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date: 08 December 2021

Oliver Cromwell 1599–1658
English soldier and statesman; Lord Protector from 1653 

  1. A few honest men are better than numbers.
    letter to William Spring, September 1643, in Thomas Carlyle Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches (2nd ed., 1846)
  2. I would rather have a plain russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call ‘a gentleman’ and is nothing else.
    letter to William Spring, September 1643
  3. Cruel necessity.
    on the execution of Charles I
    Joseph Spence Anecdotes (1820)
  4. I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.
    letter to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, 3 August 1650
  5. The dimensions of this mercy are above my thoughts. It is, for aught I know, a crowning mercy.
    letter to William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament of England, 4 September 1651
  6. You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
    addressing the Rump Parliament, 20 April 1653; oral tradition; see Amery
  7. Take away that fool's bauble, the mace.
    often quoted as, ‘Take away these baubles’
    at the dismissal of the Rump Parliament, 20 April 1653
  8. Necessity hath no law.
    speech to Parliament, 12 September 1654, in Thomas Carlyle Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches (1845)
  9. Hell or Connaught.
    summary of the choice offered to the Catholic population of Ireland, transported to the western counties to make room for settlers
    traditionally attributed
  10. Mr Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me; otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.
    often summarized as, ‘Warts and all’
    Horace Walpole Anecdotes of Painting in England vol. 3 (1763) ch. 1
  11. None climbs so high as he who knows not whither he is going.
  12. My design is to make what haste I can to be gone.
    John Morley Oliver Cromwell (1900)