Ewer, Isaac (DNB00)

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EWER, EWERS, or EWRES, ISAAC (d. 1650), regicide, 'at first but a serving-man' who 'began his estate with the wars,' joined the parliamentary army in 1642 and ultimately rose to be a colonel of foot. He besieged and took Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire, 25 May 1648, on which occasion his conduct, as detailed by himself in his 'full and particular relation' to the parliament, was marked by needless violence and cruelty (see Whitelocke, Memorials, pp. 357, 358). He was also present at the siege of Colchester during the same year, and formed one of the council of war upon Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle. It was Ewer who actually presented to the commons, 20 Nov. 1648, the remonstrance or declaration of the army wherein they insisted upon Charles, 'as the capital grand author of the late troubles,' being 'speedily brought to justice.' Ten days later Ewer was entrusted by the general council of the army with the custody of the king at Hurst Castle, of which he was made governor (Rushworth, Historical Collections, pt. iv. vol. ii. pp. 1338, 1340). He received the king 'with small observance.' 'His look was stern, his hair and large beard were black and bushy, he held a partisan in his hand, and (Switz-like) had a great basket-hilt sword by his side; hardly could one see a man of a more grim aspect, and no less robust and rude was his behaviour' (Herbert, Two Last years of Charles I, ed. 1702, pp. 85-6). On 14 Dec. the parliament voted him 200l. to defray the charges of keeping the king (ib. pt. iv. vol. ii. 1382). Ewer was chosen one of the king's judges, was present every day during the trial, and signed the warrant. In April 1649 his regiment was ordered to Ireland (Whitelocke, p. 397). He took part in the storming of Drogheda, 10 Sept., where most of his officers were severely wounded (ii. pp. 428, 429), was at Clonmel 9 May 1650, and during June and August of the same year assisted Ireton in the reduction of Waterford. He died suddenly of the plague soon after the surrender of Waterford (10 Aug.), and was buried there.

His will, wherein he describes himself as of Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex, was dated 1 Aug. 1649, and proved at London 20 Feb. 1650-1 by John Thurloe, the sole executor, whom he styles 'my brother,' and to whom he left the care and tuition of his two children, Thomas and Johanna (will registered in P. C. C. 20, Grey). His wife seems to have died before him. He had acquired considerable property in Essex, at Great Waltham, Great Leighs, and Boreham. At the Restoration his properly was confiscated (Commons' Journals, viii. 61, 286).

[Bate's Lives of Actors of Murder of Charles I (1661) pp. 136-7; True Characters of the Judges of Charles I (1661); Wood's Athenae Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 290; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 142; Whitelocke's Memorials, pp. 308. 448; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1649-50, pp. 27, 32, 576; Thurloe's State Papers, v. 46-7; Noble's Lives of the Regicides, i. 303-6.]

G. G.