What is history and what is stuff?

cromwell table top.jpg

“This table top was Oliver Cromwell’s camp table; it was taken by the Government forces at the battle of Chalgrove fields, where Hampden was killed and the followers of Cromwell were defeated; the effects of Cromwell were taken to Shirburn Castle, the seat of the Earl of Macclesfield, where it was with other things stowed in the garret pediment;

at the death of Thomas Parker, Earl of Macclesfield about 1850-52, the present Earl of Macclesfield in cleaning out the pediment gave the table to Wm. Wheeler (my wife’s father), who thinking we thought more of Cromwell in America, sent it over to me in 1864;

the table then had a pointed stem to drive into the ground, with a collar at top for the table top to rest on with a hole for a candlestick to set in; the top was in two halves and fastened together with hooks (one is lost) for convenience in packing.

Having lost the stem I suppose I unfortunately modernized it by putting on a new stem and feet and filling up the centre hold where it rested on the old stem with a white piece, and polished up the surface, and glued the two halves together; but the underside was not touched other than to put some screws into it to fasten it on a lathe so it could be turned.” [signed] Edwin W. Judge, New Haven

(Property of Mrs. George A. Hulett, ‘92; on deposit, 1934 for George Barker Hulett, ‘30). Museum objects collection