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The National Archives Civil War
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What kind of ruler was Oliver Cromwell?

SP63/281; Oliver Cromwell, c1653

Oliver Cromwell ruled Britain as Lord Protector from 1653-8. He is a difficult man to understand. He has a reputation as a harsh ruler and a religious hard-liner. On the other hand, there are hundreds of statues of Cromwell all over the country and he has more roads named after him than any other ruler except Queen Victoria! How can we understand this puzzle?


Key people & events

Your challenge

Was Cromwell too complicated a man to label either a hero or a villain? Your challenge is to write a guide for other historians who want to study Cromwell. Look at the words of Cromwell himself and see what you can learn about him. Also use what others have said about him.

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