17th February 1680

Man convicted of killing Charles I dies in Elizabeth Castle

James Temple had been one of the judges in the trial of Charles I, and his was one of the 59 signatures on the king’s death warrant. When the monarchy was restored following Cromwell’s death, he tried to leave the country, but was captured on his way to Ireland.

Despite his signature appearing on the king’s death warrant, he claimed at his own trial that he had begged Cromwell to spare the king’s life. Thus, Temple’s life was spared in return and he was sent to Jersey to be detained, first at Mont Orgueil, and latterly at Elizabeth Castle, where he died, 31 years to the day after Charles II had been declared king less than a mile away.


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