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John Hewson (regicide)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Colonel John Hewson (Hughson) (died 1662) was a soldier in the New Model Army and signed the death warrant of King Charles I, making him a regicide.


Before the English Civil War Hewson was a cobbler and then a shoemaker.[1]

When John Lilburne was his apprentice in the 1630s, he introduced Lilburne to the Puritan physician John Bastwick, an active pamphleteer who was persecuted by Archbishop William Laud.[citation needed]

He was second in command of John Pickering's Regiment of Foot, one of the original twelve foot regiments of the New Model Army. When John Pickering died on 24 November 1645 he took command of the regiment; and, as was the custom then, the Regiment became known as John Hewson Regiment of Foot.[2]

In 1647 Parliament passed an act against religious festivals, regarding them as "vain and superstitious observances"[citation needed] when the Mayor of Canterbury tried to enforce this act and stop Christmas[citation needed] there was a riot and John Hewson Regiment of Foot were sent to restore order which they did quickly. In 1648 Hewson supported Pride's Purge and the Army's occupation of London.[2]

In January 1649 Hewson signed the death warrant of Charles I marking him as a regicide. Also in 1649 he received a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University.[1] Later that year his regiment refused to fight in Ireland until the Leveller reform programme was implemented; as a result 300 men were cashiered out of the army without arrears of pay. While in Ireland he was involved in the Siege of Drogheda and commanded an English force during the siege and battle of Tecroghan. He lost an eye at the siege of Kilkenny and was made Governor of Dublin.[2]

Hewson was governor of Dublin and a member of the Council of State.[1] He represented Ireland in the Nominated Assembly (or Barebones Parliament) of 1653 and Dublin in the First Protectorate Parliament of 1654. He then returned to England to represent Guildford in the Second Protectorate Parliament.[2] He was knighted by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell on 5 December 1657 (the title passed into oblivion at the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660).[3] In 1658 he was summoned to the Other House (an Upper House equivalent to the House of Lords) as Lord Hewson.[1]

After the fall of the Protectorate he was a member of the Wallingford House party and was willing to use force to oppose General Monck and the restoration of the monarchy. When his endeavours came to nought,[1] on the restoration of the monarchy he fled to Amsterdam,[2] where he died in 1662.[1]


Richard Neville (later Lord Braybrooke) in a footnote from his 1825 edition of Samuel Pepys' diary:

John Hewson, who, from a low origin, became a colonel in the Parliament army, and sat in judgment on the King: he escaped hanging by flight, and died in 1662, at Amsterdam. A curious notice of Hewson occurs in Rugge’s "Diurnal," December 5th, 1659, which states that "he was a cobbler by trade, but a very stout man, and a very good commander; but in regard of his former employment, they [the city apprentices] threw at him old shoes, and slippers, and turniptops, and brick-bats, stones, and tiles. … At this time [January, 1659-60] there came forth, almost every day, jeering books: one was called 'Colonel Hewson's Confession; or, a Parley with Pluto,' about his going into London, and taking down the gates of Temple-Bar." He had but one eye, which did not escape the notice of his enemies.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Noble 1787, p. 421.
  2. ^ a b c d e Plant 2008.
  3. ^ Shaw 1906, p. 224.
  4. ^ Pepys 1660.


  • Noble, Mark (1787), Memoirs of the Protectoral-house of Cromwell: Deduced from an Early Period, and Continued Down to the Present Time ... Collected Chiefly from Original Papers and Records ... Together with an Appendix ... Embellished with Elegant Engravings, G. G. J. and J. Robinson, p. 421
  • Pepys, Samuel (1660), "25 January 1659/60", Project Gutenberg's Diary of Samuel Pepys,Transcribed from the shorthand manuscript in the Pepsysian Library, Magdalene College Cambridge by the Rev. Mynors Bright M.A. late fellow and president of the college (Unabridged), With Lord Braybrooke's notes edited with additions by Henry B. Wheatley
  • Plant, David (20 February 2008), "Biography of John Hewson", BCW Project, retrieved 21 March 2018[self-published source][better source needed]
  • Shaw, William Arthur (1906), The Knights of England: A complete record from the earliest time to the present day of the knights of all the orders of chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of knights bachelors, incorporating a complete list of knights bachelors dubbed in Ireland, 2, London: Sherratt and Hughes, p. 224
This page was last edited on 22 February 2021, at 23:05
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