Nicholas Love, 1608-82

Regicide lawyer who assisted in drawing up the charges against King Charles and profited from the sale of royal estates.

The son of Dr Nicholas Love, headmaster of Winchester College and a canon of Winchester Cathedral, Nicholas Love was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, and Lincoln's Inn. He was called to the bar in 1636. In 1644, he was appointed a clerk at the Court of Chancery and was elected recruiter MP for one of the seats at Winchester in 1645. Like his fellow Winchester MP John Lisle, Love opposed continuing negotiations with King Charles after the Second Civil War and was appointed to the High Court of Justice in 1649. Although he participated in drawing up the charges against the King, Love claimed that he was opposed to the execution. He did not sign the death warrant.

Love was prominent in the government of the Commonwealth and profited from the sale of Royalist estates in Sussex. After Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump Parliament in April 1653, Love came under suspicion of opposition to the Protectorate. He lost his lucrative post as clerk of Chancery in 1654. He returned to government in 1659 after Richard Cromwell was deposed and the Commonwealth was briefly restored. He joined the republicans Sir Arthur Hesilrige and Valentine Walton in their opposition to Lambert's military junta, and went with them to secure Portsmouth while General Monck marched on London.

In the spring of 1660, with the Restoration imminent, Love fled to Hamburg. He eventually joined Edmund Ludlow and other exiles at Vevey in Switzerland, where he died in 1682.


Sean Kelsey, Nicholas Love , Oxford DNB, 2004