Cromwell And His Ironsides





When Charles I came to the throne of England, it was soon seen that he

was as bad a king as his father James I had been.



He did not care at all for the good of his country and his people, but

thought only of his own pleasure. He took away men's money and lands,

and if they offended him he took their lives too.



Englishmen would not bear this unjust treatment for long, and soon a war

began between the king and the people, who were determined to be free.



At first the king and his men were victorious everywhere, for they were

all used to horses and arms, and fought so well and so bravely that the

people could not stand against them. But at last a great leader arose

among the people. This leader, who was called Oliver Cromwell, was a

rough man, but he was just, good, and honest.



He saw at once that the people would never gain the victory over the

brave gentlemen-soldiers of King Charles, unless they had obedient and

well-trained men to fight for them. So he chose a band of plain,

hard-working men who feared God, and loved duty and right, and he spent

all his money in fitting them with arms and horses, and in training them

sternly, until they became the finest soldiers the world has ever known.

Cromwell called his men his "lovely company", and others called them

"Ironsides", for they were strong and firm as iron, and were never

beaten. It was these brave, sober, obedient soldiers who at last

defeated the king's army, and won freedom for the people of England.





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