Robert Overton (1609 - 1679)

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Birthplace: Easington Manor, Holderness, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Barbados
Occupation: Governor of Hull, England under Oliver Cromwell; commanded a brigade at Dunbar and Inver Keithing, major General, Commanded a brigade of Ironsides under Cromwell, http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=syf&id=I06364
Managed by: Leah Hoffman
Last Updated:

About Robert Overton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Overton

Part I

Col. Robert Overton of Easington, Yorks "was a leading Parliamentarian soldier during the Civil Wars, but during the 1650s his sympathies towards the Fifth Monarchy Men led to his being imprisoned for two years. Released in 1659, he was again gaoled following the Restoration and spent most of the rest of his life in prison."

Source: The House of Commons, 1690-1715, Volume 1

By David Hayton, Eveline Cruickshanks, Stuart Handley.

Published for the History of Parliament by Cambridge University Press 2002.

http://books.google.com/books?id=GFxgK1pm6UMC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=jeremy+gardiner+stratford+bow&source=bl&ots=Gtks-1ogii&sig=JGXTRuqsAGdpPHkj8pO8idk463s&hl=en&ei=W_aRS8-BHI6klAeR0M38AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=jeremy%20gardiner%20stratford%20bow&f=false

Part II

It is generally believed and stated, although without absolute proof, that Gen. Robert Overton was the father of the Virginia immigrant. He was one of Oliver Cromwell's chief officers, and distinguished himself at the battle of Marston Moor. He accompanied Cromwell to Scotland in 1650, and commanded a brigade of Ironsides at the battle of Dunbar. He was a soldier and scholar and an intimate friend of Milton. He ended his years as a political prisoner in the Tower of London. He married, in 1632, Anne, daughter of Jeremy Gardiner of Stratford Bow, Middlesex, England.

Source: http://www.geneajourney.com/overton.html

Part III

As positions hardened during the period before the English Civil War, Robert Overton supported the Parliamentary cause. He was probably influenced by Sir William Constable later to become a regicide.[2]

At the outbreak of the First English Civil War, he tried to join the army of Lord Ferdinando Fairfax, but no official positions were available. He was allowed to fight without any definite rank and distinguished himself in the defence of Hull and at the Battle of Marston Moor.[3][4]

In August 1645 the governor of Pontefract, Sir Thomas Fairfax, appointed Overton deputy governor of Pontefract.[5] Shortly after this appointment Overton captured Sandal Castle. Overton was acting governor during the siege. During the siege it was reported that he was inconsiderate to Lady Cutler and refused to let Sir Gervaise Cutler be buried in the church.[6]

In the summer of 1647 Overton gained a commission in the New Model Army and in July was given command of the late Colonel Herbert's foot regiment.[3][5] During the political debates within the New Model Army we was a member of the Army Council and sat on the committee at the Putney Debates.[5]

In March 1648, Fairfax appointed Overton, deputy governor of Kingston upon Hull.[5] There he became friends with the notable Puritan poet Andrew Marvell, but was a very unpopular with the townsfolk. The townsfolk were known to by sympathetic to the Royalist cause and in June of 1648 the town Mayor and some of the town council petitioned for his removal.[3]

The sources differ as to his actions during Second English Civil War, Barbara Taft writes that he spent the war in Hull,[5] while Nan Overton West writes that he fought with Oliver Cromwell in Wales and the North of England, that he took the Isle of Axolme and was with Cromwell when Chales I was taken to the Isle of Wight.[3]

He supported the trial of the King in late 1648 early 1649, but wrote that he only wanted him deposed and not executed. He disagreed with other points of policy of the early Commonwealth government publishing his position in a pamphlet titled "The declaration of the officers of the garrison of Hull in order to the peace and settlement of the kingdom" and accompanying letter to Thomas Fairfax, in early January.[3][7].The letter makes it clear that he supported actions like Pride's Purge if the "corrupt Commons" stopped the Army's reforms.[5] Barbara Taft writes that the last six pages of the decleration reflect the case made in the Remonstrance[8] by the New Model Army to Parliament, the rejection of which had triggered Pride's Purge:

a speedy end to the present parliament; a succession of free biennial parliaments with an equitable distribution of seats; future kings elected by the people's representatives and having no negative voice; a ‘universal and mutual Agreement, … enacted and decreed, in perpetuum’, that asserts that the power of parliament is ‘inferior only to that of the people’

– Declaration of the Officers of the Garrison of Hull[9]

As divisions within the New Model Army widened during the Summer of 1649, fearing that these divisions would be used by their enemies, Overton issued a letter that made it clear that he sided with the Rump Parliament and the Grandees against the Levellers.[5]

When the Third Civil War broke out in 1650 he accompanied Cromwell to Scotland and commanded a Foot Brigade at the Battle of Dunbar his regiment was also involved in the English Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Inverkeithing (20 July 1651) where Overton commanded the reserve.[10]

When then New Model Army returned to England in pursuit of the invading Royalist Scottish army, Overton remained in Scotland as governor of Edinburgh. He helped complete the subjugation of Scotland and commanded an expedition to reduce the garrison forces in Orkney. On May 14, 1652 a grateful Parliament voted Scottish lands to him with an annual income of him 400 pounds sterling per year. In December 1652, when George Monck's successor Richard Deane was recalled, Monck appointed Overton as Military Commander over all the English forces in the Western Highlands with the rank of Major-General. He was also appointed governor of Aberdeen.[10]

In 1653 he returned to England because of his father's death and succeeded to the family estate in Easington. He also resumed duties as governor of Hull. During 1650 he and his wife had become members of the "church" and in retrospect he considered the execution of Charles I as a fulfilment of Old Testament scripture, and often cited Ezekiel 21:26-27,[11] concerning the humble and God's "overturning" established order. Overton wrote: "the Lord...is forced to shake and shake and overturn and overturn; this is a shaking, overturning dispensation." Some sources claim he was a Fifth Monarchist, but his views seemed to have spanned several of the religious beliefs and political grouping of the day and it is difficult to label him as belonging to any one group.

He hailed Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump Parliament in June 1653, but he subsequently became disenchanted and suspicious of Cromwell as Lord Protector. Although his letters to Cromwell remained cordial, during the early years of the Protectorate he seems to have become more and more disenchanted with the Lord Protector and the speed of reform. Cromwell informed him that he could keep his position in the army so long as he promised to relinquish his command when he could no longer support the policies of the Protectorate.

