I am currently writing a biography of the regicide judge John Bradshawe, who sentenced Charles I to death in January 1649. The book will be published by Amberley in 2022.

Many people are familiar with the name of John Bradshawe, but he is largely remembered as a traitor and a murderer because of his role in Charles I’s trial. The post-1660 royalist smear campaign labelled him a ‘prodigious monster’, a ‘shameful and most wicked destroyer’ of the law, and a ‘State Crocodile’ with an ‘impudent forehead’. Many even compared him with Pontious Pilate.

However, my biography is arguing that Bradshawe has been grossly misrepresented. Our attention has been kept on the trial, without studying the wider picture of his life and career as a whole. I want to move away from the rhetoric of traitor and villain, and instead reveal the complex and difficult career of a man who unexpectedly found himself as one of the most powerful men in Westminster.