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What kind of ruler was Oliver Cromwell?

Case study 2: Cromwell in the eyes of others - Source 4

Simplified transcript

The memoirs of a senior army commander, first published around 1670

(By permission of Taylor & Francis: Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, by his widow Lucy, published by George Routledge, 1906, pp. 297, 300)

Source 4a

In the meantime, Cromwell and his army grew careless with their power. They invented a thousand tricks of government. When nobody opposed [those forms of government], they themselves began to dislike and change them every day. First, Cromwell called a Parliament out of his own pocket, himself naming godly men [to be MPs] for every county. They met and did not agree. Then some of them, in the name of the people, gave the sovereignty [leadership, like a king] to him. Shortly after, he made up several sorts of mock Parliaments, but not finding any of them absolutely supporting him, he ended them again. ...

Source 4b

Every day [the Royalists] were forming plans, and plotting for the murder of Cromwell and other rebellions. Because these plans were made while drinking, and managed by false and cowardly fellows, they were told to Cromwell. He had most excellent information of all things that happened, even in the king's private room. With these unsuccessful plots, the Royalists only held back what they had tried to move forward. To speak the truth, Cromwell's personal courage and kindness supported him against all enemies and rebels. His own army disliked him. Once, 140 officers combined to oppose him in something he was doing. They joined together with serious promises and prayers to God, with Lambert as leader. The Protector heard of it and frightened them all. He told them that it was not they who raised him up, but he that raised them up. He scolded them, and made them understand what pitiful fellows they were. Then they all, like scolded dogs, clapped their tails between their legs, and begged his pardon. They left Lambert to take the fall alone, none daring to support him publicly, though many in their hearts wished he were the leader.