Peters, Hugh

, a noted fanatic in the time of Charles I. was the son of a merchant at Fowey, in Cornwall, and was some time a member of Trinity college, in Cambridge, whence, it is said, he was expelled for irregular behaviour; but this expulsion must have taken place after he had taken both his degrees, that of A. B. in 1618, and of A. M. in 1622. He afterwards betook himself to the stage, where he acquired that gesticulation and buffoonery which he so often practised in the pulpit. He was admitted into holy orders by Dr. Mountaine, bishop of London, and was for a considerable time lecturer of St. Sepulchre’s, in that city; but, being prosecuted for criminal conversation with another | man’s wife, he fled to Rotterdam, where he was pastor of the English church, together with the learned Dr. William Ames, who, it is probable, either did not know, or did not believe the report of his being prosecuted for adultery.*


Peters published “Atnesii Lectiones in Psalmos, cum Epist. Dedic.” Lond. 1647, 8vo.

He afterwards went to America, and after a residence of seven years, returned to England at a time when men of his character were sure of employment. He became, therefore, a violent declaimer against Charles I. and in favour of all the measures of the republican party; and Cromwell found him one of his most useful tools with the army and the lower classes of the people. When king Charles was brought to London for his trial, Hugh Peters, as sir William Warwick says, “was truly and really his gaoler.” Dr. Kennet informs us that he bore a colonel’s commission in the civil war; that he was vehement for the death of the king; that it was strongly suspected that he was one ef his masked executioners, and that one Hulet was the other. After the restoration he was executed with the other regicides. His character appears to have been in all respects unworthy of his religious profession; what can be alleged in his favour may be seen in our authorities. 1

Life by Harris. Brook’s Lives of the Puritans. —Burnet’s Own Times. Barwiek’s Life, &c. Granger.