The statue of Oliver Cromwell at Westminster Palace.

Placed ceremonially in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster, (better known as the Houses of Parliament) stands a bronze statue to one of the most famous Parliamentarians of them all, Oliver Cromwell. Positioned directly outside the House of Commons the once Lord Protector of England holds a sword in his right hand, a bible in his left and wears the uniform of the Parliamentarian New Model Army which he helped create and train.

He is the man that stood up to King Charles, defended the people against the tyranny of the aristocracy and forged a New England out of the Civil war. However, that’s just one side of the story. Many people have questioned whether he should be there at all. He did, in fact, dissolve parliament when it wouldn’t do what he said, much like the King he deposed, and he was personal involved in what we would now recognise as ethnic cleansing in Ireland. There is also the small matter of his lip service paid to the troop’s representatives at the Putney Debates regarding universal male suffrage when he had absolutely no intention of giving it to anyone who didn’t own land, as he did. If you’d rather have a nice small statue in your home for example an Animal Sculpture then a quick trip to https://www.gillparker might be better than this divisive figure.

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Oliver Cromwell was not a poor man born, although he certainly used and relied on the poorer people of society, in his Parliamentarian army in the Civil War. His family did well out of the reformation, suddenly getting access to monastic land that wasn’t on the market before as the Monks were using it. He was what we would see as being upper Middle class and the Civil war he fought so well has been seen as the emergence of the Middle Class in England a process began with the Black Death. There is very little evidence of what his life was like before he became a Member of Parliament of Huntingdon for Cambridgeshire in 1628. He was very religious, being a Puritan, and following the Bibles word to the letter. He also believed that God was responsible for his many victories. Whilst he was tolerant of the many sects in the Anglican Church he utterly despised Roman Catholicism. He was a Grammar school boy but had to leave University, where he was studying law and returned home to run the Family estate following the death of his Father.

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He remains a controversial figure lauded by many in his own country with some reservations (Churchill saw him as the country’s first military dictator) and hated by an entire Irish nation. The most unparliamentary, parliamentarian of them all.

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