The Corner

Cromwell

ABSOLUTELY the last word on the Lord Protector from this admirer:

As can be seen from our exchanges here (and in the reference sources–Wikipedia, though with the usual cautions, is not bad on Cromwell) this is a man who is still very controversial.  If historians have not been able to agree on his moral status after 350 years, it’s not likely we shall make any progress here.

In fact the main thing to be learned from contemplating Oliver Cromwell is the meta-lesson of the danger of making glib judgments about historical characters operating in very complex circumstances, and the respect due to real professional historians, who devote their talents to trying to untangle these knotty issues.

My own home town of Northampton, though Parliamentarian, did not love Cromwell.  We were the nation’s shoe-making capital.  He bought all the boots for his Model Army from the Northampton merchants, but left a lot of the bills unpaid.  When I was growing up in the town, people still grumbled about this. 

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