This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for April 25, 2017: The Necessary Brevity of Pleasures

Apr. 25, 2017: birthday: Oliver Cromwell

It’s the birthday of English military and political leader Oliver Cromwell, born in Huntingdonshire, England (1599). Cromwell was born solidly middle class and had no military experience whatsoever, but his actions led to the beheading of King Charles I in 1649. After the beheading, Cromwell insisted that Charles’s head be sewn back on his body so his family could pay proper respects. Custom normally dictated that the head be spiked and paraded through town.

Oliver Cromwell was named Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He had panic attacks before every battle, but he rode at the front of the cavalry, so his men loved him. As an outspoken Puritan, he created the so-called “Blue Laws,” which prohibited cursing, swearing, drunkenness, adultery, and blasphemy.