Col. John Jones, MP and Regicide

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John Jones, MP

Also Known As: "Maesygarnedd"
Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Isle of Anglesey, Wales
Death: October 17, 1660 (63)
London, Middlesex, England (Hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason - regicide)
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas ap John and Ellen verch Robert
Husband of Margaret Jones (Edwardes) and Catherine Jones
Father of John Jones and Morgan Jones

Occupation: Sheriff of London, Gov. of Anglesea, member of Parliament from Messionethshire, Military officer
Managed by: Private User
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About Col. John Jones, MP and Regicide

John Jones Maesygarnedd

Colonel John Jones (c. 1597 – October 17, 1660) was a Welsh military leader, politician and one of the regicides of King Charles I. A brother-in-law of Oliver Cromwell, Jones was born at Llanbedr in North Wales and is often surnamed Jones Maesygarnedd after the location of his Merionethshire estate. Jones spoke Welsh with his family. He was an avid Republican at a time when most of Wales was Royalist, and for this reason he was described by one of his contemporaries as 'the most hated man in North Wales'.

During the Civil War, Jones rose from Captain of the Foot, under Sir Thomas Myddelton, to Colonel of a cavalry regiment. In 1647, he was involved in the Royalist surrenders of Anglesey and Harlech and, later, in suppressing the insurgency in North Wales. He was elected MP for Merioneth in 1647 and given a military commission in Ireland (see Wars of the Three Kingdoms). However, as a committed republican, he was opposed Cromwell's Protectorate and lost this commission as a result. Despite this, he made up with the Protector, and married Cromwell's widowed sister, Catherine.

Jones was appointed Commissioner of the High Court of Justice in 1649, as a member of which he became one of the fifty-nine signatories to King Charles I's death warrant. Like many of the others who signed, he was in grave danger when Charles II of England was restored to the throne. He was arrested whilst out walking in London, put on trial, and found guilty of regicide. On October 17, 1660, Jones was hanged, drawn and quartered a fate which, according to some accounts, he faced with immense bravery.

Born at Llanbedr, Merioneth in north Wales, he went to London and served an apprenticeship in the Grocers' Company, becoming a freeman of the Company in 1633. Jones enlisted for Parliament as a captain of foot on the outbreak of the First Civil War and served in Wales under Sir Thomas Myddelton. By 1646, he was colonel of a cavalry regiment. Jones was one of the commissioners appointed to negotiate the surrender of Anglesey in June 1646, and he was present at the surrender of Harlech Castle — the last Royalist stronghold in Wales — in March 1647. He was elected MP for Merioneth in November 1647. During the Second Civil War, Jones was active in suppressing Sir John Owen's insurgency in north Wales and was appointed a commissioner of the High Court of Justice in January 1649. After sitting as a judge at the trial of King Charles and signing the death warrant, Jones was appointed to the Council of State in February 1649.

In February 1650, Jones was made a commissioner for the Propagation of the Gospel in Wales under the presidency of Colonel Thomas Harrison, with whom he shared radical Fifth Monarchist beliefs. Before Jones could begin his work in Wales, however, Parliament appointed him a commissioner for affairs in Ireland, where he arrived in January 1651. He maintained a close correspondence with Harrison, in which he expressed his regret that he could not be closer to the centre of power in Westminster, where the Rule of the Saints appeared to be imminent. Like other disappointed millenarians, Jones opposed the establishment of Cromwell's Protectorate in December 1653. Although he lost his commission in Ireland, he gradually became reconciled to the Protectorate régime. He served as a commissioner for the militia in Wales under Major-General James Berry during the Rule of the Major-Generals, and in 1656 he married Protector Cromwell's widowed sister Catherine. Jones was elected to the Second Protectorate Parliament as MP for Merioneth, and was appointed to Cromwell's Upper House in 1657.

After Richard Cromwell succeeded Oliver as Protector in 1658, Jones reverted to his opposition to the Protectorate and supported the republican officers determined to restore the Commonwealth. In July 1659, he accompanied Edmund Ludlow to Ireland and remained as commander-in-chief of the army in Ireland when Ludlow returned to England in October. Jones declared his support for General Lambert when he forcibly dissolved Parliament, but this alienated him from General Monck, who overthrew Lambert early in 1660. Jones made no attempt to escape at the Restoration. He was arrested as a regicide in June 1660 and confessed his complicity in the execution of Charles I when brought to trial. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on 17 October 1660, conducting himself bravely at his execution.

Colonel John Jones was a dramatic writer in the reign of Charles I. He was married to Henrietta Morgan Cromwell (sister of Oliver) in 1623. On October 17, 1660, Jones was hanged, drawn and quartered.


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John Bastwick

John Jones, a Puritan, was elected to the House of Commons as the representative of Merioneth. During the Civil War Jones led the Parliamentary forces in North Wales.

Jones married Catherine Cromwell, the sister of Oliver Cromwell. A staunch republican, Jones advocated the trial and execution of Charles I.

On 3rd September 1658, Oliver Cromwell died. Parliament and the leaders of the army now began arguing amongst themselves about how England should be ruled. General George Monck, the officer in charge of the English army based in Scotland, decided to take action, and in 1660 he marched his army to London.

When Monck arrived he reinstated the House of Lords and the Parliament of 1640. Royalists were now in control of Parliament. Monk now contacted Charles II, who was living in Holland. Charles agreed that if he was made king he would pardon all members of the parliamentary army and would continue with the Commonwealth's policy of religious toleration. Charles also accepted that he would share power with Parliament and would not rule as an 'absolute' monarch as his father had tried to do in the 1630.

Primary Sources (1) Edmund Ludlow, Memoirs of Edward Ludlow (c. 1680)

   Colonel John Jones who next appeared on this bloody theater, was a gentleman of a competent estate in North- Wales, and so well beloved in his country that he did considerable service to the public cause by his interest in those parts. He reduced the Isle of Anglesey to the obedience of the Commonwealth, and was soon after chosen to serve in Parliament for that place. He had been one of the Council of State, and in the year 1650 was constituted one of the Commissioners of Parliament for managing the civil affairs of Ireland. This trust he discharged during the course of divers years, with great diligence, ability, and integrity, in providing for the happiness of that country, and bringing to justice those who had been concerned in the murders of the English Protestants. When the Great Parliament was restored to the exercise of their authority, after the long interruption, they chose him to be one of those eight persons, to whom they committed the care of the public safety, till they could establish a Council of State. Of this also he was chosen a member, and soon after sent by the Parliament to his former trust in Ireland, where he continued till the late change.

(2) Mercurius Publicus, newsbook (17th October, 1660)

   John Jones chose to marry Oliver Cromwell's sister... and had his hand in the murder of the king. This morning Thomas Scot, Gregory Clement, Adrian Scroop and John Jones were executed at Charing Cross.... Jones, the last to be executed... lifted up his hands as he was drawn upon the hurdle and at the place of execution... to gain the peoples' prayers.

(3) John Evelyn, diary entry (17 October, 1660)

   The traitors executed were Scroop, Cook and Jones. I did not see their execution, but met their quarters mangled and cut and reeking as they were brought from the gallows in baskets.

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Col. John Jones, MP and Regicide's Timeline

Isle of Anglesey, Wales
October 17, 1660
Age 63
London, Middlesex, England