The author is very grateful to Peter Edwards for reading and commenting on an earlier version of this article. His seminal book Horse and Man in Early Modern England (2007) provides the context for much of what follows.
Uncovering a protectoral stud: horses and horse-breeding at the court of Oliver Cromwell, 1653–8*
Article first published online: 22 MAY 2008
© Institute of Historical Research 2008
Volume 82, Issue 216, pages 252–267, May 2009
How to Cite
Little, P. (2009), Uncovering a protectoral stud: horses and horse-breeding at the court of Oliver Cromwell, 1653–8. Historical Research, 82: 252–267. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2281.2008.00467.x
- Issue published online: 3 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 22 MAY 2008
According to the traditional view, the breeding of high quality horses collapsed after the execution of Charles I and the dispersal of the royal stud at Tutbury. This article questions this assumption by looking at Oliver Cromwell's interest in horses and in particular his efforts as protector to import Neapolitan coursers, Barbs and Arabian horses to improve English bloodstock. The effects of this on the development of the thoroughbred is debateable, but Cromwell's activities had important political by-products, as foreign dignitaries were impressed, aristocratic breeders were drawn into government circles, and the protector himself grew closer to those civilians at court who shared his love of horses.