Oliver Cromwell may have been murdered.

Oliver Cromwell was the leader of England for a few years during the 1650s. The English Civil War of the 1640s was fought between those who supported the Monarchy and those who wanted England to become a Republic. The Republicans, led by Cromwell, won the war. But England was only a Republic for 5 or 6 years until the Monarchy was restored - the Restoration.

An historian says that Cromwell may have been murdered in 1658 by some Royalists.

Cromwell 'was murdered'

Cromwell was murdered, says a new theory

Oliver Cromwell was poisoned by his doctor, according to a radical new theory.

Most historians believe the famous anti-monarchist died of malaria.

But American scholar Howard McCains believes letters dating from 1658 and the pattern of Cromwell's illness point to poisoning.

Cromwell, one of English history's most controversial and enigmatic figures, most famously led a revolt and deposed the monarchy.

He died on 3 September 1658 after being cared for by a Dr Bates, who Mr McCains says was part of a royalist plot to kill Cromwell.

Mr McCains told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme: "The pattern of symptoms, beginning on the first evidence of poor health on 31 July and carrying through to 3 September, lead me to believe he was poisoned."

Mr McCains said there was correspondence from Thomas Wood at the time which revealed a confession from Dr Bates.

'Oxford gossipmonger'

However, 17th Century expert and Cambridge University Professor John Morrill questioned the new theory.

He said: "Mr McCains has done tremendous work, but I don't think the evidence adds up to what he understands it to find."

Prof Morrill said Cromwell had been in poor health for a couple of years before his death. He had missed a number of council meetings.

And Mr Wood, who revealed the so-called confession, was no more than an Oxford gossipmonger, Prof Morrill added.

"I think Cromwell died from medical complications and from a broken heart because his favourite daughter had just died," said Prof Morrill.

Bloody revolt

With his anti-monarchist revolt, Cromwell inspired the beginnings of a more democratic society, but his methods were often brutal and bloody.

Charles I: Executed in 1649

This has led commentators and historians to interpret his character and motives in radically different ways.

In 1645, Cromwell's New Model Army famously destroyed the king's forces at the Battle of Naseby.

Many hold Cromwell responsible for the execution of Charles I in January 1649, although there were 59 signatories to the death warrant.

Despite this opposition, Cromwell established his status and authority. Supported by the army, he was appointed Lord Protector in 1653.

When he died in 1658, England was prosperous and the seeds of a constitutional government had been sown. But he failed to establish a written constitution or leave a lasting system of government.

Consensus of opinion remains elusive, however. Nearly 400 years of debate have failed to settle the issue of his reputation.

Cromwell- key dates
1599, born 25 April
1628 - Joined Parliament, representing Huntingdonshire
1642 - Civil war breaks out
1645 - Cromwell's New Model Army destroys King Charles I forces at the Battle of Naseby
1649 - King Charles I beheaded
1649 - Commonwealth established
1653 - Parliament disbanded. Cromwell appointed Lord Protector
1658 - dies, 3 September
Here is a little kinder bio

of Cromwell Blackleaf. He did kill a despotic king but he did a lot to unite Britain even though when he died the country reverted back to the monarchy.

Well, I'm glad we reverted back to being a monarchy.

My county (Lancashire) supported the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. Our neigbouring county, Yorkshire (which is now split into the counties of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and East Yorkshire) mainly supported the Royalists, and they fought each other during the War of the Roses during the Civil War. It was so-called because Lancashire's symbol is a red rose and Yorkshire's is a white rose. And, even to this day, Lancastrians and Yorkshiremen don't like each other very much!

My home town of Bolton was attacked by Royalists on 16th February 1643 and 28th March 1644, massacring hundreds of the town's inhabitants.

The leader of the attackers, James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby, was caught and hanged in Bolton town centre in 1651. A plaque still stands marking the spot outside the Man and Scythe pub where he was hanged.


'War crime' led to Earl of Derby's execution

JAMES Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby, was a staunch Royalist during the Civil War who was executed in Bolton town centre for his part in a massacre which killed a high proportion of the town's Parliamentarian population.

A plaque still stands in Churchgate marking the spot outside the Man and Scythe in Churchgate where Lord Derby was beheaded in 1651 for the 'criminal' taking of Bolton.

James Stanley was born in 1607 at Knowsley into a life of privilege, status and a family with great power and influence in Lancashire. He held the title of Lord Strange until he inherited the Earldom of Derby in 1642.

At the age of 18 he was elected Member of Parliament for Liverpool and by the time Civil War broke out in 1642 he had became the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire. The war split Lancashire as neighbouring towns throughout the county declared their loyalty for opposing sides.

Bolton, like many other semi-industrialised communities, such as Manchester, was filled with strong Parliamentary supporters.

Rural districts like Wigan and Preston preferred loyalty to the King. It was within Wigan where the Earl based his military command. Despite his high rank and status he had little success in battle.

His only victory was in Westhoughton, when a large number of Parliamentarians were taken prisoner by his troops. His first two attacks against Bolton had little effect. The third, however, resulted in mass bloodshed and was later condemned as a criminal act. It ultimately cost the Earl his life.

The first attack on Bolton came on February 16, 1643. Sixteen people died in the skirmish and the Royalists were beaten back after four hours. On March 28, 1644, a second Royalist attack on Bolton took place after dark, led by the Earl and Captain Anderton, of Lostock Hall. But after hand-to-hand fighting on the six foot thick mud walls the Royalists were again beaten off.

The attack left 23 Royalists dead but no Parliamentarian casualties.

Within a few months the Earl and his cousin, the King's nephew Prince Rupert attempted again to take Bolton, this time with a force of 12,000 horse and foot soldiers.

Bolton was defended by less than a fifth of that number.

The first assault was beaten off, but a second was successful.

As many as 1,500 Bolton people were massacred and much of the town destroyed.

During the day-long carnage the Earl is reported to have personally killed a prisoner, Captain Bootle.

However, although the Royalists may have conquered Bolton, they did not win the war.

Charles I was beheaded and the throne abolished.

Parliament condemned the taking of Bolton as a crime and Oliver Cromwell himself demanded the death penalty for the Earl -- who had fled to the Isle of Man.

He returned to England in 1651 in a bid to help the Prince of Wales regain the throne but was captured after a battle in Worcester in which the Royalists had been heavily defeated.

He was court-martialled on grounds of high treason and executed on October 15, 1651.

His body was buried in Ormskirk where he later became known as the "martyr Earl of Derby".

Ya, tell it to the irish in drogheda, they should of had the chance to hang the bastard.

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