History's HEROES? 1599 - 1658

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell - Timeline

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1599 April 25th - Oliver Cromwell is born in the Cambridgeshire town of Huntingdon to Robert and Elizabeth Cromwell (nee Steward). He is baptised four days later.
1607 Oliver begins his education at Huntingdon Grammar School.
1616 Oliver enters Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University, which has a strong Puritan ethos.
1617 Oliver leaves Sidney Sussex College after the death of his father and therefore does not complete his studies.
1618 It is possible that Oliver Cromwell attended Lincoln's Inn to train in law. However there is no record of him in the Inn's archives.
1620 August 22nd - Oliver Cromwell marries Elizabeth Bourchier at St. Giles’s Church, Cripplegate, London. Her father is a wealthy leather merchant and landowner from Essex. The marriage brings Cromwell into contact with wealthy London merchants and great Puritan peers.
1621 The Cromwell's first child is born - a son called Robert.
1623 Around February - The Cromwell's second son, Oliver, is born.
1624 Around July - The Cromwell's third child is born, a daughter called Bridget.
1626 Around October - The Cromwell's fourth child, Richard, is born.
1627 King Charles I provokes unrest by trying to raise money for the war through a 'forced loan' - a tax levied without parliamentary consent.
1628 Around January - The Cromwell's fifth child, Henry, is born.
Oliver Cromwell becomes the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in the parliament of 1628-1629.
May 26th - Parliament adopts a Petition of Right, calling upon the king to acknowledge that he cannot levy taxes without parliament's consent, impose martial law on civilians or imprison them without due process.
Oliver seeks treatment for depression from London doctor, Theodore de Mayerne.
1629 January - Members of the House of Commons begin to voice their opposition when an MP has his goods confiscated for failing to pay tonnage and poundage. Many MPs viewed the confiscation as a breach of the Petition of Right.
March - When Charles orders a parliamentary adjournment, members hold the Speaker, Sir John Finch, down in his chair to delay proceedings until resolutions against Catholicism and poundage and tonnage can be read out.
Charles dissolves parliament the same day and imprisons eight parliamentary leaders.
Around June - The Cromwell's sixth child, Elizabeth, is born
1630 Business failure means Cromwell has to sell up and move to St. Ives, where he makes an income as a working (yeoman) farmer.
Oliver Cromwell undergoes a Puritan "conversion" experience, possibly linked to a mental breakdown. This changes his life and throughout the 1630s he becomes a "servant of God".
1632 January - The Cromwell's seventh child, James, is born. He is baptised on the 7th January but he dies and is buried on the 8th January.
1633 The king appoints William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop's love of ceremony and adornment runs counter to the beliefs of many Puritans.
1634 Laud authorises visits to every diocese throughout the kingdom to enforce conformity and to correct ‘irregularities’ in the conduct of services. These are regarded as dangerously close to Roman Catholicism. The visits continue until 1637.
King Charles issues a writ to collect ‘ship-money’ tax, under the pretext of piracy and unrest in Europe. He has made a secret treaty with Philip IV of Spain to help against the Dutch, a policy he knows will be detested by the country and, because of this, needs money.
1635 Ship-money is enforced inland as well as in maritime counties/towns and is obtained by assessment of personal as well as real property (e.g. land/houses) and payment is to be enforced by distress (taking goods if people have no money). This provokes increasing resistance.
1636 The Cromwell family move to Ely when Oliver inherits property there from his uncle, as well as his uncle's job as tithe collector for Ely Cathedral. This provides him with modest prosperity and a substantial house near the Cathedral.
1637 May - The Cromwell's eighth child, Mary, is born.
The king tries to enforce the Book of Common Prayer in Scotland, leading to opposition in the National Covenant (Presbyterian movement). Scotland is left in a state of turmoil.
1638 Around December - The Cromwell's ninth child, Frances, is born.
1639 Robert, the Cromwell's oldest son, dies in his late teens, possibly of smallpox, while serving in a garrison at Newport Pagnell.
Summer - Despite problems in raising funds, Charles gathers a poorly trained English force and the Bishops' Wars with Scotland begin.
1640 King Charles I summons parliament (known as the Short Parliament), bringing to an end his 11-year Personal Rule. Cromwell returns to parliament as Member for Cambridge. He moves his family from Ely to London.
