Simon Mayne, 1612-61

Buckinghamshire MP and regicide who claimed he was forced to sign the King's death warrant.

Born at Dinton Hall near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, Simon Mayne inherited the estate of his parents upon the death of his mother in January 1629. He attended the Inner Temple and married Jane Burgoine in 1633. After her death, he married Elizabeth Tow, a widow, with whom he had three sons. Mayne was active in the parliamentary committee for Buckinghamshire during the First Civil War, and acquired sequestered lands formerly belonging to the Church. He was elected recruiter MP for Aylesbury in September 1645.

In January 1649, Mayne was appointed to the High Court of Justice and sat as one of the King's judges. He signed the death warrant, but claimed that he had been forced to do so. Mayne withdrew from Parliament soon after the King's execution and was not active in public affairs during the Commonwealth and Protectorate.

Mayne surrendered at the Restoration, and was brought to trial as a regicide in October 1660. He was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. His wife Elizabeth engaged the lawyer Bulstrode Whitelocke to prepare an appeal to the King, but Mayne died a prisoner in the Tower of London in April 1661.


W. P. Courtney, revised by Ruth Spalding, Simon Mayne, Oxford DNB, 2004

Blair Worden, The Rump Parliament (Cambridge 1974)