On this day in 1658 (Old Style), we lost His Highness Oliver, the Lord Protector. I’ll confess, he remains a somewhat controversial figure in English history. But he has a number of grand achievements to his name:
At the Battle of Dunbar, he reminded the Scotch who was the boss on this island;
He carried the light of civilisation far into Ireland;
He made Johnny Foreigner scared of us – and laid the foundations for keeping it that way for the next three hundred years;
He knocked the Stuarts off their perch, and they never really got back into the swing of being the Lord’s Anointed;
He was a committed smoker;
He liked music.
Er, that’s all I can presently remember.