Monday, 18 January 2021

Oliver Cromwell

The family of The Protector, which arose in Wales, and was deemed illustrious by the genealogists of the Principality, bore the surname of CROMWELL, by assumption only, its patronymic, WILLIAMS, having been abandoned at the special desire of HENRY VIII.

His Majesty recommended to Sir Richard Morgan ap Williams to use the surname of CROMWELL in honour of his relation, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex.

Ralph Brooke, York Herald, drew up a pedigree of the family which he entitled "A Genealogy of the Cromwell Family, descended from the Williams of Wales, whose predecessors were Lords of Powys and Cardigan from 1066 to 1602."

MORGAN WILLIAMS married the sister of THOMAS CROMWELL, 1st Earl of Essex, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Walter;
Richard.
The eldest son,

SIR RICHARD WILLIAMS (c1510-44), assumed, as already stated, at the desire of HENRY VIII, the surname of his uncle, THOMAS CROMWELL, and through the influence of that once-powerful relative, he and his family obtained wealth and station.

Additions were made to Sir Richard's possessions by the King, even after the fall of the favourite, Cromwell; so that at the period of his death, his estates probably equalled in value those of the peers of that era.

Sir Richard wedded, in 1518, Frances, daughter and co-heir of the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Murfyn, of Ely, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
Francis.
The elder son and successor,

SIR HENRY WILLIAMS alias CROMWELL (1537-1604), of Hinchingbrooke, espoused firstly, Joan, daughter of Sir Ralph Warren, Knight, and had issue,
Oliver, his heir;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Henry;
Richard;
Philip;
Ralph;
Joan; Elizabeth; Frances; Mary; Dorothy.
He married secondly, Susan Weeks, by whom he had no issue.

The second son,

ROBERT CROMWELL (c1567-1617), settled in the town of Huntingdon, and became a brewer there.

He wedded Elizabeth, daughter of William Steward, and had issue,
OLIVER;
Anne.
The only son and heir,

OLIVER CROMWELL (1599-1658), married, in 1620, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Bourchier, of Essex, had issue,
Robert;
Oliver;
Richard;
HENRY, of whom hereafter;
James;
Bridget; Elizabeth; Mary Frances.
Cromwell, after a series of military triumphs, was declared LORD PROTECTOR on the 12th December, 1653, and inaugurated on the 16th of the same month.

There is hardly one man in the whole range of history whose good sword achieved an empire, with less of the hero in his composition, than this successful soldier.

Fanaticism, superstition, and cruelty, were the predominating traits of his character.

A profound hypocrite, he regarded everybody who approached him with suspicion; his nearest kindred were objects of distrust.

He had no friends, and when, with himself, the influence of his name expired, his family fell without a struggle.

Cromwell died at Whitehall, on the 3rd September, 1658, and was publicly interred, with regal pomp, in HENRY VIII's chapel, Westminster Abbey, on the 23rd November following.

His remains, with those of Ireton and Bradshaw, were dug up after the Restoration, and being pulled out of their coffins, hanged at Tyburn on the 30th January, 1661, until sunset; when they were taken down, beheaded, and flung into a deep hole under the gallows.


When Cromwell's coffin was broken into, a leaden canister was found lying on his breast, and within a gilt copper plate, with the arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, impaling those of Cromwell, on one side; and on the other, the following inscription:
"OLIVERIUS PROTECTOR REPUBLICÆ ANGLIÆ, SCOTIÆ, ET HIBERNIÆ, NATUS 25 APRILIS, ANNO 1599; INAUGURATUS 16 DECEMBRIS, 1653; MORTUUS 3 SEPTEMBRIS, ANNO 1658, HIC SITUS EST."

Cromwell's mother died four years before himself, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

His fourth son,

HENRY CROMWELL (1628-74), entered on a military life at the age of 16, and served under his father in Ireland, of which kingdom he was afterwards LORD DEPUTY.

So great was his prudent conduct during his Lord Lieutenancy, it is said, that he brought the Irish nation into a flourishing condition, and he behaved with such strict impartiality in his government, as to extort esteem from the most uncompromising royalists.

He was endowed, however, with the same moderate disposition as his brother Richard, and on the demise of his father, quietly resigned his command, returning to England, where he continued afterwards to reside as a country gentleman, unconcerned in the various changes of the state, and un-embittered by the ills of ambition.

It is even thought that he rejoiced in the restoration of the King, and he was not only included in the act of indemnity, but received some marks of royal favour.

He espoused, in 1653, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Francis Russell Bt, of Chippenham, and had issue,
OLIVER;
HENRY;
Francis;
Richard;
William;
Elizabeth.
Henry Cromwell was succeeded at Spinney Abbey by his eldest son,

OLIVER CROMWELL, of Spinney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, who was succeeded by his next brother,

HENRY CROMWELL, who disposed of the estate at Spinney Abbey, and entered the army.

By the interest of the Duke of Ormonde (who was under obligations to his father and grandfather), he became a major of foot; and would probably have obtained further promotion had he not been cut off by a fever, whilst serving under Lord Galway in Spain.

His death occurred in 1711.

Major Cromwell had wedded Hannah, eldest daughter of Benjamin Hewling, a turkey merchant, and had issue,
William;
Richard;
Henry;
THOMAS;
Oliver;
Mary; Hannah.
The fourth son,

THOMAS CROMWELL (1699-1746), married firstly, Miss Frances Tidman, and had surviving issue,
Henry;
Anne.
Mr Cromwell wedded secondly, Mary, daughter of Nicholas Skinner, merchant, of London, and had further issue,
OLIVER, his heir;
Thomas;
Elizabeth; Susannah.
The elder son of the second marriage,

OLIVER CROMWELL, succeeded to the estate at Theobalds, under the will of his cousins, Elizabeth, Anne, and Letitia, daughters of Richard Cromwell, and married, in 1771, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Morgan Morse, by whom he had issue,
Oliver, who died in his father's lifetime;
ELIZABETH OLIVERIA, Mrs Russell.
Mr Cromwell's only surviving child,

ELIZABETH OLIVERIA CROMWELL (1777-1849), of Cheshunt Park, Hertfordshire, wedded, in 1801, Thomas Artimedorus Russell, and had issue,
JOHN HENRY CROMWELL RUSSELL;
Thomas Artemidorus Russell;
Charles William Cromwell Russell;
Elizabeth; Mary Esther; Letitia; Emma Bridget.
Source: A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, by John Burke, Page 428, dated 1834.

Cromwell arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

1 comment :

Andrew said...

There's an interesting little Cromwell museum in Huntingdon with items of Cromwelliana such as his flask, gaiters and spurs. Also the English flag from the Commonwealth, which is something very few English would recognise,!