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Henry Bradshawe of Cheshire (1601-1662): Evidence from his Financial Diary and Letter-Book

Henry Bradshawe of Marple, Cheshire (1601-1662), was the elder brother of John Bradshawe the regicide (1602-1659). Henry added books and pamphlets to the family library at Marple, including pamphlets sent from John Bradshawe in London. Henry was a colonel in the Parliamentary Army, and a notable Cheshire magnate. Among documents that survive in his hand are a financial diary covering a decade of his life (1635-1645), and a letter-book containing 130 letters (1648-1660). Evidence from these and other sources enable a biographical sketch of considerable detail, simultaneously enriching our knowledge of the more famous younger brother.

Professor Alan Nelson is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.


'State Crocodile or upstart country nobody? Why did Parliament hire John Bradshawe in January 1649?'

One of the lingering questions surrounding the trial and execution of Charles I in January 1649 is why John Bradshawe was appointed as Lord President of the trial. The existing historiography largely agrees that he was an upstart country nobody with a small amount of legal experience in the London and Cheshire courts, but surely that isn’t enough of a qualification to preside over such a momentous occasion. This paper will provide a completely new explanation for Bradshawe’s appointment as Lord President by examining an overlooked aspect of his career in the 1640s – that of legal adviser to the Committee for Sequestrations. This role brought him into regular contact with the Houses of Parliament and gained him a reputation in Westminster and beyond as a fair and honest lawyer. 

Dr Charlotte Young is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Local History, University of Leicester.


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