In September 1654 Overton returned to his command in Scotland. In December 1654, Overton was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London for his part in the "Overton Revolt". It was alleged that a verse in Overton's handwriting, found amongst his papers:

   A Protector! What's that? Tis a stately thing
   That confesseth itself the ape of a King;
   A tragical Caesar acted by a crown,
   Or a brass farthing stamped with a kind of crown;
   A bauble that shines, a loud cry without wool,
   Not Perillus nor Phalaris, but the bull;
   The echo of Monarchy till it come,
   The butt-end of a barrel in the shape of a drum;
   A counterfeit piece that woodenly shows,
   A golden effigies with a copper nose;
   The fantastic shadow of a sovereign head,
   The arms-royal reversed, and disloyal instead;
   In fine, he is one we may Protector call,
   From whom the King of Kings protect us all!"[12]

He was accused of planning a military insurrection against the government and plotting to assassinate Monck. It is not clear how involved he was in the plot, because he was good friends with Monck at the time and would have been unlikely to have been involved in a plot to kill him. But whatever his real position he was considered to have been too lenient with his "disaffected officers" in sanctioning their meetings and there was evidence that he held meetings with John Wildman, an incorrigible Leveller plotter, who would use anyone in order to bring down the Protectorate. Later while in the Tower of London, wrote to others informing them of Wildman's plans. A fellow prisoner in the Tower at that time wrote of Overton, "He was a great independent, civil and decent, a scholar, but a little pedantic."[13]

In 1655 Cromwell was convinced enough of his guilt to have him removed as governor of Hull and to confiscate the lands granted to him by Parliament in Scotland handing them back to Earl of Leven the owner before they were confiscated by Parliament.[14]

Overton remained imprisoned in the Tower until in March 1658 when he was moved to Elizabeth Castle on the island of Jersey. Barbara Taft mentions that "It is not unlikely that respect for Overton's ability and fear of his appeal as an opposition leader played a major role in his imprisonment."[5] After Cromwell's death and the re-installation of the Commonwealth, Grizelle, his sister, his wife Anne, her brother, and many Republicans, presented his case to Parliament, on February 3, 1659, along with letters from Overton's close friend John Milton. Overton and John Milton probably became acquainted early on in St Giles in Cripplegate, where they moved and lived for a time. Milton considered Overton a scholar and celebrated him and his exploits in his "Defensio Secundo" by writing: "...bound to me these many years past in friendship of more than brotherly closeness and affection, both by the similarity of our tastes and the sweetness of your manners." Milton also included Overton in his list of "twelve apostles of revolutionary integrity."

On March 16, 1659, Parliament ordered Overton released from prison after hearing his case, pronouncing his imprisonment illegal. Overton's return was called "his greatest political triumph; a huge crowd, bearing laurel branches, acclaimed him and diverted his coach from its planned path." In June 1659 he was restored to his command and further compensated for his losses.[14] Charles II wrote him promising him forgiveness for past disloyalty and rewarded him for services in effecting the restoration. Overton was appointed governor of Hull and again was unpopular, many referring to him as "Governor Overturn," because of his association with the Fifth Monarchists who used the phrase liberally. This perception was reinforced by the sermons of John Canne, a well known Fifth Monarchist preacher in Overton's regiment at Hull.[15][16] On October 12, 1659 he was one of seven Commanders in whom Parliament vested the government of the army until January 1660.[17][18]

By early 1660, Overton's position started to diverge from that of Monck, as he did not support the return of Charles II, but he and his officers refused to aid Generals Lambert and Fleetwood He sought to mediate and published an exhortation to them to maintain the Lord's cause, entitled "The Humble Healing Advice of R.O." His ambiguity of conduct and letters to troops in Yorkshire caused Monck much embarrassment, and as a result, Monck had Lord Thomas Fairfax order him to take any order Monck gave.

On March 4, 1660, a day after Lambert's arrest, Monck ordered Overton to surrender his command to Fairfax and come to London. Overton planned a stand, but he must have seen that defeat would have been inevitable. Hull's disaffection for him and some division among the garrison caused him to allow himself to be replaced by Thomas Fairfax's son, Charles Fairfax. The Garrison in Hull began the English Civil War as the first town to resist Charles I and was among the last to accept his son Charles II. After 1642 no monarch would set foot in Hull for over 200 years.

Overton was an independent and a republican. He was regarded, perhaps falsely, as one of the Fifth Monarchists, and at the first rumour of insurrection was arrested and sent to the Tower of London in December 1660, where Samuel Pepys went to see him and wrote in his diary that Overton had been found with a large quantity of arms, which Pepys recorded that Overton said he only bought to London to sell.[19]

Overton was briefly at liberty in the Autumn of 1661. Realising that he might be re-arrested at any moment he spent the time arranging his financial and personal affairs he issued a series of deeds to make provision for his mother, his wife and family and to avoid confiscation of his property by the Crown. Most of his properties were sold to his family, to his sons Ebenezer and Fairfax and his daughter Joanna, and close friends. The last documents were executed November 7, 1661 and on November 9 1661 he was sent to Chepstow Castle. He managed a short interval of freedom but was again arrested on May 26, 1663 on "suspicion of seditious practices and for refusing to sign the oaths or give security." As Andrew Marvell, the English Satirist, wrote in a letter to John Milton, "Col. Overton [was] one of those steady Republicans whom Cromwell was unable to conciliate and was under the necessity of security."[20]

In 1664 the government sent him to Jersey, the second time he had been imprisoned there and this time it was to be for seven years. During this time he was allowed out and about on the island which was not uncommon for high-ranking political prisoners. Overton spent the years of his incarceration in Mont Orgueil Castle on Jersey Island trying to establish his freedom. He wrote a 370 page manuscript of letters, meditations and poetry to his beloved wife's memory and about religious subjects. The manuscript "Gospell Observations & Religious Manifestations &c.",[21] He remain a prisoner on Jersey until early December 1671 when he was released to his brother-in-law by a warrant that was signed by Charles II.[22]He returned to England and lived his last years with or near his daughters and probably two sons in Rutland.[20][23]

Overton’s will is dated 23 June 1678, aged 69, Nan Overton West records that he was buried on July 2 1678 in Seaton churchyard, overlooking the Welland Valley and Rockingham Castle while Barbra Taft writes that he was buried in New Church Yard, Moorfields in London.[24][5][25] "Robert wrote his last will and testament on June 23, 1678, and the will was probated in London on January 29, 1678/9. He was buried only nine days after his will was written. His will was discovered in Rutland in 1994 by Arthur Jones of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. Mr. Jones also located a record in the Seaton Parish in Rutland, which establishes Robert's burial. ... There have been other theories concerning the ultimate demise of Robert Overton. Some researchers have mentioned the possibility that the Robert Overton who was listed on the records of Christ Church, St. Michael's Parish, Barbados on December 22, 1679 was the same Robert that we review herewith. However, these suppositions were written without the benefit of the documentation that establishes Robert's presence on the Isle of Jersey as noted above."

Overton was born at Easington Manor in Holderness, Yorkshire in about 1609.[26] His farther was John Overton (~1566-1654)[27] and his mother Joan (nee Snawsell).[28] He was the eldest of five children: Robert, Frances, Germaine, Griselle (Griselda) and Thomas.[29] His education was completed at Gray's Inn where he was admitted on 1 November 1631.[30]

Overton marrid Anne Gardiner[31] (a Londoner, born about 1613) at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Less in Smithfield, London on 28 June 1632[32]. They had ten children John (born about 1635) , Jermie, William, Robert, Allatheia, Dorcas, Ebenezer, Anne, Fairfax and Joanna (born 1650).[33]

The South Aisle of the All Saints Church in Easington contains The Lady Chapel. Above the Altar is a monument dated 1651 which was placed there by Maj. Gen. Robert Overton in memory of his parents, "the deceased but never to be divided John Overton and his wife Joan"[34]

Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Overton

Part IV

ROBERT OVERTON, ANCESTOR OR ACQUAINTANCE?

