Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Bit of Belloc for a Change

What is still stranger, most people do not connect him [Thomas Cromwell] with the other famous Cromwell, Oliver, though Oliver was his great-nephew. But there is reason for that; it has always paid the official historians in England (and pretty well all English history of the modern sort is official and anti-Catholic) to pretend that Oliver Cromwell was a bluff, middle-class person truly representative of the English people, and to conceal the fact that he was the cadet of an immensely wealthy family, one of the wealthiest in England, whose huge fortunes came entirely from the loot of the Church.

Hilaire Belloc, Characters of the Reformation. As quoted in The Essential Belloc: A Prophet for Our Times, (edited by Rev. C. John McCloskey et al.)

It has been said that a lie will go round the world while truth is putting its boots on. It seems also to be true that the lie will still be running long after the truth has gone to bed. The image of Oliver Cromwell as a noble and obscure Cincinnati, reluctantly drawn from his little farm to serve his country, is still current. It was not until I read these lines from Belloc that I questioned it myself.

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