During his early married life, Cromwell, like his father, was profoundly conscious of his responsibilities to his fellow men and concerned himself with affairs in his native Fenland , but he was also the victim of a spiritual and psychological struggle that perplexed his mind and damaged his health. He does not appear to have experienced conversion until he was nearly 30; later he described to a cousin how he had emerged from darkness into light. In his 30s Cromwell sold his freehold land and became a tenant on the estate of Henry Lawrence at St. Ives in Cambridgeshire.
Lawrence was planning at that time to emigrate to New England , and Cromwell was almost certainly planning to accompany him, but the plan failed. He had strong links with Puritan groups in London and Essex , and there is some evidence that he attended, and perhaps preached at, an underground conventicle. He believed that the individual Christian could establish direct contact with God through prayer and that the principal duty of the clergy was to inspire the laity by preaching.
He criticized the bishop in the House of Commons and was appointed a member of a committee to investigate other complaints against him. Cromwell, in fact, distrusted the whole hierarchy of the Church of England , though he was never opposed to a state church. He therefore advocated abolishing the institution of the episcopate and the banning of a set ritual as prescribed in The Book of Common Prayer. He believed that Christian congregations ought to be allowed to choose their own ministers, who should serve them by preaching and extemporaneous prayer.
In Parliament he bolstered his reputation as a religious hothead by promoting radical reform. Oliver Cromwell , born April 25, , Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire , England—died September 3, , London , English soldier and statesman, who led parliamentary forces in the English Civil Wars and was lord protector of England , Scotland , and Ireland —58 during the republican Commonwealth.
In religious matters, Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan , believed that individual Christians could establish direct contact with God through prayer and that congregations should choose their own ministers, whose principal duty was to inspire the laity by preaching. He distrusted the Church of England hierarchy and advocated abolishing the episcopate but was never opposed to a state church. Having restored political stability after the English Civil Wars , he contributed to the evolution of constitutional government and religious toleration.
A man of outstanding gifts and forceful character, he was one of the most remarkable rulers in modern European history. Although a convinced Calvinist , he believed deeply in the value of religious toleration. Robert Cromwell died when his son was 18, but his widow lived to the age of Oliver went to the local grammar school and then for a year attended Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
By her he was to have five sons and four daughters. During his early married life, Cromwell, like his father, was profoundly conscious of his responsibilities to his fellow men and concerned himself with affairs in his native Fenland , but he was also the victim of a spiritual and psychological struggle that perplexed his mind and damaged his health. He does not appear to have experienced conversion until he was nearly 30; later he described to a cousin how he had emerged from darkness into light. In his 30s Cromwell sold his freehold land and became a tenant on the estate of Henry Lawrence at St.
Ives in Cambridgeshire.
Richard and his new wife lived with his in-laws at their seat at Hursley, not far from Winchester, and Richard became a Hampshire country gentleman, serving with his father-in-law as a JP for the county. Over the next ten years he and Dorothy had nine children, only four of whom survived into adulthood. While he had not been seen as a likely successor to his father under the elective Protectorship established by the Instrument of Government of December , the revised constitution of summer empowered and required Oliver Cromwell to nominate his successor and eyes began to turn to Richard.
During the last year of his life, Oliver did deliberately promote his eldest son, appointing Richard colonel of a Horse regiment, a member of the Council of State and a member of the newly-created second parliamentary House; he also resigned his position as Chancellor of Oxford in favour of Richard. Although doubts have been cast on the precise circumstances and sequence of events, it seems likely that during the last days of his life, Oliver did nominate Richard as his successor, orally if not in writing.
In practice, Richard succeeded his father as Lord Protector in September smoothly and without serious opposition. As Protector, Richard proved himself to be diligent and hard-working, capable of clear and effective speeches, and he was able for a time to charm and to defuse potential opponents. He waged a running battle to retain the command and loyalty of the army and in spring he went too far in allowing or supporting the anti-army elements within his single Protectorate Parliament to seek to reduce the size and independence of the army.
