A new display opened at the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon this week of objects linked to Oliver Cromwell.
It includes a pair of gloves that it is claimed belonged to Cromwell and were â€˜a gift from a gentleman of Huntingdon in 1704â€™. The pair was exhibited in Cambridge in 1911, but as far as it is known they have never been shown to the public in Huntingdon.
John Goldsmith, Curator of the museum said â€œPerhaps the most fascinating object is a mask of Cromwell, believed to be a copy from the bust used for the figure of the Lord Protector, that was the focus of his state funeral at Westminster Abbey in 1658. The mask was at one time on loan to Newburgh Priory in Yorkshire, where, it was shown on what some believe to be is the tomb of Cromwellâ€™s headless corpse. Objects that can be proved, beyond all reasonable doubt, to have been owned, used or even touched by Oliver Cromwell are extraordinarily rare.â€
Cambridgeshire County Councilâ€™s Cabinet Member for Education and Learning, Councillor David Harty said â€œWeâ€™re delighted to be able to show these objects to visitors to the Museum and weâ€™re grateful that private lenders are willing to share their collections with us.â€
The small group of material is on loan from a private collector who lives abroad, and the history of the material is obscure. It is known that in the recent past it has been shown at York Castle Museum as well as in the US.