Oliver Cromwell

A painting of Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell (April 25th, 1599 - September 3rd, 1658) was a military leader and later Lord Protector of England. After the execution of Charles I after the English Civil War Cromwell ruled England under religious rule and banned several things including:

  • Christmas
  • Halloween
  • Theatre
  • Pubs
  • Sport
  • Make up
  • Hot food on a sunday
  • All music, even church hymns (although he secretly enjoyed listening to music in private)
  • Bear bating, and other forms of entertainment
  • Swearing
  • Public kissing
  • Going to church on Christmas day

Cromwell used his army to police the country and enforce these laws, harsh punishments were administered to anyone who dared break them. He also sort to destroy Catholic influence in England, hence why he outlawed Christmas. Upon his invasion of Ireland to prevent the future King Charles II gaining an army there, he went on a near genocial campain to exterminate the Irish, whipping out upto one quater of the population through warfare, extermination and famine caused by burning there crops. To this day mentioning Cromwells name in Ireland is likely to prevoke a violent reaction.

Cromwell however did do some good things , he removed much of the feudal influence from the country. Although he did not make it democratic as some have claimed, he quickly got rid of Palliment when the disagreed with him (the exact same thing that King Charles I had done to start the civil war). He was also a skilled General and is considered one of the best English Millitary leaders ever, as such he is often held by the scholars to be ranked with likes of Malborough and Wellington. He also invited the Jews back to England, following them being kicked out almost 400 years earlier by King Edward I.

He died on September 3rd, 1658 (aged 59) in whitehall of probably malaria.

After his death he was buried but when King Charles II came back to power his body was dug up, hung in chains and beheaded.


  • In Horrible Histories Cromwell along with Charles I played by Mathew Baynton he sings The English Civil War Song. In sketches as well as this song he is played by Lawry Lewin.
  • In a 2002 BBC poll in Britain, Cromwell was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time
Horrible histories oliver cromwell and charles the 2nd

Horrible histories oliver cromwell and charles the 2nd.avi