Corbett, Miles


Residence of Miles Corbett

English Politician and Regicide, 1595-1662


Miles Corbet was the second son of Sir John Corbet, a Norfolk baronet. Miles was elected the Recorder of Great Yarmouth in 1625 on the condition that he lived in the borough. He was elected the Town Clerk from 1631 and the Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth from 1640 to 1653. He lived in a house on the east side of the Market Place. In the Parliament of 1628, he was appointed to the High Court of Justice.


During the English Civil War, Great Yarmouth supported the Parliamentary cause. Corbet was a lawyer to and a personal friend of Oliver Cromwell, who was a frequent guest of John Carter (commander of the militia in the town) at 4 South Quay. Discussions are believed to have taken place concerning the execution of Charles I in this room (illustrated) at 4 South Quay in 1648. Corbet was one of the judges at the trial of King Charles I in 1649 and was the last signatory on the King’s death warrant. King Charles I was executed in Whitehall on 30th January, 1649.


At the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Great Yarmouth Corporation was purged of Parliamentarians. Corbet escaped to Amsterdam and, with his companions, Barkestead and Okey, fellow regicides, moved on to Rotterdam in an attempt to rescue their families. However, they were betrayed by Sir George Downing, the ambassador, who had formerly supported the Parliamentarians. They were captured at Delft, brought to England, tried and condemned to death. They were hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 19th April 1662. Pepys recorded in his diary that he saw them in Aldgate being taken to their execution and that they looked very cheerful. He heard that they had died defending what they had done to the former King, which Pepys found to be strange.

Miles Corbet - the last signature


The property in 2021