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On the Trail of the Regicides

      If you are looking for information on the Regicides Trail, click on this link: Before moving to the trail page, be sure to read this one to learn more about these famous historical figures.

People who pass through New Haven are reminded on a daily basis of the historical names of Whalley, Goffe, and Dixwell. This photo is taken at the start of the three roads at Broadway in downtown New Haven.

A Brief History of Whalley, Goffe, and Dixwell

     This page is about three of the judges or regicides (king killers) who condemned King Charles I of England to die in 1649. The story inspired the trail name, since the trail passes by Judges Cave where two of them hid in 1661. What route they walked from New Haven up to the cave is not recorded in the historical record. It was probably NOT the current Regicides Trail because the trail does not descend off the ridge. Where the trail follows the ridge to Judges Cave is right along the edge with a modern fence. Further back from the edge seems a safer and more level path to follow in the 1660s.

     When reading the following account of the judges, keep in mind the following facts about the times. The story begins in Connecticut in 1661, a mere 41 years after the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts on the Mayflower. The city of New Haven was only 23 years old, having been founded in 1638 by the Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy merchant from London, who arrived with 500 Puritans. Since they were Puritans and escaping from the confines of England, they were sympathetic of the judges (who were also Puritans), giving the colonists a strong incentive to help the fugitives.

     Judges Cave at West Rock commemorates a time when English history directly influenced events in Connecticut and in turn directed the path of American history. Some might say the American Revolution started in Connecticut with Colonial leaders and others providing refuge for two of the Regicides in complete defiance of King Charles II's order that they be handed over to his agents.
    When visiting Judges Cave today, called Providence Hill in the 1600s, one must remember that the area was wilderness. It is too bad that Regicide Drive is built within 100 feet of the cave, instead of keeping it a quarter mile away, which would have preserved more of the wilderness feeling.

The Trial of King Charles I of England
     The story of the three Regicides John Dixwell, Edward Whalley, and Whalley's son-in-law William Goffe is a matter of historical record. Briefly, they were among 59 judges or regicides who condemned King Charles I of England to die on a charge of high treason. Among his transgressions, Charles I chose to ignore the Magna Carta, which gave the power of taxation to Parliament, and tried to rule England by not calling Parliament into session. Instead, he tried to levy his own taxes to fund the wars he was fighting. 
       Dixwell, Whalley and Goffe were not judges in the legal sense of one whose job is to preside over a court. Rather, under the direction of Parliament, they sat in judgment of the king, much as Congress would stand in judgment of a president during an impeachment hearing. 
       Charles I was beheaded in 1649 after a trial before Parliament, against whom they had been battling politically and militarily during the English Civil Wars. Whalley and Goffe were Members of Parliament and Major Generals in the army fighting against Charles I, while Dixwell was a Member of Parliament.For a brief time, England, which is strongly associated with its royalty, had no monarchy. Oliver Cromwell, leader of the opposition forces against Charles I, ruled as Lord Protectorate of the Commonwealth of England. The commonwealth did not survive much past Cromwell's death in 1658, as his son Richard was a weak leader. 
       Charles II, son of Charles I, returned from exile in 1660 and regained the throne of England. When Charles II came to power, Parliament ordered the arrest of all the judges and condemned them to death, when it passed the Indemnity and Oblivion Act, 1660. This act was endorsed by Charles II. Anyone helping the regicides would be guilty of treason, and subject to imprisonment and death.
       To show how serious he was about avenging the death of his father, Charles II had the bodies of three of the dead regicides, including Cromwell, dug up, hanged and beheaded and then had their heads displayed on a pike as a warning. At the time, twelve of the regicides were still living and they were arrested and hanged. Eleven of these twelve were also drawn and quartered. In the face of unfavorable public sentiment, Charles II did not execute the others who were arrested later, but instead had 19 others serve sentences of life in prison.
      There were various close connections among the different people associated with this part of history
. Whalley was Cromwell's cousin and Goffe was married to Whalley's daughter Frances. Cromwell was a Puritan and Goffe was the son of a Puritan minister. The Rev. William Hooke, one of the early settlers of New Haven, was a cousin to Oliver Cromwell. Hooke's wife was Whalley's sister. William Jones, magistrate (1662-1664) and deputy governor (1664-1665) in the New Haven colony, magistrate (1665-1691) and deputy governor of the Connecticut colony (1691-1697), was the son of Colonel John Jones, one of the judges who was executed by Charles II in 1660. John Jones was married to Henrietta Cromwell, sister to Oliver. William Jones married Hannah, the daughter of Theophilus Eaton, in 1659, and came to the colonies in 1660 to take over the estate of Theophilus, who died in 1658. The newly-married couple accompanied Whalley and Goffe on the ship from England, and later hid the pair for a period of about two weeks.  
The Judges Flee to the Colonies
     Most of the historical records focus on Whalley and Goffe, probably due to the fact that they had more visible roles in the fight against Charles I, and were pursued by in the colonies by two agents of the king. On the list of those who signed the death warrant, Whalley is fourth, just after Cromwell, while Goffe is fourteenth, and Dixwell is thirty-eighth.
     Dixwell quietly fled to Germany and later to New Haven where he lived under the assumed name of James Davids. He was never pursued because people in England thought he was dead. Dixwell actually died in 1689 and was buried in the Old Burying Ground behind Center Church on the New Haven Green.
     Whalley and Goffe fled together and openly lived in Connecticut under the protection of Colonial leaders. That visible protection vanished when two agents of the king Thomas Kellond and Thomas Kirk came to the colonies to arrest Whalley and Goffe. The assistance continued, but in a covert way as Colonial leaders and citizens conspired to keep the judges safe. 
     With their help, Whalley and Goffe hid themselves in various locations, including spending some time at a rock formation at West Rock, which they called Providence Hill, but which  came to be known as Judges Cave. They were there from May 15 to June 11, 1661, and left for New Haven to surrender themselves, but their supporters convinced them to stay hidden. They returned to the cave on June 24 and stayed in various locations in the area for the next two months, including the cave, and left for Milford on Aug. 19, 1661.
  The Judges in Milford
     After they left Judges Cave, they lived in Milford at the home of Micah (Michael) Tompkins whose property was across from the Milford Meeting House. Their time in Milford must have been uneventful because the historical record has little information about their stay there. A small plaque on the lawn of the current property commemorates their stay there.
      Tomkin's house was located on the site of the old Milford High School at 38 West River Street. This yellow brick building was constructed in 1908 and is now housing for senior citizens. It is located across the street from Milford City Hall and the Milford duck pond.
       Richard Platt, retired Milford city historian, wrote in a March 2015 email that his wife is descended from Micah Tomkins. Platt wrote that he and his wife both descend from Richard Sperry, who looked after Whalley and Goffe while they were hiding in Judges Cave. "He would send his son up there daily with food for them," wrote Platt.
This property at 38 West River St. in Milford, across from City Hall and the duck pond, is where Micah Tomkins had a house in which he hid Whalley and Goffe from Aug. 1661 to Oct. 1664. The marker shown in a close-up below can be seen  to the right of sidewalk.
This marker on the lawn at 38 West River St., Milford, commemorates the stay of Whalley and Goffe. It reads, "The Regicides Whalley and Goffe were hidden in a house located on this site. Presented by the Class of '37, Milford High School."

