Since Oliver Cromwell's death as Lord Protector in 1658 his life, ambitions, motives and actions have been the subject of scholarly investigation and intense, often vitriolic, debate. Whatever position is taken on Cromwell, "Chief of Men"; or "Brave Bad Man", his importance as a key figure in one of the most troubled periods of British history is unassailable.
Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon, England on April 25th 1599. He attended Huntingdon Grammar School, now the Cromwell Museum.
Cromwell enters Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge - a college with strong Puritan ethos - to study Law. After the death of his father in June 1617 he leaves college, without taking his degree, to support his family.
Cromwell becomes the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628. In 1629 Parliament is dissolved by Charles I.
Charles I reconvenes Parliament. Cromwell is returned as Member of Parliament for Cambridge.
Cromwell raises troops for Parliament.
Cromwell becomes Colonel in the Eastern Association.
Cromwell is made Lieutenant-General of the Eastern Association Army - Battle of Marston Moor, 2 July - Battle of Newbury, 27 October
Cromwell promoted to Lieutenant-General of New Model Army - Battle of Naseby, 14 June
Supports Parliamentary Army in clashes with Parliament.
Crushes royalist rising in South Wales - Battle of Preston, 18 August
Supports trial and execution of King Charles I, January - Commands army sent to crush Ireland, August
Commands army sent to crush Scotland, July - Battle of Dunbar, 3 September
Battle of Worcester, 3 September
Cromwell dissolves Parliament, 20 April - Cromwell becomes Lord Protector
Meets first Protectorate Parliament, September
System of Major-Generals established, October
Meets second Protectorate Parliament
Rejects Parliament's offer of the crown and remains Lord Protector, March to June
Cromwell dies at Whitehall, 3 September
The website of the Association has a wide range of information and resources about Oliver Cromwell for you to investigate.
Have you ever wondered what links there may be between a particular place and Oliver Cromwell? Most of those questions can be answered by referring to The Cromwellian Gazetteer by Peter Gaunt, published over thirty years ago, and now out of print. The digitised text has now been made available here – along with all of the maps and itineraries that make it such a useful volume, so you can download the relevant section, or the whole book, and take it with you on a mobile device when out exploring.
For the first time the archive of our journal, Cromwelliana, can be read here and is worth exploring; an index of all articles is being prepared and will be added to the site soon. The most recent two editions are available to members in the Member’s area of the site.
Our material for schools and teachers is now all freely available, including a number of audio files of historians talking about key issues of the period. We are also offering free membership to schools for the current year. Find out more here.
The Association invites you to find out more about Cromwell, and to form your own opinion of this most controversial of characters. If you would like to develop your understanding of him more then why not join the Association, receive our regular mailings and participate in our events?
Please bookmark this page and return to it soon to see what else has been added.
To contact the Association email The Cromwell Association.