Siege of Cahir Castle
The Siege of Cahir Castle took place in Munster, in southern Ireland in 1599, during the campaign of the Earl of Essex against the rebels in the Nine Years War. Although the castle was considered the strongest fortress in the country, Essex took it after only a few days of artillery bombardment. However, Queen Elizabeth dismissed her commander's achievement, claiming the defenders were a "rabble of rogues". In April 1599 Essex landed at Dublin with the largest army seen in Ireland, he avoided confrontation with the northern rebels under Hugh O'Neill and chose instead to settle the southern part of the country, most susceptible to Spanish interference at a time when England feared another Armada expedition. In the course of a controversial, wasteful, tour of the province of Munster he secured the surrender of Derrinlaur Castle before fixing his sights on the greater prize of Cahir Castle farther up the river Suir. For any force hoping to penetrate westward from the Suir and deep into rebel country the suppression of the Barons of Cahir and their stronghold of Cahir castle was a necessity.
The castle stood on a rock in the middle of the river and was considered impregnable by its situation, with its large keep enjoying the protection of six stout towers and thick curtain walls. At the time the castle was the property of the Irish nobleman, Thomas Butler, 4th Baron Cahir, in the custody of his brother, James Galdie. Before the capture of Derrinlaur Castle, Essex had accused Cahir of colluding with the rebel White Knight, but as the English army prepared to march from the riverside town of Clonmel, Cahir gave assurances that James Galdie would surrender the castle as soon as they came in view. On the morning of 25 May, Essex divided the army into 3 battles, the vanguard to lead and the main battle to assemble on the fair green a mile outside Clonmel. Artillery was brought by water into the quay under Essex's supervision. With the protection of the rearguard and a troop of horse, the guns were dragged by hand the 10 miles to Cahir, in poor weather over bridges that groaned under their weight.
Essex overtook the vanguard. Lord Cahir was sent ahead to call on his brother to surrender and allow an English garrison to enter, he proposed a further parley, but Essex was determined to capture the castle, Cahir and his wife were placed under guard. A council of war was called in the presence of the Earl of Ormond; the army was stationary, with supplies running low, in poor weather on a flooded river plain the hazard of disease was increasing. There was a rumour that a rebel force of 5,000 had mustered in the vicinity. Orders were given to procure more munitions from Waterford, as well as victuals from the town and surrounding country. In the evening, Essex surveyed the castle with George Bingham, who had besieged Maguire's island castle in Enniskillen in 1594, it was decided that approaches should be made along the east bank by way of old ditches and a wall, that a trench be dug close up to the riverbank, within 50 paces of the castle, where a platform for the cannon might be erected. The engineers worked under cover of the musketeers and caliver men, with gabions to shield them from hostile fire.
The culverin was to be placed further back, with a wider view of the castle flanks. On Saturday the 26th, the vanguard and main battle moved closer to the castle to camp on the east bank. Essex could have surrounded the castle by occupying the west bank with a detachment, but chose otherwise for fear his men would be unable to make it back to fend off any attack. In the afternoon, there was free traffic in and out of the castle, he ordered a detachment of 300 to seize the orchard garden on the southside, plashed on its outer edges: this was achieved with the loss of only a few men, although the English had been vulnerable as they crossed the river. Late in the day, the rearguard arrived with the artillery. After a night of preparation, the guns were in place on the east bank on Whitsun Sunday, the 27th, opened fire; the cannon was at point-blank range, but its carriage broke at the second shot - the damage took a day and a half to repair. A ball stuck in the culverin, but this was cleared, fifty shots were fired, until the garrison was silenced: they dared not stay in any tower or fight on that side of the castle.
During the cannonade, Lord Cahir and his wife were said to have wept like children. From the west bank, the White Knight relieved the castle with a few score kerne, withdrawing those unfit to defend. Essex sent Christopher St Lawrence, son of Lord Howth, a colonel of foot, to an island on the north-east, which carried two bridges connecting the castle to the west bank. In the evening, the cannon was reset on the culverin drawn a little closer. On the 28th, the cannonade resumed at close quarters, the east wall was breached. Preparations for an assault on the following morning were made: engineers made climbing ladders and sows; the plan was for four companies of veteran foot to make their assault through a sap trench once the p
Edmond Butler, 3rd/13th Baron Dunboyne
Edmond Butler, 3rd/13th Baron Dunboyne was an Anglo-Irish nobleman if the seventeenth century. His short life was full of violence and legal disputes, his father was murdered when Edmond was a small child, Edmond as an adult was forced to defend a lengthy lawsuit brought by his uncle who sought to disinherit him. In 1627 he killed his cousin James Prendergast in a quarrel over a disputed inheritance and was tried by his peers for manslaughter, but acquitted, he was the only son of Joan Fitzpatrick. His father was the eldest son and heir of James Butler, 2nd/12th Baron Dunboyne and his first wife Margaret Fitzpatrick, only child of Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron Upper Ossory and his wife Joan Eustace, daughter of Rowland Eustace, 2nd Viscount Baltinglass, his mother Joan Fitzpatrick was the daughter of Barnaby's brother and heir Florence Fitzpatrick, 3rd Baron Upper Ossory and his wife Catherine Moore or O'More, daughter of Patrick Moore of Abbeyleix. Joan died a year or two after her son's birth in 1595.
