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Description

Where is the evidence that Oliver Cromwell was a terrible or cruel man? We are given a selection of the contemporary evidence that has been used to create the interpretation Cromwell was a villain. We are then shown how some historians challenge this view of Cromwell by critiquing the evidence that has been used to create it.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
9 January 2008

Classroom Ideas

Use the clip to show students the process by which we can unpack interpretations. It is not a case of simple source analysis (of the interpretation), but rather unpicking the contemporary evidence that was used to create the subsequent interpretation.
Before watching the clip, ask students to create a pair of lists; one putting forward the case that Cromwell was a hero, one portraying him as a villain. After watching the clip, students could investigate the sources of their evidence and assess which are solid grounds to build informed views from.
Discuss how people would have found out about events such as those at Drogheda at the time. How would they have been able to assess the validity of what they heard?