The Returning Officer

In June 1625 Charles I called his first parliament, which met in London and Oxford and, lasting less than five weeks and transacting no business, acquired the nickname “useless”.

Many of its members later took part in the civil war. Richard Newport, MP for Shropshire, lent the king £6,000, which helped to pay for his artillery at Edgehill.

Lewis Dyve, MP for Bridport took part in many notable engagements on the king’s side and after one cavalry skirmish at Brentford was reported dead by the London press. He survived and escaped from prison twice, the second time on the day of the execution of King Charles.

His fellow Dorset MP Peter Osborne also declared for the king and held Guernsey for the Royalists throughout the civil war, despite the island declaring for parliament.

Stephen Brasher