Oliver Cromwell rose from relatively humble origins to become a successful political and military leader during the English civil war between the royalists (the king and his supporters) and parliament in the 1640s.
After defeating Charles II in 1651, Oliver Cromwell ruled England, Scotland and Ireland as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658. He was offered the chance to become king, but turned it down. In Scotland he supported the Protestors rather than the Resolutioners, but wouldn’t allow General Assemblies to meet. The Covenanters never recognised Cromwell’s authority, but while he was in control there was peace and freedom to preach the gospel – and many people were converted.
Oliver Cromwell died in 1658 leaving his son Richard in control. However Richard did not have the same ability to rule as his father, and in 1660 Charles II was restored as king of England, Scotland and Ireland.
BCW: Charles II
First Civil War
Second Civil War
Third Civil War
J. G. Vos, The Scottish Covenanters (Edinburgh, 1998 ), pp 71-6.
E. N. Moore, Our Covenant Heritage (Ross-shire, 2000), pp 47-9.
Reformed Presbyterian Testimony, Part II, Historical (Belfast, 1939) p. 66
John Morrill, ‘Cromwell, Oliver (1599–1658)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2008
Paul Seaward, ‘Charles II (1630–1685)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008