William Goffe, MP and Regicide (c.1605 - c.1679) MP

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Birthplace: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
Death: Died in Hartford , Connecticut
Occupation: Military Colonel
Managed by: Aleta Reynolds Crawford
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Goffe, MP and Regicide

William Goffe, d.c 1680, was a Radical army officer, regicide and Major-General who escaped to New England at the Restoration and became part of colonial folklore as the "Angel of Hadley."

From Wikipedia

William Goffe (1605?–1679?) was an English Roundhead politician and soldier, perhaps best known for his role in the execution of King Charles I and later flight to America.

He was son of Stephen Goffe, puritan rector of Stanmer in Sussex, and brother of Stephen Goffe (Gough), royalist agent. He began life as an apprentice to a London salter, a zealous parliamentarian. Goffe was a man of religious feeling, nicknamed "Praying William".[1]

By his marriage with Frances, daughter of General Edward Whalley, he became connected with Oliver Cromwell's family and one of his most faithful followers. Goffe's political aims appear not to have gone much beyond fighting "to pull down Charles and set up Oliver". He was imprisoned in 1642 for his share in the petition to give the control of the militia to the parliament.[2]

On the outbreak of the English Civil War he joined the army and became captain in Colonel Harley's regiment of the New Model Army in 1645.[2]

He was a member of the deputation which on 6 July 1647 brought up the charge against the eleven members. He was active in bringing King Charles I to trial and signed the death warrant. In 1649, he received an honorary M.A. at Oxford.[2]

He distinguished himself at the Battle of Dunbar, commanding a regiment there and at the Battle of Worcester. [2]

He assisted in the expulsion of Barebone's Parliament in 1653 and took an active part in the suppression of Penruddock's rising in July 1655. In October 1655 during the Rule of the Major-Generals was appointed major-general for Berkshire, Sussex and Hampshire. Meanwhile he had been elected member for Yarmouth in Norfolk in the parliament of 1654 and for Hampshire in that of 1656. He supported the proposal to bestow a royal title upon Oliver Cromwell, who greatly esteemed him, and was included in the newly-constituted House of Lords. He obtained Lambert's place as major-general of the Foot and was even thought of as a fit successor to Oliver Cromwell.[2]

As a member of the committee of nine appointed in June 1658 on public affairs, he was witness to the protector's appointment of Richard Cromwell as his successor. He supported the latter during his brief tenure of power and his fall involved his own loss of influence. In November 1659 he took part in the futile mission sent by the army to Monck in Scotland.[2]

In New England

Judges' Cave, where Goffe and Whalley hidIn 1660,

during the Restoration, he escaped with his father-in-law, General Edward Whalley, to Massachusetts. They landed in Boston on 27 July 1660, and settled in Cambridge. When the news arrived in Boston, on the last day of November, that the act of indemnity passed by parliament in August excepted them from its provisions, the government of the colony began to be uneasy, and a meeting of the council was held on 22 February 1661 to consult as to their security.[3]

Four days later, the two fled for New Haven, Connecticut, arriving on 7 March 1661.[3] There John Dixwell, also condemned as a regicide, was living under an assumed name. They were housed by Rev. John Davenport. After a reward was offered for their arrest, they pretended to flee to New York, but instead returned by a roundabout way to New Haven. In May, the Royal order for their arrest reached Boston, and was sent by the Governor to William Leete, Governor of the New Haven Colony, residing at Guilford. Leete delayed the King's messengers, allowing Goffe and Whalley to disappear. They spent much of the summer in Judges' Cave at West Rock.[4]

Letters to Dr. Increase Mather and others give hints as to Goffe's whereabouts, but very little is clear, perhaps due to his desire not to be captured and executed. He appears to have passed the rest of his life in exile in New England, separated from his wife and children, under one or more assumed names.[4]

Tradition has him sheltering for a decade in the home of Rev. John Russell at Hadley, Massachusetts, reappearing, according to legend, to lead the town's defence during King Philip's War, giving rise to the legend of the Angel of Hadley. Another traditional account has him later living under the name "John Green" in Stow, Massachusetts, where his sister resided, dying in Stow, and being buried in the Stow Lower Cemetery under an unmarked granite slab.[5]

The three regicides are commemorated by three intersecting streets in New Haven ("Dixwell Avenue", "Whalley Avenue", and "Goffe Street"), and in some neighbouring Connecticut towns as well.

Notes

  • 1..^ Stephen C. Manganiello, The Concise Encyclopedia of the Revolutions and Wars of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1639-1660: (2004), p. 225.
  • 2.^ a b c d e f Chisholm 1911, p. 190.
  • 3.^ a b Wilson & Fiske 1900.
  • 4.^ a b Firth 1890.
  • 5.^ "Colonial Stow". Town of Stow website. Virtual Towns & Schools. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  • References[edit] Firth, Charles Harding (1890). "Goffe, William". In Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography 22. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 71–73.
  • Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Goffe, William". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.

Attribution

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Goffe, William". Encyclopædia Britannica 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 190.

Information obtained through the Prince Edward Island Historical Center in Charlottetown paper records of "Genealogy of the Goff Family":

William represented Hampshire (or Hants) Co. in Parliament in 1641. He joined Cromwell's Army as Quartermaster, rose by his merit to the rank of Colonel and became ultimately Major General of Infantry. He was made General by Cromwell in 1641; and was at the taking of Wexford. He was one of the Regicides in 1648 and was a Colonel in the army that year and was an especial favorite of Cromwell. His wife was the daughter of Edward Whally (who was also a Regicide). They signed the death warrant of King Charles I. William accompanied Cromwell to Ireland when he held the rank of General. He was given a grant of land there. He was eventually made Lord Goffe and called to the House of Lords in Parliament in 1654. At the Restoration he was obliged to leave England and flee (leaving his wife and children behind) to America with his father-in-law, Whally. They went to Boston on board the Jurisdiction, leaving in March 1660. They made their way to New Haven - where they had to hide in a cave for a period of time to avoid the King's avengers.