In reviewing the ancestry of my family's names (Childress, Mathis, Overton, Barron, et. al), there have been numerous noteworthy individuals (and, of course, many more non-noteworthy individuals). However, it would be a fair assessment that no one individual could possibly approach the stature of Robert Overton, a famed military figure, political activist and comrade to men of letters in his day. Robert's life is a model of character. While there is a small level of uncertainty regarding the relationship between Robert and his son William, there is virtual unanimity among contemporary American Overtons that he properly can be called our common progenitor. Nan West takes the position of many of our Overton kinfolk and historians that Robert Overton is almost assuredly the father of our emigrant William Overton. I would very much like to agree with that assessment, but would like to see further evidence. In the interest of providing a guide to our history that may be subject to future research, I will present much of Mrs. West's verbiage herewith, and encourage the reader to adopt a healthy portion of objectivity.

With that caveat in mind, I will proceed with a quote from a source other than Mrs. West:

Gentry Family in America, pages 228-229: William Overton (once again, please see William's biography for more discussion on his parentage) was a son of Colonel Robert Overton, of England, born in 1609, distinguished himself at the battle of "Marston Moor," September 20, 1643; commanded a brigade in the battle of Dunbar under Cromwell; Governor of Hull in 1647 and rendered other distinguished services to the Commonwealth. He was a political prisoner in the Tower of London for many years; accompanied Cromwell to Scotland in 1650; Governor of Edinburgh; scholar; soldier, intimate friend of Milton who celebrated his exploits in "Defensio Secundo."

Now, using Nan West's publication as the primary source, the following will give the reader some appreciation for the character of this man, whom we would all like to claim as our ancestor:

ROBERT OVERTON, THE MAN

General Robert Overton was of noble birth. Born in 1609 in Easington, he later lived in London and Easington, Holderness, Yorkshire, England. A Puritan, and serving under the Fairfaxes, he was one of Oliver Cromwell's officers, commanding a brigade of foot at Dunbar in the cause of the Commonwealth under Cromwell.

Robert Overton was appointed governor of Hull in 1647, Governor of Edinburgh in 1650 and to the post of Governor of Aberdeen in 1652. His career paralleled that of Cromwell until he could no longer in good conscience agree with him. Showing remarkable character so lacking in today's contemporary political figures, Overton resigned his command and his rank was reduced to his former position of Colonel after the rank of major general was abolished in 1657.

In his latter years, because of his political beliefs a strong conscience, Overton was twice imprisoned in the Tower of London, in 1654 and 1660. In 1668 he was removed from the Tower of London to the Isle of Jersey. He was imprisoned twice on the Isle of Jersey, from 1656 to 1659 and again from 1664 to 1671. He was held prisoner both in Mont Orgueil Castle as well as in Elizabeth Castle, a military establishment not usually have used to house prisoners. Overton's release from the Isle of Jersey was authorized by a warrant that was signed by Charles II, ordering Robert Overton to be released to his brother-in-law.

In 1992, Dr. M.C. Overton III learned of a 370 page manuscript handwritten by Robert Overton during his imprisonment on the Isle of Jersey. This document has existed in the USA for at least fifty years, hitherto unknown to his descendants. The manuscript is entitled "Gospell Observations and Religious Manifestations & C./" and is held in the Special Collections and Rare Books Department of Princeton University Libraries. This work consists of meditations, letters and poems and is dedicated to his wife, Anne Gardiner. The volume also substantiates General Robert Overton's long lasting friendships with noted English poets, John Milton and John Donne. Milton praised the General in his work "Second Defence of the English People" in 1654: "You Overton, who for many years have been linked to me with a more than fraternal harmony, by reason of the likeness of our tastes and the sweetness of your disposition."

After his release from prison on the Isle of Jersey, Robert Overton was destitute and a widower, and likely had to live out the rest of his life with one of his children, Anne who had earlier married Andrew Broughton of Seaton, Rutland.

Robert wrote his last will and testament on June 23, 1678, and the will was probated in London on January 29, 1678/9. He was buried only nine days after his will was written. His will was discovered in Rutland in 1994 by Arthur Jones of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. Mr. Jones also located a record in the Seaton Parish in Rutland, which establishes Robert's burial.

There have been other theories concerning the ultimate demise of Robert Overton. Some researchers have mentioned the possibility that the Robert Overton who was listed on the records of Christ Church, St. Michael's Parish, Barbados on December 22, 1679 was the same Robert that we review herewith. However, these suppositions were written without the benefit of the documentation that establishes Robert's presence on the Isle of Jersey as noted above.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROBERT OVERTON

(Note: For the purpose of ease of reading, conventional spelling is used herein)

I, Robert Overton esquire being sick in body but of sound and perfect memory do make, publish and declare my last will and testament as followeth. First and above all things I commit my spirits into the hands of the great God my Creator in hope of eternal life by the merits of Jesus Christ my Redeemer. Next, for my body I desire it may be decently buried if it may be near the body of my dearest deceased wife in the burying place called the New Church Yard in Moorefields, London. And out of that just a principle I have for the satisfaction of all such moneys as I have borrowed and which I am indebted unto any person or persons whatsoever I do will direct and appoint all and singular my goods and chattels, debts and personal estate whatsoever (except as hereafter excepted) to be sold and disposed for the payment of my said debts. Except nevertheless such wearing apparel, linen, books, manuscripts and other things whatsoever now in the house of my son Broughton which I will and give to my daughter Mrs. Anne Broughton desiring that my son and daughter Johnson may take and choose such of my books and manuscripts as they shall desire to have. My mind and will farther is that such of my wearing apparel and linen as is before excepted be disposed of as my said daughter Broughton shall think fitting among the servants of my son Broughton particular regard being had to Frances, the wife of John Mole, for her care and a good attendance upon me in my long sickness. And I do constitute and appoint my son Mr. Ebenezer Overton sole executor of this my last will and testament and after the satisfaction of my debts as aforesaid I do bequeath and give the remaining part of my personal estate to be divided equally between my two sons Ebenezer and Fairfaxe Overton and do lastly nominate and appoint my two sons-in-law Andrew Broughton and Nathaniell Johnson to be overseers of this my will and that they be assisting to the performance thereof.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this three and twentieth day of June in the year of our Lord 1678.

