January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 3 January 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450103-TC-CR-01; CL 19: 3-4


Chelsea, 3 jany 1845—

My dear Sir,

On the other leaf of this Note is an extract from Leland (an old fellow in Henry VIII's time, who was sent up and down to take a survey of the Monasteries, and report about them);1 which extract I may hope will interest you a little!

But moreover I want to see if you can help me to a little modern light about it. There seems to me little doubt but Leland is correct; Richard Williams (born where he points out) was to all appearance the Nephew (by a Cromwell mother) of Thomas Cromwell Earl of Essex, the “Mauler of Monasteries”;2 he, from this Thomas, got Church lands in Huntingdonshire &c, having already taken the name of his Mother, and of this powerful Uncle;—and was indisputably I think the great grandfather of Oliver Cromwell,—who also in some early deeds signs himself “alias Williams.” Can you find me out the locality Leland alludes to,—the exact place? Noble says (about the year 1786) “it is possessed by a gentleman named Lewis.3

Rumney River I find on my map; but what is Thane? Is there an Eglis Newith; a Kibworth; a Kevenon (Hill or Commoith)?4 On the whole I will ask you to make a little inquiry and report to me by and by.

I am in terrible haste (with this Note, I mean), writing late at night here, and various other things still to write. I will send you my blessing across the hills and arms of the sea, and take myself away.

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle

Leland's Itinerary (3d Editn, Oxford 1769), vol IV. fo 56 pp 37 and 38. (I copy from Noble's Cromwell I. 238; and modernise the spelling):

‘Commoiths* in Glamorganshire.— Kibworth lieth from the mouth of the Romny (Rumny) up to an Hill in the same Commoith called Kevenon; a six miles from the mouth of the Romny. This Hill goeth as a wall overthwart betwixt the rivers of Thave (what?) and Romny. A two miles from this Hill, and a two miles from Cardiff, be vestigia of a Pile or Manor decayed, at Eglis Newith in the Parish of Llandaff. In the south side of this Hill was born Richard William alias Cromwell (Oliver Cromwell's great-grandfather!) in the Parish of Llanishen.’5

* ‘Commoith,’ my Dicty says is ‘Hundred,’ ‘Cantred,’ Division or District