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History Lessons by Jonathan Gifford

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OLIVER CROMWELL

(1599–1658)

Oliver Cromwell proved himself to be, above all else, a man of action; a man who lived in remarkable times who, when called upon, found himself capable of remarkable deeds. Cromwell was a country squire from a Cambridgeshire family that had seen better times. His father died when the young Cromwell was still at University; his studies were cut short and he could have expected to spend the rest of his life tending his fields and raising children. Instead, he became a highly proficient cavalry leader; invented the concept of a professional standing army (as opposed to an army of regiments raised by wealthy men, or troops of foreign mercenaries); toppled and executed a King, and then rose to reign, in effect, in the King’s ...

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