Oliver Cromwell: The Protector (Letter One)

American history cannot be understood without an understanding of British history. And one of the most maligned of British characters has been Oliver Cromwell. His descendant, Oliver Cromwell, Esq., has this to say:

Death mask of Oliver CromwellIt has been the singular ill fortune of Oliver Cromwell, and of his family, that his character hath been left exclusively in the hands of his enemies. The short interval between his death and the Restoration, and the unsettled state of the nation in the intermediate time, left no opportunity for a faithful and impartial history of that extraordinary man. From that time to the present, his memory hath been abused and vilified without any allowance for the peculiar circumstances in which he was placed : his name alone is to this day deemed by many a sufficient description of every thing that is ambitious, hypocritical, and tyrannical. He has been held forth as a composition of every bad quality, without one virtue to counterbalance them.

“The particular views of all those who took a part in the troubles of the times in which he acted, were frustrated by his ascendancy, and however differing in other respects, they have united in blackening his memory. Every trifling or ridiculous
story of the supposed irregularities of his youth, and of the imagined tricks and childish follies even of his very infancy, have been eagerly sought for, and, without examination, credited against him. An opinion that his character hath not met with fair treatment, and a hope to place it in the light in which it is conceived it is justly entitled to stand, have given rise to this work ; not begun with any view to its publication, but as the amusement of the Writer’s leisure hours. ”

And so we present letter number one of Oliver Cromwell, The Protector . . .

1636
LETTER 1, ST. IVES

To my very loving Friend Mr. Storie, at the Sign of the Dog in the
Royal Exchange, London: Deliver these.

St. Ives, nth January 1635.

MR. STORIE,

Among the catalogue of those good works which your fellow-citizens and our countrymen have done, this will not be reckoned for the least, that they have provided for the feeding of souls. Building of hospitals provides for men’s bodies; to build material temples is judged a work of piety; but they that procure spiritual food, they that build up spiritual temples, they are the men truly charitable, truly pious. Such a work as this was your erecting the lecture in our country; in the which you placed Dr. Welles, a man for goodness and industry, and ability to do good every way, not short of any I know in England : and I am persuaded that, sithence his coming, the Lord hath by him wrought much good amongst us.

It only remains now that He who first moved you to this, put you forward to the continuance thereof: it was the Lord; and therefore to Him lift we up our hearts that He would perfect it. And surely, Mr. Storie, it were a piteous thing- to see a lecture fall, in the hands of so many able and godly men as I am persuaded the founders of this are; in these times, wherein we see they are suppressed, with too much haste and violence, by the enemies of God his truth. Far be it that so much guilt should stick to your hands, who live in a city so renowned for the clear shining light of the gospel. You know, Mr. Storie, to withdraw the pay is to let fall the lecture: for who goeth to warfare at his own cost? I beseech you therefore in the bowels of Christ Jesus put it forward, and let the good man have his pay. The souls of God his children wiU bless you for it: and so shall I; and ever rest,-

Your loving Friend in the Lord,
OLIVER CROMWELL,

[Retturn to the Christian History Society by clicking HERE]

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6 thoughts on “Oliver Cromwell: The Protector (Letter One)

  1. I noticed that the Commonwealth Coat of Arms has a dragon on it. It seems to me that a Christian would be well aware that a dragon represents Satan. Why would Oliver Cromwell choose to feature a dragon on the coat of arms? It just doesn’t seem at all like the act of a Christian. The motto reads: “peace in [the midst of] war.”

    This really reminds me of Jer. 6: 14 – “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”

    I just can’t see Oliver Cromwell in a positive light. A real Christian wouldn’t celebrate the that old serpent, Satan, right on the coat of arms.

  2. The dragon is all too appropriate a symbol for Cromwell if somebody wants to ascribe it to Satan. Being Catholic of a 100 pct. Irish descent, you’d have a hell of a time convincing me Oliver Cromwell wasn’t the bastard son of a one night stand between Satan and the Reformation.

  3. I never doubted that Cromwell was a good man at heart. Also a very practical man…

    I see that he is critisised because of his actions in Ireland, but I also wonder if it was his actions or the actions of his soldiers that are the blame…
    From a christian perspective… It seems that 2 christian agruments (and only these two) can be put against Cromwell…
    1. The government he took down was elected by God.
    2. War, and killing: is a desicration of God’s temple which rests in man. (This idea comes from my friend William in SA)

    To the first argument, I would say, the fact that he was himself established as the new government disproves that the ways of the previous government were well established or correct…
    Actually I find nothing wrong with a dictator … As long as he is a decent man. (I see in modern philosophy, dectators are somehow assumed to be evil)

    To the second Argument, I can’t comment.

  4. Cromwell was an evil son of a bitch who stabbed pregnant woman exhorting to exterminate Satan’s brood. His reign made a bulwark for the present problems today between Catholics and Protestants. He sought to establish God’s kingdom on Earth with himself elevated as Protector. He was a meglomaniac. Jesus clearly stated that the Kingdom of His father was not to be until His return. That is the return of Jesus not at the behest of Cromwell or any other AntiChrist. An opportunist he made use of political and religious divisions for his rise to power.

  5. It is oral family history on my mother’s side that we are direct decendents of Oliver Cromwell. I have heard horrible things about him and good things and would liket to know the truth. If anyone has any geneaology infor on the Oliver Cromwell family original I would appreciate an email reply. Thank you,.
    (My grandmother said he was an evil person)?

  6. The red dragon has been an emblem of the rulers of Wales since the time of Cadwalladr, a semi-mythical 7th century prince, and is the central feature of the modern flag of Wales. It was was used as a badge both by Owain Glendwyr during his uprising in 1400 and by Henry Tudor (a descendant of Owen Tudor, a Welsh nobleman) in his military campaign against Richard III. When Henry won the English throne at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, he adopted the dragon as one of the supporters to his coat of arms, a device continued by the subsequent Tudor monarchs. It was replaced by the Scottish unicorm when the Scottish king James I inherited the throne in 1603. But because this had specific associations with the Stuart dynasty whose rule had been ended by the victory of the parliamentary forces in the civil war of the 1640s, Oliver Cromwell (who had Welsh ancestry) preferred to restore the dragon in its place as a supporter in the coat of arms of his Protectorate. It has no religious symbolism of any kind.

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