Robert Overton, signed and sealed

Published and declared to be the last will of said Robert Overton in the presence of Edm. Shepherd, William Sanderson, W. Angell

PROBATUM apud London 29 January 1678

(Note as of March 26, 2005: For the last several years Joel Patrick Childress, the author of this website, has listed this line of Overtons, beginning with William de Overton (b. circa 1270) as the author's Overton ancestral line. However, evidence provided by the Overton DNA Project study which commenced in 2004 precludes Joel Patrick Childress' Overton line as being the same as that of the above Mrs. Nan Overton West. Specifically, there was not a significant match of the DNA string of J.P. Childress' proven male Overton cousin, Keith Andrew Overton, and that of the DNA string of Mrs. West's male Overton nephew, Dr. Marvin Cartmell Overton III. Consequently, the reader should understand that the Overton line documented on this family tree by Mrs. Nan West's publication cannot and should not be tied to the Overton family tree of J.P. Childress.)

This note appears on all Overton males identified by Mrs. West as being her Overton ancestors. Documentation is being provided merely as a courtesy to Overton researchers. The Overton DNA project study may be seen at this website:

Source: Overton DNA Study http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=patchildress&id=I1501

--------------------

http://genealogical-gleanings.com/overton-robert.htm

As positions hardened during the period before the English Civil War, Robert Overton supported the Parliamentary cause. He was probably influenced by Sir William Constable later to become a regicide.[2]

At the outbreak of the First English Civil War, he tried to join the army of Lord Ferdinando Fairfax, but no official positions were available. He was allowed to fight without any definite rank and distinguished himself in the defence of Hull and at the Battle of Marston Moor.[3][4]

In August 1645 the governor of Pontefract, Sir Thomas Fairfax, appointed Overton deputy governor of Pontefract.[5] Shortly after this appointment Overton captured Sandal Castle. Overton was acting governor during the siege. During the siege it was reported that he was inconsiderate to Lady Cutler and refused to let Sir Gervaise Cutler be buried in the church.[6]

In the summer of 1647 Overton gained a commission in the New Model Army and in July was given command of the late Colonel Herbert's foot regiment.[3][5] During the political debates within the New Model Army we was a member of the Army Council and sat on the committee at the Putney Debates.[5]

In March 1648, Fairfax appointed Overton, deputy governor of Kingston upon Hull.[5] There he became friends with the notable Puritan poet Andrew Marvell, but was a very unpopular with the townsfolk. The townsfolk were known to by sympathetic to the Royalist cause and in June of 1648 the town Mayor and some of the town council petitioned for his removal.[3]

The sources differ as to his actions during Second English Civil War, Barbara Taft writes that he spent the war in Hull,[5] while Nan Overton West writes that he fought with Oliver Cromwell in Wales and the North of England, that he took the Isle of Axolme and was with Cromwell when Chales I was taken to the Isle of Wight.[3]

He supported the trial of the King in late 1648 early 1649, but wrote that he only wanted him deposed and not executed. He disagreed with other points of policy of the early Commonwealth government publishing his position in a pamphlet titled "The declaration of the officers of the garrison of Hull in order to the peace and settlement of the kingdom" and accompanying letter to Thomas Fairfax, in early January.[3][7].The letter makes it clear that he supported actions like Pride's Purge if the "corrupt Commons" stopped the Army's reforms.[5] Barbara Taft writes that the last six pages of the decleration reflect the case made in the Remonstrance[8] by the New Model Army to Parliament, the rejection of which had triggered Pride's Purge:

a speedy end to the present parliament; a succession of free biennial parliaments with an equitable distribution of seats; future kings elected by the people's representatives and having no negative voice; a ‘universal and mutual Agreement, … enacted and decreed, in perpetuum’, that asserts that the power of parliament is ‘inferior only to that of the people’

– Declaration of the Officers of the Garrison of Hull[9]

As divisions within the New Model Army widened during the Summer of 1649, fearing that these divisions would be used by their enemies, Overton issued a letter that made it clear that he sided with the Rump Parliament and the Grandees against the Levellers.[5]

When the Third Civil War broke out in 1650 he accompanied Cromwell to Scotland and commanded a Foot Brigade at the Battle of Dunbar his regiment was also involved in the English Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Inverkeithing (20 July 1651) where Overton commanded the reserve.[10]

When then New Model Army returned to England in pursuit of the invading Royalist Scottish army, Overton remained in Scotland as governor of Edinburgh. He helped complete the subjugation of Scotland and commanded an expedition to reduce the garrison forces in Orkney. On May 14, 1652 a grateful Parliament voted Scottish lands to him with an annual income of him 400 pounds sterling per year. In December 1652, when George Monck's successor Richard Deane was recalled, Monck appointed Overton as Military Commander over all the English forces in the Western Highlands with the rank of Major-General. He was also appointed governor of Aberdeen.[10]

In 1653 he returned to England because of his father's death and succeeded to the family estate in Easington. He also resumed duties as governor of Hull. During 1650 he and his wife had become members of the "church" and in retrospect he considered the execution of Charles I as a fulfilment of Old Testament scripture, and often cited Ezekiel 21:26-27,[11] concerning the humble and God's "overturning" established order. Overton wrote: "the Lord...is forced to shake and shake and overturn and overturn; this is a shaking, overturning dispensation." Some sources claim he was a Fifth Monarchist, but his views seemed to have spanned several of the religious beliefs and political grouping of the day and it is difficult to label him as belonging to any one group.

He hailed Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump Parliament in June 1653, but he subsequently became disenchanted and suspicious of Cromwell as Lord Protector. Although his letters to Cromwell remained cordial, during the early years of the Protectorate he seems to have become more and more disenchanted with the Lord Protector and the speed of reform. Cromwell informed him that he could keep his position in the army so long as he promised to relinquish his command when he could no longer support the policies of the Protectorate.

In September 1654 Overton returned to his command in Scotland. In December 1654, Overton was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London for his part in the "Overton Revolt". It was alleged that a verse in Overton's handwriting, found amongst his papers:

A Protector! What's that? Tis a stately thing

That confesseth itself the ape of a King;

A tragical Caesar acted by a crown,

Or a brass farthing stamped with a kind of crown;

A bauble that shines, a loud cry without wool,

Not Perillus nor Phalaris, but the bull;

The echo of Monarchy till it come,

The butt-end of a barrel in the shape of a drum;

A counterfeit piece that woodenly shows,

A golden effigies with a copper nose;

The fantastic shadow of a sovereign head,

The arms-royal reversed, and disloyal instead;

In fine, he is one we may Protector call,

From whom the King of Kings protect us all!"[12]

He was accused of planning a military insurrection against the government and plotting to assassinate Monck. It is not clear how involved he was in the plot, because he was good friends with Monck at the time and would have been unlikely to have been involved in a plot to kill him. But whatever his real position he was considered to have been too lenient with his "disaffected officers" in sanctioning their meetings and there was evidence that he held meetings with John Wildman, an incorrigible Leveller plotter, who would use anyone in order to bring down the Protectorate. Later while in the Tower of London, wrote to others informing them of Wildman's plans. A fellow prisoner in the Tower at that time wrote of Overton, "He was a great independent, civil and decent, a scholar, but a little pedantic."[13]