The Regicides are important enough that they are mentioned on this historic marker on the Milford Green, which is located near the River Street end of the green.


A close up of the marker mentioning the Regicides.

The second side of the marker does not involve the judges, but it is included here for those who wish to know what it says.
 Briefly Back to the Cave in 1664, then Escape to Hadley, Mass.
     Whalley and Goffe returned to the cave for eight to 10 days in October 1664, before seeking more permanent refuge. The cave was discovered by Indians out hunting and with their hiding place now known, they left the cave for the last time on Oct. 13, 1664, and headed through almost 90 miles of wilderness for Hadley, Mass.
Hadley was a relatively new town, having been settled in mid-1659 by Puritans, led by their minister the Rev. John Russell, having left Wethersfield, Conn. in April 1659, after a religious dispute in that town. Russell hid them in his house, which was located on what is now Russell Street (named after the minister), also known as Route 9, at the corner of West Street. The location of the former house is marked with a granite monument near the sidewalk in front of a commercial building with the address of 100 Russell St., Hadley.

The monument in Hadley marks the location of the former house where Whalley and Goffe hid from their pursuers, as seen in Aug. 2022.

The monument in Hadley is located 84 miles from Judges Cave at West Rock, which is a drive of about 90 minutes. Traveling overland through wilderness in 1664 certainly took considerably longer.

        On Feb. 10, 1665, John Dixwell met Whalley and Goffe in Hadley. Whalley died in Hadley in 1674. Goffe moved to Hartford in 1676. Goffe's last known letter was dated April 2, 1679. He is believed to have moved back to Hadley in 1680, which is the presumed location of his death. Others think that he died in Hartford and was buried there.
      The location of the graves of Whalley and Goffe are not recorded in the historical record, in part because they were fugitives and the people who were helping them were likely to keep quiet about what they did. Tradition says that they were buried in the cellar of the Rev. Russell. One historical account says that when Russell's house was demolished in the late 1700s two bodies were found. 

Massachusetts installed 275 town markers in 1930 as part of the state's Tercentenary Celebration. This marker is located on the town green known as the Hadley Common on the north side of the Norwottuck Rail Trail at the junction with West Street, one block north of Russell St. (Route 9). This marker was previously located on the Calvin Coolidge Bridge on Route 9  and was moved here after its restoration in 2019 to make it more accessible to the public, as seen here in Aug. 2022. Page 18 of this historic book shows the marker on the south side of Route 9 (then Route 109), located at 455 Russell St., currently the location of a Friendly's Restaurant.

