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Small oval copper plate engraved with portrait of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell, a gentleman farmer of Huntingdon, was a Member of Parliament at the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. He joined the cavalry under Robert Devereux the third Earl of Essex, and soon established a formidable military reputation. He was named Lieutenant-General of the parliamentarian forces. As one of the judges at King Charles I's trial, Cromwell signed the King's death warrant in 1649, and became Lord Protector of England in 1653. Without actually possessing the title, Cromwell gradually adopted the style and behaviour of a monarch and established himself at the Palace of Whitehall in London, and campaigned vigorously for religious liberty for Protestants and Nonconformists. After the Restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660, Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey and hung on the gallows at Tyburn; his head was set on a pole on top of Westminster Hall.
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