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Sir Robert Stewart, who left him an estate of between four and five hundred pounds a year, he removed to the isle of Ely. Here again it is said that he fell into great streights and difficulties, through an excess of superstition; though the accounts given of it (E)
In conformity to the representations of others I have mentioned Mrs. Cromwell's spirit and pride : how the latter appear’d I know not. It is not said that she lov'd ftate and magnificence, that she was delighted with flattery, or fond of power. Nor do I remember to have seen any addresses made to her either by the court divines, or poets of her age, though her husband, and her son Richard had store of them. So that I should rather conclude her meek and humble, than proud and high-spirited; though we have no facts given us from whence we may draw the one or the other conclusion. What confirms me in the opinion of her real good character is, that Dugdale and Bates, who have drawn the most ugly pictures of Cromwell, have left hers untouched, which I'm perswaded they would not have done, could they have found any thing to fasten on. Bates, being physician to the family, must have had opportunities sufficient for information; and after the restoration it was making court to abuse any part of Oliver's family.
I am confirmed in my opinion of Mrs. Cromwell, by the following passage in Ludlow, which I observ'd not till I had written the above. "He [the Protector) re
moved from the Cock-çit, which house the parliament ? had align'd him, to take possession of Ihitehall,
which he assign'd to himself. His wife seem'd at first
' unwilling to remove thither, tho'afterwards the be(s) Me- 5 came better satisfied with her grandeur (1) moirs, vol. (E) He fell into frights and difficulties through an ex38. cess of suferstition.] Let us hear what is said on this
are, in my opinion, far enough from being probable.
head by writers prejudiced against his memory. - Adoo lefcens cum fæmina nobili confarreavit; sed brevi • poftea tum sua tum materna bona, (pater enim ante 6 defunctus erat) effusus in luxum, funditus dilapidavit, « adeo ut ad reftim propemodum redigeretur. Dein "agens resipiscentiam, concionibus facris, lectionibus • piis, & mortificationis operibus totus vacat; conducto" que zythepsario, velut rem familiarem quam aniè de
coxerat recocturus, eidem dat operam, fimul & agrio culturæ. Ab eo tempore, avunculo illum summopere • peroso, Roberto Stewardo equiti, regiorum quoruni dam & clericorum operâ conciliatus est, hæresque • tandem scriptus. Patrimonio tamen paulò pòft ad • assem peffundato, ftatuit Novam Angliam proficisci, & omniaque in hunc finem preparat (t): i. 6. In his (c) Elenchi youth he married a gentlewoman, but by his profule Moty
le nuperorum 6 and luxurious way of living, in a short time he squan- in Anglia ab
dered away both his mother's and his wife's estate, so Georgio Ba• that he was almost reduced to beggary. Afterwards, teo, pars
So cunda, po • assuming the behaviour of a penitent, he gave him. 219, 8vo. 6 self wholly up to the hearing of sermons, reading of Lond. 1663.
godly books, and works of mortification; and hav
ing got a brewhouse, he applied himself to the brew« ing trade, and also to husbandry. After that his un« cle Sir Robert Stewart, who had an aversion to him, • being reconciled by the means of some clergymen and
courtiers, left him his fortune. But shortly after, s having again run out of all, he resolved to go to New • England, and prepares all things for that end.
Dugdale, after having spoken of his most formally • canting in their [the Puritans] demure language and « affected tone, and frequenting the sermons of the
fiercest Beautefeaus,' tells us he was necessitated « through his low condition to quit a country farm, " which he held at St. Ives, and betake himself to
Certain 'tis, he was very regular at this time in his whole behaviour, publickly ad
Puer. Hume, after all of a sudden, ffected a gra
(w) Short ! mean lodgings in Cambridge (u).' This necessity anView, p. other writer lays upon his overmuch religion, which
induc'd him to have long prayers with his family in a morning, and again in the afternoon, at which his plowmen and all his country servants always attended. Mr. Hume, after his manner, has improv'd upon all these writers. All of a sudden, the spirit of refor• mation seized him ; he married, affected a grave and I composed behaviour, entered into all the zeal and
rigour of the puritanical party, and offered to restore to every one whatever sums he had formerly gained " by gaming. The same vehemence of temper which ç had transported him into the extreams of plealure,
now distinguished his religious habits. His house was the resort of all the zealous clergy of the party;
and his hospitality as well as his liberalities to the fi• lenced and deprived ministers, proved as chargeable ' as his former debaucheries. Tho' he had acquired a 6. tolerable fortune by a maternal uncle, he found his • affairs so injur’d by his expences, that he was obliged
to take a farm at St. Ives, and apply himself, for
some years, to agriculture, as a profession. But this • expedient ferved rather to involve him in further debts 6 and difficulties. The long prayers which he said to « his family in the morning and again in the afternoon, • consumed his own time and that of his ploughmen;
(and he reserved no leizure for the care of his tempo(*) History - ral affairs (x). There is a deal of confusion in all Britainvol. these accounts, and I believe, at the bottom, but little ii. p. 45. truth. For who can think that Oliver, tho'certainly an 4to. Lond. enthusiast, had so little sense as to run himself out after 1757
such a ridiculous manner? No man better knew than himself that there was a season for every thing, and tho' he loved to pray, and preach too on occasion, yet he was never known in any other part of life to neg.
