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Cromwell online exhibition


Mansfield College, Oxford

Cromwell's relations with Oxford and the University are interesting. Oxford was the Royalist headquarters for most of the Civil Wars, and only surrendered to Parliament in 1646. Yet three years later the University gave an honorary doctorate to Cromwell, and in 1651 he was elected as its Chancellor. He later drafted plans for the creation of a new Protestant college. His death and the Restoration put an end to such ideas and any thought of a celebration of Cromwell in Oxford was deferred for over two hundred years.
Mansfield College started in Birmingham as a theological training college chiefly for Congregationalists, and was transferred to Oxford in 1886. Unsurprisingly the chapel is an important element of the College's architecture, and it is decorated with a series of windows of figures important in the Protestant movement, politicians and divines. Cromwell features in one window.


Picture of stained glass window at Mansfield College, Oxford

Mansfield College Chapel, Oxford. Cromwell's image is flanked by those of Sir Henry Vane and John Hampden, and above those of Goodwin, Milton and Twisse, all Protestant worthies. Cromwell is shown in the robes of the Chancellor of Oxford University, with his face copied from a portrait by Robert Walker.

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