Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
- Character Name: Oliver Cromwell
- Title: Lord Protector of England
- Estate Name: n/a
- Nationality: English
- Age: deceased
- Gender: Male
- Eye Colour: dark
- Hair Colour: Brown and thinning
Not an attractive man, he had several large moles on his face.
Initial Impression of Personality
He may have been a manic depressive.
Born in April of 1599, to Robert and Elizabeth Cromwell, a family of the lower gentry, he was raised with a Puritan influence, that was only strengthened by his education at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University. He did not complete a degree, but returned home upon the death of his father, to his widowed mother and seven unwed sisters.
He married Elizabeth Bourchier, and sired nine children. Her family were also Puritans. Struggles with depression and finances strengthened his Puritan beliefs.
He became an MP for Huntingdon, in 1628-29, before Charles I prorogued Parliament for the next 11 years. When the King recalled Parliament to fund his war with the Scots rebels, Cromwell returned as an MP for Cambridge. This session lasted only 3 weeks, before the King once again prorogued Parliament. Within months, though, the King recalled it. Cromwell and his associates began a campaign for "godly" reform.
The stain between the Parliamentarians and the King eventually led to armed conflict, and, in 1642, Cromwell became a military commander. He recruited a cavalry troop, which eventually became a full regiment, by the winter of 1642-43. He rose quickly. In April 1645, the New Model Army was officially formed, with Sir Thomas Fairfax in command, and Cromwell as Lieutenant-General of cavalry, and second-in-command.
The King surrendered to the Scots on 5 May 1646, ending the first phase of the Civil War. Charles I escaped though, and Cromwell was not at all pleased. The war continued, and Cromwell was now in sole command of an army 9,000 strong. In 1648, he led his army to a victory over a superior force of Royalist Scots.
After the execution of the King, England was declared a republic, and, in 1649-50, Cromwell went to take Ireland. The war in Ireland continue until 1653, long after Cromwell moved on to campaign against Scotland, in 1650. His Scottish campaign found success more quickly, and in late 1651, Scotland came under the Commonwealth.
Cromwell returned to London and attempted to convince the Rump Parliament to set election dates and make a number changes to the laws regarding religious practises. In 1653, in frustration, Cromwell cleared Parliament by force, and then again by less dramatic means. Cromwell became Lord Protector for life on 16 December 1653.
His rule increasingly took on the look of a monarchy. He died at Whitehall on 3 September 1658, possibly of malaria, but more likely of septicaemia. His funeral mirrored that of James I, and took place at Westminster Abbey. He was briefly succeeded by his son, Richard.
In 1661, his body was exhumed and he was ritually posthumously executed, hanged in chains at Tyburn, with his head later displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall, where it can be found even now.*
- It remained there until 1685.