What else can be said about Cromwell’s time in Ely? As has already been mentioned, just about the only facts known about this are that the cathedral chapter granted him some leases and that he served as one of the feo ees of the town’s most important charitable trust, the Charity of omas Parsons. is seems unpromising material. In fact, the full implications of both these bits of information have been overlooked by historians.1 e leases have usually been considered only for what they reveal about Cromwell’s improved nancial position, while his involvement in Parsons Charity, if mentioned at all, has merely been used to stress his new social standing within the town. e one person who saw that there was more to these than this was the late Reginald Holmes, a ne amateur historian from Ely who located and published many of the relevant records, but even those professional historians who have known of Holmes’s work have made almost no use of it.2 is is partly because Holmes himself underestimated the full signi cance of what he had discovered.