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What kind of ruler was Oliver Cromwell?

Case study 2: Cromwell in the eyes of others - Source 6


Edmund Ludlow, on reactions to the death of Cromwell

(By permission of Oxford University Press: Firth (ed.), The Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, Lieutenant-General of the Horse in the Army of the Commonwealth of England, 1625-1672, Vol. II, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1894, pp.45-6)

Different were the effects that the death of Cromwel produced in the nation: those men who had been sharers with him in the usurped authority were exceedingly troubled, whilst the other parties rejoiced in it: each of them hoping that this alteration would prove advantagious to their affairs. The Commonwealthsmen were so charitable to believe that the souldiery being delivered from their servitude to the General, to which they were willing to attribute their former compliances, would now open their eyes and join with them, as the only means left to preserve themselves and the people. Neither were the Cavaliers without great hopes that new divisions might arise, and give them an opportunity of advancing their minion, who had been long endeavouring to unite all the corrupt interests of the nation to his party. But neither the sense of their duty, nor the care of their own safety, nor the just apprehensions of being overcome by their irreconcilable enemy, could prevail with the army to return to their proper station. So that having tasted of sovereignty under the shadow of their late master, they resolved against the restitution of the Parliament. ……