Peter Temple, c.1599-1663

Leicestershire regicide imprisoned for life at the Restoration.

Born at Sibson in Leicestershire, Peter Temple was apprenticed to a linen draper but inherited his family's estate at Temple Hall following the deaths of his two older brothers. He was appointed to the Militia Committee for Leicestershire in January 1643 and became sheriff of Leicestershire the following year. He held a military commission under Lord Grey of Groby, but was accused of cowardice when he left Leicester for London at the approach of the King's army in May 1645. However, he was elected recruiter MP for Leicester in November 1645.

Appointed to the High Court of Justice in January 1649, Temple sat as one of the King's judges and was a signatory of the death warrant.

Temple remained sheriff of Leicester during the Commonwealth and was active in suppressing local Baptists and Ranters. As a regicide, he was excluded from the Act of Oblivion at the Restoration in 1660. He surrendered himself and was brought to trial. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he died in the Tower of London in December 1663. His estate in Leicestershire was forfeited and bestowed upon James, Duke of York (later King James II).


Sarah Barber, Peter Temple , Oxford DNB, 2004