Anthony Ashley Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury (1621-1683)

Governor of Charterhouse: 1662.

Shaftesbury was a radically-minded aristocrat, who changed sides several times during the English Civil Wars. He was one of the first Whig politicians, who believed in protecting the people from institutional oppression, be that the monarchy or Parliament. It was Shaftesbury who pushed through the Habeus Corpus Act which ensures no-one can be imprisoned unlawfully.

Shaftesbury was physically disabled, walked with a stick and had a permanent ‘tap’ inserted in his stomach to drain a cyst on his liver. His enemies saw his crippled limbs as evidence of his corruption and called him ‘Tapski’. He lived near the Charterhouse in Aldersgate Street, a district with a strong dissenting character. Shaftesbury was deeply implicated in attempts to exclude the Catholic James II from the throne and instead championed the Duke of Monmouth. He was also suspected of involvement in more sinister activities, such as plots to murder the monarch, and, accused of High Treason, fled to Amsterdam where he later died.