John Lisle

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Sir John Lisle (1610 – 11 August 1664) was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1659. He supported the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War and was one of the Regicides of King Charles I of England.[1] He was assassinated by an agent of the crown while in exile in Switzerland.

Education and career[edit]

Lisle was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford and graduated as a BA in 1626. He was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1633.[2] In April 1640 he was elected Member of Parliament for Winchester in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Winchester for the Long Parliament in November 1640.[3] He was master of St Cross Hospital, Winchester from 1644 to 1649.[2]

Lisle was a member of the Rump Parliament and was one of the managers in the trial of Charles I's trial in 1649. He was appointed one of the commissioners of the great seal, and was placed on the council of state in 1649. He also became a bencher of his Inn in 1649.[2] In 1654 he was elected MP for Southampton for the First Protectorate Parliament and was re-elected for the seat in 1656 for the Second Protectorate Parliament.[3] He held various offices in parliaments between 1654 and 1659 when he sat in the Restored Rump. In 1660, he was commissioner of the admiralty and navy.[2]

At the Restoration of the monarchy Lisle fled to Switzerland. He was assassinated in a churchyard in Lausanne on 11 August 1664 by Sir James Fitz Edmond Cotter an Irish soldier and Royalist agent who tracked down regicides and who is said to have used the alias Thomas Macdonnell.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Moyles Court, now Moyles Court School

Lisle married firstly Elizabeth Hobart, daughter of Sir Henry Hobart, 1st Baronet of Intwood, who bore him a son who died in infancy. After her death in 1633, he married Alice Beconshaw daughter of Sir White Beconshaw of Moyles Court at Ellingham in Hampshire and his wife, Edith, daughter of William Bond of Blackmanston, Steeple, Dorset.[2] Alice bore him seven children, one of whom, John, inherited Moyles Court.[4] Alice was executed in 1685 at Winchester on a charge of harbouring fugitives after the Battle of Sedgemoor. The conduct of the trial, where Judge Jeffreys, presiding, applied intense pressure on the jury to convict, caused much unfavourable comment; and the refusal of King James II to heed pleas for mercy gave rise to a belief that he was taking a posthumous revenge on Sir John himself. Another of John's children, Bridget, married Leonard Hoar, the 3rd President of Harvard College.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Plant, John Lisle, Regicide, 1610-64 the British Civil Wars and Commonwealth website
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lee, Sidney (1903), Dictionary of National Biography Index and Epitome, p. 781 (also main entry xxxiii 341)
  3. ^ a b Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. onepage&q&f&#61, false 229–239.
  4. ^ "Alice Lisle".
  5. ^ The New England Historical and Genealogical Register,: Volume 45 1891. April 1997. ISBN 9780788406102.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1903). "Lisle, John". Index and Epitome. Dictionary of National Biography. Cambridge University Press. p. 781.

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Winchester
With: Sir William Ogle 1640–1643
Nicholas Love 1645–1653
Succeeded by
Not represented in Barebones Parliament
Preceded by
Not represented in Barebones Parliament
Member of Parliament for Southampton
Succeeded by
Thomas Knollys
Roger Gallop
Preceded by
Nicholas Love
John Hildesley
Member of Parliament for Winchester
With: Nicholas Love
Succeeded by
John Hooke
Thomas Cole