In 1602 his father was murdered by Richard Grace, as a result of a longstanding feud between the Graces and John Butler's mother's family, the Fitzpatricks, going on since the 1570s. Wardship of the young boy was awarded to the 2nd Baron Dunbotne; the next heir to the Dunboyne barony after Edmond was the 2nd Baron's younger son Pierce. In 1618 Pierce petitioned the Crown to declare his nephew illegitimate, on the grounds that while his parents had lived together as man and wife, his father was at all material times married to Eleanor, a daughter of Theobald Butler, 1st Baron Cahir. There is no reason to think that the allegation was true, but King James I was reluctant to dismiss it out of hand, he wrote to Lord Dunboyne saying that he had no wish either to deprive his ward of his rights, or to deprive Pierce of any rights which might belong to him. He ordered the parties to submit their dispute to the Court of Chancery. In 1621 the Lord Chancellor of Ireland made a decree in favour of Lord Dunboyne, ordering his son Pierce to cease from interference with or disturbance of his peaceful enjoyment of his lands.
This was in effect a victory for young Edmond, when his grandfather died in 1624 he succeeded to his title and estates without any further trouble from his uncle, who died in 1626. In December 1627 Dunboyne was staying at the seat of his wife's family. Present at Cahir Castle was another Butler relative, James Prendergast, a nephew of Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormonde. Dunboyne and Prendergast had each claimed the Irish feudal barony of Newcastle Lyons. On 12 December they quarreled over their rival claims: the quarrel turned violent and Dunboyne killed Prendergast, he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle. King Charles I, willing to allow the law to take its proper course against members of the nobility, ordered that Dunboyne must stand trial, although on the lesser charge of manslaughter rather than murder. Since he had the privilege of peerage, i.e. the right to be tried by his peers, the Lord High Steward of Ireland set up a panel of fifteen peers to try him. The trial took place on 4 June 1628, by fourteen votes to one, Lord Docwra dissenting, they acquitted him.
Lord Dunboyne sat in the Irish House of Lords in the Irish Parliament of 1634 and in that of 1639 to 1640. He died on 17 March 1640 at his home, Kiltinan Castle, was buried in the nearby town of Fethard, he married firstly Margaret Butler, daughter of Thomas Butler, 2nd Baron Cahir and his second wife Ellice Fitzgerald. They had at least eight children: James Butler, 4th/14th Baron Dunboyne Thomas, who fought in the Rebellion of 1641 Ellen, who married James Butler, was the mother of Pierce, 2nd Viscount Ikerrin Eleanor, who married Edmond Butler, was the mother of Pierce, 4th Baron Cahir John, Edmund and Margaret, who died young, he married secondly his cousin Lady Ellen FitzGerald, daughter of Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond and his second wife Eleanor Butler. Ellen was some years his senior and had been twice married, she died at a great age in 1660
Excalibur is a 1981 American epic historical fantasy film directed, co-written by John Boorman that retells the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, based on the 15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory. It stars Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicol Williamson as Merlin, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere, Helen Mirren as Morgana, Liam Neeson as Gawain, Gabriel Byrne as Uther Pendragon, Corin Redgrave as Cornwall, Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance; the film is named after the legendary sword of King Arthur that features prominently in Arthurian literature. The film's soundtrack features the music of Richard Wagner and Carl Orff, along with an original score by Trevor Jones. Excalibur was shot on location in Ireland, employing Irish actors and crew, it has been acknowledged for its importance to the Irish filmmaking industry and for helping launch the film and acting careers of a number of British and Irish actors, including Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Ciarán Hinds.