In 1655 Cromwell was convinced enough of his guilt to have him removed as governor of Hull and to confiscate the lands granted to him by Parliament in Scotland handing them back to Earl of Leven the owner before they were confiscated by Parliament.[14]

Overton remained imprisoned in the Tower until in March 1658 when he was moved to Elizabeth Castle on the island of Jersey. Barbara Taft mentions that "It is not unlikely that respect for Overton's ability and fear of his appeal as an opposition leader played a major role in his imprisonment."[5] After Cromwell's death and the re-installation of the Commonwealth, Grizelle, his sister, his wife Anne, her brother, and many Republicans, presented his case to Parliament, on February 3, 1659, along with letters from Overton's close friend John Milton. Overton and John Milton probably became acquainted early on in St Giles in Cripplegate, where they moved and lived for a time. Milton considered Overton a scholar and celebrated him and his exploits in his "Defensio Secundo" by writing: "...bound to me these many years past in friendship of more than brotherly closeness and affection, both by the similarity of our tastes and the sweetness of your manners." Milton also included Overton in his list of "twelve apostles of revolutionary integrity."

On March 16, 1659, Parliament ordered Overton released from prison after hearing his case, pronouncing his imprisonment illegal. Overton's return was called "his greatest political triumph; a huge crowd, bearing laurel branches, acclaimed him and diverted his coach from its planned path." In June 1659 he was restored to his command and further compensated for his losses.[14] Charles II wrote him promising him forgiveness for past disloyalty and rewarded him for services in effecting the restoration. Overton was appointed governor of Hull and again was unpopular, many referring to him as "Governor Overturn," because of his association with the Fifth Monarchists who used the phrase liberally. This perception was reinforced by the sermons of John Canne, a well known Fifth Monarchist preacher in Overton's regiment at Hull.[15][16] On October 12, 1659 he was one of seven Commanders in whom Parliament vested the government of the army until January 1660.[17][18]

By early 1660, Overton's position started to diverge from that of Monck, as he did not support the return of Charles II, but he and his officers refused to aid Generals Lambert and Fleetwood He sought to mediate and published an exhortation to them to maintain the Lord's cause, entitled "The Humble Healing Advice of R.O." His ambiguity of conduct and letters to troops in Yorkshire caused Monck much embarrassment, and as a result, Monck had Lord Thomas Fairfax order him to take any order Monck gave.

On March 4, 1660, a day after Lambert's arrest, Monck ordered Overton to surrender his command to Fairfax and come to London. Overton planned a stand, but he must have seen that defeat would have been inevitable. Hull's disaffection for him and some division among the garrison caused him to allow himself to be replaced by Thomas Fairfax's son, Charles Fairfax. The Garrison in Hull began the English Civil War as the first town to resist Charles I and was among the last to accept his son Charles II. After 1642 no monarch would set foot in Hull for over 200 years.

Overton was an independent and a republican. He was regarded, perhaps falsely, as one of the Fifth Monarchists, and at the first rumour of insurrection was arrested and sent to the Tower of London in December 1660, where Samuel Pepys went to see him and wrote in his diary that Overton had been found with a large quantity of arms, which Pepys recorded that Overton said he only bought to London to sell.[19]

Overton was briefly at liberty in the Autumn of 1661. Realising that he might be re-arrested at any moment he spent the time arranging his financial and personal affairs he issued a series of deeds to make provision for his mother, his wife and family and to avoid confiscation of his property by the Crown. Most of his properties were sold to his family, to his sons Ebenezer and Fairfax and his daughter Joanna, and close friends. The last documents were executed November 7, 1661 and on November 9 1661 he was sent to Chepstow Castle. He managed a short interval of freedom but was again arrested on May 26, 1663 on "suspicion of seditious practices and for refusing to sign the oaths or give security." As Andrew Marvell, the English Satirist, wrote in a letter to John Milton, "Col. Overton [was] one of those steady Republicans whom Cromwell was unable to conciliate and was under the necessity of security."[20]

In 1664 the government sent him to Jersey, the second time he had been imprisoned there and this time it was to be for seven years. During this time he was allowed out and about on the island which was not uncommon for high-ranking political prisoners. Overton spent the years of his incarceration in Mont Orgueil Castle on Jersey Island trying to establish his freedom. He wrote a 370 page manuscript of letters, meditations and poetry to his beloved wife's memory and about religious subjects. The manuscript "Gospell Observations & Religious Manifestations &c.",[21] He remain a prisoner on Jersey until early December 1671 when he was released to his brother-in-law by a warrant that was signed by Charles II.[22]He returned to England and lived his last years with or near his daughters and probably two sons in Rutland.[20][23]

Overton’s will is dated 23 June 1678, aged 69, Nan Overton West records that he was buried on July 2 1678 in Seaton churchyard, overlooking the Welland Valley and Rockingham Castle while Barbra Taft writes that he was buried in New Church Yard, Moorfields in London.[24][5][25]

[edit] Genealogy

Overton was born at Easington Manor in Holderness, Yorkshire in about 1609.[26] His farther was John Overton (~1566-1654)[27] and his mother Joan (nee Snawsell).[28] He was the eldest of five children: Robert, Frances, Germaine, Griselle (Griselda) and Thomas.[29] His education was completed at Gray's Inn where he was admitted on 1 November 1631.[30]

Overton marrid Anne Gardiner[31] (a Londoner, born about 1613) at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Less in Smithfield, London on 28 June 1632[32]. They had ten children John (born about 1635) , Jermie, William, Robert, Allatheia, Dorcas, Ebenezer, Anne, Fairfax and Joanna (born 1650).[33]

The South Aisle of the All Saints Church in Easington contains The Lady Chapel. Above the Altar is a monument dated 1651 which was placed there by Maj. Gen. Robert Overton in memory of his parents, "the deceased but never to be divided John Overton and his wife Joan"[34]

-------------------- Major-General Robert Overton (about 1609–1678) was prominent soldier and scholar, who supported the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War, and was imprisoned a number of times during the Protectorate and the English Restoration for his strong republican views

full wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Overton -------------------- Major-General Robert Overton

Major-General Robert Overton (about 1609–1678) was prominent soldier and scholar, who supported the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War, and was imprisoned a number of times during the Protectorate and the English Restoration for his strong republican views.

Biography

As positions hardened during the period before the English Civil War, Robert Overton supported the Parliamentary cause. He was probably influenced by Sir William Constable later to become a regicide.

At the outbreak of the First English Civil War, he tried to join the army of Lord Ferdinando Fairfax, but no official positions were available. He was allowed to fight without any definite rank and distinguished himself in the defence of Hull and at the Battle of Marston Moor.

In August 1645 the governor of Pontefract, Sir Thomas Fairfax, appointed Overton deputy governor of Pontefract.[5] Shortly after this appointment Overton captured Sandal Castle. Overton was acting governor during the siege. During the siege it was reported that he was inconsiderate to Lady Cutler and refused to let Sir Gervaise Cutler be buried in the church.