May 5th - The king dissolves the Short Parliament when MPs refuse to grant him subsidies for war against Scotland; it had lasted for only three weeks.
October 25th - The Treaty of Ripon ends the Bishops' Wars.
November 3rd - Nearly bankrupt, King Charles summons the Long Parliament. Parliament impeaches the Earl of Stafford, leader of the Bishops' War (November 11th), declares the ship tax illegal (December 7th) and impeaches Archbishop Laud (December 18th).
1641 February 16th - The Triennial Act is passed, guaranteeing that parliament will be called at least once every three years.
Oliver Cromwell puts forward the second reading of the Annual Parliaments Bill, and drafts the Root and Branch Bill for the abolition of the bishops. The House of Commons draws up the Protestation Oath against popery.
May 5th - The king reluctantly assents to the Act of Attainder against the Earl of Strafford, who is executed on May 12th.
July 5th - Parliament abolishes the Courts of High Commission, the Star Chamber, the Council of Wales and the North, and the powers of the Privy Council are suppressed.
September 1st - The House of Commons passes a resolution for the destruction of altar rails, crucifixes and other 'innovations' introduced by Archbishop Laud.
The news of an uprising in Ireland reaches parliament in London. The king and parliament agree that an army is needed to suppress the rebellion, but neither side trust the other with control of the armed forces.
November 22nd - The Grand Remonstrance, listing all the grievances about acts carried out by the king's government, in Church and State, since the beginning of Charles' reign, and parliament's measures to counter these, is passed by parliament after a stormy debate.
December 1st - The Grand Remonstrance is presented to King Charles.
December 7th - A parliamentary Militia Bill proposes the appointment of a lord-general to raise and command the militia and that parliament rather than the king should have the right to nominate the commanders of the armed forces, in the wake of the Irish uprising.
King Charles refuses to surrender his control of the armed forces by giving his assent to the Militia Bill, so it is unable to pass into law.
1642 The king fails in his attempt to arrest the Five Members regarded as his leading opponents in parliament. Popular support for parliament forces the king and Royal family to leave London on January 10th and in March they set up court in York.
March - Parliament issues the Militia Bill as an ordinance (legislation that has not received the Royal assent) and takes the unprecedented step of proclaiming that parliament could act independently of the king in the interests of the nation's defence.
The king issues the Commissions of Array (a medieval method of raising troops by which the king grants the lords-lieutenant of counties powers to raise emergency forces). Obeying the Militia Bill or the Commission of Array becomes an early test of allegiance.
1st June - The Nineteen Propositions are passed by parliament and sent to the king in York. The proposals require the king to give up control of the militia and the right to appoint ministers.
June 18th - The king rejects the Nineteen propositions. He declares that parliament's proposals threaten the ancient constitution of the kingdom. Both sides openly prepare for war.
Summer - Oliver Cromwell gathers a volunteer force and prevents the movement of a convoy planning to take silver plate from the Cambridge colleges to swell the king's war-chest at York.
August 22nd - After some early skirmishes, the English Civil War officially begins when King Charles raises the royal standard at Nottingham Castle. King and parliament are now at war.
September - Cromwell is commissioned as a Captain of Horse; he raises a cavalry troop for parliament, recruited from around Cambridgeshire.
October 23rd - Cromwell and his men fight in the Battle of Edgehill. The battle ends without either side having the upper hand.
1643 By the spring of 1643, Oliver Cromwell is promoted to Colonel of Horse and, by the autumn, he is elevated to the status of Lieutenant General of Horse in the army of the Eastern Association, and he is made governor of Ely.
1644 The Cromwell's second son, Oliver, dies.
2nd July - Cromwell's actions help the Parliamentarians to victory at Marston Moor, just outside York. Although they win the battle, King Charles' forces are not destroyed. A better-trained army is required.
27th October - Cromwell takes part in the Second Battle of Newbury fought at Speen, adjoining Newbury in Berkshire. The combined armies of parliament inflict a tactical defeat on the Royalists but fail to gain any strategic advantage.
Oliver Cromwell presents his complaints against the leadership of the Earl by Manchester and The Earl of Essex in the House of Commons, for not fighting the war forcefully enough. Both are Presbyterian Members of the House of Lords.
1645 February - Independent MPs push for an ordinance for the reorganisation of the Parliamentarian Army. The New Model Army is created by parliament. It is a professional, trained, military unit.
