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, Cromwell was an outspoken critic of King 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, where he carried out brutal massacres. He led the New Model Army to victory against the Scots and the future King Charles II in 1651. Emerging as a head of state when the 'Rump' Parliament was dissolved in 1653, he was created Lord Protector. During this time, he pursued an aggressive anti-Spanish foreign policy, failing to take Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) but succeeding in taking Jamaica from Spain. This would become the foremost of Britain’s slave colonies. Cromwell refused the crown in 1657, dying in 1658.
Watch a film clip on the sitter in the Media section below
- Elizabeth Claypole (née Cromwell) (daughter)
- Elizabeth Cromwell (née Steward) (mother)
- Elizabeth Cromwell (née Bourchier) (wife)
- Henry Cromwell (son)
- Richard Cromwell (son)
- Robert Cromwell (father)
- Mary (née Cromwell), Countess Fauconberg (daughter)
- Bridget Fleetwood (née Cromwell) (daughter)
- Frances Russell (née Cromwell), Lady Russell (daughter)
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.