The parliamentary debates and controversy surrounding Oliver Cromwell's statue : England's shifting sentiments toward Cromwell's reputation 1658-1900
Boelk, Jeffrey L.
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With his death on 3 September 1658, Oliver Cromwell’s reputation began a stormy journey. During the Restoration, it reached its nadir, but slowly rose with political, economic, and social changes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The elevation of Cromwell’s reputation notably accelerated in the early nineteenth century. In the early 1840s, an effigy of Cromwell was proposed to be placed in the precincts of the newly-built Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall. The Parliamentary and public controversy that ensued sporadically until the early 1900s was fierce and acrimonious. The stiffest opposition to the statue’s erection came, not surprisingly, from the Irish. The outcome of this divisive debate was the placement of Cromwell’s statue in front of the House of Commons on 14 November 1899 through the efforts of an anonymous donor purported to be Lord Rosebery. The erection of Cromwell’s statue symbolized the elevation of his reputation to its rightful place among England’s Notables.