Sir Oliver Cromwell

Sir Oliver CROMWELL (1563 – 1658) was uncle and godfather to the famous Oliver Cromwell, known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England and Scotland. However, Sir Oliver lost all his wealth supporting the Royalist side.  Sir Oliver was Alex’s  11th Great Grandfather, one of 4,196 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Sir Oliver Cromwell Coat of Arms - "Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659)" by Sodacan            This vector image was created with Inkscape. - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Sir Oliver Cromwell Coat of Arms – “Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659)” by Sodacan

Sir Oliver was born 25 Apr 1563 in Hinchenbrook House, England. His parents were Sir Henry CROMWELL   (Wikipedia) and  Joan WARREN.   He married first Elizabeth Bromley. He married second Anne HOOFTMAN on 7 Jul 1601. He was sheriff for county Hampshire and Cambridge. Oliver was knighted by Queen Elizabeth 1598.  He was uncle and godfather to famed Oliver, Lord Protector.  He received vast wealth from his uncle Richard Warren, but dissipated the money supporting the Royalist side and sold his estates to pay his debts.

 Sir Oliver Cromwell of Hinchinbrook (1562-  1655)

Elizabeth Bromley was born in 1564 in Holt Castle.   Her parents were Sir Thomas BROMLEY, Lord Chancellor, (Wikipedia) and  Elizabeth FORTESCUE.   Sir Thomas presided over the commission which tried Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1586, but the strain of the trial and the responsibility of ordering the execution of a monarch proved too much for his strength, and he died soon after. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.  Elizabeth died before 1601.

Anne HOOFTMAN was born in 1565 in England.   Her father, Egidius HOOFTMAN, was from from Antwerp, Belgium.  She was the widow of  Sir Horatio Palavicino an Italian diplomat, financier and spy.  Anne died 28 Apr 1624 in Hinchenbrook, England

Children of Oliver and Joan:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Col. Henry Cromwell 25 Aug 1586
St. John’s Baptist, Hants, England
Battina Palavincino  (dau. of Sir Horatio Palavicino and Anne HOOFTMAN)
Anne Carr
18 Jul 1657
Baltimore, Maryland?
2. Captain Thomas Cromwell  1588
Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdonshire, England
Newbury, Essex, MA
3. Col. John Cromwell 14 May 1589,
Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, England
 Abigail Clere 1646
Boston, Mass
27 Dec 1637
Chippenham, Wiltshire, England
4. Col. William Cromwell 1593
Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England
Edith or Rebecca Geessan 1665
Baltimore, MD?
5. Elizabeth Cromwell 1595
Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdonshire,
Richard Ingoldsby
1613 Hinchinbrooke
2 May 1666
6. Catherine Cromwell 15 May 1594
Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire, England
Henry Palavicino (son of Sir Horatio Palavicino and Anne HOOFTMAN)
1619 Hinchinbrooke
17 Feb 1613
Buried: All Saints, Hants., England
7. Joan Cromwell 1598
William Baker
1620 Hinchinbrooke
8. Jane Cromwell 1595
Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England
Tobias Palavicini
(son of Sir Horatio Palavicino and Anne HOOFTMAN)
9. Oliver Cromwell  c. 1598
Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England
Fell from a Building
Rome, Latium (Italy)

Married 2: Anne HOOFTMAN (1565 – d. 28 Apr 1624, Hinchenbrook, England) (daughter. of Egidius Hooftman) (w. of Sir Horatio Palavicino) 07 Jul 1601

Children of Oliver and Anne

Name Born Married Departed
10. Giles CROMWELL c.  1603 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Alice WICKES
20 Feb 1629/30
Erling, Hampshire, England
Alice Wiseman
10 Sep 1648
Newbury, Mass
25 Jun 1673
Newbury, Mass.
11. Anna Cromwell  1603 13 Apr 1663, Great Staughton, Huntingdonshire, England
12. Mary Cromwell

Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900

Name:Oliver Cromwell College:QUEENS’ Entered:Lent, 1578 Born:1562 Died:1655 More Information:Matric. Fell.-Com. from QUEENS’, Lent, 1578-9. Of Huntingdonshire. 1st s. of Sir Henry (1540), of Hinchinbrook. B. 1562. Adm. at Lincoln’s Inn, May 12, 1582. Uncle of the Protector. Of Hinchinbrook, Esq., where he entertained King James, in 1603. Knighted, 1603. A strong royalist. M.P. for Hunts. in seven Parliaments. Died 1655. Buried at Ramsey, Aug. 28. Father of Henry (1600), John (1604), Thomas (1604), William (1604) and brother of Robert (1578-9).

Sir Oliver Cromwell was born in Hinchenbrooke House 

Sir Oliver Cromwell, the famous Oliver’s uncle, was also his godfather. He was a long-serving MP for Huntingdonshire in the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I over at least 36 years and inevitably Sheriff of Hunts and Cambs.

He is best remembered for his extraordinarily lavish entertainment of James I at Hinchinbrook House on the King’s progress south from Scotland on his accession to the English throne in 1603. He was rewarded with a gold cup, some choice horses, hounds and hawks and a Knighthood of the Bath. It was to Hinchinbrook that the representatives of Cambridge University came to pay their respects to the new King. James I returned to stay with Sir Oliver on at least three more occasions, as probably did Charles I. The King stayed many times at his home in 1603, 05, 16, 17 and possibly many others on his way north to hunt.

