Annual Essay Competition

Cromwell's statue outside Parliament, London

Cromwell’s statue outside the Houses of Parliament, London

The annual Cromwell Association essay competition was established in 2017, due to the generosity of Frederick Borch III. Fred Borch is the Regimental Historian and Archivist for the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In 1974, he was a Visiting Student at the University of East Anglia, and while in a seminar on the English Civil War taught by Professor Robert Ashton, Fred wrote an essay, “Cromwell: Dictator or Constitutionalist?” That essay subsequently won the Cromwell Association’s Cromwell Prize in 1975. Fred has been a life member of the Association for more than 30 years, and in 2017 he approached us with the very generous offer to fund a revived essay competition for 16 to18 year old students. It has been very successful and every year, Fred loves to read the winning essay and usually writes a congratulatory email to the winner.

Year Essay title Winner’s Essay (pdf)
2023 To what extent was the outbreak of Civil War in England in 1642 caused by disputes over religion? Hattie Fillmore
2022 To what extent was Oliver Cromwell responsible for Parliament’s victory in the First Civil War? Priyanka Menon
2021 Should the English Civil War properly be seen as just one of the wars of the three kingdoms of the mid-seventeenth century, all stemming from the so-called “British Problem”? Katie Stamp
2020 Given that in 2002, Cromwell was voted the third greatest Briton of all time, how do you explain the contempt shown him by some of his contemporaries? William Finlator
2019 “That which you have by force, I count as nothing.” Was the English Revolution anything more than a military coup d’état? Christopher Conway
2018 Does Cromwell’s legacy have any relevance in the 21st Century? Ben Rhydderch