“Our Chief of Men”

There are many people who divide opinion in Northern Ireland. Amongst those who divide it most and sometimes not in the usual way is the one of whom the above comment was made by John Milton. The man in question is of course Oliver Cromwell. Billy Leonard of Sinn Fein and Samuel Cole of the DUP have been debating his historical legacy. (I would recommend Antiona Fraser’s biography to the interested).

Here in Northern Ireland, Cromwell is seen as the man who ordered the massacre of Drogheda and went through Ireland “like lightening”, I will not attempt an explanation of the differing theories, I have little doubt many here would have much to say on the subject.

Of course Cromwell is also interesting as a republican and regicide, defeater of the Scots and Presbyterians and other things not normally popular with unionists, though he was also a fundamentalist puritan Christian. I have a certain sympathy with there being “None King save Christ alone” but will otherwise keep my own counsel on my views of the man.

This author has not written a biography and will not be writing one.