Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell

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Gregory Cromwell, 1st Lord Cromwell of Oakham Castle, KB

Also Known As: "1rst Baron of Cromwell"
Birthplace: Oakham Castle, Oakham, Rutland, England (United Kingdom)
Death: July 04, 1551 (26-35)
Launde, Leicestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex and Elizabeth Cromwell
Husband of Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell
Father of Henry Cromwell, 2nd Baron Cromwell; Frances Strode; Hon. Catherine Cromwell; Capt. Thomas Cromwell and Edward Cromwell
Brother of Anne Cromwell and Grace Cromwell
Half brother of Jane Hough

Occupation: Baron
Managed by: Shannon Quinn Purvis
Last Updated:

About Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell,_1st_Baron_Cromwell

Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell, KB (c. 1514 – 4 July 1551) was an English peer.

Cromwell was born in Putney, then in Surrey, the first child and only son of Thomas Cromwell, later 1st Baron Cromwell and briefly 1st Earl of Essex, and his first wife, the former Elizabeth Wykys.

He was tutored by Sir Richard Southwell and attended Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge, where he graduated.

Peerage and knighthood

On 18 December 1540, shortly after his father's execution, he was raised to the Peerage as Baron Cromwell, of Oakham in the County of Rutland, and summoned to Parliament. This title was a new creation, rather than a restoration of his father's forfeited barony, and had a different territorial designation.

He was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Bath at the coronation of King Edward VI.

Marriage and issue

Before 1538, at Wulfhall, Savernake, Wiltshire, he married Elizabeth, Lady Oughtred (née Elizabeth Seymour), the sister of Jane Seymour (and therefore the aunt of King Edward VI). She was a daughter of Sir John Seymour and the widow of Sir Anthony Oughtred. They had five children:

The Hon. Henry Cromwell (later 2nd Baron Cromwell)

The Hon. Frances Cromwell (c. 1544 - 7 February 1562), whose settlement of marriage to Richard Strode of Newnham, Devon, son of William Strode of Newenham and Elizabeth Courtenay, was on 3 January 1561 at Compton, Hampshire; she had one son William Strode

The Hon. Catherine (or Katherine) Cromwell, who married Sir John Strode of Parnham, Dorset, son of Robert Strode and Elizabethe Hody, and had six sons

The Hon. Edward Cromwell

The Hon. Thomas Cromwell

He died at Launde, Leicestershire, was buried at Launde Abbey and was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry. Henry's grandson, Thomas, 4th Baron Cromwell, was created Earl of Ardglass in the Peerage of Ireland in 1645. The Earldom of Ardglass expired in 1687, and the Barony of Cromwell became dormant in 1709.

Gregory Cromwell is played by Jack West in the Season 3 finale of Showtime cable television show The Tudors. In Wolf Hall, a novel by Hilary Mantel, which offers a sympathetic portrayal of the rise of Thomas Cromwell, Gregory is depicted as a childlike, slightly inept but lovable young man.

^ states date of death as 1576, DNB as 1557.

He was tutored by Richard Southwell, and attended the University of Cambridge. He married Elizabeth Seymour, the aunt of Edward VI. They had five children: Henry, Frances, Catherine, Edward, and Thomas.

The final creation of the title (Baron Cromwell) came in 1540 for him, also by letters patent. He was the son of Thomas Cromwell. His great-grandson, the fourth Baron, was made Earl of Ardglass in 1645. For more information, see this title. (Wikipedia)


There remains a unique tradition that peers of the realm should forfeit a horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor of Oakham on their first visit to the town. Two hundred and thirty horseshoes currently decorate the walls of Oakham Castle. It is thought that this tradition is linked to the ‘de Ferrers’ family name. Ferrier was the Norman French word for farrier and the horseshoe has been a symbol of the de Ferrers family since Henry de Ferrers arrived in England in 1066.

