Oliver Cromwell was born at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England on this day in 1599. Educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, he returned home to marry and served a term in Parliament before a conflict with the gentry forced him to leave town, and apparently led to his turning to a more radical Puritanism. He returned ten years later (now representing Cambridge), then became second in command of the Model Army, the force of Parliament against King Charles. After the trial and execution of the King, Cromwell was influential in the establishment of a republic called the Commonwealth of England. After leading a brutal campaign against Catholics and Royalists in Ireland, and another in Scotland, he dissolved Parliament and ruled England as monarch, although he styled himself Lord Protector of the Realm. During the five years of the Protectorate Cromwell maintained power with the support of the Army, and dissolved another Parliament. Within two years of his death, the monarchy was restored in the person of Charles II and Cromwell's body was removed from Westminster Abbey and hung on the gallows.
Some of his more notable quotes are:
“He who stops being better stops being good.”
“Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.”
“No one rises so high as he who knows not whither he is going.”
“Mr Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture freely like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.”
“Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.”
“It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.”
All from Oliver Cromwell, 1599 – 1658
I like the quotes.