Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon, England, on 25 April 1599. He was the son of Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward. Cromwell had a long and successful military career as a Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, which began in 1628. He also served as a member of the Rump Parliament during the English Civil War and became Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658. The following are facts about Oliver Cromwell:
Facts about Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell was born into a family whose generations had lived in Huntingdon for centuries. His family can be traced back to 14th-century Anglo-Saxon settlers from Gloucestershire. Cromwell’s ancestry can be traced back to Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister, and ultimately to Charlemagne.
2. He worked as a farmer before he became an MP
Cromwell was born into a middle-class family as the third of ten children. After his father died when he was nine years old, he went to live with his uncle, where he worked as a farmer until his uncle died at the age of 46 in 1617 when Cromwell was 18 years old. He was sent back home to his mother, who had remarried, but returned to live with his neighbors soon after.
3. He was a member of the long parliament that initially protested against King Charles I’s policy on ship money
When he was 24 years old Cromwell became a member of the Long Parliament in 1640, which ultimately voted Charles I out of power and led to the creation of the Commonwealth in 1649 under Oliver Cromwell’s leadership. The parliament (also called “the Long Parliament”) initially intended to remove powers from Charles I and then negotiate with him but they were unsuccessful when Charles entered into an alliance with Scots Presbyterian nobles in 1643. The Long Parliament accused the king of violating the Bill of Rights, which forbade him from spending money without authorization. This led to a split with Charles’s supporters and in 1644 he was forced to summon another parliament.
4. He was made lord protector after the Battle of Naseby
After a long struggle between Charles and the Long Parliament, during which there were several decisive battles such as Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645), the army that supported Charles finally won at Naseby in 1645. This led to Charles’s capture, which prompted the Long Parliament to declare England a republic. It was Cromwell’s troops that won the critical Battle of Naseby, which led to his appointment as Lord Protector for life in 1653.
5. His horse was named Roan Beauty
Cromwell was famous for his military success, especially at the battles of Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645). He was known for his bravery and his stern discipline with soldiers. One of Cromwell’s most famous victories came at Dunbar in Scotland, where he defeated General David Leslie and forced him to retreat after besieging Edinburgh. Cromwell was able to take the town and sack it. He also later captured Carlisle.
6. Cromwell was a military commander
Cromwell led the English Parliament’s troops to victory in the English Civil War, bringing about King Charles I’s execution. He helped England become a republic, which was called the commonwealth’ and ruled by a Lord Protector.
7. When civil war broke out, he had little military experience
Cromwell was born into a middle class family, and his military success as Lord Protector was largely due to several massive defeats by Charles I. Cromwell had little experience as a soldier and was most successful at Battle of Marston Moor because he was able to recruit soldiers from other countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland.
8. He introduced a number of reforms after the civil war
Cromwell’s government introduced legislation called the Roundheads’ laws, which were used to prosecute Charles I’s supporters and royalists, including those who had helped finance his army. Many of his revolutionary policies faced opposition from the Long Parliament but he did win many victories in fighting against royalists during the civil war. He allowed Jews back into England in 1657, which had previously been prohibited under the reign of Edward I and II. He also defeated the Spanish at sea in 1658.
9. He is buried at Westminster Abbey in London
Cromwell was buried at Westminster Abbey in London beside Henry VII’s Chapel when he died on 3 September 1658. His florid tomb was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who built St Paul’s Cathedral and served as a physician as well as an architect. It is surrounded by a raised balustrade with four Corinthian columns topped by an urn and was one of the last tombs to be placed there until 1852.
10. He was the most important politician in UK before WWI
Cromwell’s policies during the civil war were some of the most important that affected Britain’s history. His government introduced the Roundheads’ laws to prosecute Charles I’s supporters and royalists. His victory over William of Orange at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 helped bring about a permanent peace with Spain and led to the Treaty of Madrid in 1654, which ended several wars in Europe by allowing Spain to fight against France on land while England continued to fight on sea.
Cromwell’s achievement in the history of Britain was far greater than that of his contemporary, Thomas Fairfax. He is an important figure during the Glorious Revolution and played a key role in the creation of Parliament and Commonwealth. After he died, Oliver Cromwell was succeeded by Robert Walpole as First Lord of the Treasury, William III became King, and then by George III. Cromwell’s revolutionary policies faced much opposition after he died but led to enduring reforms such as allowing Jews back into England.