formerly Williams, He assumed the name of Cromwell at the desire of Kg. Henry VIII. He purchased to great advantage the lands of several dissolved monasteries, including those of the nunnery at Hinchinbrooke. He served the offoce of Sheriff for the cos. of Cambs. and Hunts 1541, and was elected MP for the latter shire 1542. He was appointed a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to King Henry VIII and Constable of Berkely Castle. By 1536 Richard was appointed sheriff of Cambrideshire. In 1537 Richard was knighted, and the next year he was granted the former Benedictine nunnery of Hinchingbrook, his first piece of the vast Abbey of Ramsey after the monastic dissolution. in 1541 Richard was again sheriff of Cambridgeshire. In 1542 he represented the county in Parliament. In 1543 he became a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and campaigned in France with Henry VIII in 1544.