Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on April 25th 1599, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the event. It provides an opportunity to highlight the significance of the man who has been the subject of intense, often vitriolic debate, ever since his death as Lord Protector in 1658. Whatever position is taken on Cromwell his importance as a key figure in one of the most troubled periods of British history is long established. Follow the links to find out more about this "brave bad man"!

Portrait of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell 1599 - 1658
(From portrait by Sir Peter Lely, 1618 -1680)

Calendar of Events in his Life

1599 - born Huntingdon, 25th April
1616 - enters Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
1628 - MP for Huntingdon
1640 - MP for Cambridge
1642 - raises troops for Parliament
1643 - Colonel in the Eastern Association
1644 - Lieutenant-General of the Eastern Association Army
- Battle of Marston Moor, 2nd July
- Battle of Newbury, 27th October
1645 - Lieutenant-General of the New Model Army
- Battle of Naseby, 14th June
1647 - supports Parliamentary army in clashes with Parliament
1648 - crushes royalist rising in South Wales
- Battle of Preston, 18th August
1649 - supports trial and execution of the King, January
- commands army sent to crush Ireland, August
1650 - commands army sent to crush Scotland, July
1650 - Battle of Dunbar, 3rd September
1651 - Battle of Worcester, 3rd September
1653 - dissolves Parliament, 20th April
- becomes Lord Protector, 16th December
1654 - meets first Protectorate Parliament, September
1655 - system of the Major-Generals established, October
1656 - meets second Protectorate Parliament, September
1657 - rejects Parliament's offer of the crown and remains Lord Protector, March - June
1658 - dies at Whitehall, 3rd September
1661 - exhumed and posthumously 'executed', 30th January
The final resting place of Cromwell's physical remains is a matter of dispute. However, it is likely that his body lies near Tyburn in London, now the Marble Arch area. The head believed to be Cromwell's became a rather undignified collector's piece until bequeathed to his old Cambridge College in 1960 and buried near Sidney Sussex chapel.

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