He was unable to survive the military backlash and in what was in effect a military coup, the army leaders first forced him to dissolve his Protectorate parliament on 22 April and then in early May recalled the Rump parliament in place of the Protectorate. Richard remained in powerless limbo at Whitehall for a few weeks, until, bowing to reality, he wrote or at least signed a letter dated 25 May, resigning his Protectorship. Even after he had resigned in May , he lingered at Whitehall and Hampton Court for a further month or so, before quitting London and returning to Hursley with his wife and children.
Fearing harassment from creditors — he was heavily in debt — as much as from the returning Stuart regime, in July he took boat from the south coast and crossed to the Continent.
For twenty years he lived a solitary and quiet life on the Continent, mainly in and around Paris, but also perhaps including spells in Spain, Italy or Switzerland. In or he did at last quietly return to England, living inconspicuously and under a variety of assumed names not at Hursley though he visited his old home from time to time but as a lodger in various other houses, particularly with the Pengelly family.
He lived with the Pengellies at Finchley until and then moved with them to Cheshunt in Hertfordshire. In , following the death without children the previous year of his only son, he was involved in a legal struggle with his surviving daughters for control of the Hursley estate. He emerged victorious, but continued to reside not at Hursley itself but as a lodger at Cheshunt and there, in July , he died.
His body was returned to Hursley church for burial beside his wife. Henry played a prominent and recorded role in a skirmish at Appleby in July and probably fought at Preston the following month. In late he was promoted to colonel and given command of his own Horse regiment, which campaigned extensively in southern and western Ireland from February Henry returned to England late in or early in In May he married at Kensington church Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Francis Russell, a friend and comrade in arms of Oliver Cromwell and his successor as governor of Ely.
Between and the couple had seven children, all but one of whom survived into adulthood. In Henry was one of the representatives of Ireland in the Nominated Assembly and he played an active role in that body. In March , soon after his father became Lord Protector, Henry was dispatched on a brief mission back to Ireland, to gauge and report on the loyalty of the English army stationed there.
He represented Cambridge University in the first Protectorate Parliament of and again appears to have been quite active in the House.
Early in , on the advice of the Protectoral Council, the Protector appointed Henry a member of the Irish Council of State and commander in chief of the English army in Ireland. He and his family landed in Dublin in July and in September he effectively became chief administrator of Ireland in succession to Lord Deputy Charles Fleetwood, who returned to London. From then until spring he was permanently based in Ireland, living in or on the outskirts of Dublin, though undertaking a tour of inspection around the provinces each year in late summer.
Both on paper and to some extent in practice, Henry exercised only limited power in Ireland until , for he had to consult and defer to Fleetwood, who although now absent in London remained Lord Deputy of Ireland. He provided a period of stability, during which there were signs of economic and commercial recovery, and he strove to win support for the Protectoral regime amongst the entire Protestant community in Ireland, even those who had supported the king.
It was with the intention of making the new Parliament in effect yet another and concluding session of the previous one that the King caused the writs to be accompanied by a request for the re-election of the same Members; the device had been used once before in the reign, in respect of the Parliament of There is something submissive in his attitude: the son of a powerful man with a certain weight of expectation resting on young shoulders. The Act changing the custom of gavelkind in Kent 31 Hen. When in power, Cromwell granted far greater liberty to Anglicans than the revengeful Anglicans of the Restoration were disposed to admit Google Scholar. Cromwell followed a business career in London, dealing in cloth and lending money, but he also picked up enough law to establish the successful practice which is first glimpsed about His policy consisted in making a reality of some large and vague claims to supreme power that Henry had uttered at intervals.
After a long and difficult struggle, he broke the hold which the Baptists had gained amongst the English army and garrisons in Ireland, for he rightly suspected that Baptism encouraged, and served as a cover for, republicanism and disaffection towards the Protectoral regime and was thus a political threat. He re-established the traditional central and regional judicial systems in Ireland, restored civilian urban administrations under new town charters, sought to establish a new church organisation in Ireland based upon broadly Presbyterian lines — though this plan had not got very far by spring — and tried to improve the financial and material standing of the Protestant church in Ireland.
Cromwell's Own - Kindle edition by Arthur Paterson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks. Excerpt from Cromwell's Own: A Story of the Great Civil War What can I say? How can I write it down? He cried aloud, dashing his pen on the table with a splutter.