April - The Self-Denying Ordinance sees the three major Parliamentarian armies amalgamated. Commander-in-chief of the New Model Army is General Fairfax. Oliver Cromwell, as Lieutenant-General, is put in charge of the cavalry, under a temporary contract.
14th June - Cromwell leads a cavalry wing, successfully, at the decisive Battle of Naseby. The New Model Army inflicts a crushing defeat on the king's army.
1646 June 15th - Bridget Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell's daughter, marries Henry Ireton, senior Parliamentarian officer and close confidant of Oliver, at Cromwell's headquarters at Holton, a few days before the surrender of Oxford.
June 24th - The surrender of Oxford by the Royalists sees the end of the first Civil War, after the New Model Army besiege the city.
1647 January 30th - The Scots hand over Charles to the Parliamentarians and withdraw from England. He is held as a prisoner at Holmby House in Northamptonshire, where he continues to plot for the restoration of his power.
Cromwell becomes ill and is unable to take part in any military and political events for more than a month.
June 3rd - Cornet George Joyce takes a detachment of cavalry to Holmby House and seizes control of Charles. The New Model Army (mostly independents) are angry that parliament agreed to Charles I's proposal for a three year trial of Presbyterian Church governance.
Parliament begins raising new troops in London - excluding anyone with Independent sympathies.
August 7th - The New Model Army marches into London and reinstalls the Independent MPs. Cromwell supports the New Model Army in clashes with parliament.
August 20th - Cromwell stations a cavalry regiment at Hyde Park and marches under armed escort to take his seat in the House of Commons. This display of force coerces many Presbyterian MPs into withdrawing from parliament.
October – The Putney Debates, a series of discussions between Cromwell, Ireton, factions of the New Model Army and the Levellers (a civilian organisation that supports universal male suffrage (right to vote) and rule by parliament) begin, concerning a new constitution.
Early November - Five of the most radical cavalry regiments elect new Agitators — known as the 'New Agents' — to represent their views.
November 8th - Cromwell temporarily suspends the meeting of the Army Council. The representative members are ordered back to their regiments. A new manifesto is drawn up, leading to the eventual suppression of the radical elements.
November 11th - Charles flees to the Isle of Wight. He reaches a secret agreement with the Scots to invade England and restore the throne, in return for introducing Presbyterianism, thus starting the second Civil War.
1648 January 17th - Charles completely rejects parliament's suggestions for a peace settlement. Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off any communications with the king.
January–April - Poor weather, high wheat prices and heavy taxation cause widespread hardship. Areas that have always supported parliament become discontented at the costs of maintaining the Army. There are revolts in Kent, Essex and Wales.
May - August - Contingents of the New Model Army under Cromwell and Fairfax are tied down at the sieges of Pembroke and Colchester. Cromwell crushes the Royalist rising in South Wales.
July - The Scots invade England. They are held up by Major-General John Lambert until Oliver Cromwell, having forced the Welsh rebels to surrender, can march northwards.
18th August - Cromwell leads the Parliamentarian forces in the Battle of Preston and then Winwick Pass the next day. The destruction of the Scottish Royalist's Engagers Army sees the effective end of the Second Civil War.
28th August - Colchester surrenders to Fairfax, quickly followed by other Royalist outposts in the south. The second Civil War is over.
September - Parliament fails to negotiate a settlement with the king. In December it decides to continue negotiations. Cromwell and Ireton lose all trust in Charles.
December 6th - Colonel Thomas Pride and a troop of soldiers prevent Presbyterian MPs from sitting in parliament, probably on Cromwell's orders. 45 MPs are temporarily imprisoned. Those remaining are known as the Rump Parliament.
1649 January 1st - The House of Commons proposes the establishment of a High Court of Justice to try King Charles I. The House of Lords refuses to approve the measure, and the House of Commons abolishes it, assuming full legistlative powers.
January 20th - The High Court of Justice, appointed by the Commons, assembles and the trial of Charles for high treason and "other high crimes" begins. Charles refuses to enter a plea, claiming that no court has jurisdiction over a monarch.
January 27th - King Charles I is found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. 59 Members of Parliament sign his death warrant, including Oliver Cromwell.
January 30th - King Charles I is beheaded. The execution takes place at Whitehall on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House. England becomes a Republic.
