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He was born at Broome Park, Kent. He became a colonel in the Parliamentary army and was active on various county committees. He was appointed governor of Dover Castle by Cromwell. He was a member of four parliaments. He was one of fifty-nine signatories of the death warrant of King Charles I. After the Restoration, the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion was passed in August 1660, granting pardon to those who supported the Commonwealth and Protectorate, but it specifically exempted those who had played a direct role in the trial and execution of King Charles I eleven years previously.
He was reunited in 1664 with two other men similarly condemned, William Goffe and Edward Whalley. The two had initially settled in Massachusetts, but fled for New Haven when their safety was compromised. They were housed by Rev. John Davenport. After a reward was offered for their arrest, they pretended to flee to New York, but instead returned by a roundabout way to New Haven. In May, the Royal order for their arrest reached Boston, and was sent by the Governor to William Leete , Governor of the New Haven Colony, residing at Guilford. Leete delayed the King's messengers, allowing Goffe and Whalley to disappear. They spent much of the summer in Judges' Cave at West Rock.
Dixwell was not the subject of any searches or arrest warrants, as it was believed in England that he was dead. He was known in New England only by his pseudonym: only on his deathbed was his identity revealed.
His house was at the corner of Grove and College Streets, near his friend Rev. James Pierpont .
Dixwell died in New Haven and was buried in the Old Burying Ground behind the Center Church on New Haven Green.
- Ezra Stiles's History of Three of the Judges of Charles I, Whalley, Goffe, Dixwell, Hartford, 1794.
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