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Subject

Oliver Cromwell

Person  Male  Born 25/4/1599  Died 3/9/1658

Born Huntingdon. The picture source website also provides these words: "Following the traumatic upheavals of civil war and regicide, he rose from the ranks of the minor gentry to become Lord Protector and ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland, enjoying the powers - if not the title - of king." Died at Whitehall of natural causes and buried with royal ceremonial in Westminster Abbey.

What follows is just one version of many.... Following the restoration of the monarchy, on 26 or 28 (depending on source) January 1661, Cromwell's corpse, together with that of Ireton and Bradshaw, was dug up, and taken to the Red Lion Inn in Holborn. On the 30th, exactly 12 years after the death of the King, the bodies of the three regicides were taken and hanged at Tyburn gallows. Cromwell's head was then removed, impaled on a spike and displayed on the south end of Westminster Hall for almost twenty years. A convoluted story involving fairgrounds and dinner parties has it eventually being donated to Cromwell's Cambridge college and buried in an unmarked grave in 1960. Another story has a body switch with Cromwell's being buried in the family vault in Newburgh Park, Yorkshire.

From Cambridge University Library: Since his death "the controversy surrounding his extraordinary career has divided professional historians and the general public alike. Some see Cromwell as the defender of principles and liberties, the champion of religious diversity and toleration, while for others he was nothing more than a tyrant, a murderer and a bigot."

2014: The Guardian reports on an early case of plaque pilfering.  A bronze plaque buried with Cromwell in September 1658 was exhumed along with the moldering body and purloined by the man carrying out this unpleasant task, James Norfolke. The article gives the history of the plaque right down to its entry for auction at Sotheby’s on 9 December.  It also adds a grim detail to Cromwell's already gruesome post mortem story - Cromwell's facial wart has survived and is held (gingerly, we bet) by the Society of Antiquaries of London.

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This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Oliver Cromwell

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52675

Cromwell's body

The plaque gives the date of Cromwell's death rather than the date of his exh...

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49189

Cromwell statue

Controversy over who, if anyone, should fund this statue was overcome by the ...

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74496

Putney Debates

In this place Oliver Cromwell, the General Council of the Army and elected so...

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45434

Savoy - CRII

SH In the Savoy Palace in 1658 by order of Oliver Cromwell, the confession of...

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