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L IVER Cromwell, son of Robert

Cromwell, and Elizabeth Stuart,

his wife, was born at Huntington, De on the twenty fourth of April, one thousand five hundred ninety nine. : His family, which was considerable, I shall give some account of in the note (A).


(A) I Mall give some account of his family.] We are naturally inquisitive about the descents and alliances of those who have figured in the world. Whether they sprung from new or old families ? whether their fathers were men of renown? or they themselves first gave luftre to their name? are questions usually asked by such as read or hear concerning them. To gratify the curiosity of the reader then, the following account


He was educated in grammar learning in the Free-school at Huntington, under Dr.


has been collected. That his (Oliver's) extrac* tion by the father's side, was from Sir Richard Wil. liams, Knight, a gentleman of eminent note (lays « Sir William Dugdale) in the court of king Hinry VIII. • and son to Morgan ap Williams (a Welchman) by

sister to Thomas lord Cromwell earl of Esex, is pot to be doubted. Who being by his uncle

I preferred to the service of king Henry, was for that (m) Short 'cause (and no other) called Cromwell, as is apparent View of the é enough from testimonies of credit (a).' If I have troubles in

. not been misinformed, many gentlemen of the name 458. Ox. of Williams, in Wales, value themselves on this descent ford, 1685. of Oliver Cromwell. Dugdale's account has been lately Folio

contested by a gentleman who thinks it ' more proba-
6 ble that this family descended by the females from
Ralph lord Cromwell of Tattenhall in Lincolnshire, the
"last heir male of which was lord High Treasurer in
¢ the reign of Henry VI. and one of his coheiresses mar.
• ried Sir William Williams, whose descendents might af.
(terwards take the name of Cromwell, in hopes of at-
"taining that title which Humphry Bouchier, a younger
( son of the then earl of Ellex, who married the eldest

o of the coheiresses, actually had, and was killed at (6) Biogra- Barnet field, fighting on the fide of king Edward pbia Britan-a IV. (b)-Which of these accounts is most probable nica, vol. ii. Ariicle live must be left to the judgment of the reader. ---How

i Cromwell, 6 ever, this is certain, that Sir Richard Cromwell above Bulella). "mentioned was theriff of Cambridgifhire and Hun.

i tingtonshire in the time of Henry VIII, was a great fa

vourite and commander in the wars, and had grants • of abbey lands in Humingtonshire to the amount, as • they were then rated, of three thousand pounds a year. • His fon, Sir Henry, was four times fheriff of the

county. Sir Oliver, uncle to the Protector, gave king James I, the greatest feast that had been given


Thomas Beard, a minifter of that town; from whence he was sent to Cambridge, entered into Sydney-Suffex College, April 23, 1616, and placed under the tuition of Mr. Richard Howlett (c). .

Defiderata What progress in learning he made in the curiosa, vol, university we have no particular account of, 66. Wood's but as he understood fome Latin, and had ii. .%. a taste for polite literature, probably his

(c) Peck's

ii. b. 7. p.

Fasti, vol.


! to a king by a fubjeét, had a great estate, and was a , zealous royalist (d),' but • had his composition re-

(4) Biog. mitted by the parliament for his kinsman's sake (e).' 'Tis no wonder then to find a family of such a rank (2) White

lock's Me. allied to the Hampdens, the Si, Jabns, and the Bar-morials, 2d. ringtons, names of some of our most antient and emi-edit. p. 300, nent families.-- Mr. Coke tells us, · his father being ! alked whether he knew the Protector, he said, Yes, • and his father tog, when he kept his brew-house in Huntington fir Dugdale will explain this, Ro. ! bert Cromwell, says he, though he was by the coun Der

tenance of his elder brother, (Sir Oliver) made a juf- ii. p. 57. * tice of peace in Huntingtonshire, had but a slender Lond. 1694. • estate; much of his support being a brew-house, in Huntington, chiefly managed by his wife, who was • fiftes to Sir Robert Stewart of the city of Ely, knight,

and by her had issue this our famous Oliver (g).' (6) Short This every' reasonable and considerate person will think View, po no discredit to the family. For in England trade is not 459. disgraceful to a gentleman. The younger brothers of our beft families engage in it, and thereby raise themselves to fortune and independency, and advance the riches and power of their country. A much more honourable method of procuring a maintenance than following the levees of ministers and favourites, and engaging to execute their mischievous and fatal schemes!

