William Cawley

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William Cawley, MP
Mural monument in Chichester Cathedral to John Cawley (d.1621), thrice Mayor of Chichester, and to his son William Cawley, the regicide

William Cawley (1602 – January 1667) was a regicide and seventeenth century English politician. He was born in Chichester in 1602, the son of a wealthy brewer, and was educated at Chichester Grammar School, Oxford University and Gray's Inn.[1]

In 1625, he provided funds for the erection of almshouses on the east side of New Broyle Road. They were intended to provide homes for twelve decayed tradesmen of Chichester. By 1681, there is reference to use of the building as a workhouse.[1]

Cawley was elected Member of Parliament for Chichester in 1628 and for Midhurst in 1640. In 1649, Cawley was appointed to the High Court of Justice and after attending all the sittings in Westminster Hall signed King Charles I's death warrant. He was appointed to several standing committees including the army committee, the committee for the advance of money, the committee for plundered ministers, and the committee for compounding.[1]

Cawley was elected to the Council of State in 1651 and again in 1652.[1]

After the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660, Cawley was exempted from pardon and fled abroad first to the Netherlands and then to Switzerland, where he joined fellow regicides Edmund Ludlow and Nicholas Love. Willam Cawley died in Vevey, Switzerland in 1667.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e T. Peacey, ‘Cawley, William (bap. 1602, d. 1667)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Edward Dowse
Humphrey Haggett
Member of Parliament for Chichester
With: Henry Bellingham
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Robert Long
Thomas May
Member of Parliament for Midhurst
With: Thomas May 1641–1642
Gregory Norton 1645–1653
Succeeded by
Not represented in the Barebones Parliament