We have some account of this visit in Stowe’s “Annales”:-

“There attended at Master Oliver Cromwell’s house,” he says, “the Head of the University of Cambridge, all clad in scarlet gowns and corner caps, who having presence of his Majestie, there was made a learned and eloquent oration in Latine, welcomming his Majestie, as also entreating the confirmation of their privileges, which his highness most willingly granted. Master Cromwell presented his Majestie with many rich and valuable presents, as a very great and faire-wrought standing cup of gold, goodlie horses, deepemouthed hounds, divers hawks of excellent wing, and at the remove gave fifty pounds amongst his Majestie’s officers. The 29th of April his Majestie tooke leave of Master Oliver Cromwell and his lady.”

The king was greatly pleased at this reception, and at his coronation created Master Cromwell a Knight of the Bath.

Sir Oliver was briefly Attorney to Queen Anne of Denmark, a Commissioner for draining the Fens and also subscribed to the Virginia venture. However, his extravagance was his undoing.   His loyal devotion to Charles and extreme liberality toward one and all exhausted his resources, and he was obliged to sell Hinchinbrook in 1627 to Sir Sydney Montagu (since Viscounts of Hinchinbrook and Earls of Sandwich) and Newport and Easton to Henry Maynard an ancestor of the Countess of Warwick.  Oliver withdrew from public service and retired to Ramsey.

At the outbreak of the Civil War he supported the Royalist cause with all the resources at his disposal. He raised men, gave money, obliged his sons to take up arms and incurred the ire of Parliament.

In 1642 Parliament sent his nephew, Oliver, with a troop of horse to remonstrate. Oliver disarmed the old knight, seized his plate, but also asked for his godfatherly blessing. Cromwell had a very remarkable interview with his uncle, of which sir Philip Warwick had an account from the old gentleman himself.

“Visiting old sir Oliver Cromwell, his uncle and godfather, at his house at Ramsey, he told me this story of his successful nephew and godson, that he visited him with a good strong party of horse, and that he asked him his blessing; and that the few hours he was there, he would not keep on his hat in his presence; but at the same time that he not only disarmed, but plundered him, for he took away all his plate.”

Nevertheless, old Sir Oliver persisted in his support of the Royalists, even as their cause waned. This time, the younger Oliver threatened to burn down Ramsey. He parleyed with his uncle on the town bridge and extracted a fine of £1,000 and 40 saddle horses. Sir Oliver was unrepentant, supporting the Royalist cause to the end. Parliament voted to sequester all his estates, but, through the intervention of his nephew, by now Lieutenant-General of Ireland, the order was reversed. The old man made no attempt to court favour with the Protector and insisted that the flags taken by his sons from Parliamentary forces remain hanging in Ramsey church. He died oppressed with his debts in August 1655 aged 92. He was remembered for his prodigious hospitality, his loyalty to the Crown, his upright dealings and his vivacity, but also for dissipating his property and impoverishing his family.

Sir Oliver, now a poor man, retired to Ramsay Abbey, where, heartbroken at his royal master’s troubles and his own, he died on 28 Aug 1655 his ninety-third year.  The fines of the Republican party completed the ruin of Sir Oliver and his sons, so that the whole of their estates had gone from them when in 1675 Ramsey was purchased by a Colonel Titus.

Sir Oliver Cromwell died in Ramsey Abbey house.  It seems he did not lose quite all his money – The house  is currently used as a school

Elizabeth Bromley’s father Sir Thomas Bromley (1530 – 11 April 1587) (Wikipedia) was a English lord chancellor during the turbulent reign of Elizabeth I and prosecuted famous cases against the Duke of Norfolk and Mary Queen of Scots.  He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adrian Fortescue, K.B., and by her had four sons and  four daughters.

Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor (1530 -1587)

Thomas Bromley was born in 1530. He was educated at Oxford, where he took his B.C.L. degree 21 May 1560, entered the Inner Temple, and became reader in the autumn of 1566. He was studious and regular in his conduct, and probably owed something to family influence and to the patronage of Lord-keeper Bacon.

Through family influence as well as the patronage of Sir Nicholas Bacon, (the father of the the father of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon) lord keeper, he quickly made progress in his profession.  In 1566 Thomas was appointed recorder of London, and in 1569 he became solicitor-general. He sat in parliament successively for BridgnorthWigan and Guildford.

His first considerable case was in 1571, when he was of counsel for the crown on the trial of the Duke of Norfolk for high treason, on which occasion he had the conduct of that part of the case which rested on Ridolfi’s message. The other counsel for the crown were Gerrard, attorney-general, Barham, queen’s Serjeant, and Wilbraham, attorney-general of the court of wards. The Earl of Shrewsbury presided, with twenty-six peers as triers and all the common-law judges as assessors. Bromley’s speech came third, and certainly the mode in which the evidence was handled and the prosecution conducted throughout reflects little credit on the fairness of those who represented the crown. Yet Bromley has the reputation of having been an honourable man in his profession, and Lloyd says of him that he was scrupulous in undertaking a case unless satisfied of its justice, ‘not admitting all causes promiscuously. . . but never failing in any cause.

