William Strood

William Strode was born in Devon in 1599. A Puritan, Strode was elected to the House of Commons. Over the next few years Strood emerged as one of the leading opponents of Charles I and his Ship Tax. Strood also played an important role in having the king's two senior advisers, William Laud and Thomas Wentworth arrested and sent to the Tower of London.

Charged with treason, Wentworth's trial opened on 22nd March, 1641. The case could not be proved and so his enemies in the House of Commons, led by Arthur Haselrig, John Pym and Henry Vane, resorted to a Bill of Attainder. Charles I gave his consent to the Bill of Attainder and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, was executed on 12th May 1641.

Parliament then passed a law that gave members control over the king's ministers. Charles I was furious and decided it was time to retaliate. On 4 January 1642, Charles sent his soldiers to arrest Strode, Denzil Holles, Arthur Haselrig, John Pym and John Hampden. The five men managed to escape before the soldiers arrived. Members of Parliament no longer felt safe from Charles and decided to form their own army. After failing to arrest the Five Members, Charles fled from London. Aware that Civil War was inevitable, Charles began to form an army.

William Strode died in 1645.