The Cromwells at Whitehall

With his “great and majestic deportment and comely presence Cromwell himself was fully equal to his new dignities as Lord Protector. Not so, writes C.V. Wedgwood, all the members of his household; his wife was accused of squalid parsimony, and his younger daughters of undue frivolity.

The Cromwell family moved into Whitehall on April 14th, 1654. Oliver had been installed as Lord Protector with considerable solemnity in the previous December and had been conducting official business and receiving ambassadors at Whitehall ever since. But there had evidently been some reflection before he decided to let his family join him and set up as a Court.

The first idea had been to use Whitehall for official occasions, while as a family man he continued to reside in the sufficiently handsome house in the Cockpit which he had occupied, when at home, for the past six years. The plan must have been too inconvenient. Whatever the world said—and some mockery was inevitable—the Cromwell family would have to share in his elevation.

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