Letters and Speeches

The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell by Thomas Carlyle complete text

The Letters and speeches of Oliver Cromwell by Thomas Carlyle (title page to 1904 edition edited by S C Lomas). Click to view complete text.

The collected letters and speeches of Oliver Cromwell have appeared in many different editions and versions since they were first published in 1845 by Thomas Carlyle. Carlyle’s fascination with Cromwell grew out of his interest in the concept of heroes and hero worship and he set out in the early 1840s to write a biography of Cromwell. The challenge proved too great and he deliberately destroyed his manuscript. He decided that the best alternative was to produce an edition of Cromwell’s own words and that is what he produced.

There are a total of 205 letters and 19 speeches reproduced here.

The work very quickly went through three editions. It proved to be very popular and helped to shape the image and profile of Cromwell in the second half of the 19th century. The work was to a large extent replaced as a source in 1937 by William Cortez Abbott’s edition of the Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell but Abbott lacked by his own admission Carlyle’s ‘arresting style’ in the linking narrative text and interpretation.

A new scholarly edition of the letters and speeches is now in course of preparation by a team of leading academic experts and will be published in due course and will set a new benchmark for textual accuracy. In the meantime the letters and speeches available here, taken from the 2nd edition of Carlyle of 1846 and initially transcribed by Cambridgeshire Software House in 1999, provide a flavour of Oliver Cromwell’s own words.

The Cromwell Museum and the Cromwell Association are grateful to CSH for permission to use their transcriptions.

