Oliver Cromwell’s reputation finds itself among the more ignoble characters of history. He is bereft of anyone willing to defend his reputation and the legacy which he bestowed on England, Scotland and Ireland.
Rightly so, one might say. Aside from his near permanent ruining of Anglo-Irish relations he has gone down in history as a religious fanatic, Protestant bigot, racist and English imperialist. Incidentally, Oliver and his son Richard have been the only heads of state of England, Scotland and Wales who have not been of Royal blood.
The Civil War period is extremely complicated and rarely understood. The tumultuous events of this era greatly reduced the power of the monarchy and laid firm foundations for the constitutional monarchy that would be established with the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.
In this painting of 1851 by Charles Landseer, we find Cromwell at the Battle of Naseby in 1645. A decisive victory for Parliament over the Royal army commanded by Charles I and Prince Rupert of the Rhine.