John Sadler (town clerk)

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John Sadler, of Warmwell
Born 1615–1674
England
Died 1674
England
Nationality English
Other names John Sadler, town clerk of London
Occupation Lawyer, public official
Known for English lawyer, Member of Parliament, Town Clerk of London, Hebraist, Neoplatonist, academic

John Sadler (of Warmwell) (18 August 1615 – April 1674) was an English lawyer, academic, Member of Parliament, Town Clerk of London, Hebraist, Neoplatonist[1] and millenarian thinker, private secretary to Oliver Cromwell, and member of the Parliamentarian Council of State. He was Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge from 1650 to 1660.[2]

Sadler was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[3]

Family[edit]

He married Jane, daughter of the Dorset MP John Trenchard.[4] His sister Ann married John Harvard.

In politics[edit]

He was nominated for Cambridgeshire for the 1653 Barebone's Parliament.[5] In 1659, for the Third Protectorate Parliament, he was MP for Yarmouth, in the Isle of Wight.

Ernestine van der Wall writes:[6]

John Sadler (1615–1674) was a well-known London lawyer and constitutional theorist, and a good friend of Oliver Cromwell, at one time serving as his personal secretary. During the 1650s he held several offices, being secretary to the Council of State and a member of the Committee for the Advancement of Learning and the Committee for Lunatics.

The Hale Commission on law reform, headed from 1652 by Sir Matthew Hale, had Sadler as a leading lawyer, together with William Steele and John Fountain.[7]

He was Town Clerk of London from 3 July 1649 (elected) to 18 September 1660.[2] He was removed on the Restoration, under the pretext that he had signed the death warrant of Christopher Love.[8] He was suspended 4 September 1660, then the suspension was removed on 6 September 1660 and finally he was "declared incapable of office" on 18 September 1660.[9]

Political thought[edit]

He wrote The Rights of the Kingdom (1649), a founding document[10] of British Israelitism. Tudor Parfitt[11] calls it "one of the first invented expressions of an invented Israelite genealogy for the British". This was not, however, its overt purpose. Glen Burgess calls it[12] "an historical defence of the regicide". Maurice Vile writes

Sadler's view of the executive function was, as we have seen, not our modern one, but in other respects his grasp of the principles of the doctrine of the separation of powers was clear.[13]

Hartlib circle[edit]

Main article: Hartlib Circle

He was a philosemite,[14] on friendly terms with Menasseh Ben Israel,[15] and associate of Samuel Hartlib and John Dury. This interest was not clearly separated from the line taken by Sadler in The Rights of the Kingdom.[16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John T. Young, Faith, Medical Alchemy and Natural Philosophy (1998), p. 59.
  2. ^ a b Concise Dictionary of National Biography.
  3. ^ "Sadler, John (SDLR630J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ Weymouth, Dorset History & Heritage – Warmwell Village & Parish inc Warmwell House
  5. ^ List of members nominated for Parliament of 1653 | British History Online
  6. ^ PDF, p. 51.
  7. ^ Mary Cotterell, "Interregnum Law Reform: The Hale Commission of 1652", The English Historical Review, Vol. 83, No. 329 (Oct., 1968), pp. 689–704.
  8. ^ Reginald R. Sharpe, London and the Kingdom, Volume II, p. 383. Gutenberg text
  9. ^ Libraries, Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery, "The Town Clerk" – Page 72, from the London Metropolitan Archieves, City of London, 40 Northampton Road, London EC 1R 0HB – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk – www.lma.gov.uk
  10. ^ British Israelitism
  11. ^ The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth (2002), p. 42.
  12. ^ The Politics of the Ancient Constitution, p. 98.
  13. ^ Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers (1967), PDF. See also Francis Dunham Wormuth, The Origins of Modern Constitutionalism (1949), Ch. VIII.
  14. ^ PDF, p. 4.
  15. ^ van de Wall, p. 53.
  16. ^ The year 1649 then shows Durie, Worsley, Sadler, Jessey, Moriaen, Boreel and Menasseh all dealing with the question whether the lost tribes were living in America[...]. van der Wall, p. 55.

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Robert Mitchell
Town Clerk of London
1649–1660
Succeeded by
Sir John Weld
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
1653
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by
Edward Rainbow
Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge
1650–1660
Succeeded by
Edward Rainbow