World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Statue of Oliver Cromwell, Westminster

Article Id: WHEBN0036618758
Reproduction Date:

Title: Statue of Oliver Cromwell, Westminster  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Oliver Cromwell, List of public art in Bexley, List of public art in Wandsworth, List of public art in Croydon, List of public art in London
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Statue of Oliver Cromwell, Westminster

Oliver Cromwell
Year 1899 (1899)
Type Statue
Subject Oliver Cromwell
Location Houses of Parliament, London

A statue of Oliver Cromwell stands outside the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in Westminster, London. It is a sculpture of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. The statue was designed by Hamo Thornycroft and erected in 1899. It has divided opinion, both before its erection and since, due to Cromwell's opposition to the British monarchy and his role in the conquest of Ireland.


The statue was sculpted by Hamo Thornycroft, and features Cromwell standing holding a sword and a bible.[1] The bible is marked "Holy Bible 1641", and while the main statue of Cromwell is marked "Hamo Thornycroft 1897", the lion on the base is marked "1899".[2]


Detail of the statue

Following the fire which destroyed parts of the [5] It was raised several more times over the following years by supporters of a statue.[6][7]

The government publicly proposed a statue of Cromwell for the first time in 1895, which immediately resulted in members of the public questioning the decision due the divided opinions about Cromwell.[8] The proposal ended in a parliamentary debate and vote, in which the Government narrowly avoided defeat when the Unionists sided with them while the majority of the Conservatives and the Irish Nationalists voted against the measure because of Cromwell's history in Ireland.[9] The decision was condemned by newspapers in Ireland.[10] Following further opposition from the Irish National Party, the proposal was withdrawn on 17 July 1895.[11] Herbert Gladstone, First Commissioner of Works, approved the statue with the funding coming from an anonymous private donor. In 1899 his successor Aretas Akers-Douglas confirmed the statue's proposed location as the sunken garden next to Westminster Hall.[12] The statue was unveiled on 31 October 1899, followed by a speech on Cromwell by Prime Minister Lord Rosebery,[13] who was later revealed as the anonymous donor who paid for the statue.[1]

In 2004, a group of Members of Parliament including Tony Banks proposed a motion that the statue should be removed and melted down. The move was not supported, and other MPs suggested that the statue should be moved somewhere else.[14]

Restoration work took place in August 2008, removing dirt and a coat of black wax which had been previously applied to the bronzework. This changed the colour of the statue from black to a more natural brown, and potassium sulphide was applied in order to even out the colour of both Cromwell and the lion. It was coated in a clear wax in order to ensure that the natural finish remained. The conservation work was completed in time for the 350th anniversary of Cromwell's death on 3 September 2008.[2]


  1. ^ a b "TV review: Spectre of Cromwell still looms large". Sunday Business Post. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Cromwell conservation work". Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cromwell online exhibition". The Cromwell Association. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Hutchinson, Peter (11 September 1845). "Should Cromwell Have a Statue?". The Times (19026). p. 8. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ "House of Commons". The Times (22388). 7 June 1856. p. 6. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ "House of Commons". The Times (23690). 4 August 1860. p. 6. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ "House of Commons". The Times (23974). 2 July 1861. p. 6. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ Smith, Goldwin (20 April 1895). "Cromwell's Statue". The Times. p. 8. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Political Notes". The Times (34604). 15 June 1895. p. 9. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "House of Commons". The Times (34606). 18 June 1895. p. 6. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tercentenary Of Oliver Cromwell". The Times (35813). 26 April 1899. p. 12. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  12. ^ "House of Commons". The Times (35818). 2 May 1899. p. 6. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (35942). 23 September 1899. p. 7. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)
  14. ^ "Oliver Cromwell statue moving". News of the World. 16 May 2004. p. 29. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  (subscription required)

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.