Henry Ireton, Cromwell’s Son-in-Law

Howard Shaw introduces Henry Ireton, Cromwell's son-in-law, a regicide, and a man with principles and temper of a Cassius, who “stuck at nothing.”

Henry Ireton

On Saturday, January 30th, 1661, the twelfth anniversary of the execution of Charles I, the disinterred bodies of Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, and John Bradshaw were drawn on hurdles from Holborn to Tyburn and there hanged on the common gallows. Of the victims of this squalid act of royalist revenge, Oliver Cromwell is the one who is remembered, while the others lie in the shadows of history.

Yet it is arguable that of the three regicides whose pitiful remains swung at Tyburn, Ireton was the most influential figure in the critical years leading to the overthrow of the monarchy and that he should bear most responsibility for the death of the King. Moreover, it is conceivable that, had Ireton not been carried to a premature death in Ireland by the inhospitable climate of County Clare, the history of the Great Rebellion might have followed a different course.

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