Residents of a small village in Lancashire, England are up in arms over plans to rename the favorite local pub after Oliver Cromwell.
Pub company owner Punch Taverns is turning ‘The Old Oak Inn’ in Hoghton into ‘The Cromwell,’ after the English soldier and statesman who made England a republic and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658.
During the English Civil War, Cromwell led the Parliamentarians – “the roundheads” – to victory over the Royalists – “the cavaliers.” The controversial figure became army commander and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, crushing resistance with dreadful massacres of garrisons at Drogheda and Wexford in 1649. He deported thousands of Irish to slavery.
The Lancashire Evening Post reports that a petition, organized by Mick Whyte, is calling on Punch to rethink their decision.
“The Old Oak has been a hub of the community for generations of Hoghton residents and is not any old business that Punch Taverns can rename on a whim, but a significant part of the lives of that community,” says the petition.
“The proposed name, The Cromwell is inappropriate due to the offence it may cause to some residents and regulars with regards to the atrocities and land seizures carried out by Oliver Cromwell in Ireland and the subsequent famine and suffering caused to our Irish cousins.”
A Facebook page has been created to support the petition.
“Cromwell has no significance to this area whatsoever! Oliver Cromwell is still burning in hell!!!” one objector posted on the page.
A Punch Taverns spokesperson said, “The proposed name change was made to coincide with the investment at the pub. We always appreciate feedback from the local community and we are looking at the opinions raised in the petition very seriously.”