John Blakiston, 1603-49

Devout Purtian MP for Newcastle who was a signatory of the King's death warrant

Born at Sedgefield in County Durham, John Blakiston was the third son of Marmaduke Blakiston, who was a prebendary of Durham Cathedral and a noted Arminian. Blakiston became prominent as a mercer in Newcastle. In 1626, he married Susannah Chamber, the widow of a prosperous merchant. During the 1630s, he emerged as a Puritan and anti-episcopalian, with deep religious convictions that ran contrary to those of his father.

Blakiston stood as MP for Newcastle in the Long Parliament (1640), but the result was contested and he did not take his seat until January 1641.

Along with Sir Arthur Hesilrige, Blakiston became a dominant figure in local politics in northern England. He was elected Mayor of Newcastle in 1645. At Westminster, he became associated with the radical Independents. After indicating his oppostion to further negotiation with the King, Blakiston was appointed to the High Court of Justice in January 1649 and signed the King's death warrant. He died in June 1649, six months after the King's execution.


J. T. Peacey, John Blakiston, Oxford DNB, 2004