Film critics Roger Ebert and Vincent Canby criticized the film's plot and characters, although they and other reviewers praised its visual style. Excalibur opened at number one in the United States grossing $34,967,437 on a budget of around US$11 million to rank 18th in that year's receipts; the sorcerer Merlin retrieves Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake for Uther Pendragon, who secures a brief alliance with the Duke of Cornwall. Uther's lust for Cornwall's wife Igrayne soon ruins the truce, Merlin agrees to help Uther to seduce Igrayne on the condition that he gives Merlin whatever results from his lust. Merlin transforms Uther into Cornwall's likeness with the Charm of Making. Cornwall's daughter Morgana senses her father's mortal injury during his assault on Uther's camp. Nine months Merlin takes Uther's son Arthur. Uther is mortally wounded by Cornwall's knights. Uther thrusts Excalibur into a stone, crying that "Nobody shall wield Excalibur, but me!", Merlin proclaims, "He who draws the sword from the stone, he shall be king."
Years Sir Ector and his sons and Arthur attend a jousting tournament. Sir Leondegrance wins the chance to try pulling Excalibur from the stone. Kay's sword is stolen, Arthur pulls Excalibur from the stone while trying to replace the stolen sword. Word spreads, Merlin announces to the crowd that Arthur is Uther's son and, the rightful ruler. Leondegrance proclaims his support for the new king, but not all are willing to accept. While the others argue and Arthur enter the forest, where Merlin tells Arthur that he is the rightful king and that the king and the land are one. Overwhelmed, Arthur falls into a long sleep; when he wakes, Arthur goes to aid Leondegrance, whose castle is under siege by Arthur's enemies, led by Sir Uryens. During the battle, Arthur defeats Uryens and demands Uryens knight him, handing him Excalibur to do so. Uryens is tempted to kill him but is moved by Arthur's display of faith and decides to knight him. Uryens falls to his knees to declare his loyalty. Arthur meets Leondegrance's daughter Guinevere soon afterwards and is smitten but Merlin foresees trouble.
Years the undefeated knight Lancelot blocks a bridge and will not move until he is defeated in single combat, seeking a king worthy of his sword. Lancelot defeats Arthur and his knights, so Arthur summons Excalibur's magic and defeats Lancelot but breaks Excalibur in the process. Arthur is ashamed of abusing the sword's power to serve his own vanity and throws the sword's remains into the lake, while admitting his mistake; the Lady of the Lake offers a restored Excalibur to the king, Lancelot is revived and Arthur and his knights unify the land. Arthur builds Camelot and marries Guinevere. Arthur's half-sister Morgana, a budding sorceress and still bitter towards Arthur, becomes apprenticed to Merlin in hopes of learning the Charm of Making from him. Lancelot stays away from the Round Table to avoid Guinevere, he takes him to Camelot to become a squire. Sir Gawain, under Morgana's influence, accuses Guinevere of driving Lancelot away, "driven from us by a woman's desire", forcing Lancelot to duel with Gawain to defend his and Guinevere's honor.
The preceding night, Lancelot is attacked by himself in a nightmare and awakens to find himself wounded by his own sword. Arthur hastily knights Perceval when Lancelot is late to the duel but Lancelot appears just in time and defeats Gawain, while nearly dying from his wounds. Merlin heals him and he rides out to the forest to rest. Guinevere realizes her feelings for Lancelot and they consummate their love in the forest. Arthur finds Lancelot asleep together. Heartbroken at their betrayal, he thrusts Excalibur into the ground between the sleeping couple. Merlin's magical link to the land impales him on the sword and Morgana seizes the opportunity to trap him in a crystal with the Charm of Making. Morgana takes the form of seduces Arthur. On awakening to the sight of Excalibur, Lancelot flees in shame and Guinevere lies weeping. Morgana bears a son, a curse caused by Mordred's unnatural incestuous origin strikes the land with famine and sickness. A broken Arthur sends his knights in hopes of restoring the land.
Many of his knights
Iffa and Offa West
Iffa and Offa West is a barony in County Tipperary, Ireland. This geographical unit of land is one of 12 baronies in County Tipperary, its chief town is Cahir. The barony lies between Clanwilliam to the north-west, Middle Third to the north-east and Iffa and Offa East to the east; the area is administered by Tipperary County Council. The barony is within the geographic remit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lismore. Baronies were created after the Norman invasion of Ireland as divisions of counties and were used the administration of justice and the raising of revenue. While baronies continue to be defined units, they have been administratively obsolete since 1898. However, they continue to be used in land registration and in specification, such as in planning permissions. In many cases, a barony corresponds to an earlier Gaelic túath; as the name suggests, in medieval times the territory of the barony was controlled by the Gaelic clans of Uíbh Eoghain and Uíbh Fhathaidh. Following the conquest of Ireland by the Normans, much of the territory was, by royal grant, handed over to the victorious barons.
