Cromwell arrived into the world in the middle of his great aunt's wedding to the sound of loud church organ music. His godfather, John, and Percy Wainwright assisted with the delivery.
Cromwell's mother, Olivia, goes into labor on the day of her aunt's wedding, and stubbornly refuses to interrupt the ceremony to tell anyone. Instead, she sequesters herself in the stairwell beneath the organ gallery. Her cousin, John, finds her there, and they are soon joined by Percy Wainwright, just in time for her to deliver her baby right there on the floor.
After mother and child are relocated to a more comfortable arrangement, Percy remarks that the child's head reminds him of Oliver Cromwell, and Olivia immediately takes a liking to the name. She also insists on naming the child for the two men who helped deliver him into the world – Percival and John – as well as his father, Malcolm.
Lord John takes a miniature portrait of Cromwell to Canada to give to the child's father, Malcolm.
Lord John tells Stephan von Namtzen that Cromwell, aged almost two, is the terror of the household, and tells him the interesting story of the child's birth.
As a newborn, Cromwell had a comically round head, reminiscent of the late Lord Protector.
- Cromwell is a habitational name from places in Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire named Cromwell, from Old English crumb 'bent', 'crooked' + well(a) 'spring', 'stream'.
- Percival is a name created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the Story of the Grail a character (and probably the name) based on that of the Welsh hero Peredur, possibly means "hard spears" in Welsh. The spelling was perhaps altered under the influence of Old French percer val "to pierce the valley".
- John is the English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious".
- Malcolm is from the Scottish Máel Coluim which means "disciple of Saint Columba".
- Stubbs is possibly topographical but is usually locational, deriving from the village of 'Stubbs' near Pontefract in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The origin is from the word stybb which refers to an area of ground covered by tree stumps, probably following a forest fire. The name later was applied as a nickname to people of short and/or stocky build.
- ↑ Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
- ↑ Ancestry: Cromwell. Accessed 1 September 2016.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Peredur. Accessed 1 September 2016.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Percival. Accessed 1 September 2016.
- ↑ Behind the Name: John. Accessed 1 September 2016.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Malcolm. Accessed 1 September 2016.
- ↑ Surname Database: Stubbs. Accessed 1 September 2016.