Thomas Waite (regicide)

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Thomas Waite, (died 1688 in Jersey) also known as Thomas Wayte was an English soldier who fought for Parliament in the English Civil War, a Member of Parliament for Rutland, and one of the regicides of King Charles I.

English Civil War series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

Rutland was a parliamentary constituency covering the county of Rutland. It was represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1918, when it became part of the Rutland and Stamford constituency, along with Stamford in Lincolnshire. Since 1983, Rutland has formed part of the Rutland and Melton constituency along with Melton Mowbray from Leicestershire.

The broad definition of regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for the killing of a person of royalty.

Waite was probably the son of Henry Waite of Wymondham, Leicestershire; [1] but some royalist sources said he was the son of an alehouse keeper in Market Overton in Rutland.

Wymondham, Leicestershire village in Melton, Leicestershire, England

Wymondham is a village in the Borough of Melton in Leicestershire, England. It is part of a civil parish which also covers the nearby hamlet of Edmondthorpe. The parish has a population of 623, increasing to 632 at the 2011 census. It is close to the county borders with Lincolnshire and Rutland, nearby places being Garthorpe, Teigh and South Witham.

Market Overton village in the United Kingdom

Market Overton is a village on the northern edge of the county of Rutland in the East Midlands of England. The population of the civil parish was 494 at the 2001 census, increasing to 584 at the 2011 census.

He was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1634. He was Sheriff of Rutland in 1641. Going into the Parliament army, he made such good use of his time, that he obtained a colonel's commission, and a seat in the Long Parliament. In 1643, he beat up the king's quarters near Burley House; at this time he was a colonel, and probably then, or immediately after, became, in consequence of it, governor of Burley-on-the-Hill, in Rutland. [2]

Grays Inn one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, a person must belong to one of these Inns. Located at the intersection of High Holborn and Gray's Inn Road in Central London, the Inn is both a professional body and a provider of office accommodation (chambers) for many barristers. It is ruled by a governing council called "Pension", made up of the Masters of the Bench, and led by the Treasurer, who is elected to serve a one-year term. The Inn is known for its gardens, or Walks, which have existed since at least 1597.

Long Parliament English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660

The Long Parliament was an English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament which had convened for only three weeks during the spring of 1640, and which in turn had followed an 11-year parliamentary absence. In September 1640, King Charles I issued writs summoning a parliament to convene on 3 November 1640. He intended it to pass financial bills, a step made necessary by the costs of the Bishops' Wars in Scotland. The Long Parliament received its name from the fact that, by Act of Parliament, it stipulated it could be dissolved only with agreement of the members; and, those members did not agree to its dissolution until 16 March 1660, after the English Civil War and near the close of the Interregnum.

Waite wrote to Parliament in 1648, that he had fallen upon those who had made an insurrection at Stamford, Lincolnshire, and, at Woodcroft Castle, had killed Dr Hudson, who had commanded those forces, with some others, and taken many prisoners, but had dismissed the countrymen. The House replied with their thanks, and ordered that the general should send him a commission to try the prisoners by martial law. Soon afterwards he reported the defeat and capture of the Duke of Hamilton. [2]

Stamford, Lincolnshire town in Lincolnshire, England

Stamford is a town on the River Welland in Lincolnshire, England, 92 miles (148 km) north of London on the A1. The population at the 2011 census was 19,701. The town has 17th and 18th-century stone buildings, older timber-framed buildings and five medieval parish churches. In 2013, Stamford was rated the best place to live in a survey by The Sunday Times.

Woodcroft Castle medieval castle in the parish of Etton, Cambridgeshire, England

Woodcroft Castle is a moated medieval castle in the parish of Etton, Cambridgeshire, England.

Michael Hudson (1605–1648) was an English clergyman who supported the Royalist cause during the English Civil War.

As one of the army-grandees, Waite was one of the 59 Commissioners who sat in judgment at the trial of Charles I. He attended the trial on 25, 26, and 27 January 1649, the first two in the Painted Chamber, and in the last of these in Westminster Hall, when sentence was pronounced against Charles, and he signed and sealed that instrument, which commanded Charles to execution. [3]

Painted Chamber

The Painted Chamber was part of the medieval Palace of Westminster. It was gutted by fire in 1834, and has been described as "perhaps the greatest artistic treasure lost in the fire". The room was re-roofed and re-furnished to be used temporarily by the House of Lords until 1847, and it was demolished in 1851.

After this event, we hear nothing of Waite, until the restoration; he seems neglected by Parliament, and totally given up by Oliver Cromwell, when he became Lord Protector, who even omitted his name as one of the committee for Rutland, which he had enjoyed during the first Commonwealth. [4] In 1650, he acquired the Duke of Buckingham's Rutland estates. On 13 March 1654 his tenants at Hambleton, Rutland petitioned the council of state complaining of Waite doubling their rents, diverting their water supply, enclosing their commons, and endeavouring to evict eighty families.

Oliver Cromwell 17th-century English military and political leader

Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting simultaneously as head of state and head of government of the new republic.

The Protectorate Period during the Commonwealth under the rule of the Lord Protector

The Protectorate was the period during the Commonwealth when England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland were governed by a Lord Protector as a republic. The Protectorate began in 1653 when, following the dissolution of the Rump Parliament and then Barebone's Parliament, Oliver Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector of the Commonwealth under the terms of the Instrument of Government. In 1659 the Protectorate Parliament was dissolved by the Committee of Safety as Richard Cromwell, who had succeeded his father as Lord Protector, was unable to keep control of the Parliament and the Army. This marked the end of the Protectorate and the start of a second period of rule by the Rump Parliament as the legislature and the Council of State as the executive.

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham 17th-century English statesman and poet

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, 20th Baron de Ros, was an English statesman and poet.

He was not granted a general pardon under the Act of Indemnity, and having surrendered himself, was brought to the bar, at the Session's House, in the Old Bailey, 10 October 1660. He was extremely troublesome to the court at his arraignment as he would not plead guilty or not guilty when asked to do so and prevaricated. At his trial he was found guilty of regicide, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment as the court decided that he had been forced by Cromwell and Henry Ireton into agreeing to the Kings execution, to such a degree that Cromwell had guided Waite's hand when he signed the death warrant. [5] Waite's wife, Jane, unsuccessfully petitioned for his release for the sake of their five children and Wayte was imprisoned in Mont Orgueil Castle on Jersey. [6] He was buried at Saint Saviour, Jersey on 18 October 1688. [7]


  1. Hopper, Andrew J. (2004c). "Waite, Thomas (fl. 1634–1668)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28405.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. 1 2 Noble, p.310
  3. Noble, pp. 310,311
  4. Noble, p. 311
  5. Noble, pp. 311317
  6. Lemprière, p. 100. "Dr Gilbert Millington, Sir Hardress Waller, Henry Smith, Colonel James Temple and Colonel Thomas Waite (Wayte), who were among those who condemned King Charles I to death were imprisoned in Mont Orgueil Castle."
  7. Balleine, p. 148. "Thomas Wayte was buried at St Saviour on 18 October 1688"

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Baptism Records Wymondham, Leicestershire, Wills of Thomas Waite, John Waite, and Henry Waite of Wymondham, Leicestershire. Will of Theodore Gulston MD of London.