Oakham Castle is located in Oakham, Rutland. It was constructed between 1180 and 1190, in the reign of Henry II for Walchelin de Ferriers, Lord of the Manor of Oakham. The Castle is well known for its collection of massive horseshoes and is also recognised as one of the best examples of domestic Norman architecture in England.

The Great Hall comprises a nave and two arcaded aisles, each with three large stone columns. There are a number of 12th century sculptures decorating the Hall including six musicians that are supported by the columns. The sculptures are carved from local stone quarried at Clipsham and are believed to have been made by masons who had also worked at Canterbury Cathedral.

The Barony of Oakham Castle for given to Thomas Cromwell by King Henry VIII, who was later executed at the Tower of London. Cromwell's son and descendants retained Oakham Castle, which is now owned by the county.

Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell

M, #24152, d. 4 November 1576

Last Edited=8 Aug 2009

    Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell was the son of Thomas Cromwell, 1st and last Earl of Essex and Elizabeth Wykes.1,2 He married Elizabeth Seymour, daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margaret Wentworth, before 1538.3 He died on 4 November 1576.

Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell gained the title of 1st Baron Cromwell.
Children of Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell and Elizabeth Seymour

Henry Cromwell, 2nd Baron Cromwell+ d. 20 Nov 1592

Katherine Cromwell+4


[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 555. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume III, page 557.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume III, page 558.

[S3899] Cecil Aspinall-Oglander, Nunwell Symphony (London, U.K.: The Hogarth Press, 1946), appendix. Hereinafter cited as Nunwell Symphony.

Baron Cromwell, Knight of Bath, Knight of the Shire for Kent.

Only son and heir to Thomas Cromwell, Lord Cromwell, Earl of Essex and Elizabeth Wykes. Brother of Anne and Grace. Grandson of Walter Cromwell and Katherine Glossop, and Henry Wykes.

Husband of Lady Elizabeth Seymour, daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margaret Wentworth, sister of Jane Seymour and widow of Sir Anthony Ughtred who died 20 Dec 1534. They were married in 1537, and had five children: Henry Cromwell, 2nd Baron Cromwell Edward, died young Catherine, wife of Sir John Strode Frances, wife of Richard Strode Thomas, married Katherine Gardner

Gregory lost his mother at an early age in 1528 to the 'sweating sickness', and it is thought his two sisters followed shortly after. His father was devoted to his son, and his sister's older son, Richard, the three became a close knit family. Gregory grew to share in his father's religious beliefs, as did Richard, who took his uncle's name when he became Privy Councillor in 1531.

Gregory was firstly cared for by a nun, Margaret Vernon, and tutored by teachers of his father's choosing, then attended Cambridge, taught by a carefully select and extensive list of scholars.

Lady Elizabeth Ughtred, recently widowed and living poorly in York, had written Gregory's father inquiring about procuring one of the dissolved monasteries. Considered a perfect match, she and Gregory wed between July 17th and August 3rd at the Seymour home Wulfhall, Wiltshire.

Gregory and Elizabeth took part in the funeral procession of Queen Jane Seymour, Richard Cromwell carried the banners. They moved to the Cluniac Priory of St Pancras, Lewes in 1538 after the Priory was granted to his father, and the monastery demolished immediately, leaving the Priory to become the new residence for Gregory and Elizabeth. The Plague broke out, Gregory and Elizabeth fled to another of his father's houses, "The Motte", then to Leeds Castle where Thomas was appointed Constable in 1539.

Gregory was summoned to Parliament April 1539, and traveled to Calais to welcome Anne of Cleves, Elizabeth was assigned to Anne's household in January 1540, Thomas created Earl of Essex and Gregory assumed the title of Baron in April, and the May Day jousts included Gregory, Richard, Sir John Dudley, Sir Thomas Seymour and fourty-six defendants, and Richard was knighted.

The Bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner, was finally successful in destroying his enemy, Gregory's father, who was executed at Tower Hill July 28th. Gregory and Elizabeth found themselves homeless and penniless. Finally, In December, King Henry grew to regret the execution and must have looked kindly upon the couple as Gregory was called to Parliament, was given Oakham Castle, made a peer of the realm, and created Baron Cromwell, a new title opposed to the restoration of his father's title.

