Why was Oliver Cromwell elected as MP for Cambridge in 1640? is simple question continues to perplex historians. Cambridge was a prestigious constituency, seat of one of the two English universities, and its townsmen had always found it easy to attract prominent public gures to represent them. Instead the voters in 1640 chose a little-known country gentleman for whom the highpoint of his political career had been a brief and undistinguished stint in the 1628 Parliament. Some might have thought of him as a bit of a failure. Cromwell was not even really a local man. e most that could have been claimed for him was that he was originally from Huntingdon in the neighbouring county and that in recent years he had been living at Ely, the cathedral city een miles to the north. He seemed to o er them none of the qualities usually sought in a candidate, such as detailed knowledge of the town’s a airs, extensive parliamentary experience, useful political contacts, a big name or promising prospects. One has to wonder how many of the Cambridge voters had so much as heard of him before he stood. Even so, he was elected. Not once, but twice.