The Duke of Norfolk, a cousin to the Queen and the wealthiest landowner in the country, had been proposed as a possible husband for Mary since her imprisonment in 1568. This suited Norfolk, who had ambitions and felt Elizabeth persistently undervalued him.  In pursuit of his goals, he agreed to support the Northern Rebellion, though he quickly lost his nerve and tried to call it off. As the rebellion was not under his control, it progressed, with the Northern earls trying to foment rebellion among their Catholic subjects to prepare for a Catholic Spanish invasion by the Duke of Alba, governor of the Netherlands.

After the rebellion failed, the leaders were executed and a purge of Catholic sympathisers in the priesthood carried out. Norfolk was imprisoned in the Tower of London for nine months and only freed under house arrest when he confessed all and begged for mercy.

Roberto Ridolfi, a Florentine banker and ardent Catholic, had been involved in the planning of the Northern rebellion, and had been plotting to overthrow Elizabeth as early as 1569  with the failure of the rebellion, he concluded that foreign intervention was needed to restore Catholicism and bring Mary to the English throne, and began to contact potential conspirators. Mary’s advisor, John Lesley, the Bishop of Ross, gave his assent to the plot as the way to free Mary. The plan was to have the Duke of Alba invade from the Netherlands with 10,000 men, foment a rebellion of the northern English nobility, murder Elizabeth, and marry Mary to Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk.  Norfolk gave verbal assurances to Ridolfi that he was Catholic, though as a pupil of John Foxe, he remained a Protestant all his life.  Both Mary and Norfolk, desperate to remedy their respective situations, agreed to the plot. With their blessing, Ridolfi set off to the Continent to gain Alba, Pius V and King Philip II’s support.

In 1571, Elizabeth’s intelligence network was sending her information about a plot against her life. By gaining the confidence of Spain’s ambassador to England, John Hawkins learned the details of the conspiracy and notified the government so to arrest the plotters. She was also sent a private warning by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had learned of the plot against her. Charles Baillie, Ridolfi’s messenger, was arrested at Dover for carrying compromising letters, and under torture revealed the plot.  These letters were Thomas Bromley’s part of the case.  The Duke of Norfolk was arrested on September 7, 1571 and sent to the Tower.

The duke was found guilty by a unanimous vote of the court; but so much dissatisfaction did the trial create that the execution was deferred for several months. Mary Queen of Scots, however, was much disheartened at the result, and hopes were entertained of favourable negotiations with her. Bromley was accordingly sent, fruitlessly, as it proved, to endeavour to induce her to abandon her title to the Scotch crown, and to transfer to her son all her rights to the thrones of England and Scotland.

The Ridolfi Plot was covered in Mary Queen of Scots (1971), starring Vanessa Redgrave as Mary and Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth.  An altered and fictionalized version of the Ridolfi Plot was featured in the 1998 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth. The film portrayed Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, as the chief conspirator and omitted the involvement of Ridolfi.

In 1574 Thomas was treasurer of the Inner Temple.  For some years it was he, rather than Gerrard, the attorney-general, who was consulted on matters of state, and at last, in 1579, he received his reward. On the death of Lord-keeper Bacon there was for some time great doubt as to the appointment of a successor.  The queen’s position was difficult. She was resolute not to appoint an ecclesiastic; it would be a scandal to make a mere politician lord chancellor, and Gerrard, long as he had been attorney-general, was, though learned, awkward and unpopular. Bromley was a politician and a man of the world, and at this juncture, by dint of intrigue, succeeded in obtaining promotion over his superior in the profession and in learning. Gerrard was afterwards consoled with the mastership of the rolls in 1581 and on 26 April 1579 Bromley received the great seal and became lord chancellor.

Though his own practice had been chiefly in the queen’s bench, his duties as solicitor-general frequently took him into chancery, and hence, though not a great founder of equity, he proved a good equity judge, and there were no complaints of his decisions; and having the good sense to pay great respect to the then very able common-law judges, and to consult them on new points, he was able to avoid conflicts between law and equity.

Thomas’ rule in Shelley’s Case is a landmark in the history of English real property law. The rule existed in English common law long before this case was brought to the court, but Shelley’s case gave the law its most famous application.   When an owner of land in fee simple died, the lord of the fee was entitled to “incidents of tenure” deriving from the descent to the heir (analogous to the modern day estate tax). Large landowners who desired the life tenant (who was perhaps the landowner himself, conveying through a straw party) to avoid the estate tax attempted to create a future interest in the form of a remainder in the heirs of that life tenant. It was the intention of the landowner or testator to allow the heirs of the life tenant, once ascertained at the natural expiration of his life estate, to take as purchasers by way of the original executed conveyance, and not by descent, avoiding the tax.

Thus, in a basic conveyance, “O grants Blackacre to B for life, then to B’s heirs,” absent the rule there was a life estate in B, and a contingent remainder in B’s heirs. The Rule converted the contingent remainder in B’s heirs into a vested remainder in B.

Thus, in Shelley’s case, the queen, hearing of the long argument in the queen’s bench, ‘of her gracious disposition,’ and to end the litigation, directed Bromley, ‘who was of great and profound knowledge and judgment in the law,’ to assemble all the judges, and in Easter term 23 Eliz. they met at his house, York House, afterwards Serjeants’ Inn, to hear the case, and his judgment has ever since remained a leading authority in real property law.

