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Oliver Cromwell

(1599-1658), Lord Protector of England

Sitter associated with 224 portraits
A country gentleman who became a soldier, statesman and finally Lord Protector of Great Britain. As MP for Huntingdon and then Cambridge, he was an outspoken critic of Charles I. His military skills and God-fearing tenacity were decisive factors in the Parliamentarian victory in the civil wars, and he was prominent among those who first treated with, and then executed the King in 1649. He achieved military success in Ireland in 1649 - but carried out brutal massacres. He led the New Model Army to victory against the Scots and Charles II in 1651. Emerged as a head of state when the 'Rump' Parliament was dissolved in 1653, and created Lord Protector. He refused the crown in 1657, dying in 1658.

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Oliver Cromwell, by Robert Walker - NPG 536

Oliver Cromwell

by Robert Walker
oil on canvas, circa 1649
On display in Room 5 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 536

Oliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper - NPG 5589

Oliver Cromwell

by Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, 1649
On display in Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5589

Oliver Cromwell ('The Dunbar Medal'), by Thomas Simon - NPG 4365

Oliver Cromwell ('The Dunbar Medal')

by Thomas Simon
silver medal, 1650
On display in the Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4365

Oliver Cromwell, after Thomas Simon - NPG 747

Oliver Cromwell

after Thomas Simon
electrotype of medal, 1885, based on a work of 1650
NPG 747

Oliver Cromwell, after a medal by Thomas Simon - NPG 1486

Oliver Cromwell

after a medal by Thomas Simon
electrotype of medal, 1908, based on a work of circa 1651
NPG 1486

Oliver Cromwell ('The Lord Protector Medal'), by Thomas Simon - NPG 4366

Oliver Cromwell ('The Lord Protector Medal')

by Thomas Simon
silver medal, 1653
On display in the Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4366

Oliver Cromwell, attributed to Samuel Cooper - NPG 5274

Oliver Cromwell

attributed to Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, circa 1655
On display in the Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5274

Oliver Cromwell, by Peter Blondeau, after an original by  Thomas Simon - NPG 4068

Oliver Cromwell

by Peter Blondeau, after an original by Thomas Simon
gold broad, 1656
On display in the Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4068

Oliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper - NPG 3065

Oliver Cromwell

by Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, 1656
On display in the Room 5: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3065

Oliver Cromwell, after Samuel Cooper - NPG 514

Oliver Cromwell

after Samuel Cooper
oil on canvas, feigned oval, based on a work of 1656
NPG 514

Oliver Cromwell, after Samuel Cooper - NPG 588

Oliver Cromwell

after Samuel Cooper
oil on canvas, feigned oval, based on a work of circa 1656
NPG 588

Oliver Cromwell, by Unknown artist - NPG 4025

Oliver Cromwell

by Unknown artist
plaster cast of death-mask, possibly late 17th century
NPG 4025

Oliver Cromwell, after Edward Pearce - NPG 438

Oliver Cromwell

after Edward Pearce
bronze bust, based on a work of 1672
NPG 438

Oliver Cromwell, by Robert Hutchinson, after a drawing attributed to  Samuel Cooper - NPG 2426

Oliver Cromwell

by Robert Hutchinson, after a drawing attributed to Samuel Cooper
chalk and watercolour, 1773
NPG 2426

Oliver Cromwell, by Unknown artist - NPG 3014

Oliver Cromwell

by Unknown artist
plaster cast of death-mask, early 19th century?
NPG 3014

Oliver Cromwell, by Unknown artist - NPG 1665

Oliver Cromwell

by Unknown artist
plaster cast of death-mask
NPG 1665

Oliver Cromwell, by Unknown artist - NPG 1238

Oliver Cromwell

by Unknown artist
plaster cast of mask from bust
NPG 1238

Oliver Cromwell, after a bust by Edward Pearce - NPG 132

Oliver Cromwell

after a bust by Edward Pearce
terracotta bust, 19th century?
NPG 132

Oliver Cromwell, probably after Edward Pearce - NPG 3087

Oliver Cromwell

probably after Edward Pearce
plaster cast of mask
NPG 3087

Oliver Cromwell, by Domenico Brucciani - NPG 1238a

Oliver Cromwell

by Domenico Brucciani
plaster cast of death-mask
NPG 1238a

King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, after Unknown artist - NPG D26365

King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell

after Unknown artist
line engraving, 17th century
NPG D26365

Oliver Cromwell, by Pierre Aubrey - NPG D28662

Oliver Cromwell

by Pierre Aubrey
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28662

Oliver Cromwell, by Pierre Lombart, after  Robert Walker, published by  Thomas Hinde - NPG D28668

Oliver Cromwell

by Pierre Lombart, after Robert Walker, published by Thomas Hinde
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28668

Oliver Cromwell, after Robert Walker - NPG D28673

Oliver Cromwell

after Robert Walker
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28673

Oliver Cromwell, after Unknown artist, published by  Clemendt de Jonghe - NPG D28678