On 18th May 1639 and Act was passed declaring England to be a Commonwealth. governed by a council of state appointed by Parliament. The Scots and Irish overwhelmingly proclaim their intention to assist Charles II to secure all his thrones.
August - Cromwell commands an army sent to crush the opposition in Ireland, which centred on the Confederate-Royalist Alliance.
At the Siege of Drogheda in September, and of Wexford in October, Cromwell's troops massacre the Royalist garrisons as well as civilians, following their capture of the towns.
1650 July - Cromwell takes the New Model Army to Scotland after the Scots proclaim Charles I's son to be King Charles II.
3rd September - Cromwell completely defeats the Scottish army at Dunbar and enters Edinburgh, the Scottish capital.
1651 Cromwell becomes Chancellor of Oxford University.
3rd September - Battle of Worcester. The Scottish army slips south whilst Cromwell is busy in Scotland. Cromwell follows them and destroys the Scots, led by Charles II, at the Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the Civil Wars. Charles flees to exile in Holland.
1652 The First Anglo–Dutch War begins. It is fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. It is caused by disputes over trade.
1653 April 20th - Oliver Cromwell's success in war has made him the most powerful man in England. Angered by parliament's obstructive attitude, he marches into parliament and forcibly dissolves it.
July 4th - Cromwell replaces the Rump Parliament with a parliament whose members are appointed by Church congregations. This is known as the Barebones Parliament.
December 12th - Quarrels in the Barebones Parliament lead General John Lambert and other army officers to dissolve it. Believing that sovereignty should be placed in "a single person and a parliament", he presents a new constitution, the 'Instrument of Government'.
16th December - Oliver Cromwell reluctantly becomes Lord Protector. He now heads a powerful executive council defined by a new paper constitution.
1654 The Anglo-Dutch War ends with the English Navy gaining control of the seas around England, and an English monopoly on trade with England and English colonies.
Cromwell's mother dies in London.
September - Cromwell meets with the first Protectorate Parliament.
1655 May - The English capture Jamaica in the face of prolonged resistance. Over the next few years the Spanish fail in their attempts to retake the island.
October - Cromwell dissolves the Protectorate Parliament and appoints major generals to govern different areas of the country. The rule of the major-generals proves very unpopular, and this experiment ends two years later.
October - War with Spain is openly declared. The war is caused by commercial rivalry. The English form an informal alliance with the French. This also has the benefit of keeping the French from helping the Stuarts to regain the English throne.
1656 September - Cromwell meets with a second Protectorate Parliament; the rule by major-generals was proving very unpopular.
1657 March - Some of Cromwell's civilian supporters present to him the Humble Petition and Advice - a constitution which reduces the power of the Council and recommends that Cromwell proclaims himself king. oliver declines the Crown, but accepts the rest of the petition.
Cromwell encourages Jews to return to England after more than 350 years, identifying them as great creators of wealth for the country.
March - England and France enter a formal military alliance against Spain during which English troops serve alongside the French under Marshal Turenne in Flanders. Under the terms of the alliance, the port of Dunkirk is ceded to England
1658 January - When parliament is convened, Cromwell faces with stiff opposition to the Humble Petition from an alliance of Republicans and segments of the Army. He dissolves this bad-tempered parliament less than two weeks after it first meets.
June - (Georgian Calendar) An English expeditionary Army on the European continent win a great victory over the Spanish in the Battle of the Dunes.
August 6th - Cromwell's favourite child, Elizabeth 'Betsy', dies at Hampton Court, after falling seriously ill, despite the close attention of her parents. Her father is devastated by her death and it hastens his own decline in health.
September 3rd - Oliver Cromwell dies at Whitehall in London, probably from malaria or from blood poisoning following an infection.
His funeral is a very elaborate event and he is buried with great honour in Westminster Abbey. Oliver's son, Richard, becomes Lord Protector in his place.
1660 Without Oliver's strong guiding hand, the Republic slides into chaos. To prevent another Civil War, King Charles II is restored to the throne.
1661 January 30th - Cromwell’s body is exhumed from its burial place at Westminster Abbey and he is posthumously hanged in his shroud at Tyburn. His head is cut off and displayed outside Westminster Hall until it is rescued by a well-wisher nearly 20 years later.
1960 When the head is taken down, it seems to become the property of a number of different people, before finally ending up at Sidney Sussex College, where it is re-buried in 1960.
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