Was Cromwell a Hero or a Villain?


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Ever since Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England there have been different interpretations of him. In the nineteenth century historians considered Cromwell to be a great reformer and a man of principle. In modern times many historians use examples from his actions in Ireland to say Cromwell was an inhuman monster. Using this worksheet you will investigate the different interpretations of Oliver Cromwell.

Between 1649 and 1658 Cromwell had more power than anyone else in Britain. In 1649 he took the New Model Army to Ireland. During the English Civil War Cromwell had heard terrible stories from Protestants in Ireland. He heard that Catholics committed horrible cruelties such as cutting off people’s hands and feet and beating women’s brains with poles. There were many such stories.

Whether the stories were true we don’t really know – but Cromwell believed them. He was a Puritan, a strong Protestant. Puritans believed it was their duty to punish the Catholics. He went to Ireland determined to do just this!

PDF Worksheet:

    • Aimed at Students studying at UK Year 8 or equivalent
    • Free to download
    • Use as you wish in the classroom or home environment
    • Structured study guide and challenging questions.