regicide n. 1. a person who kills or takes part in killing a king. 2. the act of killing a king [L rex regis king +CIDE]
In August 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II, the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion was passed as a gesture of reconciliation to reunite the kingdom. A free pardon was granted to everyone who had supported the Commonwealth and Protectorate, but exceptions were made for those who had directly participated in the trial and execution of King Charles I in 1649. A special court was appointed in October 1660 and the Regicides that were in custody were brought to trial. Ten were condemned to death and publicly hanged, drawn and quartered at Charing Cross or Tyburn, London, in October 1660: Thomas Harrison, John Jones, Adrian Scrope, John Carew, Thomas Scot, and Gregory Clement, who had signed the King's death warrant; the preacher Hugh Peter; Francis Hacker and Daniel Axtell, who commanded the guards at the King's trial and execution; and John Cook, the lawyer who had directed the prosecution. A further nineteen were imprisoned for life.
By order of the Convention Parliament, all the Regicides who had died before the Restoration were posthumously attainted for high treason and their property was confiscated. In January 1661, the corpses of Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton and John Bradshaw were exhumed and hanged in their shrouds at Tyburn before their skulls were impaled at Westminster Hall.
Twenty Regicides fled to Europe or to America. Sir George Downing (1623-84), English ambassador to the Netherlands, controversially arrested three of them: John Barkstead, John Okey and Miles Corbet, who were extradited to England and executed in April 1662. John Lisle was murdered by a royalist at Lausanne in Switzerland in 1664. The last survivor of the regicides was probably Edmund Ludlow, who died at Vevey, Switzerland, in 1692. The identity of the executioner who beheaded the King was never discovered.
59 Signatories of the King's Death Warrant
[Listed in the order that their names were signed. Alphabetical biography listing here]
Others Associated With The Regicide
In addition to the surviving signatories of the King's death warrant, others prosecuted for their association with the regicide included officials of the High Court of Justice and army officers who had supervised arrangements at the trial and execution itself. Two clerks of the High Court, Andrew Broughton and John Phelps, escaped to Switzerland (Broughton died there in 1688). Although he was not directly involved in the trial and execution, the Puritan preacher Hugh Peter was prosecuted and executed because of his enthusiastic support for the Regicides.
|Daniel Axtell||William Heveningham||Sir Henry Mildmay||Robert Phayre|
|John Cook||Hercules Huncks||Lord William Monson||Matthew Thomlinson|
|Isaac Dorislaus||John Lisle||Isaac Penington||Robert Wallop|
|Francis Hacker||Nicholas Love||Hugh Peter|
Others brought to trial at the Restoration for their roles in the Civil Wars and Commonwealth — though not associated directly with the Regicide — were the Marquis of Argyll, leader of the Scottish Covenanters, executed in 1661; Major-General John Lambert, who led the last military resistance to the Restoration and was imprisoned for life, and the prominent Commonwealth politician Sir Henry Vane, executed in 1662.
The Death Warrant of Charles the First: House of Lords Record Office [offsite]
An Act of Free and Generall Pardon Indempnity and Oblivion: British History Online [offsite]