Following his Civil War victory, Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of the Commonwealth in 1653. But after the Restoration in 1660 his body was exhumed and publicly hung.
Simultaneously loved and loathed, Cromwell was seen by some as a revolutionary figure, freeing England from the absolutist Charles I; others saw him as a regicidal, religious maniac who was one of the signatories of Charles's death warrant.
As shown in this engraving, Cromwell was demonised in satirical illustrations by Royalist propagandists throughout the Civil War period, their authors making fun of both Cromwell’s appearance and his politics. Here, Cromwell is cast as the ‘Divell’ (Devil) with horns and animalistic facial features.