Daniel Blagrave, 1603-68

Prominent citizen of Reading and signatory of the King's death warrant.

Born at Southcote near Reading in Berkshire, Daniel was the fifth son of a prosperous clothier, Alexander Blagrave, and nephew of the mathematician John Blagrave. He trained as a lawyer, and became prominent as treasurer of the parliamentary committee for Berkshire during the First Civil War. From 1645, Blagrave was recorder of Reading, and was elected recruiter MP for Reading in June 1648—though he was accused of using bribery to secure votes.

Blagrave supported the Independents in Parliament and retained his seat after Pride's Purge. In 1649, he was appointed a commissioner at the King's Trial and signed the death warrant. Under the Commonwealth, Blagrave worked to obtain lucrative offices and profited from the sale of Royalist lands. In the spring of 1653, he was again accused of bribery and corruption but was cleared after an official investigation. Following the dissolution of the Rump Parliament, Presbyterians in Reading succeeded in having Blagrave removed from civic office. He was embroiled in local politics in Reading throughout the Protectorate, and succeeded in regaining the post of recorder in 1659.

Blagrave fled abroad in 1660 to avoid prosecution as a regicide. He died at Aachen in 1668.


J. T. Peacey, Daniel Blagrave, Oxford DNB, 2004