Knyvett’s case is one which shows Thomas’ fair administration of law. Knyvett, a groom of the privy chamber, had slain a man, and, the jury on the inquiry having found that it was done se defendendo, applied to Bromley for a special commission to clear him by privy session in the vacation. Bromley refused. Knyvett complained to the queen, who expressed her displeasure through Sir Christopher Hatton; whereon the chancellor, in a written statement, so completely justified himself that she afterwards expressed commendation of his conduct.

Upon the project of the Alençon marriage, ‘Bromley, who with Bacon’s office had inherited his freedom of speech’, offered a strong opposition, and pointed out to the queen that if she married a catholic parliament would expect her to settle the succession to the throne, and this argument seems to have prevailed with her.

When Drake returned from his second voyage in 1581, Bromley was one of those whose favour he hastened to secure with a present of wrought-gold plate, part of his Spanish spoil, of the value of eight hundred dollars.

Bromley took his seat in the House of Lords on 16 Jan 1582. The first business before the house being a petition of the commons for advice in choosing a speaker, the chancellor, the choice having fallen on Popham, the new solicitor-general, admonished him by the queen’s orders ‘that the House of Commons should not deal or intermeddle with any matters touching her majesty’s person or estate, or with church government.’ To this admonition the commons paid no attention, and accordingly, as soon as a subsidy had been voted, the session was closed, the chancellor excluding from the queen’s thanks ‘such members of the commons as had dealt more rashly in some matters than was fit for them to do.’ Shortly afterwards this parliament was dissolved, having lasted eleven years. Bromley continued in favour, and on 26 Nov. of the same year was consulted by the queen upon the proposals made by the French ambassador.

On 21 June 1585 the Earl of Northumberland, then a prisoner in the Tower, was found dead in his cell. Three days afterwards a full meeting of peers was held in the Star-chamber, and the chancellor briefly announced that the earl had been engaged in traitorous designs, and had laid violent hands on himself. A new parliament assembled on 23 Nov 1585, and was opened with a speech from Bromley, announcing that it was summoned to consider a bill for the trial of Mary Queen of Scots. The bill soon passed. Bromley was at this time active in the prosecution of Babington.

The Babington Plot was the event which most directly led to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. This was a second major plot against Elizabeth I of England after the Ridolfi plot. It was named after the chief conspirator Sir Anthony Babington (1561–1586), a young Catholic nobleman from Derbyshire. The story of the Babington Plot is dramatised in the novel Conies in the Hay by Jane Lane. and also features prominently in Anthony Burgess’s A Dead Man in Deptford.   Episode Four of the television series  Elizabeth R (titled “Horrible Conspiracies”) is devoted to the Babington Plot, and the movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age deals substantially with the Plot as well.

Mary was put on trial for treason by a court of about 40 noblemen including Catholics, after being implicated in the Babington Plot by her own letters, which Sir Francis Walsingham had arranged to come straight to his hands. From these letters it was clear that Mary had sanctioned the attempted assassination of Elizabeth. Mary denied this and was spirited in her defence. One of her more memorable comments from her trial was: “Look to your consciences and remember that the theater of the whole world is wider than the kingdom of England”.  She drew attention to the fact that she was denied the opportunity to review the evidence or her papers that had been removed from her,  that she had been denied access to legal counsel and that she had never been an English subject and thus could not be convicted of treason. The extent to which the plot was fabricated by Sir Francis Walsingham and the English Secret Services remains open to conjecture.

The court sat at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, where Mary was imprisoned with Bromley presiding.  Bromley arrived on 11 Oct. 1586, having dissolved parliament on 14 Sept. at Westminster as a commissioner, with the Archbishop of Canterbury and others. The court sat, and Mary at once placed a difficulty in the way of the prosecution by refusing to plead, ‘she being a queen, and not amenable to any foreign jurisdiction.’ There was then a conference between the queen and the chancellor, but at first her firmness baffled him. ‘I will never submit myself,’ she said,’to the late law mentioned in the commission.’ She yielded to his urgency at length, and the trial proceeded.

On 14 Oct. a sitting was held in the presence chamber, the lord chancellor, as president, sitting on the right of a vacant throne, and the commissioners on benches at the sides. Mary’s defence was so vigorous that Burghley, in alarm, set aside Bromley and Gawdy, the queen’s Serjeant, who was chief prosecutor, and himself replied. At the end of the second day the court was adjourned to 25 Oct., at the Star-chamber, Westminster, when, the chancellor presiding, the whole court—except Lord Zouch, who acquitted her on the charge of assassination—found Mary guilty. On the 29th parliament met, and the chancellor announced that they were called together to advise the queen on this verdict. The commons did not long deliberate. On 5 Nov., after electing a speaker, they agreed with the lords upon an address to the queen, to be presented by the lord chancellor, praying for Mary’s execution. For some time Elizabeth hesitated, but on 1 Feb. 1587 she was induced to sign the warrant. Bromley at once affixed the great seal to it, and informed Burghley that it was now perfected. The privy council was hastily summoned, and decided to execute the warrant, the queen having done all that was required of her by law.