Ezra Stiles, author of the book The History of the Three Judges, wrote in his book that he believed that Whalley and Goffe were buried in New Haven, but had no evidence to support his belief. His theories were strongly challenged by later scholars, who offered proof to refute the claims from Stiles. On a practical basis, I find it hard to believe that someone would haul the bodies of two fugitives 84 miles through wilderness, just for the sake of burying them in a town where they lived for a short while. They lived far longer in Hadley than they did in New Haven.             
       Dixwell married Joanna Ling in New Haven on Nov. 3, 1673, while living under the name of James Davids. She died within a month and he inherited her money and property. In 1677, Dixwell married Bathsheba and has three children: Mary in 1679, John in 1680, and Elizabeth in 1682. Dixwell died on March 18, 1689 in New Haven at age 82 and is buried behind Center Church on the New Haven Green.
Folklore and Legend or Historical Fact?
     There are various stories related to Whalley and Goffe that are still debated to this day whether they are folklore and legend, or actual incidents. One example of folklore is whether Goffe engaged in a fight with a boastful swordsman in a tavern, and used a mop to disarm his opponent. The legend is whether a mysterious figure rallied the people of Hadley, Mass to repel an Indian attack during King Philip's War. This incident is referred to as the "Angel of Hadley" due to the sight of a mysterious figure in white.
     There is evidence to suggest the attack did not happen at the time it was supposed to happen, or it occurred somewhere else. Even if it did happen, would Goffe risk revealing himself by appearing publicly? From a storytelling point of view, the idea that someone mysteriously shows up at a critical time to save people sounds fanciful.
     Evidence that hints the incident might be true is the fact that Goffe was a skilled military leader, and if he did help the people of Hadley, they would naturally want to disguise the fact that it was him, out of fear they would be punished for harboring the fugitives. He also is reported to have moved to Hartford after that incident. In some of the links below, I briefly discuss how each book handles the two stories or does not mention them at all.

This marker is located on the Hadley Common on West Street, just south of the Norwottuck Rail Trail, and one block north of Route 9. The marker (seen here in Aug. 2022) shows the threat the colonists faced from Native Americans, during the time of King Philips War. The lands had been used by the Norwottuck tribe for thousands of years.

The Regicides Remembered in Roads
     All three regicides are commemorated on a daily basis in New Haven, which named three streets after the historical figures at some point between 1824 and 1830 (scroll WAY down to the bottom of this page for a detailed article on the name change). The thoroughfares radiate north from Broadway at Tower Parkway toward West Rock, and roughly frame the geographic formation.          
     Whalley Avenue heads northwest for 3.1 miles and changes name to Litchfield Turnpike at the Woodbridge town line by the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
      Goffe Street proceeds directly toward in a West Rock in a northwest direction and becomes Goffe Terrace halfway on its 1.2 mile journey there, a trip that is stopped by Osborn Avenue. To finish the journey to West Rock, turn left on Osborn Avenue, then take the next right on Blake Street to reach West Rock. 
       Dixwell Avenue heads northeast for 7 miles and retains its name as it continues into Hamden, then takes a sharp turn east and ends at Route 5, in North Haven, where it is still called Dixwell Avenue. Appropriately enough, it ends at Stiles Lane, North Haven. This is suitable because Ezra Stiles wrote a biography of the regicides, which is listed below. 
       Based on how often they appear in the historical record, the streets should have been named in relation to their length, so Dixwell Avenue and Goffe Street should swap names. Since that would be too confusing, Goffe (the most named Regicide) needs to settle for secondary importance when it comes to the current name recognition of the street. 

This screenshot from Google maps shows the three judges
memorialized as streets in New Haven, Conn.

Whalley and Goffe are both remembered on parallel streets in Hadley. Each street is one block long, connecting from Russell Street (Route 9) on the south to Railroad Street on the north. The railroad is now the Norwottuck Rail Trail. There is no Dixwell Street in Hadley. Whalley Street is one block east of the Hadley Common and Goffe Street is two blocks east, placing the streets close to the location where they were in hiding.

Whalley Street and Goffe Street are linked by Russell Street and Railroad Street in Hadley.

The signs for Whalley Street at Russell Street link the fugitive to his protector.

The names of the fugitive Goffe and Russell, the first minister in Hadley, are seen daily by thousands of  people passing through the area.

In searching by the names Whalley, Goffe and Dixwell, I also discovered in Manchester, New Hampshire, a Whalley Road intersecting a Dixwell Street. The latter road changes name to Goffs (not Goffes) Fall Road on the east side of Route 3A, and there is also a Goffe Street in Manchester, N.H., off South Main Street.

Closer to West Rock in Meriden, there is a one block long Whalley Street and Goffe Street that run parallel, heading west off Route 71 (Chamberlain Highway). The naming is fitting because geologists believe that Judges Cave is a glacial erratic that was pushed by a glacier from Meriden to New Haven.
Google Maps alleges that there is a Dixwell Street that heads north from Goffe Street, but the Meriden GIS maps show no such road, and the GIS maps would presumably list any paper streets, ones that exists in concept, but have not been built.

Whalley and Goffe Streets in Meriden exist, but Dixwell Street does not.

