Oliver Cromwell – the metrosexual: how the Lord Protector became the skin protector

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He is remembered as an austere and pious figure, unconcerned with his appearance – even demanding that portraits show "warts and all".

But scientific research has shed new light on Oliver Cromwell, suggesting a more effete side to the republican ruler.

Chemical tests on the contents of a collection of mysterious pots which once belonged to the Lord Protector have revealed them to be luxurious, perfumed cosmetics.

The research was carried out by scientists at Exeter University and has been presented in an academic journal. Their analysis showed the contents to be soft soap, most likely made from olive oil....

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