Oliver Cromwell [good choice for such a royal day...]
Seriously I find it unbelievable that this guy doesn’t get as much hate as he should
Firstly just look at his portrait, you can tell this guy is overflowing with seething vitriol. Yes it is unusual for people to actually look like this in their portraits since most artists tried to make their subjects look as sightly as possible. Cromwell specifically ordered for his portrait to be painted with ”warts and all” (which is where this saying comes from). This may make him seem like an admirable person but in fact it was because he was insane, he believed it would have been a sin to have his portrait done any other way and that he would have been condemned to eternal damnation otherwise.
In 1642 this piece of work was a member of the English parliament and an avid, extremist vanguard of a religious sect named the puritans, later known for all moving to Virginia. The Puritans generally believed that anything not 100% to do with Christ was an absolute sin and that once one had sinned there was no going back. This is pretty extreme by itself, and Cromwell was considered hardcore amongst these people, which could give you a glimpse into how utterly insane he really was: At some point in his life, Cromwell decided it was his duty to ‘guide’ England onto Gods path.
Basically he was the 1640s equivalent of Fred Phelps
Lucky for him, he lived during an age that allowed him to work toward this, parliament and the king, Charles I were at loggerheads. This lead to civil war. Cromwell rose up the ranks, seizing more and more power until he was indispensable. With the war won, hr got a group of his other MPs, known as the ‘Regicides’ to sign a warrant for the Kings execution.
Usually overthrowing an oppressive monarch would be good, but not in this case. Oliver Cromwell took control and started outlawing anything he saw as unholy, which meant everything. He banned various foods, theatre, dance, sports, make-up, and even Christmas. Puritans were free to enforce these laws on anyone they saw, if they saw a women wearing make-up they were allowed to just go up to her and rub it off.
As if to add insult to injury, Cromwell himself did not follow these laws. He would allow entertainment and rich food for himself but still believed others could not.
After turning England into a dystopia, he turned his attention to expanding his Empire. He asked the Netherlands if they would like to join his new, holy empire. When they replied with a ”You can’t actually be serious, no” he declared war on them.
He also tried to take over Ireland, and succeeded. Another thing Cromwell despised happened to be Catholics and viewed them as the greatest threat to his power. Cromwell simply did not see the Irish as human and so the conquest of Ireland was ruthless and he would execute anyone in Ireland who even showed the slightest hint of disapproval. It is reckoned up to as much as a third of the Irish population died because of this man.
On his death, his son took over for about five minutes before everyone said ‘wait a second, this sounds like royalty, and if we’re playing that game, we’d rather have some groovy, actual ‘royal’ person on the throne’ - so they invited dead Charles’ not-dead son, Charles, to rule. And you know what? That’s exactly what he did…
…wait, not quite, Charles II had Cromwell dug up, hung, beheaded, and his head was still being passed around 200 years later, until a spoilsport presumably buried it…