1st Edition

Oliver Cromwell’s Kin, 1643-1726 The Private and Public Worlds of the English Revolution and Restoration

By David Farr Copyright 2023

    This study centres around three leading military statesmen who served under Oliver Comwell but were also his kin and shared the experiences of the civil wars, John Disbrowe (1608–80), Henry Ireton (1611–51), and Charles Fleetwood (1618–92). It seeks to develop our picture of their positions from the context of their kin link to Cromwell and how their private worlds shaped their public roles, how kinship was part of the functioning of the Cromwellian state, how they were seen and presented, and how this impacted on their own lives, and their kin, before and after the Restoration.

    Cromwell's career can be explored further by considering figures in his kinship network to show how the public and private overlapped and influenced each other through their interaction before and after 1660. This study aims to consider the trajectory of elements of Cromwell's network and how its functioning and the interaction of its constituent parts over time shaped the politics of the years 1643 to 1660 but also how the survival of some networks after 1660 were continuing communities of those willing to own their memories of the civil wars, regicide, and Cromwell. A study of aspects of Cromwell's kin also provides examples of the continuities between those who resisted the Stuarts in the 1640s and 1650s and did so again in the 1680s.

    Suitable for specialists in the area and students taking courses on early modern British, European and American history as well as those with a more general interest in the period.


    1. Henry Ireton, Cromwell’s ‘son’: New Model Officer Marriages and the Politics of Settlement during the English Revolution
    2. The Iretons and Cromwell’s financial management
    3. John Ireton and the afterlife of Henry Ireton and Cromwell
    4. Clement Ireton: Fifth Monarchist opponent of Cromwell
    5. John Ireton: the Restoration and continuing opposition to the Stuarts
    6. Bridget Ireton and Charles Fleetwood, Cromwell’s ‘son’
    7. Fleetwood and the Politics of Cromwell’s Protectorate
    8. Fleetwood and his ‘brother’, Henry Cromwell
    9. Fleetwood and the fracturing of the Cromwellian alliance
    10. Fleetwood and the failure of the English Revolution
    11. John Disbrowe and the failure of the English Revolution
    12. Cromwell’s financial management, kinship and the politics of the Protectorate
    13. Fleetwood and Restoration communities of radicals
    14. Bridget Bendish and the memory of Oliver Cromwell in East Anglia
    15. Henry and Bridget Ireton and the politics of the Glorious Revolution

    Conclusion: Cromwell’s kin and the afterlife of the English Revolution



    David Farr is Deputy Head Academic of Norwich School. He is author of four full-length studies of the Cromwellian military-religious figures, John Lambert, Henry Ireton, Thomas Harrison, Hezekiah Haynes (2020), and the 2022 Brokerage and Networks in London’s Global World: Kinship, Commerce, and Communities through the experience of John Blackwell.