William de Camville married Albreda Marmion about 1164. She was the daughter of Geoffrey Marmion, they had a son, Geoffrey de Camville, born about 1182, in Leicestershire, England. Geoffrey married Felicia about 1206, he enters Irish records some time prior to his marriage. Cahir Abbey was in existence by c.1200 when the prior is listed as a witness to one of the documents contained in the register of the hospital of St. John's Dublin. In this, a grant to the hospital by Geoffrey de Camville, the prior John is described as first prior of "Kaherdunesche", which suggests that the priory was a recent foundation at this time, it is the same Geoffrey de Camville, credited with the foundation of the priory in Cahir. Geoffrey was Baron of both Fedamore in Co.. Limerick. Having no male heir, the titles to the baronies lapsed; the next time that a "Baron Cahir" is mentioned is in the mid 16th century when a barony is created for a member of the Butler family – Thomas Butler, 1st Baron Cahir. He was a direct descendant of the Ormond branch of the Butler family, from James, the 3rd Earl.
It was his father, the 2nd Earl, who had built Cahir Castle in 1375 to guard a strategic crossing point of the River Suir. Ardfinnan Castle was built by order of King John around 1186 to guard another crossing of the River Suir. A bridge was started soon; when County Tipperary was split into North and South Ridings in 1836, Iffa and Offa West was allocated to the south riding. However, the neighbouring barony of Kilnamanagh was split into Upper and Lower half-baronies, being allocated to the north and south ridings respectively; the barony is set in that part of the Suir valley. The Knockmealdown Mountains rise abruptly to the south, forming the border with County Waterford before they trail off to the lesser peaks of the Kilworth Mountains further west at the Cork border. To the northwest lie the Galtee Mountains – Ireland's highest inland mountain range; the summit of Galtymore forms the demarkation with County Limerick. Ballylooby, Burncourt, Grange, Husseystown This table lists an historical geographical sub-division of the barony known as the civil parish.
List of civil parishes of South Tipperary Walsh, Dennis. "Barony Map of Ireland". Retrieved 13 February 2007. Source given is "Ordnance survey"
County Tipperary is a county in Ireland. It is located in the province of Munster; the county is named after the town of Tipperary, was established in the early thirteenth century, shortly after the Norman invasion of Ireland. The population of the county was 159,553 at the 2016 census; the largest towns are Clonmel and Thurles. Tipperary County Council is the local government authority for the county. Between 1838 and 2014 county Tipperary was divided into two ridings/counties, North Tipperary and South Tipperary, which were unified under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, which came into effect following the 2014 local elections on 3 June 2014. Tipperary is the sixth largest of the 12th largest by population, it is the third largest of the third largest by population. It is the largest landlocked county in Ireland; the region is part of the central plain of Ireland, but the diverse terrain contains several mountain ranges: the Knockmealdown, the Galtee, the Arra Hills and the Silvermine Mountains.
Most of the county is drained by the River Suir. No part of the county touches the coast; the centre is known as'the Golden Vale', a rich pastoral stretch of land in the Suir basin which extends into counties Limerick and Cork. There are 12 historic baronies in County Tipperary: Clanwilliam, Eliogarty and Offa East and Offa West, Kilnamanagh Lower, Kilnamanagh Upper, Middle Third, Ormond Lower, Ormond Upper and Arra and Slievardagh. Parishes were delineated after the Down Survey as an intermediate subdivision, with multiple townlands per parish and multiple parishes per barony; the civil parishes had some use in local taxation and were included on the nineteenth century maps of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland. For poor law purposes, District Electoral Divisions replaced the civil parishes in the mid-nineteenth century. There are 199 civil parishes in the county. Townlands are the smallest defined geographical divisions in Ireland. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the Kingdom of Munster was claimed as a lordship.