Bromley, as head of the law, took on himself the chief burden of the responsibility; but probably he expected to shelter himself behind the authority of Burghley. It is certain that he was very anxious during the trial, and was a party to the execution of the warrant only with great apprehension. The strain proved too much for his strength. Parliament met on 15 Feb., but adjourned, owing to the chancellor’s illness; and, as it continued, Sir Edmund Coke, chief justice of the common pleas, dissolved parliament on 23 March, acting for the chancellor by commission from the queen.

Bromley never rallied. He died on 12 April, at three a.m., in his fifty-eighth year, and was buried with great pomp in Westminster Abbey, where a splendid tomb was erected by his eldest son. . In spite of the temper of the age, he was free from religious bigotry, and, as a letter of his (1 July 1582) to the Bishop of Chester, pleading for Lady Egerton of Ridley, shows, he endeavoured to soften the law as to the execution of heretics.

Thomas Bromley;s Tomb Chapel of St Paul Westminster Cathedral

This large monument, incorporating his alabaster effigy dressed in an embroidered robe. Carved figures of his eight children kneel at the base of the structure. The Latin inscription can be translated:

“Thomas Bromley, knight, remarkable for his wisdom, piety and knowledge of the Law, Privy Counsellor to Queen Elizabeth, and Lord Chancellor; when he had for eight years delivered equity with singular integrity and temper of mind, being snatched hastily away, to the grief of all good men, was here buried. He lived 57 years, and died the 12th of April, anno 1587. He left by his Lady Elizabeth, of the family of Fortescues, eight children, Henry his son has to the best of fathers erected this monument”

At the feet of his effigy is a cock pheasant, the family crest. His coat of arms appears at the top of the monument: “per fess indented gules and or” (ie. four quarters alternating in red and gold, either side of a horizontal serrated line).

Effigy of Sir Thomas Bromley, Westminster Abbey

Anne HOOFTMAN’s first husband, Horatio Palavicino, Financier and diplomat, was born at Genoa about 1540, the son of Tobias Palavicino, a member of the wealthy, aristocratic banking family in Northern Italy, which was closely connected with most of the powerful Italian banking firms. The family business was based on handling the Papal monopoly in alum, a commodity greatly in demand in the Netherlands and England for the cloth trade. When his family crossed financial swords with the Papacy, and his brother was captured and tortured, Horatio became a declared Protestant.

Horatio Palavicino – (1540 – c 1601)

In 1578 Horatio sold the family stocks of alum at Antwerp to the Dutch rebels in return for an import monopoly which excluded all future farmers of the Papal alum monopoly (used in dying and processing wool and tanning). The Dutch did not par cash: Queen Elizabeth of England underwrote the loan in arder to keep the Dutch revolt against Spain alive. In other words, she borrowed from Palavicino £29,000.

In 1579 Sir Thomas Gresham, the English government’s chief financial agent, died.  It was necessary to find a successor, a man who had intimate knowledge of international high finance, who was an expert in currency exchange, who could handle the transfer of large sums of money from one financial centre to another, to Ambassadors and secret agents, who could find the ready cash for subsidies to allies, who was ready and able to turn Ambassador (or spy) himself, and whose reputation created confidence and credit. Only Horatio Palavicino fulfilled all these.

He became one of England’s noted shipping magnates. Through his frequent travels, contacts and placement of agents in French and Spanish ports, he naturally gravitated to the role of secret agent, spy-master, and English Ambassador to the German Protestant lands.

Even though his money was the principal means of building the English navy, his commoner status denied him command of a ship against the Armada. He served without distinction as a gentleman volunteer aboard one of his own vessels. Crossing the Queen in an attempt to gain a monopoly on maize from the new world, he was banished from court and retired to Babraham Hall in Cambridgeshire.

His morals were most un-Puritan like, having been referred to as a scalawag, reprobate, philanderer, letch, debauchee, rapscallion, sycophant, and a practitioner of the fetish of deflowering virgins.

He had children by his wife Anne Hooftman, who as widow married the Royalist, Sir Oliver Cromwell (died 1626). Several of Cromwell’s children by his first wife, Elizabeth Bromley, married Palavicino’s children. Sir Horatio lived in the notable parish, St Dunstan’s, Tower Ward.


Four of the Royalist Sir Oliver’s sons followed him to Queens’ College – Henry in 1600, Thomas, John and William in 1604

1. Colonel Henry Cromwell, inherited the little left of their great fortune (He received the estate of his uncle Henry in 1630.) but having also taken an active part on the king’s side in the civil war, his estates were sequestrated; but the sequestration was afterwards removed at the intercession of his kinsman, Oliver, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Colonel Cromwell died in 1657. His son Henry – perhaps influenced by the Protector’s former kindness – went over to the side of the Roundheads, and entered Parliament. He died in 1673, leaving no children; and the Huntingdon line – one of the wealthiest families in the kingdom, till the civil war – became extinct.

Henry Cromwell was a Colonel in the Royalist Army but was taken prisoner in the Battle of Rowton Heath. He was fined for his ‘delinquency’ and his estates sequestered, but again his cousin intervened and “at the request of the Lord Lieutenant and out of the favour of this House” the fines were remitted and the sequestration reversed by Parliament. Henry lived privately till his death, though he was plagued by debts. His cousin tried to court his friendship when Lord Protector and appointed him an Assessor for Huntingdonshire in 1657 but he died that same year.

