Vincent Potter, d.1660

Army officer with responsibilty for provisioning and supplying the New Model Army, he died before he could be brought to trial as a regicide in 1660.

Born in Warwickshire, Vincent Potter was a Puritan merchant and founder member of the Massachusetts Bay Company. He settled in Massachusetts in 1635, and probably fought in the Pequot War of 1637. Potter returned to England in 1639 and continued trading with Massachusetts until the outbreak of the First Civil War, when he joined the Parliamentarian army. He was commissioned a captain of horse by Lord Brooke in January 1643. After Brooke's death, Potter served in Colonel Purefoy's regiment of horse until July 1645 when he was appointed a parliamentary commissioner to the New Model Army with responsibility for provisioning and supplying the Army.

Potter proved to be an able administrator. He was severe in his condemnation of plunder and free quarter, which he recognised as a major cause of hostility from local people. The New Model Army's subsequent policy of gaining local support by paying for provisions was an important factor in ensuring victory in Fairfax's western campaign of 1645-6.

Potter was nominated to the High Court of Justice in January 1649. He was a signatory of the King's death warrant, and also signed the death warrants of the Royalist leaders of the Second Civil War: the Duke of Hamilton and the Lords Capel, Holland and Norwich. Highly regarded by Cromwell, Potter was promoted to colonel in June 1649 and was responsible for provisioning Cromwell's campaigns in Scotland and Ireland.

Potter was arrested in 1660 and brought to trial as a regicide. In great pain from kidney stones at his trial, he was found guilty of treason and condemned to death, but died in prison before the sentence could be carried out.


C.H. Firth, Cromwell's Army (London 1902)

A.J. Hopper, Vincent Potter, Oxford DNB, 2004