By 1210, the sheriffdom of Munster shired into the shires of Limerick. In 1328, Tipperary was granted to the Earls of Ormond as liberty; the grant excluded church lands such as the archiepiscopal see of Cashel, which formed the separate county of Cross Tipperary. Though the Earls gained jurisdiction over the church lands in 1662, "Tipperary and Cross Tipperary" were not definitively united until the County Palatine of Tipperary Act 1715, when the 2nd Duke of Ormond was attainted for supporting the Jacobite rising of 1715; the county was divided once again in 1838. The county town of Clonmel, where the grand jury held its twice-yearly assizes, is at the southern limit of the county, roads leading north were poor, making the journey inconvenient for jurors resident there. A petition to move the county town to a more central location was opposed by the MP for Clonmel, so instead the county was split into two "ridings"; when the Local Government Act 1898 established county councils to replace the grand jury for civil functions, the ridings became separate "administrative counties" with separate county councils.
Their names were changed from "Tipperary North/South Riding" to "North/South Tipperary" by the Local Government Act 2001, which redesignated all "administrative counties" as "counties". The Local Government Reform Act 2014 has amalgamated the two counties and restored a single county of Tipperary. Following the Local Government Reform Act 2014, Tipperary County Council is the local government authority for the county; the authority is a merger of two separate authorities North Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary County Council which operated up until June 2014. The local authority is responsible for certain local services such as sanitation and development, the collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing; the county is part of the South constituency for the purposes of European elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the constituency used is: Tipperary, it returns five deputies to the Dáil. Tipperary is referred to as the "Premier County", a description attributed to Thomas Davis, Editor of The Nation newspaper in the 1840s as a tribute to the nationalistic feeling in Tipperary and said that "where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows".
Tipperary was the subject of the famous song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" written by Jack Judge, whose grandparents came from the county. It was popular with regiments of the British army during World War I; the song "Slievenamon", traditionally associated with the county, was written by Charles Kickham from Mullinahone, is sung at sporting fixtures involving the county. There are 979 Irish speakers in County Tipperary attending the five Gaelscoileanna and two Gaelcholáistí; the area around Clonmel is the economic hub of the county: to the east of the town the manufacturers Bulmers and Merck & Co.. There is much fertile land in the region known as the Golden Vale, one of the richest agricultural areas in Ireland. Dairy farming and cattle raising are the principal occupations. Other industries are the manufacture of meal and flour. Tipperary is famous for its horse breeding industry and is the home of Coolmore Stud, the largest thoroughbred
Ballymote Castle is a large rectangular keepless castle, built around 1300. It is located in the townland of Carrownanty on the outskirts of Ballymote in southern County Sligo, Ireland; this area was known as Átha Cliath an Chorainn, which translates as The Ford of the Hurdles of Corann. It is the last of the Norman castles in Connacht, it was built in order to protect the newly won possessions of Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, in County Sligo, some distance from an earlier motte. Ballymote castle is a large enclosure castle, the most symmetrical of all the Irish "keepless" castles, it has many similarities with Beaumaris Castle, in Anglesey, built by King Edward I of England. The entrance, with a double towered gate, had twin D-shaped towers, it has a gatehouse typical of the period, the outer portions of which have completely disappeared. The castle, remains an impressive structure; the interior measures about 30 square metres. There are three-quarter round towers at all four corners and in the middle of the east and west walls.
A postern gate, planned for the centre of the south wall, was never completed because of the events of 1317, when the castle was lost to the O'Connors. A small square tower had protected this gate; the walls are about 3.0 metres thick and flanked with six noble towers. Passages of about 0.91 metres wide ran through the centre of the walls all around and the passages were built in such a way that they gave access to the towers, to the intervening curtain walls at different heights, thereby meeting the needs of attack or defence. No traces of the interior domestic buildings survive. Local folklore suggests that underground passages connected Emlaghfad church with the castle and with the nearby Franciscan Abbey, though such stories are common throughout Ireland and are unlikely to be based on fact; the Red Earl is credited with building the ancient road from Boyle, County Roscommon to Collooney, known as Bóthar an Corann and as the Red Earls Road. The castle changed hands many times since construction.
It was captured by the O'Connors of Sligo in 1317, but was taken by the Mac Diarmada, during the course of local struggles, in 1347. By 1381 it had passed to the McDonaghs. Although owned by Tadhg MacDermot, one of the last of the Kings of Moylurg in 1561, it appears to have passed to the O'Connor Sligo by 1571, at which time he surrendered the castle and had it regranted to him by James I of England. In 1577, the castle fell into English hands for a short period and more permanently in 1584, when it was taken by the Governor of Connacht Richard Bingham. A lack of occupation levels implies that the building was abandoned during the above period; the O'Connors, O'Hartes and O'Dowds sacked the castle in 1588. The English surrendered it in 1598 to the MacDonaghs who sold it shortly afterwards to Red Hugh O'Donnell, it was from here that Red Hugh O'Donnell marched to the disastrous Battle of Kinsale in 1601. When the O' Donnells surrendered it to the English in 1602, it was in a bad state of repair.