One story claims that Henry came to Virginia in 1620 and returned to England to marry. Took an active part on the Royalist side in the Great Rebellion.  Henry may have died in Baltimore, Maryland.

Authorities disagree with respect to the origin of the Cromwell family of Maryland. The favorite hypothesis traces this family back to Sir Oliver’s son, Henry Cromwell  who  had issue: William, John, Richard, and Edith Cromwell, the immigrants to Maryland.

According to a well researched article in the Maryland Historical Magazine, there is no evidence to support this claim, neither is there evidence tending to substantiate a claim that the Maryland Cromwells were related in any degree, immediately or remote, to the family of the illustrious Oliver whose ancestral surname was originally Williams. It is interesting to note that the given Henry is missing among the earlier Maryland Cromwells.  It is fair to state, however, that Thomas Cromwell (1680-1723) of Maryland, a son of William  Cromwell, the immigrant, gave the name Oliver to one of his sons.

There were other Cromwell families in England, as acceptable as any of the Hinchinbrook line, albeit less renowned, among which we may, perhaps, discover the progenitor of the Cromwells of Maryland.  One possibility is a Cromwell family residing in Wiltshire during the seventeenth century that duplicates several certain given names found in the Maryland Cromwell family.

The latter settled in Maryland prior to 1670. At least, two members of this family, William and John Cromwell, were in Maryland before that year, it is certain. The other two members, Richard and Edith Cromwell, arrived a few years later, perhaps. At any rate, the earliest mention of them in the provincial records is of a later date. We know that William, John, and Richard were brothers, and Edith was their sister.

2. Thomas also served in the Royalist Army. He was fined for his ‘delinquency’ and died soon afterwards.  Possibly he was a partner of Samuel Scullard, grantee of Hampton and Newbury, 1642.  A Thomas Cromwell was a ship captain in Barbados and Boston, but this is probably another person.

24 Feb., 1638 – Thomas Cromwell, with Samuel Scullard, John and Robert Pike (son-in-law of Joseph MOYCE), and Nicholas Holt, was fined for non-attendance at Newbury town meeting.

6 Aug., 1638 – Thomas Cromwell is mentioned on Newbury town records.29 In the division of the New bury ox-common, 12 March, 1641-2, the name of Thomas Cromwell appears, followed by those of Samuel Scullard and Richard Kent, senior.

7 Dec 1642 – Thomas Cromwell appears among the proprietors of Newbury.

Thomas probably died at Newbury in 1645. On 29 Sept., 1646 the will of “Thomas Croomwell” was brought in to the Ipswich court to be proved. “Giles Croomwell” objected to it, and the court ordered  Mr. John Lowle [our ancestor John LOWELL]and Mr. Edw: Woodman [also our ancestor Edward WOODMAN] to take an inventory of the estate.

6 Aug., 1647, the Salem court addressed Mr. Woodman, saying “that the Ipswich court ordered Mr. John Lowle and himself to take into custody the goods of Thomas Cromlom of Newbury deceased that were in the hands of Samuel Scullard, deceased”. Not having done so they are now ordered to answer next court.

29 Sept 1646 – Giles objected to his brother’s will.

The will of “Thomas Croomwell” was brought in to the Ipswich court to be proved. “Giles Croomwell” objected to it, and the court ordered Mr. John Lowle and Mr. Edw: Woodman to take an inventory of the estate. 6 Aug., 1647, the Salem court addressed Mr. Woodman, saying “that the Ipswich court ordered Mr. John Lowle and himself to take into custody the goods of Thomas Cromlom of Newbury deceased that were in the hands of Samuel Scullard, deceased”. Not having done so they are now ordered to answer next court.

3.   John married Abigail Steward about 1616 in Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England.  Abigail’s parents were Thomas Steward,  High Sheriff of Cambridge and Bridget Poole. He died on 24 Feb 1673 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.

John, was a military man who served in James I’s army in the Palatinate in 1624. He then entered the service of the Netherlands and was Colonel of an English Regiment serving in Holland. Late in 1648 when news of the condemnation to death of Charles I was received, he was sent by the Prince of Orange to his cousin Oliver to plead for the King’s life. Having with difficulty gained admittance, he argued vehemently that the execution would be seen on the Continent as an indelible stain on England and even threatened Oliver that the entire family would change their name back to Williams out of shame if the execution went ahead. The mission was, of course, unsuccessful, and John Cromwell returned to Holland. He saw the conduct of his cousin as criminal, though that didn’t stop him applying to the Lord Protector for redress over a case involving his estranged wife who had, he claimed, reduced him to penury.

Another story was that John was a Colonel in the army, and sent to the colonies. He was a rich buccaneer. Valiant officer, well known for his braveries in West Indies.

4. William was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Dutch service. He was apprehended in England involved in treasonable correspondence with Royalists, but the Lord Protector overlooked the offence and even persuaded him to undertake a secret embassy to Denmark. Later William was implicated in a plot to assassinate his cousin, but again Oliver got the case dropped. After the Restoration he became Carver to the Queen of Bohemia. On a visit to Ramsey in February 1666 he died of the plague. It was said the disease had come in a coat he had ordered from London.  400 citizens of the town also died

Another story is that he immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland and his son William Cromwell was a member of Lord Baltimore’s Council in 1684. He surveyed a tract of land called “Cromwell on the Eastern Shore” in Aug 1659.   Cromwell, who patented land, 1670 “Cromwell’s Adventure”, Anne Arundel County, north side of Curtis Creek. The aggregate acreage of the Cromwell Plantations were 6000 acres. William Cromwell was a member of Lord Baltimore’s Council, 1680. Richard was appointed to settle the boundary of Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County by the Maryland Assembly, 1698. Capt John Cromwell was Colonel of Militia, Prince George’s County. Captain John Cromwell married Hannah Rathberry, died 1733.

