Offering the Crown to Cromwell

Patrick Little asks why Parliament offered the infamous regicide the crown of England, to what extent he was tempted to take it – and why he finally turned it down.

Allegory on Oliver Cromwell, Crispijn van de Passe (II), 1652. Rijksmuseum.

If his highness can be moved to accept of it [the crown], the services he hath done the nations have abundantly deserved it; but if he who hath so much merited it do judge it fit to continue his refusal of it, the contempt of a crown – which can not proceed but from an extraordinary virtue – will render him, in the esteem of all whose opinion is to be valued, more honourable than any that wear it.


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