In place of my usual Saturday Snippets for the month of May, I’m posting about the people and places in my coming book “John Culpepper the Merchant,” which is the second book in the Culpepper Saga.
One of the most controversial figures in my coming book is Oliver Cromwell. He was born into mild obscurity and remained nearly invisible for the first forty years of his life, serving in Parliament, but not accomplishing anything of significance. But in 1640, he stepped into the spotlight.
The king had been aggravating his country with religious rhetoric since his coronation in 1625, and Parliament had stepped forward and addressed the king with a list of grievances. After political struggles for a year between the king and Parliament, the king finally declared war on Parliament. Cromwell, a devout puritan who believed God guided his every move, stepped forward to command the cavalry of the parliamentarian army.
His command and influence grew and at the end of the war, under his leadership, the king was tried and found guilty of treason. Cromwell was the third of fifty-nine men to step forward and add his signature and seal to the king’s death warrant (photo). Following the king’s execution 30 January 1649, Cromwell led England as the English Commonwealth for nine years.
After Cromwell died in 1658, the members of Parliament brought back the Stuart monarchy, declaring Prince Charles to be king since his father’s death years earlier. They acted as if the last decade had never happened.
The prince, now King Charles II, took the throne, and on 30 January 1661, the anniversary of his father’s execution, he had Cromwell’s body exhumed and posthumously executed. Cromwell’s body was hung in chains and his severed head was displayed on a pole outside of Westminster Hall, where the trial of the king had taken place.
Some historians consider Cromwell a hero, some a revolutionary, some a dictator, but at least this ‘nobody’ has not been forgotten. In my coming book, he is enemies with my Culpepper family, so I’m certainly not fond of him.
“John Culpepper the Merchant” will be released May 24, 2015.