9. Oliver was educated in Italy, student at Padna in 1618. Oliver never returned to England. He died from a fall from a public building in Rome


Maryland historical magazine, Volume 13 By Maryland Historical Society CROMWELL (Sir Knight)1

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26 Responses to Sir Oliver Cromwell

  1. Supposedly, I descend the Cram family via Argentine (there is a family name of “Argentine”) Cromwell’s marriage to Benj. Cram, Sr., who had Benj. Cram, Jr., who wed Sarah Shaw and had Charity Cram who wed Josiah Smith, Sr., who had Hannah Smith who wed Wm. Burleigh, Jr., who had Hannah Burleigh who wed Pvt. Ebenezer “Eben” Barker, Jr., Patriot, who had Elizabeth Barker who wed War of 1812 Capt. Stephen Jewett, III, who had Stephen Jewett, IV, (buried “Airlie Gardens”, Bradley’s Creek, Wilmington / Wrightsville Beach, N.C., 1830’s U.S. postmaster Smithville / Southport,, N.C., officer Bank of Wilmington, from Maine) who wed 2nd Lucy Anna Bradley (brother Wm. Henry Bradley co-founded San Francisco, World’s Expo gold metal in photography firm of Messrs. Bradley & Rolufson, built SFO’s first “skyscraper” (five stories) with first elevator) who had Eliza Yonge Jewett (desc. Patriots & Loyalists) the 2nd wife of Epis. Rev. Edward Wooten / Wootten, CSA, Sgt & Lt., who had Edw. Yonge Wootten of Wilmington, N.C., who wed Ruth Irma James of Biloxi, Missisippi, who had Mrs. Leila James Wootten Miller, 1914-1967, my beloved mother, buried Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, N.C. “Leila” is an Arabic name meaning “born at night”, or “dark as night”: R.I.P. There were nine Ebenezer Barkers in New England in the American Revolution. Mine was the son of Maj. Ebenezer Barker, Sr. (too old for Revolution) and Mary “Molly” Rundlett. In her old age, Eben’s beloved step-father wrote how she first saw her future “father” when she first espied Eben across a New England spring field one Sunday. I think Eben was in service away from home most of three years with his comrade-in-arms he’d met in service, from about three-days walk away. The comrade, shot, died in Eben’s arms; entrusting Eben with a pocket of things, and mission to take to his young widow, and never seen child. In about a year the war ended. Home finally, Eben had to help old Maj. Barker plant crops. Done, he started is journey to fulfill a promise given a fallen friend and fellow soldier. The Sunday morning of the third day or so, Eben found the young blond widow’s home; being told that she and child were walking to distant church. He hurried: as he emerged from the woods, across a field he saw the young widow and child starting into the woods across the field. In her old age, that once young child remembered her first distant sight of the unknown young man; stopping her mother, telling Hannah–“That’s my father”. Eben found them in church, and sat beside them there. And-so-it-came-to-pass, young Eben would grow old as her finally found “father”, and in her old age, she recorded that moment, and in my old age, I would read of their long ago story, that of the half-sister of my great, great, great grandfather’s wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Barker Jewett. This from my poor memory, likely with error. Possibly I have error in the lineage beyond Eben and beloved wife. Please correct me if I have erred. Jim Miller, Southport, North Carolina. I thought Mrs. Argentine Cromwell Cram descended an English village brewer (possible tavern keeper?) named Oliver Cromwell, the uncle or some such; at least namesake of Lord Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England? I think the old brewer Cromwell humble home, is still there?

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  10. meredith says:

    So much of this information is unsubstatiated, especially regarding Sir Oliver’s children by his first marriage. Sir Oliver was present at the baptism of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James IV of Scotland; She was born shortly before Queen Elizabeth I died. Sir Oliver dispaired about King James I and IV hunting excursions to Hitchingbrooke and pleaded that James purchase the property, to no avail hence the distress sale. Sir Oliver maintained a cordial relationship with Princess Elizabeth after her marriage to Frederick Elector of the Palintate. Henry, his first son did inherit his father’s estate. All the other sons of his first marriage had to get a job! John became a soldier; William became the “Carver” in the royal household of Elizabeth. Both sons Giles and Oliver were issue of the second marriage.

  11. Russell Cromwell says:

    I have traced my genealogy with accuracy back to 1667 where it goes into the family of William, John, Richard and Edith Cromwell when they arrived in America at Baltimore Maryland.

    I have traced my lineage to a John Cromwell that was born in 1579, died in 1637, that was married to Edith Haire. Coincidentally, I have found that Sir Oliver Cromwell had a son named John Cromwell that just happened to die on the same day and year but the birth of this John Cromwell puts him being born in 1589 but was married to Abigail Clere. According to what you have written here on this site, Col, John Cromwell, the son of sir Oliver Cromwell was born 1589 and died in 1637 but there is no mention of a second wife. I am trying to find some evidence that this John Cromwell and the John Cromwell who is the son of Sir Oliver Cromwell are the same person, which would give me the clear evidence that I need to prove my direct line decadency to Sir Oliver Cromwell.

