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Anna Cromwell (Hooftman)

Also Known As: "van Eyckelberg", "dictus Hooftman"
Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: Antwerp, Hertogdom Brabant, Habsburgse Nederlanden
Death: April 23, 1626 (57-65)
Huntingdonshire, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Gillis van Eyckelberg, gezegd Hooftman and Margaretha van Nispen
Wife of Sir Horatio Palavicino, Kt. and Sir Oliver Cromwell, KB
Mother of Henry Pallavincino; Sir Toby Pallavicino, Kt.; Baptina Cromwell; Anna Baldwin; Mary Rolt and 1 other
Sister of Cornelis Hooftman; Beatrix van Eyckelberg, gezegd Hooftman; Cathalyne Hooftman; Margaretha van Eyckelberg, gezegd Hooftman and Aegidius Hooftman van Nispen
Half sister of Johanna Hooftman; Gillis Hooftman and Hendrik Hooftman

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About Anna Cromwell

From "Early Modern Women Poets (1520-1700): An Anthology", by Jane Stevenson, Peter Davidson

From the passage of the daughter of Anna Williams (born Hooftman): Baptina Cromwell (nee Palavicino) (1595/98 - 1618)

Sir Horatio Palavicino, descendant of a Genoese family of diplomats and businessmen, married Anna Hooftman at Frankfurt in 1591 (April 27), the daughter of a banker and businessman of Antwerp. The couple lived at Babraham in Cambridgeshire and had three children:

  • Henry,
  • Toby, and
  • Baptina (named after Horatio's mother, Battina Spinola). They were a Protestant family: he had apostaized in 1582. In his will, Sir Horatio left his daughter an anuity of 150 Pounds, with directions that her marriage portion was to be 5,000 Pounds: a level of generosity which left her as well-dowered as the daughter of an English peer.

Unfortunately, his intentions towards his children were overturned by his much younger wife. After his death in 1600 (July 5), Anna Palavicino remarried as soon as she decently could: the ceremony took place a year and a day after her first husband's death. Her chosen partner was Sir Oliver Cromwell of Hinchinbrook (great-uncle of the Lord Protector), hopstiable, prodigal, and several thousand Pounds in debt. Though his father, Sir Henry Cromwell, was one of the wealthiest men in late-Elizabethan England, the old man was inconveniently long-lived: he died in 1604, leaving his son with an income of 5,000 Pounds a year. Again, as soon as it was legally possible, Sir Oliver and Lady Cromwell married the three Palavicino children to Sir Oliver's children by a previous marriage, as follows:

  • Henry Palavicino (14) married Catherine Cromwell (12), and
  • Toby Palavicino (12) married Jane Cromwell in 1606.

It was not possible to marry off Baptina simultaneously, since she can have been no more than 10: her marriage to Sir Oliver's heir, Henry, followed c. 1608/10. This threw the entire Palavicino fortune, including Baptina's dowry, into Sir Oliver's dubious control: the texture of their life may be indicated by the diary of John Manningham, who noted in 1602, "there lives a housefull at Hinchinbrooke, lie a kennell."

Sir Oliver, like many noblemen of this time, contrived to spend both the Cromwell and Palavicino fortunes on the entertainment of King James, who was inclined to favor Hinchinbrook as a convenient hunting lodge. He lived to the age of 93, overwhelmed by debt. Baptina's husband, Sir Henry, inherited the family propensity. By 1649, his debts were 11,000 Pounds, with a mortgage of 2,000 Pounds, while his landed income was reduced to 65 Pounds a year. Father and son had run through two fortunes (with a sizable chunk of a third, since Sir Cornelius Hooftman, Baptina's wealthy uncle, left property to be divided between the children of his sister). Perhaps fortunately for herself, Baptina died young in April 1618, followed two months later by her 2-year-old daughter. Her epitaph in BL Harley 2311, fos. 23-4, emphasizes her extreme piety; and it certainly seems as if hers was a life in need of the comforts of religion.

Baptina Cromwell's verse is preserved in a family book belonging to Anna Cromwell, later Williams, who described it as "a booke of severall devotions collected from good men by the worst of sinners." The volume includes other family poetry by Elizabeth Cromwell to her sister Mary.


