Hezekiah Haynes, d.1693

Brought up in New England, he fought for Parliament during the civil wars and become Major-General for East Anglia under the Protectorate.

Hezekiah was the second son of John Haynes, a devout Puritan of Copford Hall in Essex who emigrated with his family to New England in 1633 to escape the Laudian persecution and subsequently became governor of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Hezekiah returned to England in 1637 to supervise the sale of some family property and remained to fight for Parliament when civil war broke out in 1642. He remained in arms throughout the nine years of civil war, starting as a captain in Colonel Holborne's infantry regiment and becoming a major the cavalry regiment of Lieutenant-General Charles Fleetwood, which he commanded at the battle of Dunbar in 1650.

After the wars, Haynes remained acting commander of Fleetwood's regiment which was stationed in Essex during the early 1650s. In addition to his military duties, he served as a justice of the peace and was a member of several administrative committees. Haynes purchased former Crown lands in East Anglia and married Anne Smithsby around 1653. He became a good friend of the Puritan divine and noted diarist Ralph Josselin of Earls Colne in Essex.

During the Royalist uprisings of 1655, Haynes was active in disarming suspects and securing East Anglia for the Protectorate. He supervised the raising of the county horse militia that was authorised in response to the risings. During the subsequent Rule of the Major-Generals, Charles Fleetwood delegated the regions under his authority to deputies and Haynes was appointed Major-General for Essex, Cambridgeshire, the Isle of Ely, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Haynes was zealous in imposing the decimation tax on Royalists in his region — including his elder brother Robert who had inherited the family estate at Copford Hall — and he ordered the imprisonment of a number of Royalists that he suspected of plotting against the Protectorate. In December 1655, Haynes intervened in the municipal elections at Colchester to ensure that supporters of the Protectorate régime were returned. He was deeply hostile to Fifth Monarchists and Quakers and imprisoned large numbers of them at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Like the other Major-Generals, Haynes attempted to manage the elections to the Second Protectorate Parliament in 1656 but with little success. Haynes himself was returned as MP for Essex, but none of the other favoured candidates for his region were elected.

Haynes supported Fleetwood in his opposition to Richard Cromwell after Oliver's death, then backed Fleetwood and Lambert when they forcibly closed Parliament in October 1659. When Parliament re-assembled in December, Haynes was dismissed and ordered to stay at his home in Essex. In November 1660, he was arrested on suspicion of plotting against the restored King Charles II and held in the Tower of London for eighteen months. After his release in April 1662, he lived quietly at Coggeshall in Essex until his death in 1693.


Christopher Durston, Cromwell's Major-Generals (Manchester 2001)

Christopher Durston, Hezekiah Haynes, Oxford DNB, 2004