Website Articles About the Judges (Regicides)

The sheer number of web links and books about the Regicides shows the strong interest in their story, and the effect they had on history. In March 2015, the Charles Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana, published a book about the regicides and the trial of Charles I, yet another book on the topic.
  • "The Regicides in America", an article written by Charles Spencer, was published in History Today, Vol. 64, Issue 8, Aug. 2014 and may be read online here with subscription to History Today. He is the brother of the late Princess Diana: The article gives a brief overview of the three regicides, a likely precursor to his book Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I.
  • "Reluctant Regicides", a commentary by Richard Wright, was published in History Today magazine, Vol. 64, Issue 2, Feb. 2014 and may be read online with a subscription to the magazine: The article discusses how the trial of King Charles I led to later freedoms in England and other countries. Part of the article discusses how people in England are reluctant to acknowledge their revolutionary past.
  • "What the Regicides Did for Us" by British attorney Geoffrey Robertson was published in History Today magazine in Oct. 2005. Robertson puts forth the position that "The King’s trial was, from a modern perspective, the first war crimes trial of a head of state." The result of their fight against the tyranny of Charles I led to many modern freedoms. Robertson writes, "Yet it was the regicides who first delivered on many of the ideals the world today most cherishes – the sovereignty of parliament, the independence of judges, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention; the right to silence (established by Bradshawe and Cooke, acting for 'Free-born John' Lilburne in 1646), relative religious toleration – in short, freedom from tyranny." The History Today article, which requires a subscription to read, may be found at The full article may be read for free on Robertson's website at
  • In the article "Remembering the Regicides— 350 Years On", British attorney Geoffrey Robertson states his belief that the regicides were heroes who overthrew an unjust king. Robertson writes, "They had the temerity to put a guilty king on trial for tyranny, on Dr Thomas Fuller’s principle (now called the rule of law) that 'however high ye be, the law is above you'." This blog post was published Oct. 11, 2010 on the History Today website and may be read for free. Robertson sees England in 1644 as the start of the battle for civil rights. Website:
  • "The Regicides in New England" was an essay written by Frederick Hull Cogswell, and published in 1893 on pages 188-200 in New England Magazine. This essay provides a complete overview of the events related to the regicides in America. Cogswell also critiques some of the published accounts of their lives. The essay may be read online at
  • "Whalley, Goffe, and Dixwell: The Journey of the Three Regicides Who Sought Asylum in New England" is a thesis paper from Carolyn M. Acampora for Professor Cashman, summer 1997. This is a well-researched paper written in academic language, which includes the history that led to the killing of Charles II. Website:
  •  "King's Agents, Judges, and the Sperrys Along the West River" is an article from a website about the early history of Woodbridge, and discusses possible locations of the farm of Richard Sperry, who supplied food to the judges while they were at the cave. The exact location is not known, but house may have been located at the junction of Amity and Bradley Roads. The website contains articles compiled by Simon Donato. Website:
  • "Street Smart" is the name of an article written by Jake Goldman and published on the Daily Nutmeg website. The article discusses the people behind the names of various streets in New Haven, including Whalley, Goffe and Dixwell. The article has one minor error, saying that Dixwell was in the colonies when Whalley and Goffe arrived. According to the historical record, Dixwell came to New Haven in 1665. Website:
The streets named after Goffe and Dixwell head their separate ways in New Haven, as they did in real life with Goffe traveling to New England separately from Dixwell.
    • "Leaving England and Coming to New Haven with John Davenport" is a curriculum unit developed by by Sheila Wade for grade 5 teachers. The unit is available on the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute website at The unit focuses on the founding of New Haven by the Rev. John Davenport and the influence of religious beliefs on the Puritans. This history is essential to understanding why the Puritans felt compelled to hide the judges from the agents of King Charles II. The unit contains a good summary of the Puritans and the founding of New Haven and is useful to anyone, not just teachers. There is no mention of the regicides on this webpage.
    • "March 7: New Haven Hides the Killers of an English King" is a brief summary of their time in Connecticut, and uses this page as one of its references. The site also appears to use my photo of the junction of the three roads from the top of this page.
    • This biography of the Rev. John Russell gives information about his work in sheltering Whalley and Goffe:

      Books (and Articles) About the Judges (Regicides)

      There are a number of books about the judges or regicides, in whole or part. The books in the public domain can be downloaded for free as a PDF (where indicated). To search for a specific word or phrase within these books, the search must be done in the online book. Due to the scanned nature of these texts, searches do not work in Adobe Acrobat or (Preview on Mac computers). They do work in iBooks on an iPad. These books may also be available for purchase from Amazon,, or Barnes and Noble, Simply go to those websites and type in the title.