From A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: Hi-Hy, by Kathy Lynn Emerson:

ANNA HOOFTMAN (1565-April 28, 1624 or April 26, 1626)

Anna Hooftman was the daughter of Gieles van Eychelberg (also seen as Gilles van Eyckelberg), alias Egidius Hooftman (1521-1581), a wealthy Antwerp banker who was one of the richest men in the Netherlands, and Margaretha van Nispen (c.1545-March 23, 1598). The History of Parliament entry for her second husband gives the spelling of her name as Anne Hoostman.

Her first husband was Sir Horatio Palavicino (c.1540-July 5, 1600), a naturalized English citizen and financial magnate who undertook missions for Queen Elizabeth. They were married in Frankfurt on April 27, 1591 but settled at Babraham, near Cambridge, England. She brought a dowry of £10,000, most of it in property in the Netherlands. They had three children,

  • Henry (1592-1615),
  • Toby (1593-c.1644), and
  • Baptina (1594-1618).

According to the Oxford DNB entry for her husband, Anna was "inclined toward melancholy" during her first years in England. Her husband was much older than she and suffered from gout and arthritis but in 1594 he spoke of going to the Netherlands to bring back her mother and two unmarried sisters and arrange marriages for the girls in England. It is not known if he did so. When he died, Anna was left as sole executor of the Palavicino estate, which was valued at about £100,000. Among specific bequests, her husband left Anna all his plate, jewels, and household goods, and all her clothes. He left their daughter an annuity of £150 until her marriage, at which time her portion would be £5000. Anna bought back the custody, wardship, and marriage of the heir, Henry, for £550 and also acquired the one-third of the property that fell to the Crown by paying a fine of £340 and an annual rent of £90. She also cut off the allowance Palavicino had been paying to his illegitimate son, Edward.

On July 7, 1601, Anna remarried, taking as her second husband Sir Oliver Cromwell of Godmanchester and Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdonshire (April 25, 1563-August 28, 1655). They promptly arranged the marriages of his daughter Catherine (1594-1614) to her son Henry, his daughter Jane (1593-c.1644) to her son Toby, and his son Henry (1586-1657) to her daughter Baptina. These weddings took place in 1606. At fourteen, Henry, as arranged by his father, was taken into the household of the earl of Shrewsbury, his godfather. Anna had two sons and two daughters by Cromwell,

  • Oliver (d.1628),
  • Giles (d. 1634),
  • Anna (d. April 13, 1663), and
  • Mary (d.1634).

The couple entertained King James at Hinchinbrooke with "the greatest feast that has ever been given to a king by a subject" in 1603. The king returned for visits in 1605, 1616, and 1617. Palavicino had been owed a large debt by the City of London at the time of his death and in 1602 there was talk of giving Anna the Burgundian jewels as partial payment. Her agent valued them at £6,477. 5s. while the Crown's jeweler estimated they were worth £12,000. Nothing came of this and the settlement dragged on into the reign of King James. In the summer of 1606, Cromwell received a grant of chantry lands valued at £700 a year to settle the debt. He took £500 worth and traded the other lands for a cash payment of £6000.

When Anna died, her goods at Cromwell's house at Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, which had come from Babraham, were inventoried. Among other items were a silver tongue scraper and ten rings. Portrait: identified as Anna Hooftman, in some sources the life dates are given as 1613-1645, placing her in the next generation, but most agree this is the Anna who married Horatio Palavicino. A portrait of her parents by Marten de Vos (c.1570) is also extant.


From Fenland Notes & Queries, Volume 5

944 - Cromwelliana: A Missing Cromwell - The prolonged life of Sir Oliver Cromwell, of Hinchinbrook and Ramsey, makes him a landmark in fen history. He died in 1655 at the age of 93, and as he and his brother each gave the name of Oliver to one boy, there were four contemporary Oliver Cromwells in England; hence the Cromwell cousinry is perplexing, and errors have occurred in spite of "a pedigree measuring eight feet by two feet four," for the accuracy of which the Rev. Mark Noble avouches. (Memoirs of the Protectoral House of Cromwell, 2 vols, 8o, 1787. T. Carlyle says of the author, "a man of extreme imbecility," but ransacks his books for information.)

