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Cromwell, Oliver (1599–1658)

Annette Richardson


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Oliver Cromwell was a Puritan member of parliament and leader of the forces that overthrew the monarchy during the English Civil War . Following the king's execution, Cromwell became Lord Protector of England from 1652 until his death in 1658. Oliver Cromwell was born on April 25, 1599 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire to Robert and Catherine Cromwell. He attended the Puritan-oriented Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, but did not obtain a degree, for he was called home following his father's death. Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier in 1620 and had nine children. After struggling financially, he became wealthy in 1636 by inheriting his uncle's sizable estate and two positions as tax collector at Holy Trinity and St. Mary's parishes. In 1628 he was elected to parliament for Cambridge City and soon gained notoriety for his radicalism. Following numerous disputes over authority, King Charles I dissolved parliament in March 1629, and Cromwell suffered a nervous breakdown in 1630, emerging from it with a strong Puritan radicalism. The long-term causes for the English Civil War were political, economic, and religious. The short-term cause was King Charles I's recall of parliament in April 1640, after an 11-year hiatus, to raise taxes to fight the Scots, who vigorously opposed the Anglican High Church policies imposed by Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud. Members of parliament saw their ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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