Oliver Cromwell was born on the 25 of April 1559 and died on the 23 September 1658 (aged 59).Cromwell was born into the middle gentry , albeit to family descended from the sister of King Henry VIII's minister Thomas Cromwell.Little is known of the first 40 of his life as only four of his personal letters survive alongside a summary of a speech he delivered in 1628 . He became an independent Puritan after undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630's , taking a generally tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of period. He was an intensely religious man , self-styled Puritan Moses, and he fervently believed that God was guiding his victories. He was elected member of parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long(1640-1649) parliaments.He entered the English civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or parliamentarians. Nicknamed " Old Ironsides ", he demonstrated his ability as a commander and was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to being one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army,playing an important role in the defeat of the royalist forces.