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Henry Marten

(1602—1680) politician and regicide


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(1602–80). Regicide. Educated at University College, Oxford, Marten trained as a lawyer. A republican member of the Long Parliament, he was expelled (1643–6) for his outrageous speaking against king and Lords and imprisoned in the Tower. After his release he led the extreme party associated with the Levellers and sided with the army against Parliament. He left the House in the second civil war to raise his own cavalry regiment. Closely involved in the king's trial, he was in the Council of State for the Commonwealth, though, as Cromwell's power increased, relations between them grew frigid. At the Restoration he surrendered himself and was tried, but his life was spared. Charles II, he declared, was king ‘upon the best title under heaven, for he was called in by the representative body of England’. He spent the rest of his life in prison at Chepstow.

From The Oxford Companion to British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.


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