With his father-in-law, General Whalley, he arrived in Boston in the summer of 1660, and shared his fortunes in America, becoming a major-general in 1665. When, during King Philip's War, Hadley was surrounded by the Indians, and the alarmed citizens every moment expected an attack (1675), Goffe suddenly appeared among them, took command, and led them so skillfully that the Indians were soon repulsed. He as suddenly disappeared. His person was a stranger to the inhabitants, and he was regarded by them as an angel sent for their deliverance. Soon after Goffe's arrival in Boston, a fencing-master erected a platform on the Common, and dared any man to fight him with swords. Goffe, armed with a huge cheese covered with a cloth for a shield, and a mop filled with muddy water, appeared before the champion, who immediately made a thrust at his antagonist. Goffe caught and held the fencing-master's sword in the cheese and besmeared him with the mud in his mop. The enraged fencing-master caught up a broadsword, when Goffe cried, " Hold! I have hitherto played with you ; if you attack me I will surely kill you." The alarmed champion dropped his sword, and exclaimed, " Who can you be? You must be either Goffe, or Whalley, or the devil, for there are no other persons who could beat me."

He died, either in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1679, or in New Haven, in 1680.

Links

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Goffe

William Goffe (1605?–1679?) was an English Roundhead politician and soldier, perhaps best known for his role in the execution of King Charles I and later flight to America.


Early life


He was son of Stephen Goffe, puritan rector of Stanmer in Sussex, and brother of Stephen Goffe (Gough), royalist agent. He began life as an apprentice to a London salter, a zealous parliamentarian. Goffe was a man of religious feeling, nicknamed "Praying William".


By his marriage with Frances, daughter of General Edward Whalley, he became connected with Oliver Cromwell's family and one of his most faithful followers. Goffe's political aims appear not to have gone much beyond fighting "to pull down Charles and set up Oliver". He was imprisoned in 1642 for his share in the petition to give the control of the militia to the parliament.


Civil War years


On the outbreak of the English Civil War he joined the army and became captain in Colonel Harley's regiment of the New Model Army in 1645.


He was a member of the deputation which on 6 July 1647 brought up the charge against the eleven members. He was active in bringing King Charles I to trial and signed the death warrant. In 1649, he received an honorary M.A. at Oxford.


He distinguished himself at the Battle of Dunbar, commanding a regiment there and at the Battle of Worcester.


Major-general


He assisted in the expulsion of Barebone's Parliament in 1653 and took an active part in the suppression of Penruddock's rising in July 1655. In October 1655 during the Rule of the Major-Generals was appointed major-general for Berkshire, Sussex and Hampshire. Meanwhile he had been elected member for Yarmouth in Norfolk in the parliament of 1654 and for Hampshire in that of 1656. He supported the proposal to bestow a royal title upon Oliver Cromwell, who greatly esteemed him, and was included in the newly-constituted House of Lords. He obtained Lambert's place as major-general of the Foot and was even thought of as a fit successor to Oliver Cromwell.


As a member of the committee of nine appointed in June 1658 on public affairs, he was witness to the protector's appointment of Richard Cromwell as his successor. He supported the latter during his brief tenure of power and his fall involved his own loss of influence. In November 1659 he took part in the futile mission sent by the army to Monck in Scotland.


In New England


In 1660, during the Restoration, he escaped with his father-in-law, General Edward Whalley, to Massachusetts. They landed in Boston on 27 July 1660, and settled in Cambridge. When the news arrived in Boston, on the last day of November, that the act of indemnity passed by parliament in August excepted them from its provisions, the government of the colony began to be uneasy, and a meeting of the council was held on 22 February 1661 to consult as to their security.


Four days later, the two fled for New Haven, Connecticut, arriving on 7 March 1661. There John Dixwell, also condemned as a regicide, was living under an assumed name. They were housed by Rev. John Davenport. After a reward was offered for their arrest, they pretended to flee to New York, but instead returned by a roundabout way to New Haven. In May, the Royal order for their arrest reached Boston, and was sent by the Governor to William Leete, Governor of the New Haven Colony, residing at Guilford. Leete delayed the King's messengers, allowing Goffe and Whalley to disappear. They spent much of the summer in Judges' Cave at West Rock.


Letters to Dr. Increase Mather and others give hints as to Goffe's whereabouts, but very little is clear, perhaps due to his desire not to be captured and executed. He appears to have passed the rest of his life in exile in New England, separated from his wife and children, under one or more assumed names. Tradition has him sheltering for a decade in the home of Rev. John Russell at Hadley, Massachusetts, reappearing, according to legend, to lead the town's defence during King Philip's War, giving rise to the legend of the Angel of Hadley. Another traditional account has him later living under the name "John Green" in Stow, Massachusetts, where his sister resided, dying in Stow, and being buried in the Stow Lower Cemetery under an unmarked granite slab.


The three regicides are commemorated by three intersecting streets in New Haven ("Dixwell Avenue", "Whalley Avenue", and "Goffe Street"), and in some neighbouring Connecticut towns as well.

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Maj-Gen. William Goffe, MP and Regicide's Timeline

1605
1605
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
1622
December 24, 1622
Age 17
Bristol, UK
1622
Age 17
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
1633
1633
Age 28
Sussex, England, United Kingdom
1645
1645
Age 40
Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford, Ireland
1650
1650
Age 45
1653
1653
Age 48
1679
1679
Age 74
Hartford , Connecticut
????