Born on 25th April1599 in Huntingdon, Olive Cromwell was a son to Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward on of the wealthiest and influential family. He attended a free school sponsored by St. John hospital. In 1616, he joined Sidney college-Cambridge but his career terminated at the death of his father in 1617(Cromwell 15). Cromwell returned home to take care of his widowed mother and siblings while managing the family inheritance. He married Elizabeth Bouurchier in 1598 and blessed with nine children. Before 1640, his major source of income was from rents collection and farming activities.
In 1628, Cromwell connection with Puritans made him nominated as a member of parliament for Cambridge. As a strong opposition leader, his passion and sincerity gained him a reputation. Cromwell led a volunteer military action against the king’s decree to revoke Cambridge colleges’ silver plate. He led the 1648-1649 winters ‘revolution that led to the king’s execution and the abolitions of the monarch and House of Lords system (Cromwell 23). At the kings execution, the republican was given the title’ the commonwealth’ of England where Cromwell was council member. He became the lord protector through a new written constitution in 1653 until his death. This power made him a protectorate with power on both parliaments to call them to a session and dissolve them. During his tenure, he advocated and put in place laws in favor of Christianity and morality and won social-political elites. He was against Angio-Dutch war. From a practice and his title, ‘your Highness’ Cromwell can be considered more of a king but in a different title (Cromwell 27).
As a soldier
At age of 42, Cromwell became a captain of the parliamentary army and a year later headed a Calvary regiment successive sieges and battles. As a captain,he successfully led to secure East Angia, East-Midland and Marston Moor against royalist. In 1645, Cromwell appointed second in demand and commander in chief in control of all parliamentary forces. As a soldier, Cromwell had great achievement despite having no prior military experience (Cromwell 26). His achievements are because of his devotion to discipline, morality and his spiritual beliefs he imposed on his subject.
Cromwell life was in line with puritan faith and religious teachings. This came due in 1626 when he was converted. While as a commander he installed emphasized on godly characters in his juniors soldiers and attributed every success to God. As a protectorate and magistrate, he emphasized on dignity and preached against alcohol. Cromwell stood for reformation in the church common decorations ceremonies and rituals. He publically denounced the bishops and kings authority over religious affairs. He further allowed Jewish to re-settle in England in the year1656 in what he termed as a religious freedom. Many scholars have criticized Cromwell resettlement of Jews in Britain as a man with hopes of” New Jerusalem” in Britain (Though he was seen sympathetic to the poor from the king’s action, his regime proved controversial to what he was fighting for prior to the king's execution. His religious faith laid the foundation of democracy in the parliament (Cromwell 33).
Death and the aftermath
Oliver Cromwell suffered from malaria and kidney infection that led to his death. A report from a Venetian physician and diplomat indicates that his personal physician mismanaged the infection, and this led to a quick prognosis resulting to his death in 3rd September 1658 (Cromwell 53). This cause of death is still controversial as other scholars beliefs he was poisoned. Cromwell hypocrisy has been criticized defended by many scholars for years. His remain was exhumed subjected to posthumous execution-the same death king Charles I was executed- hung, his body thrown it unknown pit while he was used as exhibition for years.
Despite having grate accomplishments, Olive Cromwell’s intention and ambition are controversial. The use of religion and faith as a way of executing his ambitions has not been demystified. Ultimately, Cromwell remains to be a both a hero and a betrayer.
Cromwell, Oliver, Wilbur C. Abbott, Madeleine R. Gleason, and Catherine D. Crane. The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell: Vol.4. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988. Print.
Cromwell, Oliver, Thomas Carlyle, and Edgar Sanderson. Carlyle's Oliver Cromwell: With a Selection from His Letters and Speeches. London: Hutchinson, 1905. Print.
Cromwell, Oliver, Thomas Carlyle, S C. Lomas, and C H. Firth. The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell. London: Methuen & Co, 1904. Print.
Cromwell, Oliver. The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell: The Commonwealth 1649-1653. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr, 1939. Print.
Cromwell, Oliver. The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell: The Protectorate, 1655-1658. New York, NY: Russel & Russel, 1970. Print.