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What kind of ruler was Oliver Cromwell?

Case study 1: Cromwell in his own words - Source 5


A speech by Cromwell to MPs, responding to the ‘Humble Petition and Advice’, 3 April 1657

(W.C. Abbott (ed.), The writings and speeches of Oliver Cromwell, Vol. III, pp.445-46. Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1947)

… you have been zealous of the two greatest concernments that God hath in the world. The one is that of Religion, and of the preservation of the professors of it; to give them all due and just liberty, and to assert the truths of God, which you have done in part in this paper, and do refer it to be done more fully by yourselves and me hereafter. And as to the Liberty of men professing Godliness under a variety of forms amongst us, you have done that which never was done before, …… The other thing cared for is, the Civil Liberty and Interest of the Nation. Which though it is and indeed I think ought to be, subordinate to a more peculiar interest of God, yet it is the next best God hath given men in this world; ……

You have testified your value and affection as to my person, as high as you could; for more you could not do! I shall always keep a grateful memory of this in my heart, and by you I give the Parliament this my grateful acknowledgment.