The following February would bring the restoration of some of his father's lands, including Launde and Lodngton, lands actually purchased by his father. He also owned the Manors of Clapthorne, Piddington and Hackleton in Northamptonshire as well as the manors of Northelmeham and Beteley in Norfolk.

Gregory died suddenly at his home in Launde Abbey of the sweating sickness, the cause of this disease is still unknown. He was buried in a magnificent tomb in the chapel. He would be succeeded by his son, Henry, and his last son was born posthumously in early 1552. Elizabeth would marry a third time to John Paulet, Lord St. John, and was buried at Basing, Hampshire.

Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell of Oakham, KB (c. 1520 – 4 July 1551) was an English Peer. He was the only son of the Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex (c. 1485 – 1540) and his wife Elizabeth Wyckes (c. 1489 – c. 1528).

Gregory's father Thomas Cromwell rose from obscurity to become the chief minister of Henry VIII, who attempted to modernize government at the expense of the privileges of the nobility and church. He used his office to promote religious reform and was one of the strongest advocates of the English Reformation.

In 1537, Gregory married Elizabeth, Lady Ughtred, widow of Sir Anthony Ughtred, sister to Jane Seymour and therefore became brother-in-law to Henry VIII and uncle to Edward VI. Gregory survived the dramatic fall from royal favour and subsequent execution of his father in 1540, as well as the ousting of his brother-in-law and patron, Edward Seymour in 1549. He became a wealthy landowner, owning land and property in several counties in England, mainly in Rutland and Leicestershire.

Gregory's family connections had provided him with wealth, property and privileges; however, it was through his own intelligence and ability, combined with the remarkable education and training provided by his father, that he was able to benefit from them, leaving his wife and family well provided for at his death. Gregory was succeeded by his eldest son, and heir, Henry.

Gregory Cromwell died in July 1551, the same month as Henry Brandon, the young Duke of Suffolk and his brother Charles. There does not appear to be a surviving portrait of Gregory Cromwell; however, given Thomas Cromwell's patronage of Hans Holbein the Younger, it would be surprising if no portrait was painted during his youth or at the time of his marriage.

4 July 1551 – Death of Gregory Cromwell

4th July 1551, Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell and son of the late Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, died of sweating sickness at Launde Abbey, in Leicestershire. He was buried at the abbey’s chapel on 7th July.

Merchant-taylor Henry Machyn recorded the sweating sickness outbreak and Gregory Cromwell’s death in his diary:

“The vij day of July begane a nuw swet in London, and . . . ded [died] my lord Crumwell in Leseter-shyre, and was bered [buried] [with a stand] ard, a banner of armes, and cote, elmett, sword, targett, and sc [ochyons, and] harold; and the sam tyme ded my lord Powes, and the x day [at W]ollwyche, sir John Lutterell, knyght, a nobull captayne.”

Gregory was survived by his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the sister of the late queen, Jane Seymour; Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, and the late Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, and was the widow of Sir Anthony Ughtred. Gregory and Elizabeth had five children: Henry, Edward, Thomas, Catherine and Francis. Elizbeth remarried in 1554, marrying John Paulet, Baron St John.

You can read more about Gregory Cromwell in Teri Fitzgerald’s excellent article – click here:

Notes and Sources

‘Diary: 1551’, in The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London, 1550-1563, ed. J G Nichols (London, 1848), pp. 3-13. British History Online

Posted By Claire on July 4, 2017

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Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell's Timeline

Oakham Castle, Oakham, Rutland, England (United Kingdom)
Putney, Surrey, England (United Kingdom)
Putney, Surrey, , England
Liddington, Rutland, , England
July 4, 1551
Age 31
Launde, Leicestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Putney, Surrey, England
Launde Abbey, Leicestershire, United Kingdom