Cromwell: A Killjoy Regime?

“Statue of Oliver Cromwell outside the Palace of Westminster” by ell brown is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Gunpowder Plot, the Civil Wars, Charles I’s execution, the Plague, the Great Fire, the Restoration, and then the Glorious Revolution: the seventeenth century was one of the most momentous times in the history of Britain, and Londoners took centre stage.
In London and the Seventeenth Century, Margarette Lincoln charts the impact of national events on an ever-growing citizenry with its love of pageantry, spectacle, and enterprise. Lincoln looks at how religious, political, and financial tensions were fomented by commercial ambition, expansion, and hardship. In addition to events at court and parliament, she evokes the remarkable figures of the period, including Shakespeare, Bacon, Pepys, and Newton, and draws on diaries, letters, and wills to trace the untold stories of ordinary Londoners. Through their eyes, we see how the nation emerged from a turbulent century poised to become a great maritime power with London at its heart—the greatest city of its time.

This extract looks at London under the regime of Oliver Cromwell following the execution of King Charles I in 1649.

London and the Seventeenth Century is the first comprehensive history of seventeenth-century London, told through the lives of those who experienced it.

Margarette Lincoln was visiting fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Deputy Director of the National Maritime Museum. She is the author of Trading in War and British Pirates and Society, 1680–1730.

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