Saying the name “Oliver Cromwell” elicits two reactions, depending where it is said. In England, Cromwell is viewed as the savior of a ragged nation, a poor nation, after the monarchy made some unwise decisions.
His own decisions did not always work out well for him, as he was beheaded in 1540. The English regretted this decision a few decades later, deciding to exhume him and re-bury him in a place with more dignity.
However, in Ireland (Drogheda and Wexford, in particular), Cromwell is known as the slaughterer of 500,000 Irishmen. As he marched through the land, he killed the Catholics and some Protestants did not fare all that well (especially the Presbyterians).
During a 1984 visit, we inadvertently walked in Cromwell's path and when we said “Oliver Cromwell”, an Irishman would repeat the name, cough up some phlegm, and spit on the ground. No more needed to be said.
Here are the two views:
|The English revered Oliver Cromwell|
for a while, anyway
But then there were the Irish:
|Slaughter at Drogheda, Ireland|
Now, here is a condensed historical version by Monty Python.
p.s. Have you ever seen "The Holy Grail"? Worthwhile.