CROMWELL, Robert (d.1617), of Huntingdon.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of Henry Cromwell alias Williams* and bro. of Oliver and Richard Cromwell and of Henry Cromwell. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1579; L. Inn 1582. m. Elizabeth, da. of William Stewart of Ely, wid. of William Lynne of Bassingbourn, Cambs., 3s. inc. Oliver Cromwell 7da.
J.p. Hunts.; bailiff, Huntingdon 1600.
The words of this Member’s son, the Protector, ‘I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in any considerable height nor yet in obscurity’, provide a precise and accurate description of his background, and of his father’s quality. He had a small estate worth about £300 p.a. in and around Huntingdon, and lived in the town close to the market square, in a stone house with gothic windows set in a large garden. Tradition makes him serious and quiet, ‘careful in the things of this world and the next’. A portrait of him at Hinchingbrooke shows his face ‘long, lean and composed, the features regular and delicate, with a hooked nose, a sensitive mouth, a high forehead and grave eyes well set under deep brows’. S. R. Gardiner saw in the same portrait evidence of the sober puritanism of one not much given to any form of spiritual enthusiasm. Cromwell sat in one Parliament for his local borough, and left no trace in its records. He made his will on 1 June 1617. Finding such weakness in himself that he could not continue long in this world, and being taught by experience that man’s life is like a bubble of water, he wished to address himself ‘wholly to the meditation of divine and heavenly things’. To his wife Elizabeth, the executrix, he left his plate and jewels and two-thirds of his property for 20 years. He was buried at All Saints, Huntingdon on 24 June the same year.
VCH Hunts. ii. 70; M. Noble, Mems. Protectoral House of Cromwell, i. 82; M.P. Ashley, Cromwell, 16; S. R. Gardiner, Cromwell, 1; PCC 78 Weldon.