Sir Oliver must have been rich at one time, but he charged his estates heavily and sold his ancestral home, Hinchinbrook, in 1627. Before that, he had gone to live at Ramsey all the year round; he could not spend much money there. His financial embarrassments are attributed to expenditure about the entertainment of King James, but that King seems to have paid for his dinners with charity lands, which were granted to the nominees of Sir Oliver. (He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1598 and made Knight of the Bath by King James. His death happened 28 Aug. 1655. No Commissioner of Sewers in the Fenlands has left a more ample record of his work. On May 10, 1605, he signed the certificate to the Privy Council that the scheme of draining the fens was feasible and without peril to any person.)

In 1601, Sir Oliver married Anne, widow of Sir Horatio Palavicino, who had been employed by Queen Elizabeth to raise money to enable the Queen to finance the States of Holland and Brabant in their contest with the Spaniards. The sum of 28,000 Pounds was due to Sir Horace and his brother, and arrears of interest from 1593 to 1606, at 10 percent, more than doubled their claim against the Crown. Of that, 15,000 Pounds were due to Sir Oliver in the right of his wife.

(Anne, daughter of Giles Hooftman, of Antwerp, married H. Palavicino in 1593 [sic]. His residence was at Babraham, Cambridgeshire. He was of a distinguished Genoese family. Queen Mary deputed him to collect the Papal tenths. At that Queen's death, having a large sum in hand, he abjured Romanism and lent a part of his money to Queen Elizabeth; hence it was said "he robbed the Pope to lend the Queen." His son Tobias married Jane, daughter of Sir Oliver by his first marriage, and Sir Oliver's eldest son Henry married Sir Horatio's daughter Baptina. [Babraham P. Regr.] Sir H.P. ob. July 6, 1600, widow married to Sir O.C. 1601. When Sir Horatio was on his death bed, he sent for Mr. Adams to alter his will, upon whose coming to his bedside, Sir H. said, "I feel divers tokens of death and doubt the convulcions and therefore think good to take time whilst it lasts"; then said to my lady, his wife, "keepe you this last parchment will until Mr. Adams and I have done for it concerneth you speciallie"; and to me "Mr. Adams, shall I write revocatur upon this last will." "Nay, good Sir," said I, "it is fit you have one will on foote until you have made an other." "Hereupon I went into the schoole chamber and began to write the beginning of a new will, but when I came to know his minde for ye setting downe of ye legacies and to conferre of ye residewe he was not in case to be further talked with at all." [Dom. Eliz. 275, 23] So the old will stood. Sir Horatio fitted out a ship against the Spanish Armada at his own cost.)

In 1606, King James granted a pension of 700 Pounds a year to sir Oliver in lieu of his wife's interest in Palavicino's debt (Dom. Jac. I., 22, 54), although it was alleged that her right to enjoy any benefits ceased with her widowhood. The following of the exchange by a principal clerk of the Treasury was furnished to Sir Julius Caesar, who was largely concerned in the royal revenue (Sir Julius Caesar, alias J.C. Aldemare, 1558-1636. SIr Julius' father, Caesar Aldemare, an Italian physician, was naturalized in 1558. Sir Julius was Master of the Rolls in 1615, and his son held the same office in 1639):


Mr. Secretary desires you to send for Sir Oliver Cromwell to examine him about the particulars of the Parsonages and Chanteries which the King passed away for the release of that debt, wherein I understand that his Maty was extreamely deceaved having passed away 5 or 600 li a year old rent for ye same which cannot be now less worth than 20 tymes the valew. I am promised the copie of Sir Horatio Palavicino's will by wch that point will be cleare wch the judge of the Admiralty told yor honor and mee of, that Palavicino's wyfe was noe longer executor then she kept herself unmarryed, and then the getting of so much from the King for discharge of that debt wch was none of hers will prove a meere Cosnage. And I heare besydes that to colour the matter the better these Parsonages and Chantrey lands to the valew afforesaid were passed for the most part in other mens names and not all in Sir Oliver Cromwells but in the names of Bingley, Blake, Underwood, Harrison, Bulbeck, Holland, and others, and it is supposed that they passed much more then theire warrant wold beare. Those things being duly examined and found true and all parties interested called in question I thinke it will bring the King more money then we clayme out of fflanders wch I leave to yor honors better consideroon being reddy to attend you eyther about this or any other thing wch it shall plese you to comand mee. And rest ever. Yor Honr awates ready to doe you service, Tho. Wilson.

ffrom ye office of H.Mats Papers for business of State, 15 Decr. 1619.

