Sunday, April 10, 2011

Question from Mary Jane - Queen Elizabeth I and the Cromwell family

Am working on the Cromwell family, a son of whom came to Massachusetts in the early 1630s...and I know Queen Elizabeth was a visitor to the grandfather, Sir Henry Cromwell's home on her travels, perhaps staying with him at Hinchenbrook. Do you have anything on her dealings with the son, Sir Oliver Cromwell, of Ramsey and Hinchenbrook, Huntingdonshire, or any of his 8 children? Sir Oliver was the heir to Henry, and married 3 of his own children by his first wife to 3 of the children of his second wife, Anne Hooftman Pallavacini of Babraham, Camb., and London, (who inherited a lot of money from her father and her first husband) to avoid them being taken as wards to the court after Anne's death, ca 1620. I realize Eliz. was dead before that, but wonder if Sir Oliver was a close friend of hers.

That was a genealogical question, however, I am working on a project of interest which includes 36 godparents of the 16 children of Sir Thomas WEST of Wherwell, Hampshire,just about all of whom came out of Q. Elizabeth's court. Many of the men (and women) had connections to the Knights of the Garter, either themselves or their fathers. Thanks, Mary Jane Lewis


  1. Hi Mary Jane,
    I am VERY interested in your work on Thomas West. I work on the Carey/Knollys family. Thomas married Anne Knollys. If it is OK with you, may I ask Lara to connect us via email so that we may trade notes?

  2. I've been thinking about your query. Have you looked in 42. Nichols, John, Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, in three volumes, Nichols & Sons, London (1823)? This is one of the definitive sources for Elizabeth's progress.

    You also might want to look at Cole, Mary Hill, The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony, University of Massachussetts Press, Amherst (1999). She has an appendix listing the various progresses and stops.

    I haven't come across the Cromwells in Elizabeth's court but my focus is pretty narrow. I am wondering if the family were patronized by someone within the Chamberlain's office or the Privy or Bed Chamber. It may be that the family was known by a court family and selected as a stop on that basis.

  3. Henry Cromwell was extremely wealthy and the leading gentleman in Huntingdonshire, and that in itself explains Elizabeth's visits. I'm not aware that she had much contact with Cromwell's sons; Cromwell does not seem to have spent much time at court. You could look in P. W. Hasler (ed.), _The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1558-1603_ on Cromwell; also J. E. Neale, _The Elizabethan House of Commons_. This book is a published version of Henry Cromwell's records of the Armada crisis, when he led the county's defences. Note esp. p. 25.


All comments are moderated so your replies may not show up immediately. Please be patient. Thanks!