A short biography of Downes can be found at http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/biog/index_...
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"John Downes -- Barrister of the Inner Temple and MP for Arundel, Sussex. During the King's trial, he was moved by the King's words and rose to protest, "Have we hearts of stone?" for which he was furiously rebuked by Cromwell, though he later served on the Council of State. He was arrested at the Restoration and condemned to death, then reprieved because of his defence that Cromwell had intimidated him into signing the death warrant against his better judgement. Spent the rest of his life a prisoner in the Tower".... lifted from
John Downes, member of the Long Parliament. He joined the Parliamentary army, and was made a colonel of militia. One of the king's judges who signed the death warrant. Elected to the Council of State, November 25th, 1651, and again, May 14th, 1659. At the Restoration he published "A True and Humble Representation touching the Death of the late King as far as he maybe concerned therein." Arrested at Hampstead, June 18th, 1660; condemned, but reprieved, and kept prisoner in Newgate. He was in the Tower in November, 1666.
DOWNES, JOHN (fl. 1666), regicide; sat for Arundel in the Long parliament, 1642; prevailed upon, partly against his will, to sign Charles I's death-warrant; member of the council of state, 1651 and 1659; commissioner for the revenue, 1659; arrested (1660) for his share in the execution of Charles I, and kept a close prisoner in Newgate.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.