Oliver Cromwell

after Unknown artist, published by Clemendt de Jonghe
etching and line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28678

Oliver Cromwell, after Unknown artist - NPG D28681

Oliver Cromwell

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28681

Oliver Cromwell, by François Mazot - NPG D28694

Oliver Cromwell

by François Mazot
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28694

Oliver Cromwell, after Unknown artist - NPG D28696

Oliver Cromwell

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28696

Oliver Cromwell, by Pierre Lombart, after  Sir Anthony van Dyck - NPG D28705

Oliver Cromwell

by Pierre Lombart, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28705

Oliver Cromwell, after Robert Walker - NPG D28731

Oliver Cromwell

after Robert Walker
line engraving, mid to late 17th century
NPG D28731

Oliver Cromwell, after Robert Walker - NPG D28732

Oliver Cromwell

after Robert Walker
etching, mid 17th century
NPG D28732

Oliver Cromwell, after Robert Walker - NPG D28736

Oliver Cromwell

after Robert Walker
line engraving, mid to late 17th century
NPG D28736

Oliver Cromwell, after Unknown artist - NPG D28738

Oliver Cromwell

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid to late 17th century
NPG D28738

Oliver Cromwell, by François Mazot - NPG D34320

Oliver Cromwell

by François Mazot
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D34320

Oliver Cromwell, by Frederik Bouttats the Younger, after  Robert Walker - NPG D16577

Oliver Cromwell

by Frederik Bouttats the Younger, after Robert Walker
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D16577

Oliver Cromwell, by Frederik Bouttats the Younger, after  Robert Walker - NPG D16572

Oliver Cromwell

by Frederik Bouttats the Younger, after Robert Walker
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D16572

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Laurie Pettitt

15 March 2017, 18:05

The English Civil war, or the Wars of the Three Kingdoms is pretty unique in History.
The 'Losers' got to write the History. The winners were purged from records as far away as Massachusetts. The Guild Book of Berwick Upon Tweed was re-written in 1670 and now there are great chunks missing from it. Letters that you hope you might be able to see in Westminster; gone. The first real investigations into Cromwell were in the 19th Century. Most of the things before that had been written under Patronage and the Patrons had Patrons who would determine what could be written.
I'm adding this because every story you read or hear needs careful investigation. Even now, stories which have been regarded as History are being found to be untrue. So I say to you: "Now go away and proves me wrong (PLEASE)..

Laurie Pettitt

3 March 2017, 20:35

Brutality was the order of the day for all Armies in the World in the 17th Century.
Cromwell was born into the World of the 'Star Chamber' in England (Archbishop Laud ran it and got rather good at extracting truths) and the Inquisition in most parts of Europe. His counterpart and one time Ally in Scotland, Sir David Leslie had been told by the Clergy that 'It was acceptable to offer terms, accept surrender, disarm the enemy and slaughter them' (Buchan's 'Montrose).
What might have happened if Drogheda or Wexford had accepted the original terms.
The Garrison to march away. The Citizen's property saved from Plunder. Priests could march out with the Army but not tolerated in the Towns. Why? They were the cheerleaders, edging people on to further cruelty. Edingurgh Castle succumbed to terms. Garrison and people allowed to walk away. Property within the castle to remain the property of the original owners. (24th December 1650). Cromwell was an honourable man. His first orders to George Monck in Edinburgh were "Restore Order. Get people back into the Churches. Get people trading freely." Governor Simnett of Wexford thought himself a 'wag' when he handed Cromwell a list of demands and it cost him dearly.
So.... What did Cromwell do for us? There was a thing called The Instrument of State, described by Thomas Wentworth as an Arch. There were the Commons, (1 pillar) The lords, Pillar 2 and the King holding the two pillars together. The Rebublicans wanted the arch to be demolished. The Commons of 1653 wanted total power. No balancing 'Lords or Council of State' No king or Ruler. Then, to be the sole judiciary in the Land. Control of the Courts, the Army and Navy and all legislation.
People say that Cromwell's action in throwing those people out was 'Undemocratic.
Cromwell's enemy, Edward Hyde, the Earl of Clarendon said thyat if Cromwell had not done what he did, it would have taken ten times the blood to remove them than it did the King.
A few things that any of 'Their Majesties might consider'.
1: Cromwell kept the constitutional instrument of state together.
2: Cromwell and Ireton dealt honestly with the King until he proved too perfidious.
3: In his power, Cromwell could have reached out and purged the house of Stuart but he didn't.
4: Cromwell's secret weapon, George Monck. When things started to fall apart in England, from an inpenetrable base in Scotland, Monck marched down to London and did what Cromwell ordered. Restore Order.
So much has been written about Cromwell, much of it based on stories told in the two hundred years after his death. If you were writing under Patronage, you wrote what the Patron wanted to hear. Even now, new History is replacing old Stories and how the purveyors of those old Stories, who have based their Careers on the stories, kick up a fuss.

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