Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How Puritan was Guilford?

The answer is very Puritan. Almost directly across the street from where I grew up, you would find the sign above --- with "Regicide Cellar" in large letters --- on our neighbour's home. The sign then reads as follows:

"Here in June, 1661 William Leete, then Governor of New Haven Colony, concealed for three days Whalley & Goffe, two of the judges who signed the death warrant of Charles I of England. They were sought by emissaries of Charles II who, after the restoration, ordered the regicides beheaded."

The full names of the regicides are Edward Whalley and William Goffe. New Haven has a Whalley Avenue (named for Edward Whalley?) and there is a local primary school named after William Leete. The safety for Puritan regicides in Guilford is clear: few, if any, monarchists were about. Indeed, Whalley and Goffe lived out their lives and were never captured by the British.

The home that once hid the regicides was later used as part of the Underground Railway.


Alfred said...

Mr. Brooks,
I stumbled upon your post and was a bit intrigued. I've lived in North Guilford for most of my life and am very familiar with the Regicide Cellar and its history. What intrigues me is your last name. Are you related to the Brookses that lived in the sea captain's house with the widow's watch near the corner of US 1 and River St.?
The two youngest children from that family were close friends of mine. Please forgive my prying as curiosity. Alfred Klek

The Brooks Blog said...

Alfred (if I may) - yes, I am related to them and very glad to hear you knew my uncles.