      • Pagliuco also wrote an article for the Coastal Connecticut website entitled "King Killers: The Regicides' Refuge", which is an overview of the judges' story. The article discusses specific places the judges visited in Guilford, Woodbridge, and also Judges Cave, giving a tourists some destinations to visit. The state has other historical trails, and it seems a good idea for someone to put together a map showing their various travels. Website:
      • "Settlement and Judge's Cave" is the first chapter in the book Westville: Tales from a Connecticut Hamlet by Colin M. Caplan, published in 2009 by The History Press, Charleston, S.C. The book is a collection of newspaper articles dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s. This chapter has four articles about the judges, which provide an overview of their story. One article refers to Colonel William Jones, father of Connecticut Deputy Governor William Jones. The father's name is incorrect in this article. All other sources say the father's name was John Jones. This chapter may be viewed as part of a preview on Google books at
      • "Refugees from Royal Revenge, 1660-1689" is the second chapter in the book It Happened in Connecticut, written by Diane Ross McCain, and published in 2008 by Globe Pequot Press. On pages 7-12, McCain writes a clear and concise overview of the story of Whalley, Goffe and Dixwell in Connecticut. The subsequent chapter "Hostile Takeover, Colonial Style" discusses the absorption of the New Haven Colony into the Connecticut Colony in 1665. This chapter and select others (but not the one about the Regicides) may be read online at The book has interesting, clearly written and well researched anecdotes from 350 years of Connecticut history, most about people and events that would not be found in a history book. These include George Washington's inaugural suit, stitched from wool fabric supplied by the short-lived Hartford Woolen Manufactory, the story of how Walter Camp changed English rugby bit-by-bit and ended up with the game of American football, and the collapse of the roof of the former Hartford Civic Center in 1978, due to problems with its design and construction.
      • "Memoranda Respecting Edward Whalley and William Goffe", by Franklin B. Dexter, pages 117-146 (pages 147-176 of the PDF) of the Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society, Vol. II, published 1877 for the Society, and "Remarks on Mr. Dexter's Paper Respecting Whalley and Goffe", by Thomas R. Trowbridge, pages 147-153 (pages 176-183 of the PDF) are two sources for the Regicides chapter used in the book It Happened in Connecticut. The Historical Society book is available for free at
      • The History of the Regicides in New England by Lemuel A. Welles, published in 1927 by Grafton Press, was also used as a reference for It Happened in Connecticut. This book may be read for free online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library at;view=1up;seq=18. Those who are affiliated with institutions that are members of the trust may download the book as a PDF. The book may be available used and can also be found in some university libraries. Welles also wrote a short book called The Regicides in Connecticut, published in 1935 by Yale University Press for the Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut. This book is not available online, but may be purchased used or located in some university libraries.
      • In 1794, Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, wrote a 357 page biography of the judges titled A History of the Three Judges of King Charles I. Major-General Whalley, Major-General Goffe and Colonel Dixwell: who, at the Restoration, 1660, Fled to America, and Were Secreted and Concealed, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for Near 30 Years. The book may be downloaded for free from the Internet Archive at or from Google books at
      • The Stiles' book is the most comprehensive book about the judges and is the text typically used as a reference to later books written about them. As a Puritan minister, Stiles considers the judges to be heroes for what they did. The book is a mixture of historical fact, oral tradition, and pure speculation.
      •  The book is challenging to read for several reasons. Stiles uses the old-fashioned way of writing "s" (called the long s) at the beginning of words with a character that resembles "f" without the crossbar, so a word like "son" looks something like "fon". In the style of the time, he writes in long sentences that are easily 35 to 50 words or more. He also uses obscure and now archaic language that had me referring to the dictionary on a regular basis. As one example, I learned the word "relict" is a widow.
        The book has detailed information, but tends to jump from topic to topic, and also repeats the same information in different sections of the book. He refers to large numbers of people and after a while it is hard to remember the important details about each one. At times he goes off on extended tangents before circling back to his point.
        The historical fact is the specific details regarding what the judges did while in the colonies. The oral tradition are stories of events thought to be linked to the judges, but which otherwise have no evidence to support them. As one example, Whalley and Goffe are rumored to have hid under a bridge while Kellond and Kirk, the agents of the king pursued them on horseback. The pure speculation, as one example, is a chapter in the book where Stiles tries desperately to find any scrap of evidence to support his theory that some benefactor had the bodies of Whalley and Goffe hauled from Hadley to New Haven, so they could be reunited in death with Dixwell. Stiles admits after his long analysis that he has no proof this actually occurred. Stiles is named in other texts as being the first to describe the Angel of Hadley story.
        I have read this entire book and discovered that the Google scan is missing two pages, plus the maps are not visible because they were not folded open when the book was scanned. The PDF download from the Internet Archive is missing page 7, which is the first page of Chapter I; the online version does have page 7.
        In one chapter in the book, Stiles spends about 100 pages sharing his thoughts on the tyranny of monarchs and the importance of democracy. These views are further expounded in the other book he wrote, The United States Elevated to Honor and Glory. A review of that book, along with a biography of Stiles, is available at The American Vision, a Christian website. Note that Dr. Joel McDurmon, who wrote the essay, also wrote the introduction to the book. Website:
      • The History of Massachusetts from the First Settlement Thereof in 1628 Until the Year 1750 by Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., late royal governor of Massachusetts, published in 1795 by Thomas and Andrews, Boston, has a poorly organized and brief recounting of portions of the Regicides story on pages 197-202 (pages 202-206 of the PDF). Hutchinson had access to Goffe's diaries, so he is closest to the source. Patriots ransacked Hutchinson's mansion in Boston during the Stamp Act protests in 1765, scattering his papers and Goffe's diary was apparently lost. Hutchinson includes a brief mention of the Angel of Hadley story. The story begins and ends abruptly and has a footnote longer than the text above it underneath printed across several pages. This book is written using the old-fashioned "s", which looks like a lower-case "f" without the crossbar, making it difficult to read. The Appendix on pages 457-458 (pages 460-461 of the PDF) has a copy of a poignant 1662 letter from Goffe to his wife in which he laments his situation, praises God for supporting him, and expresses the hope that he and his wife will be reunited in the afterlife, knowing he will never see her again on Earth. The free Google book is at
      • "Thomas Hutchinson and Ezra Stiles on the Regicides (1764, 1794)" is the title of an essay published in 2006 by Ethan T. Jordan, a student of Dr. Jon Miller, associate professor of English, the University of Akron, Ohio, in which Jordan comments on the Hutchinson and Stiles regicides books, including the Angel of Hadley legend. Download the PDF at
      • George Sheldon briefly covers the same topic on page 94 (page 111 of the PDF) in A History of Deerfield, MassachusettsThe Times When and the People by Whom It Was Settled, Unsettled and Resettled: With a Special Study of the Indian Wars in the Connecticut Valley With Genealogies, Vol. 1 by George Sheldon, published in 1895 by E.A. Hall and Company, Greenfield, Mass. Free Google books download at
      • History of New England During the Stuart Dynasty in Three Volumes, Vol. II by John Gorham Palfrey and published in 1865 by Little, Brown and Company, Boston. Chapter XIII is titled above that section of the chapter, "Regicides in New England" and appears on pages 494 to 509. The free download is available from the Internet Archive at
      • History of New England During the Stuart Dynasty in Three Volumes, Vol. III by John Gorham Palfrey and published in 1870 by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, has a reference to Goffe. On pages 163-164 (pages 194-195 of the PDF), he briefly recounts the "Angel of Hadley" legend, commenting that his only source was the Hutchinson book. In a footnote on page 164, Palfrey writes, "I am disappointed in the hope of finding confirmation of it in the Connecticut River records or traditions." Commenting on the Stiles book, Palfrey writes, "But so vague a statement of so careless an inquiry settles nothing. I can hear of no tradition that is not traceable to Hutchinson's history." The free Google book link:

