God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland
Cromwell spent only nine months of his eventful life in Ireland, yet he stands accused there of war crimes, religious persecution and ethnic cleansing. The massacre of thousands of soldiers and civilians by the New Model Army at both Drogheda and Wexford in 1649 must rank among the greatest atrocities in Anglo-Irish history: a tale that makes decidedly uncomfortable reading for those keen to focus on Cromwell_s undoubted military and political achievements elsewhere.In a century of unrelenting, bloody warfare and religious persecution throughout Europe, Cromwell was, in many ways, a product of his times. As commander-in-chief of the army in Ireland, however, the responsibilities for the excesses of the military must be laid firmly at his door, while the harsh nature of the post-war settlement also bears his personal imprint. Cromwell was no monster, but he did commit monstrous acts. A warrior of Christ, somewhat like the crusaders of medieval Europe, he acted as God_s executioner, convinced throughout the horrors of the legitimacy of his cause, and striving to build a better world for the chosen few. He remains, therefore, a remarkably modern figure, somebody to be closely studied and understood, rather than simply revered or reviled.
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Prelude to Invasion
Cromwell at Drogheda and Wexford
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alliance Antrim Aphorismical Discovery April arrival assembly August bishops Bodl campaign Carte MS 27 Castlehaven Catholic Irish Charles Stuart civilians Clanricarde clergy clerical Clonmel Colonel commander Commonwealth confederate association Connacht Contemporary History continued Coote Council covenanters Cromwell's Cromwellian declared defeat Despite Drogheda Dublin duke of Lorraine earl early enemy England English parliament execution exiled Galway garrison Gilbert Henry Ireton Hugh Dubh O'Neill ibid Ireland London Ireton Irish Catholics Irish Protestants John Jones June Kilkenny king kingdom land Leinster letter Limerick lord lieutenant major March marquis of Clanricarde massacre military Model Army months Munster native Irish negotiations Nonetheless November October officers Oliver Cromwell Ormond to Clanricarde Owen Roe O'Neill parliamentarians peace political Prince Protestant settlers Rathmines rebellion rebels regime religious Rochford royalist Scotland Scottish September 1649 settlement siege Sir Phelim soldiers subsequently supplies surrender Taaffe Tories town treaty troops Ulster Irish Viscount Muskerry Waterford Wexford