Adrian Scrope, 1601-60

New Model army officer and signatory of the King's death warrant, he was executed as a regicide at the Restoration.

Portrait of Adrian ScropeAdrian Scrope (also spelt Scroope) was the son of Robert and Margaret Scrope of Wormsley Hall in Oxfordshire. He was educated at Hart Hall, Oxford, and the Middle Temple. His marriage to Mary Waller in November 1624 brought connections with the Waller and Hampden families.

Scrope raised a troop of horse for Parliament in October 1642 and served as a captain in the army of the Earl of Essex. He fought in Sir Robert Pye's cavalry regiment until 1645 when he joined the New Model Army as a major in Colonel Richard Graves' regiment of horse, serving at the relief of Taunton, the siege of Oxford and the storming of Bristol.

After the ending of the First Civil War, Graves' regiment conveyed King Charles from the custody of the Scottish army at Newcastle to Holmby House in Northamptonshire. As a staunch Presbyterian, Graves supported Parliament against the Army and fled to London when Cornet Joyce arrived at Holmby to take charge of the King in June 1647, after which Scrope took over as colonel of the regiment.

In March 1648, Scrope's regiment was engaged in keeping the peace in Dorset, then went to join Fairfax in suppressing the Royalist uprisings in Kent and Essex. Scrope was detached from the siege of Colchester in July 1648 and sent to join forces with Sir Michael Livesey in pursuit of the Earl of Holland, whom he defeated and captured at St Neots in Cambridgeshire on 10 July. Scrope was then sent to reinforce Yarmouth against the possibility of a landing by the Prince of Wales. After the failure of the Royalist uprisings, Scrope went to London where he sat as a member of the Army Council. He supported Pride's Purge in January 1649 and was one of the officers appointed to organise the King's trial. Scrope was appointed to the High Court of Justice and was a signatory of the King's death warrant.

Scrope's regiment was one of the New Model Army units chosen for service in Ireland, but Leveller-inspired soldiers mutinied against the order in May 1649. Scrope's attempts to restore order were ineffective. All but eighty loyal officers and men marched to join forces with other mutinous regiments, which were eventually suppressed by Fairfax and Cromwell at Burford. After the suppression of the mutiny, the regiment was disbanded and Scrope himself was appointed governor of Bristol Castle. He remained at Bristol until May 1655 when he was appointed by Cromwell to the council for the government of Scotland.

Scrope was one of the regicides who surrendered at the Restoration of Charles II. The House of Commons voted to pardon him under the Act of Indemnity, but the House of Lords demanded that all the regicides should be brought to trial. Scrope was condemned to death when Major-General Richard Browne testified that Scrope had justified Charles I's execution to him even after Charles II's return. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Charing Cross on 17 October 1660.


C.H. Firth & G. Davies, The Regimental History of Cromwell's Army vol i (Oxford 1940)

John Wroughton, Adrian Scrope, Oxford DNB, 2004