Miles Corbet, 1595-1662

The last of the 59 signatories of the King's death warrant, he was executed as a regicide after the Restoration.

Portrait of Miles CorbetThe second son of Sir John Corbet, a Norfolk baronet, he was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, and Lincoln's Inn. Corbet was active in organising a petition from Great Yarmouth against the forced loans demanded by King Charles in 1627. He was elected MP for Great Yarmouth in the Parliament of 1628, and in the Short and Long Parliaments of 1640. Corbet was active on many parliamentary committees and played a leading role in organising the formidable Eastern Association army during the First Civil War. As a prominent Independent, Corbet's diligent committee work was attacked by Denzil Holles and other Presbyterians as censorious and self-seeking.

Corbet was appointed to the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles in 1649. He attended only one session of the trial, but signed the King's death warrant. His signature is the last of the 59 names that appear on the warrant.

In October 1650, he was appointed one of the Commonwealth's four civil commissioners in Ireland, and in 1655 he became Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland. Corbet escaped to the Netherlands at the Restoration but was betrayed by the English ambassador Sir George Downing and returned to England for execution. He was hanged, drawn and quartered along with John Barkstead and John Okey at Tyburn on 19 April 1662.


Sarah Barber, Miles Corbet, Oxford DNB, 2004