I must reject Mr Spanner’s accusations of my alleged inaccuracies concerning a work he has not read. I research each of my letters to the EC carefully, using primary literature. The term ‘shell’ has been used since the 16th cent. for a hollow artillery projectile filled with material intended to explode on landing. Thus Reilly says of Cromwell’s bombardment: “The shells were effectively flung from their barrels to land from above and would explode on impact. The shell itself was a hollow, iron sphere, filled with gunpowder and a slow burning fuse which would detonate as it landed,” p. 60. Reilly also, obviously following Cromwell (Letters CIII-CVII, Carlyle, vol. 2), describes the shelling of Protestant churches in chapters 2-4 and passim.
Mr Evan’s pro-Cromwell quotes neither refer to the Irish campaigns nor shed light on Reilly’s historical presentation. Owen, friend of Cromwell and the Royal Family, changed sides three times during these conflicts. Cromwell procured an order of Parliament to force him to kowtow. As demonstrated in my book Troublemakers at Frankfurt: A Vindication of the English Reformation, Lloyd-Jones lacks source-evidence for his revisionist opinions of these problems. The views of faithful steward Maidstone who stood for militant independency, must be regarded alongside views of staff and family members who did not. Lord Macaulay’s analysis of Cromwell’s character is not as thorough and harsh as Catherine Macaulay’s in her History of England, written two generations earlier. Yet, his Lordship refers briefly to the Irish campaigns in his History of England saying that Cromwell ‘gave the rein to the fierce enthusiasm of his followers’, ‘left great cities without inhabitants’, ‘smote the idolaters (sic) with the edge of the sword,’ forced thousands to flee to the Continent and shipped thousands to the West Indies. He tells of great cities rid of every single inhabitant and their property and land given to English plunderers. Wow! Hill compares Cromwell’s ‘butchering’ of troops and civilians to Hiroshima. Wow again!
Much of Mr Johnson’s description of Charles is equally applicable to Cromwell, though in his contempt of Parliament and the Established Churches, Cromwell was demonstrably more extreme than Charles. Johnson accurately describes the dilemma Cromwell created for himself and Parliament but this neither justifies nor excuses the Usurpation. Nor does Cromwell’s alleged tolerance of Roman Catholics, (especially Jesuits), and Jews exonerate his intolerance of fellow Protestants. Cromwell’s heart never beat for Britain but for the England he called ‘Cain’s land’ before subjecting it to his military power, confiscating vast areas of Ireland to give to his English henchmen. Furthermore, Puritan praise and criticism of Charles I was very similar to Puritan praise and criticism of Cromwell, as earlier historians point out. We must not forget that the Puritans who dethroned Charles I, were the first to support Charles II in restoring the kingdom. When referring to the many who rejected the Restoration Church of England, we forget the greater number of former Dissenters who remained thankfully in the Church and the many who returned.
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