In 1653, Parliamentarian General Oliver Cromwell was appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Born in 1599, Oliver Cromwell lived the quiet life of a small landowner gentleman for 40 years. Growing up he attended Huntingdon Grammar School, Sidney Sussex College, and Cambridge. He left Cambridge without graduating to take care of his mother and sisters after his father died. Shortly thereafter he married and started a family.
Cromwell’s career in parliament started because of his father-in-law’s connection. His name became known when King Charles declared war on Parliament. Cromwell responded by raising an army of supporters, gaining the rank of Lieutenant-General of the Horse and leader of the Parliament Calvary. He had a talent for strategy and motivation.
Eventually, this civil war led to the execution of King Charles. He helped put down uprisings in support of the uncrowned Charles II. In 1653 Oliver Cromwell was appointed as Lord Protector. A few years later the Parliament offered him the crown, but he refused. In 1658, Cromwell died.
Though dead his adventures did not end. After his restoration to the throne, King Charles II had Oliver Cromwell’s body removed from his grave for a posthumous trial of treason. Convicted, they had the body hung, beheaded, and put the head on a spike.
After about 20 years on the spike the head fell off and a soldier found it and took it home. On his death, he bequeathed it to his daughter. The head passed through many hands until finally returning to his alma mater Sidney Sussex College in 1960. They buried Oliver Cromwell’s head in a secret place.