Thomas Scot


Thomas Scot

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Early life

The earliest fact known about Thomas Scot is that in 1626 he got married to Alice Allinson of Chesterford in Essex. He was a lawyer in Buckinghamshire who grew to prominence as the treasurer of the region’s County Committee between 1644 to 1646. He grew influential enough to dominate the Committee and eventually secured election to the House of Commons as a recruiter member in 1645. Though he had a penchant for long, passionate speeches in Parliament, Scot could also be a subtle backroom politician who had a knack for creating alliances and rallying votes. A royalist acerbically described his style as one who “crept into the House of Commons, whispers Treason into many of the Members ears, animating the War, and ripping up and studying aggravations thereunto.”

Political career

Scot’s beliefs about government by consent prior to Pride's Purge are hard to gauge, though from what has survived of his writings and speeches many historians have described him as being republican. His actions during the Purge period definitely indicate that he at the least developed strong republican leanings before 1648.

From the beginning of the English Civil War, Scot was a strong supporter of tough terms with King Charles I and later became a vociferous opponent of the Treaty of Newport, declaring “that there could be no time seasonable for such a treaty, or for a peace with so perfidious and implacable a prince; but it would always be too soon, or too late. He that draws his sword upon the king, must throw his scabbard into the fire; and that all peace with him would prove the spoil of the godly.”

After Pride's Purge, Scot became one of the chief organizers of the trial and execution of the King. Scot was instrumental in the erection of the Republic and along with Henry Vane, Oliver Cromwell and Arthur Heselrige became one of its leaders.

In 1653, with the fall of the Republic, Scot became one of the Protectorate's most vocal opponents, organizing anti-Cromwell opposition inside the Parliament.

Like all of the other 59 men who signed the death warrant for Charles I he was in grave danger when Charles II of England was restored to the throne. Some of the 59 fled England but Scot was arrested, put on trial, and found guilty. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on 17 October 1660 for the crime of regicide.

Some of his last words were “I say again; to the Praise of the Free Grace of God;, I bless His name he hath engaged me in a Cause, not to be Repented of, I say, Not to be Repented of.”

References

* James Caulfield, "The High Court of Justice: Comprising Memoirs of the Principal Persons, who sat in Judgment on King Charles the First and Signed his Death Warrant", John Caulfield, London 1820
* [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/biog/scot.htm Biography of Thomas Scot, regicide] British Civil Wars & Commonwealth website


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