      • A brief overview of Whalley and Goffe in Massachusetts and Connecticut is mention mentioned on pages 242-247 of A Complete History of Connecticut: Civil and Ecclesiastical, from the Emigration of Its First Planters, from England, in the Year 1630, to the Year 1764 ; and to the Close of the Indian Wars, Volume 1, written by historian and minister Benjamin Trumbull, and published in 1818 by Maltby, Goldsmith and Company and Samuel Wadsworth of New Haven,  with the footnote that since Stiles wrote a book on them “no notice will be taken of it in this work, further than it is connected with the affairs of the colony.” Complete book available for free download at:
        This illustration of West Rock and Westville appears on page 65 in the 1929 edition of Early New Haven.

        • Early New Haven by Sarah Day Woodward, published in 1912 by Price, Lee & Adkins of New Haven, and reprinted in 1929 by the Edward P. Judd Company of New Haven, recounts the history of the city from its founding in 1638 until the British invasion in 1779. The judges rate two chapters, Chapter XI, "The Regicides: William Goffe and Edward Whalley" and Chapter XII, "The Regicides: John Dixwell." These chapters are a good summary of their story. Woodward lists both the Stiles and the Hutchinson books in her list of "Authorities" in the book's appendix. She makes a brief reference to the "Angel of Hadley" story.
        • Commenting on Judges Cave, which she spells as "Judges' Cave," Woodward writes, "The contour of the cave today is not what it was in 1661. It was struck by lightning more than fifty years ago, and the position of the rocks was altered. Then there was quite a good-sized chamber between and under the rocks, and here Whalley and Goffe had their beds." Based on the book's original publication date of 1912, and the "more than fifty years ago reference," this would mean the cave was struck by lightning in the early 1860s.
        • The 1912 version does NOT have the illustrations of the city and Judges Cave that are found in the 1929 version. Internet archive link to the 1929 edition: The free Google book link to the 1912 edition: The Google version is a scanned copy from the book published in 1912 by Price, Lee & Adkins of New Haven. This book is also available for reprint purchase or purchase as a used book on Amazon.
        This illustration of Judges Cave appears on page 63 of the 1929 edition of Early New Haven.

          • History of the Colony of New Haven Before and After the Union With Connecticut by Edward R. Lambert, published 1838 by Hitchcock and Stafford, New Haven. The Regicides are discussed on pages 58-62 (pages 71-75 of the PDF). This account includes the "Angel of Hadley" story. The free Google books download is available at

          • Three Centuries of New Haven, 1638-1938 by Rollin G. Osterweis, is an overview of the first 300 years of the colony that became a city. The book was published in 1953 by Yale University Press to commemorate the tercententary of the colony's founding in 1638. When he wrote the book, Osterweis was an assistant professor of history and a fellow of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale. The book is a well-written overview of the city's history, discussing the many important historical figures and events. The judges are discussed on pages 55-60 in Chapter 5: The Decline and Fall of the Colony". Osterweiss uses as his source material, various books, articles, and public records. He mentions West Rock on page 142, as one of the destinations for people fleeing from the invasion of New Haven by the British in July 1779. He names West Rock Park on page 388 as being one of the "fine new parks" appearing on a city map of 1900. This book is out of print, but is available as a used copy. I did not find any scanned copies online.
            This sketch of Judges Cave is taken from a picture page inserted between pages 97 and 98 of Stories of Old New Haven, from the chapter entitled "How New Haven Hid the Judges Who Condemned a King to Death." The current spelling does not use the apostrophe.