It is not easy to account for Sir Oliver's difficulties in King James' reign. He was an ardent royalist, so the inheritance after the Commonwealth was of small value to his successor, Sir Henry, the eldest son of his first marriage, who survived his father but two years. (He was much troubled by creditors: Sept. 18, 1657, buried at Ramsey. Married 1st Battina Palavicino, 2nd Lucy Dyer. His daughter Carina, baptized at Ramsey Sept. 5, 1622, married Will. Hetley. Noble says he saw Mr. Hetley, of Alwalton, who was not able to trace his descent; but Major Hetley, who lived in London, was sprung from the marriage and possesed fine full-length portraits of the Cromwells. Another daughter Elizabeth married Henry English. They had a suit against the Duke of York about their right to the Coquinary and Glasmore. The forfeited lands of regicides were granted by Charles II to his brother.)

Of Oliver's second marriage there were two sons,

  • Oliver, who was accidently killed at Rome when on a visit to his Palavicino cousins, and
  • Giles, of whom Noble says, "Of Giles I find nothing, probably he died young and unmarried'; but it appears that he became a soldier, serving in Flanders and in the service of the Queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I.

Gerdayn, a notary public at The Hague, furnished to Sir Oliver the annexed certificate of the burial of Giles, in Flanders, in 1634:

Upon ye 22th of May 1634 was after the buriall of ye well borne gentleman Mr Giles Cromwell of blessed memorie this testament, being shut and sealed, opened and read in ye presence of ye well borne gentleman Mr. Alexander de Zoete, Lord of Villars, the next friend of blood unto ye deceased here in ye land, together with ye honourable Colonel Herber, Knight, Sir Jacob Asteley, Knight, Lieutenant-Colonel Mr. Henry Cromwell, and Peter Fanius, who all have subscribed and was written, Ar. Zoete de Villars, He. Hebertt, Jacob Asteley, Henry Cromwell, P. Fanius, and were signed with four seales in red hard wax.

Lady Anne must have ended her life sorrowfully at Ramsey, her daughter Baptina pre-deceased her, and then when she was preparing to greet beloved Oliver, came a message of his death. (This seems to have happened in 1625. He was a student in the University of Padua in 1618. An Italian historian mistakes him for the Protector.) Among the entries in the inventory of the jewels, plate, and apparel of Lady Anne, taken in 1626, are these:

In my ladie's closet:

  • In the barred trunk-boxe:
    • In a round white boxe superscribed for Oliver Cromwell 4 jacobius 22s and 29 smaller peeces of silver and dollars.
    • In 2 boxes superscribed for Anna Cromwell divers peeces of gold and silver untold but viewed by my Master.
    • In a box superscribed for Giles Cromwell certaine peeces of silver and gold untold but viewed.
    • In a box superscribed for Batt: certain silver and gold peeces untold but viewed.

My Master advised that the boxes superscribed for Mr. O.C. and little Mrs. Batt: in regard they were both dead should be equally divided amongst the three. The keys of these things is comited to my Mrtrs keeping.

Lady Anne's death happened on 23rd April 1626. She enjoyed the privilege of disposing by will of her property, hence the inventory. She seemed to have owned all the household stuff at Ramsey, for there are some 1,300 entries of the contents of large chests which were placed about the house, under the pictures of her children. The good lady had not the heart to touch the trinkets she had in days full of hope bestowed on her beloved ones.


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Anna Cromwell's Timeline

Antwerp, Hertogdom Brabant, Habsburgse Nederlanden
Age 27
Babraham, Cambridgeshire, England
May 20, 1593
Age 28
Age 29
Probably Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England
Age 38
April 23, 1626
Age 61
Huntingdonshire, England