diēted to no vice, but a professor of religion even to a degree of (F) enthusiasm, to which
Ject his affairs. Mr. Hume should have known too, that the clergy with whom Cromwell associated, were not of a temper to ruin even the most hospitable: good cheer was far enough from being their chief object. But waving all this, I would be glad to know how these accounts of his poverty are to be reconcil'd with the known facts of his being elected a member of parliament in 1628; and the successful opposition he actually made to the earl of Bedford, and other great men, in the business of draining the Fens?
Sir Philip Warwick, an eminent royalist, lived some time near Hunsington (y), and convers’d with Dr. Sim- (y) Me. cott, Cromwell's physician, from whom he learn'd many moirs, so
249. particulars : but he is totally silent on this head, and therefore very probably there is no truth in what is above related. .
Since writing the above, I find Cromwell speaking concerning his situation in life in the following manner. "I was by birth a gentleman, living neither « in any considerable height, nor yet in obscurity.' Words spoken to his parliament Sept. 12, 1654, and abundantly sufficient to confute the idle stories in this note recited. Milton also, speaking concerning him, says, ' Is matura jam atque firmata ætate, quàm & pri
vatus traduxit, nulla re magis quam religionis cultu purioris, & integritate vitæ cognitus, donci in occulto
creverat' i. e. ' Being now arrived to a ma'ture and ripe age, which he spent as a private person, (z) Milton's ( noted for nothing more than the cultivation of pure Prose • religion, and integrity of life, he was grown rich at vol. i. • home (z).'- After this, I hope, we shall hear no more p. 395. of Oliver's extreme poverty.
Lond. 1753. (F) He was a professor of religion even to a degree of en. See also the thufia[m.] The reader who has seen nothing but mo. quotation dern manners, may wonder to hear religion made part fro
" rendon in of note (P).
through the remaining part of his life he seemed greatly inclined.
of a great man's character. He who should now even but make the least public pretence to it, would go near to be ridicul'd for a fool or a fanatic. The Brutes, the Wrongheads, the Fribbles have figured so long, that they are become very familiar, and deem's top characters. But in the last century things were otherwise: a man's
being religious was thought one qualification even for
ors a post in the army, and mentioned as such by Lord and Dif- Strafforde (a), and we well know that the appearance patches, of religion was kept up by gentlemen of the most dir
17. tinguifi'd rank. So that Oliver's religion was merito1739.
rious in the eyes of those around him, and tended much to advance his character.
And that he was really religious, seems to appear from the following letter most generously permitted to be transcribed for me, by the trustees of the British Museum. It is written to Mr. Storie, and dated St. Ives, Jan. 11, 1635.
R. Storie, amongst the catalogue of those good IV workes which your fellowe citycenes and our « cuntrie men have donn, this will not be reckoned for
the least that they have provided for the feedinge of
foules: buildinge of hospitalls provides for mens bo6 dyes, to build materiall temples is judged a worke of < pietye, but they that procure spirituall food, they that • builde upspirituall temples, they'are the men truly charritable, trulye pious. Such a work as this was your • erectinge the lecture in our cuntrie, in the which you • placed Dr. Welles, a man of goodnesle and industrie 6 and abilitie to doe good every way: not short of any • I knowe in England, and I am perswaded that fi" thence his cominge, the Lord by him bath wrought
much good amongst us. It only remains now that she whoe first moved you to this, put you forward