            • The Regicides rate two pages in the book History of New Haven County, Connecticut, Volume 1, edited by John L. Rockey, published in 1892 by W.W. Preston and Company, New York. There are scattered references to West Rock throughout the rest of the book, mostly using it as a geographical reference. This book is clearly written and easy to read. The Regicides account may be found on pages 21-22 of the original book (pages 41-42 of the PDF copy). The book may be downloaded for free from Google books at

            • History of the Colony of New Haven Until Its Absorption into Connecticut written by Edward Elias Atwater, published in 1881 by Rand, Avery and Company, Boston. The Regicides' story appears in Chapter XVIII, which is titled "The Stuarts and the Regicides," found on pages 429-444 (pages 440-465 of the PDF). The book has only one minor geographic reference to West Rock. The link for a free download from Google books is here:
            • The Lives of the English Regicides and Other Commissioners of the Pretended High Court of Justice Appointed to Fit in Judgment Upon Their Sovereign, King Charles the First, Volume I and Volume II by the Reverend Mark Noble, published in 1798 by John Stockdale, London. Free download from Google books for Volume I at and Volume II at Volume I consists of a 30 page introduction describing the events of the Regicides and how they tried and had executed Charles I of England. The rest of the book is a short biography and commentary by the author on the individual regicides. William Goffe is profiled on pages 255-256 (pages 264-265 of the PDF), while John Dixwell's entry is on pages 180-181 (pages 189-190 of the PDF). Edward Whalley's profile appears on pages 327-329 (pages 336-338 of the PDF) of Volume II. These books are written using the old-fashioned "s", which looks like a lower-case "f" without the crossbar.
            • The arrival of Whalley and Goffe, as quoted from the Hutchinson, Chalmers, and Stiles books is briefly described in the text on page 314 and in the footnotes on pages 314-315 (pages 335-336 of the PDF). The Angel of Hadley story is quoted on page 357 (page 378 of the PDF) from the Stiles' book in American Annals: Or, A Chronological History of America From Its Discovery in 1492 to 1806 in Two Volumes, Vol. 1 by Abiel Holmes, D.D., fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Minister of the First Church in Cambridge. The book was published in 1813 in Cambridge, Mass. Free download from Google books at
            • There is NO mention of the Angel of Hadley or Goffe in the book A Narrative of the Indian Wars in New England, From the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607, to the Year 1677Containing A Relation of the Occasion, Rise, and Progress of War with the Indians, in the Southern, Western, Eastern and Northern Parts of Said Country by William Hubbard, A.M., minister of Ipswich, printed in Stockbridge, Mass. by Heman Willard, 1803. The original publication date was 1677, according to an opening page in the book. Free Google books download at book is written using the old-fashioned "s", which looks like a lower-case "f" without the crossbar.
            • Antiquarian Researches: Comprising A History of the Indian Wars In the Country Bordering Connecticut River and Parts AdjacentAnd Other Interesting Events From the First Landing of the Pilgrims, to the Conquest of Canada by the English, in 1760 by E. Hoyt, Esq., published in 1824 by Ansel Phelps of Greenfield, Mass. This book restates the Hutchinson and Stiles accounts of Whalley and Goffe, with a brief mention of Dixwell on pages 79-85 (pages 98-104 of the PDF). The Angel of Hadley from these same sources is covered on pages 135-136 (pages 154-155 of the PDF). Free download from Google books at
            • This Country of Ours: The Story of the United States by H.E. (Henrietta Elizabeth) Marshall, published in 1917 by George H. Doran Company, New York. Whalley and Goffe are featured in Chapter XXXI, "The Hunt for the Regicides" found on pages 220-224 (pages 253-257 of the PDF). This account makes reference to the two seeking refuge in a cave, and said they left when the cave was discovered by Indians. This version also discusses a time when the two hid under a bridge as the king's agents galloped over their heads. Goffe appears in Chapter XXXII "King Philip's War" as the Angel of Hadley on pages 226-227 (pages 259-260 of the PDF). In the Regicides chapter, it said that Whalley was buried in the cellar of the house in which they lived. In the War chapter, it says that Goffe was buried next to Whalley. The book does not reference any sources, so the origin of this version is not known. Free Google books download at An online version of the chapters may be found at and