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time was not wholly misemployed there (B).

During his continuance at Cambridge, his, father dying, he returned home to his mo

(1) Hinory

Dutch ed


(B) He under food fome Latin, and had a taste for polite literature.] Here are my authorities. Burnet says, he had no foreign language, but the little Latin that

stuck to him from his education, which he spoke very Of his own vitiously and scantily (b). Another writer obferves that times, 's The usurper loved, or affected to love, men of wit

E. Mr. IVailer frequently waited on him, being his kins12mo. p. 100. 1725.' man; and as he often declared, observed him to be very

well' read in the Greek and Roman story (i).' The (i) Waller's

fixa following passage I give at length, not doubting the to his Po- reader will be pleased with it. "When Cromwell took ms, P. 30. « on him the protectorship, in the year 1653, the very Lond. 1722.

*morning the ceremony was to be perform'd, a mer

o feniger came to Dr. Manton, to acquaint him that he .* must immediately come to Whitehall: the Doctor :5 asked him the occasion ; he told him he should know

that when he came there. The Protector himself, without any previous notice, told him what he was to

do, i. e. to pray upon that occafion : the Doctor la« boured all he could to be excused, and told him it < was a work of that nature which required some time u to consider and prepare for it. The Protector replied, " That he knew he was not at a loss to perform the .service he expected from him; and opening his study

door, he put him in with his hand, and bid him con. "fider there; which was not above half an hour: the

i Doctor employed that time in looking over his books, ! Lite of

Man." " which he faid was a noble collection (k).' Manton fon, p. 20. was a judge. Svo. Lond. These paffages do not indeed prove Oliver's applica1725. se t ion in the university ; but as a taste for books and

- learning is generally acquired in the early part of life, .'sis no way improbable that he form'd it there.


ther, who after some time sent him to Lincolns Inn, where, instead of applying himfelf to the study of the law, he learn'd the follies and vices of the town (c).


(c) Instead of studying the law, he learn'd the vices and follies of the town.) His small proficiency at Lincolns Inn, we may, I think, fairly enough conclude from the following passage of a profess’d panegyrist. "He came " to Lincolns Inn, where he associated himself with those ' of the best rank and quality, and the most ingenuous . persons; for though he were of a nature not averse " to study and contemplation; yet he seemed rather

addicted to conversation and the reading of men, and " their several tempers, than to a continual poring up- () Pour. con authors (1).' But this is by no means sufficient to traiture of give us an idea of Oliver in his younger years. We

vegre w his royal are by one writer furthermore told, that the first Oliver, p. 8. • years of his manhood were spent in a diffolute course 12mo. < cf life, in good fellowship and gaming (m).' Digdale. 1059 is more large. " In his youth, says he, he was for (m) War-'* 6 some time bred up in Cambridge; [he omits his be- wick's Me. ing at one of the inns of court] where he made no m.

made no 249. 8vo. great proficiency in any kind of learning; but then Lond. 1702.and afterwards forcing himself with drinking companions, and the ruder sort of people (being of a rough

and blustering disposition) he had the name of a Roy* {ter amongst most that knew him; and by his exorbi-, • tances so wasted his patrimony; that, having attempt• ed his uncle Stewart for a supply of his wants, and « finding that by a smooth way of application to him • he could not prevail, he endeavoured by colour of • law to lay hold of his estate, representing him as a 6 person not able to govern it. But therein he fail-.. sed (n).'

View, p. Wood observes, that his father dying whilst he was 459.' at Cambridge, he was taken home and sent to Lincolns

B 3



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