Abbildungen der Seite


The pedigree of the Protector's family commences about the middle of the eleventh century with Glothyan lord of Powys, who married Morveth the daughter and heiress of Edwyn ap Tyd

*1.“ Histoire de Cromwell, d'après les Mémoires du Temps et les Recueils Parlementaires." Par M. Villemain. 2 tom. 8vo. Paris, 1819.-2. “Memoirs of the Protector, Oliver Cromwell, and of his Sons Richard and Henry. Illustrated by Original Letters, and other Family Papers.” By Oliver Cromwell, Esq., a Descendant of the Family. With Portraits from Original Pictures. London, 1820. 4t0.-3.“ Oliver Cromwell and his Times.” By Thomas Cromwell. London, 1821. -4. “ Cromwelliana. A Chronological Detail of Events in which Oliver Cromwell was engaged from the year 1642 to his Death 1658: with a Continuation of other Transactions to the Restoration." Westminster, 1810. Folio.

The first of these works is in all respects a very good book ; the second, which contains much less original matter than we had hoped to find there, is the commendable attempt of an old and respectable gentleman to vindicate the character of his great ancestor. Mr. Thomas Cromwell, the author of the third work, appears not to be a descendant of the family: his book, though very inferior to M. Villemain's, and composed in too ambitious a style, is on the whole so fairly written and

well, lord of Cardigan ;-a Welsh genealogist no doubt would be able to trace the lords of Cardigan and Powys up to Cadwallader and so on to Brennus and Belinus. William ap Yevan, the

representative of the family in the fifteenth century, was in the service first of Jasper duke of Bedford, Henry the seventh's uncle, afterward of that king himself. His son, Morgan Williams, married the sister of that Cromwell whose name is conspicuous in the history of the Reformation, and who, though not irreproachable for his share in the transactions of a portentous reign, is on the whole largely entitled to commiseration and respect. . The eldest son of this marriage called himself Richard Crom. well, alias Williams, and as the former was the more popular and distinctive name, the alias,

intended, that we advise the author to ask himself whether some of his statements are not more conformable to the prejudices with which he took up the subject, than to the facts with which he became acquainted in pursuing it—to reconsider the grounds and the consistency of some of his opinions -and if a second edition of his book should be called for, to introduce it by a preface somewhat more modest and decorous. The fourth and last article consists of a series of extracts from the Diurnalls, and other publications of those times. With these works before us, and with the aid of such other materials as the rich memoirs of that disastrous age afford, and the industry of later writers has supplied (among whom Mr. Noble deserves especial mention as one of the most laborious and accurate and useful of the pioneer class), we shall endeavor to present a compendious and faithful account of Oliver Cromwell's eventful life.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


though long retained by the family in their deeds and wills, was dropped in ordinary use. This Richard was one of the six challengers who held a tournament in 1540 at Westminster against all

The justs were proclaimed in France, Flanders, Spain, and Scotland. The challengers entered the field richly accoutred, and their horses trapped in white velvet; the knights and gentlemen who rode before them were apparelled in velvet and white sarsnet, and their servants were all in white doublets, and “hosen cut after the Burgonian fashion."* Sir Richard was knighted on the second day, and performed his part in the justs so well that the king cried out to him, “ formerly thou wast my Dick, but hereafter thou shalt be my diamond;" and then dropping a diamond ring from his finger bade him take it, and ever after bear such a one in the fore gamb of the demy-lion in his crest. As a further proof of the royal favor, he and each of the challengers had a house and a hundred marks annually, to them and their heirs for ever, granted out of the property of the knights of Rhodes, the last prior of that religion dying at this time broken-hearted for the dissolution of his order.

Sir Richard Cromwell was one of those persons who were enriched by the spoils of the church. He was appointed one of the visiters of the re

[* Stow, by Howes, ed. 1631, p. 579.]

ligious houses, and received for his reward so large a portion of the plunder, that the church lands which he had possessed in Huntingdonshire only, were let in Charles the Second's reign for more than £30,000 a year; and besides these he had very great estates in the adjoining counties of Cambridge, Bedford, Rutland, and Northampton. The donors of estates to monasteries and churches usually inserted in their deeds of gift a solemn imprecation against all persons who should usurp the property so bequeathed, or convert it to other purposes

than those for which it was consecrated. Though this proved ng defence for the estates which had been piously disposed, it was long believed by the people that the property sacrilegiously obtained at the dissolution carried a curse with it; and, in a great majority of instances, the facts were such as to strengthen the opinion. Without consigning the rapacious courtiers of that age to the bottomless pit,“ there to be tormemted for ever with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and with Judas Iscariot,” it may safely be said that no conscientious man would have taken property clogged with such an entail.

Henry, the eldest son and heir of Sir Richard, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, who esteemed him highly, and honored him by sleeping at his seat, once the nunnery, at Hinchinbrook, on her return from visiting Cambridge. He was called

« ZurückWeiter »