Make your own free website on Tripod.com

After the initial 60 volunteers, he went on to raise another 14 companies of horse which finally comprised the ironsides, he was duly promoted to Colonel.

As with the rest of his life he showed no favour to social standing, money, or even religious leaning when he appointed his officers.  he appointed them on merit. This was eventually acted on by parliament as a whole when they instituted the famous 'New Model Army'.

 Personally I doubt that this meant that Cromwell was an egalitarian, he just insisted in the best men for the job. This was unusual and was not seen again in a 'British' army until the middle of the C20th.

The success of Cromwell's cavalry relied on their discipline. The Royalists had fine horse regiments but after a single charge they were inclined to charge off the field and disperse, such as they did at the battle of Edgehill whereas Cromwell held his men ready for further action if necessary.

In 1646 the king's last stronghold at Oxford surrendered. This was the end of the first Civil war, although now a lieutenant general Cromwell had never been in sole command of an army, that was to come.

In this brief period of peace a group popularly known as the 'Levellers' attempted social reform both in the army and in society in general. they wanted to continue reforms started in the New Model Army. They also wanted a fairer distribution of land and the vote for all persons of independent means.

Cromwell who belonged to a group known as the independents opposed this. talks were held at Putney but bore no fruit. The talks were interrupted by the second Civil war and the Irish campaigns.

The levellers rose in mutiny and were finally crushed by Cromwell at Burford in Oxfordshire. Burford still holds annual festivities honouring the 3 soldiers executed by Cromwell.

John Lilburne  had been a close ally of Cromwell, who had campaigned for his release when had been imprisoned in 1640.

A major player in the leveller movement he felt completely betrayed by Cromwell who crushed the leveller movement without mercy.

 

 

 

Next Page