January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 27 January 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450127-TC-CR-01; CL 19: 13-14


Chelsea, 27 jany, 1845—

My dear Sir,

Thanks for your Notes on the Extract from Leland;1 they will abundantly suffice me even if you get no more. The New Church, and the exact site and present condition of the Locality where Richard Williams or Cromwell was born,—these also will be welcome items, but they are not indispensable to me. Points of Curiosity rather.

Your friend Downe2 is indisputably wrong in his Cromwell Genealogy; Richard Cromwell was by no means the son of Thomas Cromwell Earl of Essex; there are two Letters of this Richard's still extant in the British Museum, in both of which, legibly to all eyes, he still signs himself, addressing this Thomas Cromwell, “Your Affectionate Nephew.”3— How he came to be “nephew,” and what the word exactly meant in that time, in that case, is very obscure,—reported in two difft ways by the single Dugdale, for instance!4 But from these two Letters we do indisputably gather that Richard, and consequently Oliver, was a relation of Thomas Cromwell; and by Leland's record we seem to see that it was a notorious fact this Richard was born in your County. The rest is all dust and ashes, and inscrutable uncertainty of “shot rubbish.”5 Dugdale's two contradictory accounts are these: first that Thomas Cromwell married a sister of one Williams a Glamorgan Gentn; and then (in another part of his Baronage Book), that Williams a Glamorgan gentn married a sister of Thomas Cromwell's!6 The latter is now the received account: but no Book or man that I have ever met with has any light to justify a judgement about it. The above evidences, of Leland and the Museum Letters, are, I believe, all that exist on the subject.

I am very busy, and not in very flourishing condition. In great haste too!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle