Alternative History
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England
Term of Office: December 16, 1653 – September 3, 1658
Predecessor: Council of State
Successor: Charles Fleetwood
25 April, 1599
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
3 September, 1658
Whitehall, London
Parliamentarian; Military commander

Oliver Cromwell (born 25 April 1599, died 3 September 1658) was a military leader and political leader who helped turn England into a republican Commonwealth and who later became the Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was one of the commanders of the New Model Army who helped defeat the Royalists in the First English Civil War. After the execution of Charles I in 1649 Cromwell became the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England until his death in 1658.

Cromwell was born into the ranks of the middle gentry, and remained relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. He was related to Henry VIII's high official Thomas Cromwell (an ancestor having changed his surname to benefit from the connection). At times his lifestyle resembled that of a yeoman farmer until his finances were boosted thanks to an inheritance from his uncle. After undergoing a religious conversion during the same decade, he made an Independent style of Puritanism a core tenet of his life. Cromwell was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long (1640-49) Parliaments, and later entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians.

An effective soldier (nicknamed "Old Ironsides"), he rose from leading a single cavalry troop to command of the entire army. Cromwell was the third person to sign Charles I's death warrant in 1649 and was an MP in the Rump Parliament (1649-1653), being chosen by the Rump to take command of the English campaign in Ireland during 1649-50. He then led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650-51. On April 20, 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as the Barebones Parliament before being made Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland on 16 December 1653 until his death. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.