In the summer of 1647 Overton gained a commission in the New Model Army and in July was given command of the late Colonel Herbert's foot regiment. During the political debates within the New Model Army we was a member of the Army Council and sat on the committee at the Putney Debates.

In March 1648, Fairfax appointed Overton, deputy governor of Kingston upon Hull. There he became friends with the notable Puritan poet Andrew Marvell, but was a very unpopular with the townsfolk. The townsfolk were known to by sympathetic to the Royalist cause and in June of 1648 the town Mayor and some of the town council petitioned for his removal.

The sources differ as to his actions during Second English Civil War, Barbara Taft writes that he spent the war in Hull, while Nan Overton West writes that he fought with Oliver Cromwell in Wales and the North of England, that he took the Isle of Axolme and was with Cromwell when Chales I was taken to the Isle of Wight.

He supported the trial of the King in late 1648 early 1649, but wrote that he only wanted him deposed and not executed. He disagreed with other points of policy of the early Commonwealth government publishing his position in a pamphlet titled "The declaration of the officers of the garrison of Hull in order to the peace and settlement of the kingdom" and accompanying letter to Thomas Fairfax, in early January.[3] [7] The letter makes it clear that he supported actions like Pride's Purge if the "corrupt Commons" stopped the Army's reforms.[5] Barbara Taft writes that the last six pages of the decleration reflect the case made in the Remonstrance[8] by the New Model Army to Parliament, the rejection of which had triggered Pride's Purge:

a speedy end to the present parliament; a succession of free biennial parliaments with an equitable distribution of seats; future kings elected by the people's representatives and having no negative voice; a ‘universal and mutual Agreement, … enacted and decreed, in perpetuum’, that asserts that the power of parliament is ‘inferior only to that of the people’

– Declaration of the Officers of the Garrison of Hull[9]

As divisions within the New Model Army widened during the Summer of 1649, fearing that these divisions would be used by their enemies, Overton issued a letter that made it clear that he sided with the Rump Parliament and the Grandees against the Levellers.[5]

When the Third Civil War broke out in 1650 he accompanied Cromwell to Scotland and commanded a Foot Brigade at the Battle of Dunbar his regiment was also involved in the English Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Inverkeithing (20 July 1651) where Overton commanded the reserve.[10]

When then New Model Army returned to England in pursuit of the invading Royalist Scottish army, Overton remained in Scotland as governor of Edinburgh. He helped complete the subjugation of Scotland and commanded an expedition to reduce the garrison forces in Orkney. On May 14, 1652 a grateful Parliament voted Scottish lands to him with an annual income of him 400 pounds sterling per year. In December 1652, when George Monck's successor Richard Deane was recalled, Monck appointed Overton as Military Commander over all the English forces in the Western Highlands with the rank of Major-General. He was also appointed governor of Aberdeen.[10]

In 1653 he returned to England because of his father's death and succeeded to the family estate in Easington. He also resumed duties as governor of Hull. During 1650 he and his wife had become members of the "church" and in retrospect he considered the execution of Charles I as a fulfilment of Old Testament scripture, and often cited Ezekiel 21:26-27,[11] concerning the humble and God's "overturning" established order. Overton wrote: "the Lord...is forced to shake and shake and overturn and overturn; this is a shaking, overturning dispensation." Some sources claim he was a Fifth Monarchist, but his views seemed to have spanned several of the religious beliefs and political grouping of the day and it is difficult to label him as belonging to any one group.

He hailed Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump Parliament in June 1653, but he subsequently became disenchanted and suspicious of Cromwell as Lord Protector. Although his letters to Cromwell remained cordial, during the early years of the Protectorate he seems to have become more and more disenchanted with the Lord Protector and the speed of reform. Cromwell informed him that he could keep his position in the army so long as he promised to relinquish his command when he could no longer support the policies of the Protectorate.

In September 1654 Overton returned to his command in Scotland. In December 1654, Overton was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London for his part in the "Overton Revolt". It was alleged that a verse in Overton's handwriting, found amongst his papers:

A Protector! What's that? Tis a stately thingThat confesseth itself the ape of a King;A tragical Caesar acted by a crown,Or a brass farthing stamped with a kind of crown;A bauble that shines, a loud cry without wool,Not Perillus nor Phalaris, but the bull;The echo of Monarchy till it come,The butt-end of a barrel in the shape of a drum;A counterfeit piece that woodenly shows,A golden effigies with a copper nose;The fantastic shadow of a sovereign head,The arms-royal reversed, and disloyal instead;In fine, he is one we may Protector call,From whom the King of Kings protect us all!"[12] He was accused of planning a military insurrection against the government and plotting to assassinate Monck. It is not clear how involved he was in the plot, because he was good friends with Monck at the time and would have been unlikely to have been involved in a plot to kill him. But whatever his real position he was considered to have been too lenient with his "disaffected officers" in sanctioning their meetings and there was evidence that he held meetings with John Wildman, an incorrigible Leveller plotter, who would use anyone in order to bring down the Protectorate. Later while in the Tower of London, wrote to others informing them of Wildman's plans. A fellow prisoner in the Tower at that time wrote of Overton, "He was a great independent, civil and decent, a scholar, but a little pedantic."[13]

In 1655 Cromwell was convinced enough of his guilt to have him removed as governor of Hull and to confiscate the lands granted to him by Parliament in Scotland handing them back to Earl of Leven the owner before they were confiscated by Parliament.[14]

Overton remained imprisoned in the Tower until in March 1658 when he was moved to Elizabeth Castle on the island of Jersey. Barbara Taft mentions that "It is not unlikely that respect for Overton's ability and fear of his appeal as an opposition leader played a major role in his imprisonment."[5] After Cromwell's death and the re-installation of the Commonwealth, Grizelle, his sister, his wife Anne, her brother, and many Republicans, presented his case to Parliament, on February 3, 1659, along with letters from Overton's close friend John Milton. Overton and John Milton probably became acquainted early on in St Giles in Cripplegate, where they moved and lived for a time. Milton considered Overton a scholar and celebrated him and his exploits in his "Defensio Secundo" by writing: "...bound to me these many years past in friendship of more than brotherly closeness and affection, both by the similarity of our tastes and the sweetness of your manners." Milton also included Overton in his list of "twelve apostles of revolutionary integrity."

On March 16, 1659, Parliament ordered Overton released from prison after hearing his case, pronouncing his imprisonment illegal. Overton's return was called "his greatest political triumph; a huge crowd, bearing laurel branches, acclaimed him and diverted his coach from its planned path." In June 1659 he was restored to his command and further compensated for his losses.[14] Charles II wrote him promising him forgiveness for past disloyalty and rewarded him for services in effecting the restoration. Overton was appointed governor of Hull and again was unpopular, many referring to him as "Governor Overturn," because of his association with the Fifth Monarchists who used the phrase liberally. This perception was reinforced by the sermons of John Canne, a well known Fifth Monarchist preacher in Overton's regiment at Hull.[15] [16] On October 12, 1659 he was one of seven Commanders in whom Parliament vested the government of the army until January 1660.[17] [18]

By early 1660, Overton's position started to diverge from that of Monck, as he did not support the return of Charles II, but he and his officers refused to aid Generals Lambert and Fleetwood He sought to mediate and published an exhortation to them to maintain the Lord's cause, entitled "The Humble Healing Advice of R.O." His ambiguity of conduct and letters to troops in Yorkshire caused Monck much embarrassment, and as a result, Monck had Lord Thomas Fairfax order him to take any order Monck gave.

