John Moore, 1599-1650

Lancashire Parliamentarian who defended Liverpool against Prince Rupert and signed the King's death warrant.

The eldest son of a powerful Lancashire merchant family, John Moore became mayor of Liverpool and a Justice of the Peace for Lancashire in 1633. In the same year he married Mary, daughter of Alexander Rigby. He was elected MP for Liverpool in the Long Parliament, serving on committees concerned with trade, monopolies and navigation.

In the build-up to the First Civil War, Moore was active in organising Parliamentarian resistance to Baron Strange (the future Earl of Derby) in Lancashire. Dividing his duties between London and Lancashire, he was appointed colonel of the militia guarding Westminster and the City of London in August 1642, with responsibility for arresting subversives and army deserters. He was appointed governor of Liverpool in August 1643, and defended the city for five days against attack by Prince Rupert at the outset of the York March in June 1644, before finally escaping by sea. Liverpool was recaptured by Sir John Meldrum in November 1644. Although Moore was reappointed to the governorship, doubts over his conduct during the siege were raised at a parliamentary enquiry held in March 1645. Moore resigned the governorship and all his military commissions under the Self Denying Ordinance in July 1645 and devoted himself to parliamentary committee work for the rest of the First Civil War.

In the autumn of 1646, Moore raised a new regiment and went to Ireland to secure the interests of his wife's family. Parliament appointed him a commissioner for Ireland and governor of Dundalk. He returned to London in 1648. Moore supported Pride's Purge in December 1648, after which he was appointed to the High Court of Justice and commissioned to organise security arrangements at the King's trial. He attended most sessions of the trial, and was a signatory of the King's death warrant.

Moore returned to Ireland in June 1649. He was appointed governor of Dublin and fought at the battle of Rathmines in August. Moore died of fever in Ireland in June 1650.


Malcolm Gratton, John Moore , Oxford DNB, 2004