Letters of Oliver Cromwell 1635 to 1657
Letter
No.
Date Recipient
1 11th January 1635 Mr Storie
2 13th October 1638 Cousin
3 February 1640 Mr Willingham
4 23rd January 1642 Mr Barnard
5 23rd March 1642 Mayor of Colchester
6 10th January 1643 Mr Hitch
7 10th March 1643 Mr Hitch & Major Gen Crawford
8 10th April 1643 Sir John Burgoyne
9 17th April 1643 Robert Barnard
10 3rd May 1643 Committee at Lincoln
11 13th May 1643 Grantham
12 28th May 1643 Mayor of Colchester
13 31st July 1643 Committee of the Association
14 5th August 1643 from Francis Willoughby
15 6th August 1643 Committee of the Association
16 11th September 1643 Boston
17 5th July 1644 Valentine Walton
18 1st September 1644 Committee for Isle of Ely
19 5th/6th September 1644 Colonel Valentine Walton
20 9th April 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax
21 25th April 1645 Committee of Both Kingdoms
22 29th April 1645 Governor of the Garrison in Farringdon
23 4th June 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax
24 14th June 1645 William Lenthall
25 4th august 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax
26 14th September 1645 Honourable William Lenthall
27 6th October 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax
28 14th October 1645 Honourable William Lenthall
29 14th October 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax
30 17th October 1645 Honourable William Lenthall
31 11th March 1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax
32 19th March 1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax
33 27th July 1646 Thomas Knyvett
34 31st July 1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax
35 10th August 1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax
36 26th August 1646 John Rushworth
37 6th October 1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax
38 25th October 1646 Bridget Ireton
39 21st December 1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax
40 3rd January 1647 Colonel Robert Hammond
41 25th February 1647 Colonel Richard Norton
42 7th March 1647 Sir Thomas Fairfax
43 10th June 1647 Lord Mayor of Royston
44 1st September 1647 Lord of York
45 14th September 1647 Colonel Jones
46 13th October 1647 Sir Thomas Fairfax
47 22nd October 1647 Sir Thomas Fairfax
48 11th November 1647 William Lenthall
49 November 1647 Colonel Whalley
50 1st February 1648 Mr Robinson
51 12th February 1648 Richard Mayor
52 26th February 1648 Richard Mayor
53 8th March 1648 Richard Mayor
54 14th March 1648 Dr Love
55 14th March 1648 to Richard Mayor
56 28th March 1648 Richard Norton
57 3rd April 1648 Richard Norton
58 6th April 1648 Colonel Hammond
59 18th April 1648 Colonel Kenrick
60 14th June 1648 William Lenthall
61 17th June 1648 Major Thomas Saunders
62 28th June 1648 Lord Fairfax
63 11th July 1648 William Lenthall
64 17th August 1648 Honourable Committee of Lancashire
65 20th August 1648 William Lenthall
66 20th August 1648 Committee at York
67 23rd August 1648 Committee at York
68 1st September 1648 Oliver St John
69 2nd September 1648 Lord Wharton
70 11th September 1648 Lord Fairfax
71 15th September 1648 Governor of Berwick
72 16th September 1648 Lord Marquis of Argyle
73 16th September 1648 Committee of Estates for the Kingdom of Scotland
74 18th September 1648 Earl of Loudon
75 21st September 1648 Committee of Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland
76 2nd October 1648 William Lenthall
77 2nd October 1648 Lord Fairfax
78 5th October 1648 Committee of Estates for the Kingdom of Scotland
79 8th October 1648 William Lenthall
80 9th October 1648 William Lenthall
81 9th November 1648 Governor of Pontefract Castle
82 15th November 1648 Committee of Lords and Commons sitting at Derby House
83 20th November 1648 Robert Jenner and John Ashe
84 20th November 1648 Lord General Fairfax
85 25th November 1648 Thomas St Nicholas
86 25th November 1648 Colonel Robert Hammond
87 18th December 1648 Master and fellows of Trinity Hall in Cambridge
88 1st January 1649 Lord Wharton
89 15th February 1649 William Lenthall
90 24th February 1649 Governor of Cahir Castle
91 5th March 1649 John Bradshaw
92 22nd March 1649 Governor of Kilkenny
93 25th March 1649 Richard Mayor
94 30th March 1649 Richard Mayor
95 6th April 1649 Richard Mayor
96 15 April 1649 Richard Mayor
97 15th April 1649 Richard Mayor
98 9th July 1649 Sir James Harrington
99 10th July 1649 William Lenthall
100 19th July 1649 Richard Mayor
101 13th August 1649 Richard Mayor
102 13th August 1649 Dorothy Cromwell
103 22nd August 1649 William Lenthall
104 12th September 1649 Chief Officer commanding in Dundalk
105 16th September 1649 John Bradshaw
106 17th September 1649 William Lenthall
107 27th September 1649 William Lenthall
108 14th October 1649 William Lenthall
109 17th October 1649 Commander in Chief of Ross
110 19th October 1649 Governor of Ross
111 25th October 1649 William Lenthall
112 13th November 1649 Richard Mayor
113 14th November 1649 Thomas Scott
114 14th November 1649 William Lenthall
115 November 1649 William Lenthall
116 19th December 1649 William Lenthall
117 17th January 1650 David Lesley
118 17th January 1650 Committee of Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland
119 4th February 1650 Committee of the Army
120 14th February 1650 Dr Greenwood
121 11th March 1650 William Lenthall
122 24th March 1650 Lord President of the Council of State
123 2nd April 1650 William Lenthall
124 2nd April 1650 Richard Mayor
125 2nd April 1650 Richard Cromwell
126 20th June 1650 William Lenthall
127 17th July 1650 Richard Mayor
128 30th July 1650 Lord President of the Council of State
129 3rd August 1650 General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland
130 14th August 1650 David Lesley
131 30th August 1650 Council of State in Whitehall
132 2nd September 1650 Sir Arthur Haselrig
133 4th September 1650 William Lenthall
134 4th September 1650 Sir Arthur Haselrig
135 4th September 1650 Lord President of the Council of State
136 4th September 1650 Elizabeth Cromwell
137 4th September 1650 Richard Mayor
138 4th September 1650 Henry Ireton
139 4th September 1650 Lord Wharton
140 9th September 1650 Governor of the Castle of Edinburgh
141 12th September 1650 Governor of Edinburgh Castle
142 25th September 1650 Lord President of the Council of State
143 9th October 1650 Committee of Estates of Scotland
144 25th October 1650 Colonel Strahan
145 18th November 1650 Governor of Borthwick Castle
146 4th December 1650 William Lenthall
147 12th December 1650 Governor of Edinburgh Castle
148 12th December 1650 Governor of the Castle of Edinburgh
149 12th December 1650 Governor of the Castle of Edinburgh
150 13th December 1650 Governor of Edinburgh Castle
151 14th December 1650 Governor of Edinburgh Castle
152 18th December 1650 Governor of Edinburgh Castle
153 24th December 1650 William Lenthall
154 25th December 1650 Colonel Hacker
155 27th December 1650 Elizabeth Cromwell to her Husband the Lord General at Edinburgh
156 12th April 1651 Elizabeth Cromwell
157 12th April 1651 Archibald Johnston
158 3rd May 1651 Elizabeth Cromwell
159 3rd June 1651 Lord President of the Council of State
160 21st July 1651 William Lenthall
161 24th July 1651 Lord President of the Council of State
162 26th July 1651 Lord President of the Council of State
163 28th July 1651 Richard Mayor
164 29th July 1651 William Lenthall
165 4th august 1651 William Lenthall
166 27th August 1651 Lord Wharton
167 3rd September 1651 William Lenthall
168 4th September 1651 William Lenthall
169 2nd October 1651 Pastor in Boston New England
170 30th July 1652 Mr Hungerford
171 10th December 1652 Anthony Hungerford
172 1652 Lieutenant General Fleetwood
173 23rd April 1653 Mr Parker
174 22nd August 1653 Lieutenant General Fleetwood
175 October 1653 Committee Regulating Customs
176 16th November 1653 Henry Weston
177 4th May 1654 Richard Mayor
178 16th May 1654 Lord Fleetwood
179 16th May 1654 Colonel Alured
180 5th July 1654 Sir Thomas Rymer
181 12th January 1654 Richard Bennet
182 20th January 1654 Captain Unton Crook
183 13th June 1655 General Blake
184 22nd June 1655 Lord Fleetwood
185 28th July 1655 Mr Thurloe
186 30th July 1655 General of the Fleet
187 13th September 1655 General Blake
188 26th September 1655 Commissioners of Maryland
189 October 1655 Vice Admiral Goodson
190 October 1655 Daniel Serle Governor Barbados
191 21st November 1655 Henry Cromwell
192 28th April 1656 Generals Blake and Montague
193 6th May 1656 Generals Blake and Montague
194 9th May 1656 Committee of City of London for Gresham College
195 29th May 1656 Richard Cromwell
196 26th August 1656 Henry Cromwell
197 28th August 1656 Generals Blake and Montague
198 18th December 1656 Mayor of Newcastle
199 26th December 1656 Cardinal Mazarin
200 10th June 1657 General Blake
201 11th August 1657 General Montague
202 27th August 1657 John Dunch
203 30th August 1657 General Montague
204 31st August 1657 Sir William Lockhart
205 Not known Louis King of France

Speeches of Oliver Cromwell 1653 - 1657
Speech No. Date
1 14th July 1653
2 22nd January 1654
3 22nd January 1654
4 4th September 1654
5 12th September 1654
6 23rd January 1656
7 17th September 1656
8 20th January 1657
9 25th January 1657
10 4th February 1657
11 31st March 1657
12 3rd April 1657
13 8th April 1657
14 11th April 1657
15 13th April 1657
16 20th April 1657
17 21st April 1657
18 8th May 1657
19 9th June 1657