from a famous conversation that he made to the artist (Lely) that was painting his portrait after he became Lord Protector. Cromwell was surprised to see that his rough and undesirable features were glossed over, making him look more attractive than he actually was. The quote is as follows:
Mr Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint your picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughness, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me. Otherwise, I will never pay a farthing for it.
  • To the Irish Catholic defenders of New Ross in 1649, while negotiating its surrender:
I wish to meddle with no man's conscience, but if by liberty of conscience you mean liberty to exercise the Mass, I think it best to deal in plain speaking, where the Parliament of England has authority, that will not be allowed of.
  • To the Presbyterians of Scotland in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1650:
I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.
  • Another quotation:
Let us restore the king to his throne, and let the king in future agree to govern with the consent of Parliament. Let us restore the old church, with its bishops, since that is what most of the people want; but since the Puritans and Separatists and Baptists have served us well in the war, let us not persecute them anymore but let them worship as they like, outside of the established church. And so let us have peace and liberty.


Cromwell was (likely in absence) called Copper Nose, for a brownish tinge on his nose.

The 1970 film Cromwell, starring Richard Harris, is based on the life of Oliver Cromwell, although it has been criticised for some historical inaccuracies.

In 1989, Monty Python wrote a song called "Oliver Cromwell", which told the entire career of Cromwell to the tune of Frédéric Chopin's Polonaise Op.53 in A flat major. It is available on their compilation album Monty Python Sings.

The Reverend Bizarre song "Cromwell" is about Cromwell.

The Elvis Costello song Oliver's Army is named after Cromwell's New Model Army.

The Pogues song "Young Ned of the Hill" features the chorus:

"A curse upon you Oliver Cromwell,
You who raped our Motherland,
I hope you're rotting down in hell,
For the horrors that you sent,
To our misfortunate forefathers,
Whom you robbed of their birthright,
To hell or Connaught may you burn in hell tonight."

Morrissey mentions Cromwell in his song "Irish Blood, English Heart" :

"I've been dreaming of a time when,
The English are sick to death of Labour...and Tories,
And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell,
And denounce this royal line that still salute him,
And will salute him forever"

The Flogging Molly song "Tobacco Island" is about the Irish being expelled from their homeland to Barbados as slaves by Cromwell.

"'Twas 1659 forgotten now for sure
They dragged us from our homeland
With the musket and their gun
Cromwell and his roundheads
Battered all we know
Shackled hopes of freedom
We're now but stolen goods
Darken the horizon
Blackened from the sun
This rotten cage of Bridgetown
Is where I now belong"

Friedrich Nietzsche mentions Cromwell's downfall in section 315 of The Gay Science: //On the last hour.// -- Storms are my danger: will I have my storm of which I perish, as Cromwell perished of his storm? Or will I go out like a light that no wind blows our, but that grew tired and sated with itself -- a burned-out light? Or finally: will I blow myself out lest I burn out? -


See also


  • {{cite book
| first = Antonia
| last = Fraser
| year = 1997
| title = Cromwell, Our Chief of Men
| publisher = Weidenfeld & Nicholson
| id = ISBN 0-297-81815-5}}
  • {{cite book
| first = Antonia
| last = Fraser
| year = 1973, reissue 1996
| title = Cromwell: the Lord Protector
| publisher = Alfred A. Knopf, reissue Smithmark Publishers
| id = ISBN 0831756411}}

External links

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