Cromwell

New this month Factual error: After the execution of Charles I / Alec Guiness, Oliver Cromwell / Richard Harris returns to his home. Sitting by the fire, he is consoled by his wife: he can now put the cares and worries of war and politics behind him, and enjoy a quiet life as a country gentleman. This cosy domesticity is rudely interrupted when some of his old colleagues arrive to tell him tell him that he is now needed to run the country. He protests that, as a country gentleman he would be unfit for such a role, but he reluctantly assumes power. In fact, by the time of Charles I's execution Oliver Cromwell was one of the most powerful political figures and military commanders in Britain, and actively continued commanding armies in Ireland, Scotland and England, and involving himself in government. Although rejecting a suggestion that he should be crowned king (after much deliberation), he was quite willing to take the title of 'Lord Protector' and govern England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales until his death in 1658.

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Rob Halliday

Factual error: In the scene where the king attempts to seize the five members from Parliament, Cromwell makes a dramatic refusal to leave and proposes various "Laws" to prevent his arrest. Cromwell was not one of the five members whom the King tried to arrest and no law can come into force until it had been signed by the reigning Monarch anyway.

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Factual error: Sir Thomas Fairfax was in overall command of the New Model Army at Naseby, not Cromwell. He was in charge of the cavalry on the right wing (the Ironsides).

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Factual error: Halfway through the film, Cromwell decides to create the New Model Army, and he kits them all out in dark brown uniforms. In fact, Cromwell's New Model Army wore red coats, (cheapest available colour), and this was the reason the British army wore red until the late 19th Century. In the movie, King Charles's troops all wear red; in fact each different regiment wore their own coat colours, blue being a popular choice.

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Factual error: In the scene of the Battle of Edgehill (the first battle in the movie) Cromwell utters the famous "Oh Lord, Thou knowest this day..." prayer. This was, in fact, said by Sir Jacob Astley one of the Royalist Generals on the other side. It is also unlikely that Cromwell was even at the battle.

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Factual error: In the last battle, Naseby, the Parliamentarians are shown to be outnumbered by the Royalists. In fact it was the other way round (13,000 to 9,000).

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