Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military
Military history of the United Kingdom
The military history of the United Kingdom covers the period from the creation of the united Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, with the political union of England and Scotland, to the present day....

 and political
Politics of England
The Politics of England forms the major part of the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with England being more populus than all the other countries of the United Kingdom put together. As England is also the largest in terms of area and GDP, its relationship to the UK is somewhat different from...

 leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, and served as Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Cromwell was one of the commanders of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 which defeated the royalists
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. After the execution of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.

Cromwell was born into the ranks of the middle gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

, and remained relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life.

1649    Siege of Drogheda ends: Oliver Cromwell's English Parliamentarian troops take the town and execute its garrison.

1649    Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.

1649    New Ross town, Co. Wexford, Ireland, surrenders to Oliver Cromwell.

1650    Third English Civil War: in the Battle of Dunbar, English Parliamentarian forces lead by Oliver Cromwell defeat an army loyal to King Charles II of England and lead by David Leslie, Lord Newark.

1653    Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.

1661    Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England is ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.


I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that you call a Gentleman and is nothing else.

Letter to Sir William Spring, 1st Baronet|Sir William Spring (September 1643)

A few honest men are better than numbers.

Letter to Sir William Spring (September 1643)

The State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions. If they be willing faithfully to serve it, that satisfies.

Statement before the battle of Battle of Marston Moor|Marston Moor (2 July 1644)

God made them as stubble to our swords.

Letter to Colonel Valentine Walton (5 July 1644)

Truly England and the church of God hath had a great favour from the Lord, in this great victory given us.

Letter to Colonel Valentine Walton (5 July 1644)

We study the glory of God, and the honour and liberty of parliament, for which we unanimously fight, without seeking our own interests... I profess I could never satisfy myself on the justness of this war, but from the authority of the parliament to maintain itself in its rights; and in this cause I hope to prove myself an honest man and single-hearted.

Statement to Colonel Valentine Walton, 5 or 6 September 1644

I could not riding out alone about my business, but smile out to God in praises, in assurance of victory because God would, by things that are not, bring to naught things that are.

Before the Battle of Battle of Naseby|Naseby (14 June 1645)

This is our comfort, God is in heaven, and He doth what pleaseth Him; His, and only His counsel shall stand, whatsoever the designs of men, and the fury of the people be.

Letter to Sir Thomas Fairfax (21 December 1646)