In 1633, the Taaffes owned it for a short time, but had to surrender it again to the English Parliamentary forces in 1652. In the Williamite wars the castle was held by Captain Terence MacDonagh for King James II, but he had to surrender it to Lord Granard in the face of an artillery attack in 1690. Soon afterwards the fortifications were made harmless, the moat was filled up and the castle fell into ruins. In more recent years the Office of Public Works have carried out preservation work on the castle; the castle is on the R296, Ballymote to Tubbercurry road, opposite the Ballymote railway station, just past the Catholic church. Contact the Enterprise Centre, Grattan Street on 071-9183992 to get the key; the Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, on weekends in the summer. Access is through the grounds of the Ballymote Community nursing unit. List of castles in Ireland Ballymote
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting as head of state and head of government of the new republic. Cromwell was born into the middle gentry to a family descended from the sister of King Henry VIII's minister Thomas Cromwell. Little is known of the first 40 years of his life, as only four of his personal letters survive along with a summary of a speech that he delivered in 1628, he became an Independent Puritan after undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630s, taking a tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of his period. He was an intensely religious man, a self-styled Puritan Moses, he fervently believed that God was guiding his victories, he was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short and Long Parliaments. He entered the English Civil Wars on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians, nicknamed "Old Ironsides".
He demonstrated his ability as a commander and was promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to being one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army, playing an important role under General Sir Thomas Fairfax in the defeat of the Royalist 11th forces. Cromwell was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649, he dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England as a member of the Rump Parliament, he was selected to take command of the English campaign in Ireland in 1649–1650. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country, bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars. During this period, a series of Penal Laws were passed against Roman Catholics, a substantial amount of their land was confiscated. Cromwell led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651. On 20 April 1653, he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as Barebone's Parliament before being invited by his fellow leaders to rule as Lord Protector of England and Ireland from 16 December 1653.
As a ruler, he executed an effective foreign policy. He was buried in Westminster Abbey; the Royalists returned to power along with King Charles II in 1660, they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, beheaded. Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the British Isles, considered a regicidal dictator by historians such as David Sharp, a military dictator by Winston Churchill, a hero of liberty by John Milton, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Rawson Gardiner, a revolutionary bourgeois by Leon Trotsky, his tolerance of Protestant sects did not extend to Catholics. He was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll. Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on 25 April 1599 to Elizabeth Steward; the family's estate derived from Oliver's great-grandfather Morgan ap William, a brewer from Glamorgan who settled at Putney in London, married Katherine Cromwell, the sister of Thomas Cromwell, the famous chief minister to Henry VIII. The Cromwell family acquired great wealth as occasional beneficiaries of Thomas's administration of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Morgan ap William was a son of William ap Yevan of Wales. The family line continued through Richard Williams, Henry Williams to Oliver's father Robert Williams, alias Cromwell, who married Elizabeth Steward in 1591, they had ten children. Cromwell's paternal grandfather Sir Henry Williams was one of the two wealthiest landowners in Huntingdonshire. Cromwell's father Robert was of modest means but still a member of the landed gentry; as a younger son with many siblings, Robert inherited only a house at Huntingdon and a small amount of land. This land would have generated an income of up to £300 a year, near the bottom of the range of gentry incomes. Cromwell himself in 1654 said, "I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in considerable height, nor yet in obscurity". Cromwell was baptised on 29 April 1599 at St John's Church, attended Huntingdon Grammar School, he went on to study at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge a founded college with a strong Puritan ethos. He left in June 1617 without taking a degree after his father's death.
Early biographers claim that he attended Lincoln's Inn, but the Inn's archives retain no record of him. Antonia Fraser concludes that it was that he did train at one of the London Inns of Court during this time, his grandfather, his father, two of his uncles had attended Lincoln's Inn, Cromwell sent his son Richard there in 1647. Cromwell returned home to Huntingdon after his father's death; as his mother was widowed, his seven sisters unmarried, he would have been needed at home to help his family. On 22 August 1620 at St Giles-without-Cripplegate, Fore Street, Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier. Elizabeth's father, Sir James Bourchier, was a London leather merchant who owned extensive lands in Essex and had strong connections with Puritan gentry families there; the marriage brought Cromwell into contact with Oliver St John and with leading members of the London merchant community, behin