On March 4, 1660, a day after Lambert's arrest, Monck ordered Overton to surrender his command to Fairfax and come to London. Overton planned a stand, but he must have seen that defeat would have been inevitable. Hull's disaffection for him and some division among the garrison caused him to allow himself to be replaced by Thomas Fairfax's son, Charles Fairfax. The Garrison in Hull began the English Civil War as the first town to resist Charles I and was among the last to accept his son Charles II. After 1642 no monarch would set foot in Hull for over 200 years.

Overton was an independent and a republican. He was regarded, perhaps falsely, as one of the Fifth Monarchists, and at the first rumour of insurrection was arrested and sent to the Tower of London in December 1660, where Samuel Pepys went to see him and wrote in his diary that Overton had been found with a large quantity of arms, which Pepys recorded that Overton said he only bought to London to sell.[19]

Overton was briefly at liberty in the Autumn of 1661. Realising that he might be re-arrested at any moment he spent the time arranging his financial and personal affairs he issued a series of deeds to make provision for his mother, his wife and family and to avoid confiscation of his property by the Crown. Most of his properties were sold to his family, to his sons Ebenezer and Fairfax and his daughter Joanna, and close friends. The last documents were executed November 7, 1661 and on November 9, 1661 he was sent to Chepstow Castle. He managed a short interval of freedom but was again arrested on May 26, 1663 on "suspicion of seditious practices and for refusing to sign the oaths or give security." As Andrew Marvell, the English Satirist, wrote in a letter to John Milton, "Col. Overton [was] one of those steady Republicans whom Cromwell was unable to conciliate and was under the necessity of security."[20]

In 1664 the government sent him to Jersey, the second time he had been imprisoned there and this time it was to be for seven years. During this time he was allowed out and about on the island which was not uncommon for high-ranking political prisoners. Overton spent the years of his incarceration in Mont Orgueil Castle on Jersey Island trying to establish his freedom. He wrote a 370 page manuscript of letters, meditations and poetry to his beloved wife's memory and about religious subjects. The manuscript "Gospell Observations & Religious Manifestations &c.",[21] He remain a prisoner on Jersey until early December 1671 when he was released to his brother-in-law by a warrant that was signed by Charles II.[22] He returned to England and lived his last years with or near his daughters and probably two sons in Rutland.[20] [23]

Overton’s will is dated 23 June 1678, aged 69, Nan Overton West records that he was buried on July 2, 1678 in Seaton churchyard, overlooking the Welland Valley and Rockingham Castle while Barbra Taft writes that he was buried in New Church Yard, Moorfields in London.[5] [24][25]

Genealogy Overton was born at Easington Manor in Holderness, Yorkshire in about 1609.[26] His farther was John Overton (~1566-1654)[27] and his mother Joan (née Snawsell).[28] He was the eldest of five children: Robert, Frances, Germaine, Griselle (Griselda) and Thomas.[29] His education was completed at Gray's Inn where he was admitted on 1 November 1631.[30]

Overton marrid Anne Gardiner[31] (a Londoner, born about 1613) at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Less in Smithfield, London on 28 June 1632.[32] They had ten children John (born about 1635), Jermie, William, Robert, Allatheia, Dorcas, Ebenezer, Anne, Fairfax and Joanna (born 1650).[33]

The South Aisle of the All Saints Church in Easington contains The Lady Chapel. Above the Altar is a monument dated 1651 which was placed there by Maj. Gen. Robert Overton in memory of his parents, "the deceased but never to be divided John Overton and his wife Joan"[34]

Source: WIKIPEDIA

___________________________________________________

ROBERT OVERTON, THE MAN General Robert Overton was of noble birth. Born in 1609 in Easington, he later lived in London and Easington, Holderness, Yorkshire, England. A Puritan, and serving under the Fairfaxes, he was one of Oliver Cromwell's officers, commanding a brigade of foot at Dunbar in the cause of the Commonwealth under Cromwell.

Robert Overton was appointed governor of Hull in 1647, Governor of Edinburgh in 1650 and to the post of Governor of Aberdeen in 1652. His career paralleled that of Cromwell until he could no longer in good conscience agree with him. Showing remarkable character so lacking in today's contemporary political figures, Overton resigned his command and his rank was reduced to his former position of Colonel after the rank of major general was abolished in 1657.

In his latter years, because of his political beliefs a strong conscience, Overton was twice imprisoned in the Tower of London, in 1654 and 1660. In 1668 he was removed from the Tower of London to the Isle of Jersey. He was imprisoned twice on the Isle of Jersey, from 1656 to 1659 and again from 1664 to 1671. He was held prisoner both in Mont Orgueil Castle as well as in Elizabeth Castle, a military establishment not usually have used to house prisoners. Overton's release from the Isle of Jersey was authorized by a warrant that was signed by Charles II, ordering Robert Overton to be released to his brother-in-law.

In 1992, Dr. M.C. Overton III learned of a 370 page manuscript handwritten by Robert Overton during his imprisonment on the Isle of Jersey. This document has existed in the USA for at least fifty years, hitherto unknown to his descendants. The manuscript is entitled "Gospell Observations and Religious Manifestations & C./" and is held in the Special Collections and Rare Books Department of Princeton University Libraries. This work consists of meditations, letters and poems and is dedicated to his wife, Anne Gardiner. The volume also substantiates General Robert Overton's long lasting friendships with noted English poets, John Milton and John Donne. Milton praised the General in his work "Second Defence of the English People" in 1654: "You Overton, who for many years have been linked to me with a more than fraternal harmony, by reason of the likeness of our tastes and the sweetness of your disposition."

After his release from prison on the Isle of Jersey, Robert Overton was destitute and a widower, and likely had to live out the rest of his life with one of his children, Anne who had earlier married Andrew Broughton of Seaton, Rutland.

Robert wrote his last will and testament on June 23, 1678, and the will was probated in London on January 29, 1678/9. He was buried only nine days after his will was written. His will was discovered in Rutland in 1994 by Arthur Jones of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. Mr. Jones also located a record in the Seaton Parish in Rutland, which establishes Robert's burial.

There have been other theories concerning the ultimate demise of Robert Overton. Some researchers have mentioned the possibility that the Robert Overton who was listed on the records of Christ Church, St. Michael's Parish, Barbados on December 22, 1679 was the same Robert that we review herewith. However, these suppositions were written without the benefit of the documentation that establishes Robert's presence on the Isle of Jersey as noted above.

