Oliver Cromwell

Military Commander

1599 – 1658

35

Who was Oliver Cromwell?

Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Born into the middle gentry, Cromwell was relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. After undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630s, he became an independent puritan, taking a generally tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of his period. An intensely religious man—a self-styled Puritan Moses—he fervently believed that God was guiding his victories. He was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short and Long Parliaments. He entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides", he was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to become one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army, playing an important role in the defeat of the royalist forces.

Cromwell was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649, and, as a member of the Rump Parliament, he dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England. He was selected to take command of the English campaign in Ireland in 1649–50. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the countrybringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars. During this period a series of Penal Laws were passed against Roman Catholics, and a substantial amount of their land was confiscated. Cromwell also led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651.

Famous Quotes:

  • The State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions. If they be willing faithfully to serve it, that satisfies.
  • Necessity has no law.
  • He [Oliver Cromwell] in a furious manner, bid the Speaker leave his chair; told the house That they had sat long enough, unless they had done more good; and that it was not fit they should sit as a parliament any longer, and desired them to go away.
  • He who stops being better stops being good.
  • Do not trust to the cheering, for those persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.
  • Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
  • A few honest men are better than numbers.
  • I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a Gentle-man and is nothing else.
  • Make the iron hot by striking it.
  • You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

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Born
Apr 25, 1599
Huntingdon
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Puritan
Nationality
  • Kingdom of England
  • The Protectorate
Profession
Education
  • Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
  • University of Cambridge
  • Hinchingbrooke School
Employment
  • University of Oxford
Died
Sep 3, 1658
Whitehall

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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