    My Blood line is as follows:

    Russell Cromwell (1971 to Present) Florida
    Robert Sylvenus Cromwell jr (1946-1996) Alabama
    Robert Sylvenus Cromwell Sr (1910-1971) B: Alabama D: Florida
    Benjamin Patee Cromwell (1843-1924) B: Maine D: Alabama
    William H. Cromwell (1820-1897) B: Maine D: Maine
    Major Stephen Cromwell (1790-1874) B: Massachusetts D: Maine (War of 1812)
    Captain Richard Cromwell (1749-1802) B: Maryland D: Maryland (Revolutionary War)
    Joseph Cromwell (1707-1769) B; Maryland D: Maryland
    William Cromwell Jr (1678-1735) B: Maryland D: Maryland
    William Cromwell Sr. (1645-1684) B: Wiltshire England. He either died on his last trip back to England or he died in Maryland. It is not really known but he is the William Cromwell that made the journey with his brother John and bought the land in Maryland known as “Cromwell’s Adventure’ on the Patapsco 100 in 1670. They developed the plantation in 1677 and then brought back to Maryland there other brother Richard and there sister Edith Cromwell. The two younger siblings are said to have been twins but that has not bee verified but there is proof that Edith Cromwell married into the Gist family also of Wiltshire England.

    Richard Cromwell sr. (1610-1661) B: Wiltshire England D: Wiltshire England
    John Cromwell (1579-1637) The death is exactly December 27th of 1637 which is the same day and year that John Cromwell the son of Sir Oliver Cromwell died but on Ancestry it shows that he was married to Edith Haire and his parents were Sir Henry “The Golden Knight” Cromwell and Joan Warren, but I have not found any evidence that Sir Henry had a son named John Cromwell.

    Any help in this matter would greatly be appreciated so I can try to get the facts straight.


    • Lisa Fishel says:

      I realize that this is an older thread. I am descendant of Edith Cromwell and Christopher Gist of Maryland. I am researching this topic and with so much conflicting information out there, its frustrating and difficult. What I do feel is that familysearch and wikipedia are incorrect on the topic. Have you been able to get further in this research with solid sources? I would love to hear from you.

      • markeminer says:

        Yes, Lisa, there is a lot of wishful thinking when it comes to Oliver Cromwell American descendants.


      • Russell says:

        There’s sir Oliver Cromwell the uncle of Oliver Cromwell lord protector so most people get confused between the two plus there have been over 500 Oliver cromwells in the last 350 years

      • Russell says:

        No I haven’t been researching it in a while. It gets confusing with so many people have the same names.
        I did read somewhere that a colonel Cromwell was the commander of the Scottish prison in New England in 1620 but I haven’t had time to delve into it much lately.

        I’m hoping to travel to Wiltshire England next year and trace some roots and visit graveyards so hopefully they have a local library I can get some more information

      • Russell says:

        My great great great grandfather captain Richard Cromwell served as an artillery officer under general gist during the revolutionary war and on many occasions was present in battle negotiations with general gist and George Washington. I have seen letters to general gist from George Washington

  12. This weekend doing my research on my 3rd Great Grandmother, Amanda Seaver(Norton). I found I am related to Sir Oliver Cromwell, he is my 11th Great Grandfather, thorough his daughter, Elizabeth Cromwell who married Richard Ingoldsby, my 10th Great Grandparents. Then their son, John Ingoldsby and Ruth Griffin(my 9th great grandparents. Then their daughter, Sarah Ingoldsby and Caleb Seaver(my 8th grandparents) on to Amanda Seaver and Jeremiah D. Norton, my 3rd Great Grandparents. Then on to my 2nd Great Grandparents, Jeremiah Henry Norton and Mary Electa Taylor, then my Great Grandmother Blanche Amanda Norton and Hiram Freeland Pickett, my Great Grandparents.

    Charleen Pickett

    • Russell says:

      Do you have any dates of the marriage between Elizabeth Cromwell and Richard ingoldsby? There were a lot of Elizabeth cromwells so I’m trying to narrow down which one.


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  14. Please remove this Cromwell coat of arms as it is copyright of

  15. Janet Sanders says:

    I have traced Margaret Cromwell back to William Cromwell who married Elizabeth trehearne. I cannot find whom williams father was. The old readings say they weren’t related to the famous Cromwells but now that ancestry and the Internet is available it is showing different . If anyone has any information I would truely be so thankful. This is for my Grandmother Willie who past away in 2007.

    • russell cromwell says:

      hello. i have traced my cromwell family history back to 1100 in wales. if my memory is correct wiliam cromwells father was robert cromwell. i have all of the information at home i can email it to you.

  16. Janet Sanders says:

    I would truely be so grateful if u could.
    My email is
    Thank you so much!

    • russell cromwell says:

      hey, sorry i havent emailed you the information yet. i have been busy with work but i will be on vacation in a few days and will dig up the papers i have and email them to you.

  17. I am afraid you have the wrong Holt Castle for Elizabeth Bromley – but you may find my article on “Cowper” on my website interesting.

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