Henry Hyde (Royalist)

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Sir Henry Hyde (c.1605–1650) was a Royalist diplomat beheaded by the Parliamentarians, for acting as an envoy for the soon-to-be exiled King, Charles II of England.

He was one of the sons of Lawrence Hyde (1562-1641) of Salisbury, Wiltshire, who was the attorney-general and a Member of Parliament (MP).

Henry became a merchant and consul, based for many years in Turkey. During the Interregnum, he was selected by Charles II (who would flee into exile in 1651), to act as an envoy to the Turkish empire and solicit their support for his cause.

The official Parliamentarian (Roundhead) ambassador, Sir Thomas Bendish, strongly objected and prevailed upon the Turks to arrest him and ship him back to England. The Third English Civil War was raging at this time, as well.

Sir Henry Hyde was imprisoned in the Tower, charged with treason, and tried by a court made up from the House of Commons. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to death. He was beheaded, after kissing the executioner's axe, outside the Old Exchange in Cornhill, London, on 4 March 1650.[1] His remains were interred in Salisbury Cathedral where his epitaph is inscribed on a marble tablet.[2][3]


  1. ^ "History of England". Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  2. ^ Copies of the epitaphs in Salisbury cathedral. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  3. ^ Sir Henry Hyde's online memorial at Find a Grave, retrieved 12 Mar 2015.