Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan republican who overthrew the British crown, has been revealed as a closet metrosexual by scientists.
Previously known for being an austere, reserved figure, scientists from Exeter University have found the Lord Protector liked to use luxurious, perfumed cosmetics.
As reported by newspaper The Telegraph, tests were performed on a collection of pots found to be owned by the man who ruled the isle from 1653-58 after the English Civil War.
From clinical analysis it showed the pots contained soft perfumed soap, a distinct contrast to the foul smelling cheap soap used by the commoners.
Sally Pointer, an expert in the history of cosmetics who assisted in the study, said: ‘This is real top-of-the-range stuff – like going into Harrods (a London high-range department store) and shopping from the most expensive make-up counter.
‘It shows appearances were important, even for a person like Cromwell, who was very Godly, with personally very strong Puritan convictions.’
The chest which contained the pots holding ‘jasmine’ and ‘orange tree flowers’ had been kept at a museum in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, since 1962, but had only been examined recently. The team believe the grooming products had been given to the Puritan as a gift from the Duke of Tuscany.
Following the research, the evidence will form the centre of a new exhibition starting next Saturday.
Cromwell was well known for enforcing Britain to live a pious, puritanical lifestyle while he also supposedly shied away from the glamour of royalty.
The Lord Protector was replaced by Charles II in 1649, the King was known as the ‘merry monarch’ and celebrated liveliness and hedonism in the court.