John Lisle was born circa 1610 in Wootton, Isle of Wight, England, United Kingdom to William Lisle (1569-1637) and Bridget Hungerford (1580-1621) and died 11 August 1664 Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland of Assassination. He married Elizabeth Hobart (1608-1633) 1634 . He married Alicia Beaconshaw (1605-1685) 23 October 1630 in Ellingham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom.


Lawyer and regicide who escaped abroad at the Restoration but was murdered by a Royalist in Lausanne.

The eldest surviving son of Sir William Lisle of Wootton on the Isle of Wight, John Lisle was educated at Oxford and the Middle Temple and was called to the bar in 1633. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Lord Chief Justice Hobart, then after her death in 1636 he married another rich heiress, Alice Beconshaw (who as Alice Lisle became a famous martyr for aiding the rebels of Monmouth's Rebellion in 1683).

Lisle was elected MP for Winchester during the Short and Long Parliaments and was active on the Hampshire county committee during the First Civil War. In Parliament, he was chairman of the committee that investigated Cromwell's allegations against the Earl of Manchester in December 1644. He also chaired the committee that framed the ordinance to create the New Model Army early in 1645. Lisle voted against continuing negotiations with the King after the Second Civil War (1648) and was appointed a commissioner of the High Court of Justice for the trial of the King in January 1649. He sat beside Lord-President Bradshaw during the trial to advise him on points of law. He also helped to draw up the sentence, but he was not a signatory of the King's death warrant for Charles I of England (1600-1649).

At the establishment of the Commonwealth, Lisle was one of the commissioners who framed the new republican constitution. He sat on the five-man committee appointed to select members of the Council of State, and in February 1649 he was made a commissioner of the Great Seal. Lisle was active as a law reformer, but he also gained a reputation for acquisitiveness and sharp practice.

Lisle continued to hold high office after Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump Parliament in April 1653, and administered the oath of office when Cromwell became Lord Protector. He supported the offer of the Crown to Cromwell and was appointed to the controversial Upper House in December 1657. Lisle acted as President of the High Court of Justice when it was reconvened in May 1658 for the trial of ringleaders of a Royalist conspiracy against the Protectorate, several of whom were executed. When the Rump Parliament was restored in May 1659, he was dismissed from most of his lucrative offices. He escaped abroad at the Restoration and settled at Lausanne in Switzerland with other exiled republicans.

In August 1664, as he was leaving a church service at Lausanne, Lisle was shot dead by an Irish Royalist known as Thomas MacDonnel.


Timothy Venning, John Lisle, Oxford DNB, 2004Sir John Lisle (1610 – 11 August 1664) was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1659. He supported the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War and was one of the Regicides of King Charles I of England.[1] He was assassinated by an agent of the crown while in exile in Switzerland.

Lisle was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford and was awarded BA in 1626. He was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1633.[2] In April 1640 he was elected Member of Parliament for Winchester in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Winchester for the Long Parliament in November 1640.[3] He was master of St Cross Hospital, Winchester from 1644 to 1649.[2]

Lisle was a member of the Rump Parliament and was one of the managers in the trial of Charles I's trial in 1649. He was appointed one of the commissioners of the great seal, and was placed on the council of state in 1649. He also became a bencher of his Inn in 1649.[2] In 1654 he was elected MP for Southampton for the First Protectorate Parliament and was re-elected for the seat in 1656 for the Second Protectorate Parliament.[3] He held various offices in parliaments between 1654 and 1659 when he sat in the Restored Rump. In 1660, he was commissioner of the admiralty and navy.

Assassinationin Switzerland

At the Restoration of the monarchy Lisle fled to Switzerland. He was assassinated in a churchyard in Lausanne on 11 August 1664 by Sir James Fitz Edmond Cotter an Irish soldier and Royalist agent who tracked down regicides and who is said to have used the alias Thomas Macdonnell.

Marriage & Family

Lisle married as his second wife Alice Beconshaw daughter of Sir White Beconshaw of Moyles Court at Ellingham in Hampshire and his wife, Edith, daughter of William Bond of Blackmanston, Steeple, Dorset.[2] Alice was subsequently executed on a charge of harbouring fugitives after the Battle of Sedgemoor. The conduct of the trial, where Judge Jeffreys, presiding, applied intense pressure on the jury to convict, caused much unfavourable comment; and the refusal of King James II to heed pleas for mercy gave rise to a belief that he was taking a posthumous revenge on Sir John himself.

  1. Alice Lisle (1624-1696) - purported daughter, married and fled to America
  2. John Lisle (1626-1709)
  3. Margaret Lisle (1639-1686)
  4. Elizabeth Lisle (1640-1708)
  5. William Lisle (1642-1682)
  6. Mabel Lisle (1643-1680)
  7. Bridget Lisle (1643-1723) - married and fled to America
  8. Mary Lisle (1646-1682)
  9. Ann Lisle (1648-1696)


Offspring of John Lisle and Alicia Beaconshaw (1605-1685)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Alice Lisle (1624-1696) 1631 Hampshire, England 5 June 1696 Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts John Hoar (1619-1704)
John Lisle (1626-1709)
Margaret Lisle (1639-1686)
Elizabeth Lisle (1640-1708)
William Lisle (1642-1682)
Mabel Lisle (1643-1680)
Bridget Lisle (1643-1723)
Mary Lisle (1646-1682)
Ann Lisle (1648-1696)




Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General