Oliver Cromwell

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Cameron Campbell
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Oliver Cromwell

Postby Cameron Campbell » 24 Oct 2016, 11:52

The personal arms of Cromwell include (the arms are sixthed), Sa., a lion rampant Ar. armed Gu. Some references also mention that these arms are "Cromwell alias Williams". What does that mean, "Cromwell alias Williams" ? Thank you!

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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Oliver Cromwell

Postby Arthur Radburn » 24 Oct 2016, 12:54

Cameron, it refers to Oliver Cromwell's great-grandfather, Sir Richard Williams (d 1544), who changed his surname to Cromwell. According to Wikipedia, he was a nephew of Thomas Cromwell, and benefited from the relationship.
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Chris Green
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Re: Oliver Cromwell

Postby Chris Green » 24 Oct 2016, 16:10

These are the arms to which Cameron refers:

Image

Quarterly, of six coats; first, Sable; a lion rampant Argent (Cromwell alias Williams); second, Sable; three spear-heads Argent, their points imbrued or stained with blood Proper; third, Sable; a chevron between three fleurs-de-lis Argent; fourth, Gules; three chevrons Argent; fifth, Argent; a lion rampant Sable; sixth, Argent; on a chevron Sable; a mullet of the first; for a crest a demi lion issuant Argent, holding in his paws the base part of shaft of a demi-broken spear Proper.


Cameron refers to them as "sixthed", which I suppose is accurate in its way, though in heraldry coats are "quarterly of six (or eight or however many)".

The blazon given here does not identify Qs 2-6. But they should be the families to which Oliver's ancestors were related by marriage:

Great Grandfather: Sir Richard Williams, alias Cromwell, (c. 1500–1544) married Frances Murfyn, daughter of Sir Thomas Murfyn (whose arms were Or on a bend Sable an estoile Argent (not entirely dissimilar to Q6 as emblazoned above).

Grandfather: Sir Henry Williams, alias Cromwell, (c. 1524–6 - January 1604) married Joan Warren daughter of Sir Ralph Warren (whose arms were either Or, a chevron engrailed sable 3 griffins heads erased of the 2nd, or Azure on a chevron engrailed argent, between 3 lozenges, or, as many griffins heads erased of the field, on a chief cheeky of the 3d. and gules, a grey hound in full course, ermine collared of the 3d. (neither of which arms resemble Qs 2-5 of the Cromwell arms emblazoned here).

Oliver's father Robert Cromwell (c. 1560–1617) was not Sir Henry's eldest son (that was Sir Oliver Cromwell {1566-1655}), He was one of 11 children either the second or third son. He married Elizabeth Steward (c. 1564–1654), probably in 1591. I have been unable to unearth any info on the Stewards or Stewarts (yet) so whether their arms appear among those in Qs 2-5 I cannot say.

Oliver himself was Robert's only son (he had no less than seven sisters). He was married to Elizabeth Bourchier, daughter of Sir James Bourchier, whose arms were Sable, three Ounces passant in pale or. (once again, not among Qs 2-5).

So, based on a (very) quick bit of sleuthing, there seems to be something very iffy about those arms. During most of Oliver Cromwell's life it was his uncle Sir Oliver who had the right to the undifferenced Cromwell arms. From 1655 a cousin.
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Re: Oliver Cromwell

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 25 Oct 2016, 08:53

Interesting... but as Lord Protector (if I have his title right) under the Commonwealth, his arms were the quartered Commonwealth arms (1& 4 Argent a cross Gules, 2 Azure a saltire Argent, 3 Azure a harp Or) with an inescutcheon of his paternal arms (just the first quarter); and I've read that in his coffin was an engraved metal plate with the Royal arms with the same Cromwell escutcheon - perhaps a glimpse of his real, if secret, ambitions!
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Re: Oliver Cromwell

Postby Chris Green » 25 Oct 2016, 10:45

I imagine uncle (Sir) Oliver had to bite his tongue and not point out that his nephew was not entitled to bear the paternal arms undifferenced.
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Re: Oliver Cromwell

Postby Chris Green » 25 Oct 2016, 11:02

Great Grandfather Sir Richard Williams/Cromwell was a premier league jouster in his day and benefitted mightily from his skill, not only financially and in lands, but in a curious augmentation to his crest:

On May Day was a great triumph of jousting at Westminster, which jousts had been proclaimed in France, Flanders, Scotland, and Spain, for all comers that would, against the challengers of England, which were Sir John Dudly, Sir T. Seymour, Sir T. Poynings, Sir George Carew, knights; Anthony Kingston, and Richard Cromwell, esquires; which said challengers came into the lists that day, richly apparelled, and their horses trapped all in white velvet, with certain knights, and gentlemen riding afore them, apparelled all with velvet and white sarsnet, and all their servants in white doublets, and hosen cut all in the Burgonion fashion, and there came to joust against them, the said day, of defendants 46, the Earl of Surrey being the foremost; Lord William Howard, Lord Clinton, and Lord Cromwell, son and heir to Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and Chamberlain of England, with other, which were all richly apparelled: and that day sir John Dudley was overthrown in the field by mischance of his horse, by one Andrew Breme; nevertheless, he brake divers spears valiantly after that; and after the said jousts done, the said challengers rode to Durham Place, where they kept open household, and feasted the King (Henry VIII) and Queen (Anne of Cleves), with their ladies, and all the court. The 2nd of May, Anthony Kingstone, and Richard Cromwell, were made knights of the same place. The 3rd of May, the said challengers did Tourney on horseback, with swords; against them came 29 defendants: Sir John Dudley and the Earl of Surrey running first, which the first course lost their gauntlets, and that day Sir Richard Cromwell overthrew M. Palmer in the field off his horse, to the great honour of the challengers. The 5th of May, the said challengers fought on foot, at the barriers, and against them came 30 defendants which fought valiantly, but Sir Richard Cromwell overthrew that day, at the barriers, M. Culpepper in the field; and the 6th of May the said challengers brake up their household. In the which time of their house-keeping, they had not only feasted the King, Queen, ladies, and the whole court, as was aforesaid, but on the Tuesday in the rogation week, they feasted all the knights and burgesses of the common house in the parliament; and on the morrow after they had the mayor of London, the aldermen, and all their wives to dinner: and on the Friday they brake it up as is aforesaid.
Sir Richard and the five other challengers, had each of them, as a reward for their valour, 100 marks annually, with a house to live in, to them and their heirs for ever, granted out of the monastery of the Friary of St Francis, in Stamford, which was dissolved, 8 October 1538, which the King was better able to do, as Sir William Weston, the last Prior, who had an annuity out of the monastery, died two days after the jousts.
We may form an idea of the esteem that the king had for Sir Richard on account of his gallantry from the following anecdote; when Henry saw Sir Richard's prowess he exclaimed, "Formerly thou wast my Dick, but hereafter thou shalt be my diamond"; and dropped a diamond ring from his finger, which Sir Richard taking up, he presented it to him, bidding him afterwards bear such a one in the fore gamb of the demy lion in his crest.


Thus the demi-lion grasping a jousting lance shown in the emblazonment below is wrong. It should be a diamond, though whether this should be in the form of a lozenge argent is a matter of conjecture.
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Re: Oliver Cromwell

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 18 Jul 2017, 16:15

I wonder if the jousting lance is considered enough of a difference that the younger line of Cromwell could carry it?

I also question if Cromwell even used these arms, it could be there is no record of what arms he used, if any, before becoming Lord Protector. A then researcher could have just found the arms he would have inherited (although he would have to difference them)


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