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HERBERT PALMER (1601-1647)

' a little crooked man of very puny appearance and delicate health'

Herbert Palmer was the son of Sir Thomas Palmer. Even as a child, he was fluent in French and as a young man preached in the French Church at Canterbury. Archbishop Laud, who was later to be executed by the Roundheads, appointed Herbert Palmer to be vicar of Ashwell and Laud proudly reminded the judges of this fact at his trial.

Herbert Palmer came to Ashwell at the age of 31 where 'he matured his system of catechising, giving prizes of Bibles . . He was an ardent Puritan who left Ashwell in 1643 to devote his whole time to the Church in Westminster and to the Westminster Assembly. He preached to the House of Commons more than once and in 1643, after the battle of Edgehill, he ended his oration with a prayer that the prisoners held by the King in Oxford might be delivered. A printed copy of one of his sermons may be seen in the Ashwell Museum.

Herbert Palmer was a Fellow of Queens College, Cambridge and became President of that College in 1644. He died at the age of 46 years.