Source: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=patchildress&id=I1501

Robert Overton remained imprisoned in the Tower until in March 1658 when he was moved to Elizabeth Castle on the island of Jersey. Barbara Taft mentions that "It is not unlikely that respect for Overton's ability and fear of his appeal as an opposition leader played a major role in his imprisonment." After Cromwell's death and the re-installation of the Commonwealth, Grizelle, his sister, his wife Anne, her brother, and many Republicans, presented his case to Parliament, on February 3, 1659, along with letters from Overton's close friend John Milton. Overton and John Milton probably became acquainted early on in St Giles in Cripplegate, where they moved and lived for a time. Milton considered Overton a scholar and celebrated him and his exploits in his "Defensio Secundo" by writing: "...bound to me these many years past in friendship of more than brotherly closeness and affection, both by the similarity of our tastes and the sweetness of your manners." Milton also included Overton in his list of "twelve apostles of revolutionary integrity."

Robert Overton had penned the following verse:

A Protector! What's that? Tis a stately thing That confesseth itself the ape of a King; A tragical Caesar acted by a crown, Or a brass farthing stamped with a kind of crown; A bauble that shines, a loud cry without wool, Not Perillus nor Phalaris, but the bull; The echo of Monarchy till it come, The butt-end of a barrel in the shape of a drum; A counterfeit piece that woodenly shows, A golden effigies with a copper nose; The fantastic shadow of a sovereign head, The arms-royal reversed, and disloyal instead; In fine, he is one we may Protector call, :From whom the King of Kings protect us all!"

He was accused of planning a military insurrection against the government and plotting to assassinate Monck. It is not clear how involved he was in the plot, because he was good friends with Monck at the time and would have been unlikely to have been involved in a plot to kill him. But whatever his real position he was considered to have been too lenient with his "disaffected officers" in sanctioning their meetings and there was evidence that he held meetings with John Wildman, an incorrigible Levellers plotter, who would use anyone in order to bring down the Protectorate. Later while in the Tower of London, wrote to others informing them of Wildman's plans. A fellow prisoner in the Tower at that time wrote of Overton, "He was a great independent, civil and decent, a scholar, but a little pedantic." In 1655 Cromwell was convinced enough of his guilt to have him removed as governor of Hull and to confiscate the lands granted to him by Parliament in Scotland handing them back to Earl of Leven the owner before they were confiscated by Parliament. Overton remained imprisoned in the Tower until in March 1658 when he was moved to Elizabeth Castle on the island of Jersey.

Last Will and Testament of Robert Overton

Robert wrote his last will and testament on June 23, 1678, and the will was probated in London on January 29, 1678/9. He was buried only nine days after his will was written. His will was discovered in Rutland in 1994 by Arthur Jones of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. Mr. Jones also located a record in the Seaton Parish in Rutland, which establishes Robert's burial.

There have been other theories concerning the ultimate demise of Robert Overton. Some researchers have mentioned the possibility that the Robert Overton who was listed on the records of Christ Church, St. Michael's Parish, Barbados on December 22, 1679 was the same Robert that we review herewith. However, these suppositions were written without the benefit of the documentation that establishes Robert's presence on the Isle of Jersey as noted above.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROBERT OVERTON

(Note: For the purpose of ease of reading, conventional spelling is used herein) I, Robert Overton esquire being sick in body but of sound and perfect memory do make, publish and declare my last will and testament as followeth. First and above all things I commit my spirits into the hands of the great God my Creator in hope of eternal life by the merits of Jesus Christ my Redeemer. Next, for my body I desire it may be decently buried if it may be near the body of my dearest deceased wife in the burying place called the New Church Yard in Moorefields, London. And out of that just a principle I have for the satisfaction of all such moneys as I have borrowed and which I am indebted unto any person or persons whatsoever I do will direct and appoint all and singular my goods and chattels, debts and personal estate whatsoever (except as hereafter excepted) to be sold and disposed for the payment of my said debts. Except nevertheless such wearing apparel, linen, books, manuscripts and other things whatsoever now in the house of my son Broughton which I will and give to my daughter Mrs. Anne Broughton desiring that my son and daughter Johnson may take and choose such of my books and manuscripts as they shall desire to have. My mind and will farther is that such of my wearing apparel and linen as is before excepted be disposed of as my said daughter Broughton shall think fitting among the servants of my son Broughton particular regard being had to Frances, the wife of John Mole, for her care and a good attendance upon me in my long sickness. And I do constitute and appoint my son Mr. Ebenezer Overton sole executor of this my last will and testament and after the satisfaction of my debts as aforesaid I do bequeath and give the remaining part of my personal estate to be divided equally between my two sons Ebenezer and Fairfaxe Overton and do lastly nominate and appoint my two sons-in-law Andrew Broughton and Nathaniell Johnson to be overseers of this my will and that they be assisting to the performance thereof.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this three and twentieth day of June in the year of our Lord 1678.

Robert Overton, signed and sealed

Published and declared to be the last will of said Robert Overton in the presence of Edm. Shepherd, William Sanderson, W. Angell

PROBATUM apud London 29 January 1678

Source: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=patchildress&id=I1501

-------------------- Birth: 1 609 Easington East Riding of Yorkshire, England

Death:

Jul. 1, 1678

Seaton Rutland, England

Scholar soldier and Family man, he held strong political and religious beliefs. He rose to the rank of Major General, was imprisoned several times, lost and regained his fortune, was both a friend and enemy of Oliver Cromwell and Charles II. He served his God and country for the cause of Parliament during the English Civil War. Robert wrote his last Will and testament on June 23, 1678, and the Will was probated in London on January 29, 1678/9. Robert was buried only nine days after his Will was written. This Will was discovered in Rutland in 1994 by Arthur Jones of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. Mr. Jones also located a record in the Seaton Parish in Rutland, which establishes Robert's burial.

Search Amazon for Robert Overton 

Inscription: Thee are no headstone markers in some areas of the Churchyard. Therefore Robert Overton's specific last resting place cannot be identified.


Burial:
All Hallows Church 

Seaton Rutland, England


Maintained by: Find A Grave Originally Created by: Andrea Winstead Stahl Record added: Oct 30, 2010 Find A Grave Memorial# 60857920

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Maj. Gen. Robert Overton's Timeline

1609
1609
Easington Manor, Holderness, Yorkshire, England
1632
June 28, 1632
Age 23
London, UK

Ann Gardiner
England Marriages, 1538–1973
Marriage: June 28 1632 - Saint Bartholomew The Less, London, London, EnglandHusband: Robert Overton

1635
1635
Age 26
1638
December 3, 1638
Age 29
Eastington, Yorkshire, England
1640
1640
Age 31
Hingham, Norfolk, , England
1642
1642
Age 33
<, Of Hunterdon, Nj>
1645
1645
Age 36
Est, , , England
1647
1647
Age 38
1679
December 1, 1679
Age 70
Barbados
????