I can’t help but notice that the towns of Huntingdon and Fenland all pay homage to Oliver Cromwell of the English Civil War.
This man led a revolt against the Scottish and English king who was Charles I and his Royalist supporters. Cromwell actually dismantled the laws of England and beheaded the king. In times gone by this area (Huntingdon & Fenland), I suspect, would have been Parliamentarian country. What Cromwell did can be compared with what the Ayatollah Khomeini did in 1979, when the religious leader deposed the Shah of Iran.
I believe Essex and East London was more Royalist. This is where I’m from. I remember visiting Colchester and learning of the siege against the town during the civil war. It was defended by the Royalists but eventually fell to the Parliamentarians. Still it was back in the 1640s decade and much dust has settled since then.
In St Ives I took this photo of Oliver Cromwell's statue. It’s strange because he would have been on a par with extremist religious bigots now days. His brand of Christian ideology would be nothing short of extreme fundamentalism. People could have ears cut off and other forms of maiming just for not attending church the required number of hours per week.
Local pastors were like Big Brother watchers over communities and could bring charges of blasphemy against citizens just for not attending church the required hours per week. The following 1650s decade was a terrible time for England. It was bad for all of the Isles, including Ireland. Also the American colonies felt the heat of fundamentalism too.
The Restoration in 1660 brought new prosperity to all and gradually the horrors of post-civil war rule began to fade. I’m fascinated by our history and enjoy it so much, but I sometimes wonder if it is fitting to have commemorative statues to such a person?
If Oliver Cromwell would have been around today, I sincerely believe he would have been convicted in the international court of The Hague. Yet from his dreadful legacy came some good, I suppose. The mere thought of Cromwell and his Parliamentarians makes me shudder. I would have opposed him and lost. I’m a lapsed non-practising Catholic, but I don’t think this would have cut much ice with the Lord Protector's government. I would surely have perished or been forced to flee or hide.