Oliver Cromwell becomes The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Cromwell may well be the most hated English figure in Irish and indeed Scottish history. His campaign in Ireland (1649-1650) bordered on genocide and ethnic cleansing as he “encouraged” a devastated Catholic population to leave their homesteads and go to “Hell or Connaught.”
At both the Siege of Drogheda and the Siege of Wexford, Cromwell’s troops massacred thousands of Irish, many of whom were non-combatants.
According to British Civil War: the Lord Protector of Ireland didn’t exactly live up to his moniker at Drogheda! “Up to 6,000 Parliamentarians were in the town overwhelming all resistance and slaughtering officers and soldiers. A cavalry screen outside the walls prevented escape to the north. Catholic priests and friars were treated as combatants and killed on sight. Many civilians died in the carnage. A group of defenders who had barricaded themselves in the steeple of St Peter’s Church in the north of Drogheda were burned alive when the Parliamentarians set fire to the church. Around 2,000 people died in the storming and massacre of Drogheda; a number of prisoners who surrendered before Cromwell gave the order for no quarter were murdered in cold blood. Surviving members of the garrison captured the following day were transported to Barbados. Parliamentarian losses were around 150.”