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What kind of ruler was Oliver Cromwell?

Case study 1: Cromwell in his own words - Source 6


Cromwell’s thoughts about his job, 13 April 1657

(W.C. Abbott (ed.), The writings and speeches of Oliver Cromwell, Vol. III, p. 470. Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1947)

I am a man standing in the place I am in, which place I undertook not so much out of the hope of doing any good, as out of a desire to prevent mischief and evil, which I did see was imminent upon the nation. I saw we were running headlong into confusion and disorder, and would necessarily run into blood, and I was passive to those that desired me to undertake the place that now I have. …

… And therefore I am not contending for one name compared with another, and therefore have nothing to answer to any arguments that were used in giving preference to Kingship or Protectorship. For I should almost think that any name were better than my name, and I should altogether think any person fitter than I am for any such business, and I compliment not, God knows it! …

… as far as I can, I am ready to serve not as a King, but as a constable. For truly I have as before God thought it often, that I could not tell what my business was, nor what I was in the place I stood, save [by] comparing it with a good constable to keep the peace of the parish. And truly this hath been my content and satisfaction in the troubles that I have undergone, that yet you have peace.