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Miles Corbett
Member of Parliament
for Yarmouth
In office
17 March 1628 – 16 March 1660
Preceded bySir John Corbet, 1st Baronet
Personal details
Bornc. 1594
Sprowston, Norfolk
Died19 April 1662
Tyburn gallows
Political partyParliamentarian
OccupationMember of Parliament

Miles Corbet (1595–1662) was an English politician, recorder of Yarmouth and Regicide.


Born a member of the Corbet family he was the son of Sir Thomas Corbet of Sprowston, Norfolk and the younger brother of Sir John Corbet, 1st Baronet, MP for Great Yarmouth from 1625 to 1629. He entered Lincoln's Inn and was appointed Recorder of Great Yarmouth.[1]

Miles succeeded his brother John as MP for Yarmouth, England, serving from 1640 to 1653,[2] and signed Charles I's death warrant. In 1644 he was made clerk of the Court of Wards. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell granted the estate of Malahide Castle to Corbet after the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland. The castle was returned to its ancestral owners in 1660 with the restoration of Charles II. In 1655 Corbet was appointed Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer.[1]

After the Restoration of Charles II of England in 1660, all the 59 men who had signed the death warrant for Charles I were in grave danger as they were considered regicides. Miles Corbet, like many of the 59, fled England. He went to the Netherlands where he thought he would be safe. However, with two other regicides (John Okey and John Barkstead) he was arrested by the English ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir George Downing, and returned to England under guard. After a trial, he was found guilty and then executed on 19 April 1662. In his dying speech he said:

When I was first called to serve in parliament I had an estate; I spent it in the service of the parliament. I never bought any king's or bishop's lands; I thought I had enough, at least I was content with it; that I might serve God and my country was that I aimed at.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Firth 1887.
  2. ^ David Plant (2 August 2005). "Biography of Miles Corbet". Retrieved 16 August 2014.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainFirth, Charles Harding (1887). "Corbet, Miles". In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 12. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 202–203.

External links

3 Annotations

First Reading

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Miles Corbet was a Puritan from a "knightly Norfolk family." He was Cromwell's lawyer, and MP from Great Yarmouth. He served on the Parliamentary Committee that arranged the trial of Charles I:…
...and subsequently became the last of the 59 signatories of the King's death warrant. Very short biographical paragraph at:…

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Mr. Miles Corbet was a Gentleman of an ancient family in the county of Norfolk. He had applied himself with diligence to the study of the laws of England in the society of Lincoln's-Inn; and, for the space of thirty seven years, had been chosen to serve his country in the several parliaments that were called. Being appointed one of the high court of justice for the trial of the late King, he appeared not among the judges by reason of some scruples he had entertained, till the day that sentence was pronounced. But, upon more mature deliberation, finding them to be of no weight, he durst no longer absent himself; coming early on that day into the court, that he might give a public testimony of his satisfaction and concurrence with their proceedings. He was afterwards by the parliament made one of their commissioners for the civil government of Ireland; in which employment he manifested such integrity, that though he was continued for many years in that station, yet he impaired his own estate for the public service, whilst he was the greatest husband of the treasure of the commonwealth. The day before his death, he assured his friends, that he was so thoroughly convinced of the justice and necessity of that action for which he was to die, that if the things had been yet entire, and to do, he could not refuse to act as he had done, without affronting his reason, and opposing himself to the dictates of his conscience; adding, that the immoralities, lewdness, and corruptions of all sorts, which had been introduced and encouraged since the late revolution, were no inconsiderable justification of those proceedings.
---Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, Esq., 1751

Bill  •  Link

CORBET, MILES (d. 1662), regicide; of a Norfolk family; barrister, Lincoln's Inn; M.P., Great Yarmouth, 1628, and in the Long parliament; active against Laud; chairman of the committee of examinations; clerk of the court of wards, 1644; registrar of the court of chancery, 1648; attended one meeting of the commission and signed Charles I's death-warrant, 1649; a commissioner for settling Irish affairs, 1650; chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland, 1655; arrested in Dublin, 1659; M.P., Yarmouth, 1660, but his election annulled; went abroad; arrested in Holland, 1662; brought to London and executed.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.