Oliver Cromwell is the only English commoner to become head of state and is one of the most remarkable and controversial figures in history. Energised by his Puritan beliefs he came to dominate the movement to remove Charles I and would come to be Lord Protector ruling the British Isles from 1653 until his death in 1658. As a military commander, he was a natural leader but also absolutely ruthless. Without formal military training before the Civil War, became arguably the best cavalry commander of his generation. His conquest and pacification of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, in particular, was brutal and remains controversial. Professor Ronald Hutton from Bristol University is Dan's guest on today's episode of the podcast. Ronald has recently published The Making of Oliver Cromwell making him the perfect person to give us an insight into this complicated and impressive figure.