                  The Angel of Hadley story

                  Frederick A. Chapman's painting "The Perils of Our Forefathers"
                  in the Forbes Library in Northampton, Mass.
                  • The Forbes Library in Northampton, Mass. has the original copy of the Frederick A. Chapman painting, "The Perils of Our Forefathers," also known as "The Angel of Hadley." The library website says there is no evidence the incident ever happens and provides a key to the identity of the figures in the painting. Website:
                    • History of Hadley, Including the Early History of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst, and Granby, Massachusetts By Sylvester Judd with an introduction by George Sheldon, published by H.R. Huntting and Company, Springfield, Mass. The original edition was published in 1863. In the Introduction to the New Edition, titled "Containing a Careful Study of the Lives of the Regicides and an Inquiry into the Historical Basis of the 'Angel of Hadley' Legend, Sheldon presents extensive evidence to debunk the "Angel of Hadley" story. The introduction is pages V-XXXIV (pages 16-49 of the PDF). The story is discussed in Chapter XIV of the original book by Judd on pages 137-139 (pages 198-200 of the PDF). Judd quotes from the books by Ezra Stiles and Gov. Thomas Hutchinson. There is a drawing of the Angel of Hadley "event" on page 59 of the PDF, which comes before page 1 of the book. The free Google books link is
                    • Cultivating a Past: Essays on the History of Hadley, Mass., edited by Marla R. Miller, and published in 2009 by the University of Massachusetts Press. Chapter 4 (pages 91-117) is titled "Web of Secrecy: Goffe, Whalley and the Legend of Hadley" and is written by Douglas C. Wilson. Chapter 5 is titled "The Goffe Bible: Succor for the Regicides?" is written by Martin Antonetti. Portions of this book, including a full copy of Chapter 4 may be read online at
                    • In this brief overview of the regicides in A History of Deerfield, Mass, George Sheldon said he gave a full account questioning the Angel of Hadley incident in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 28, October 1874, edited by Albert H. Hoyt. Sheldon's essay appears on pages 379-391 and is entitled "The Traditional Story of the Attack Upon Hadley and the Appearance of Gen. Goffe, Sept. 1, 1675: Has It Any Foundation in Fact?" The link to the Google books copy, which costs $14.63 is The book may be read in its entirety, or downloaded for free from the Internet Archive at Most pages are visible in the preview. Sheldon calls the story "pure romance" and discusses the fact that the Sept. 1, 1675 attack on Hadley is not mentioned in other contemporary accounts. As one example of this, Sheldon references the book The History of King Philip's War, written by the Rev. Increase Mather, D.D. and the Rev. Cotton Mather, D.D., published in 1676. A free download of the 1862 reprinting is available at
                    • Hadley: The Regicides, Indian and General HistoryA Souvenir in Honor of Major-General Joseph Hooker, and In Anticipation of the Memorial Exercises at His Birthplace, Tuesday, May 7, 1895, published in 1895 by Picturesque Publishing Company, Northhampton,  Mass. This 37-page booklet, which is unnumbered, casts a skeptical eye on the "The Angel of Hadley" account, which may be found on pages 20-21 of the PDF. There is a drawing of the supposed event on page 35 of the PDF. Free download at
                    • Goffe is briefly mentioned in The History of Philip's WarCommonly Called the Great Indian War of 1675 by Thomas Church, published in 1716 and reprinted in 1829 by J and B Williams, Exeter, N.H. Goffe is mentioned on pages 54-55 in the context of the defense of Hadley. The book refers to the Stiles biography of the Regicides and two other accounts, presenting conflicting evidence about whether the incident actually happened. Free Google book at
                    • "Thomas Hutchinson, Ezra Stiles, and the Legend of the Regicides" is the title of an article by English Professor Mark L. Sargent, published in The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3, July 1992. Sargent begins the article by discussing how the story of the regicides inspired fiction writers in the 19th century, including Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne wrote the story story "The Gray Champion". The first page of the 17 page article may be read for free, but a $9 download fee applies to read the full article at
                    • "The Witches of Salem, the Angel of Hadley, and the Friends of Philadelphia" is an article written by English Professor Mark L. Sargent, and published in American Studies, Vol. 34, No. 1, in spring 1993. Among other topics, Sargent discusses the influence of the Angel of Hadley story on American literature. The article may be read for free at
                    • The Return of the Regicides ["The Angel of Hadley"]: 
                      How Philadelphia Exported a Gothic Literary Device to a Broader American Literature is the title of a page from the website Philadelphia Gothic: Murders, Mysteries, Monsters and Mayhem Inspire American Fiction 1798-1854. This website lists seven novels and short stories written during the 1800s that were inspired by the regicides and the Angel of Hadley story, including Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Gray Champion". Website:
                        "The Gray Champion" describes the April 18, 1689 revolt of the Puritans in Boston, against the unpopular English Governor Sir Edmund Andros. Andros was loyal to King James II of England. James II was the brother of Charles II and succeeded him in 1685 when Charles II died, but went into exile on Dec. 23, 1688 in The Glorious Revolution in England. 
                        In "The Gray Champion", an unknown gray haired figure emerges from the crowd with a sword to chase away the soldiers seeking to control the rebellious Puritans. Goffe is presumed to have died in 1679 and would have been 84 years old had he lived. The following excerpts from the story echo the events in The Angel of Hadley story, although that account concerned an Indian attack, not British soldiers marching into town. The last paragraph in the story, which is included below, makes Goffe into a folk hero of people fighting oppressive leaders. 
                        As the soldiers march toward the crowd of people, Hawthorne writes these words: "'Oh! Lord of Hosts,' cried a voice among the crowd, 'provide a Champion for thy people!'" 
                        The first half of the following paragraph describes the crowd falling back and the soldiers moving forward. Then Hawthorne switches focus when he writes, "Suddenly, there was seen the figure of an ancient man, who seemed to have emerged from among the people, and was walking by himself along the centre of the street, to confront the armed band. He wore the old Puritan dress, a dark cloak and a steeple-crowned hat, in the fashion of at least fifty years before, with a heavy sword upon his thigh, but a staff in his hand, to assist the tremulous gait of age." 
                        The crowd questions who he is by asking, "'Who is this gray patriarch?' asked the young men of their sires. 'Who is this venerable brother?' asked the old men among themselves." 
                         The story then describes the "venerable stranger" walking closer to the soldiers with a "warrior's step." One British official pokes fun at the stranger, while the governor challenges him: 'Are you mad, old man?' demanded Sir Edmund Andros, in loud and harsh tones. 'How dare you stay the march of King James's Governor?'" 
                        In reference to the execution of Charles I, Hawthorne writes these words: "'I have staid the march of a King himself, ere now,' replied the gray figure, with stern composure. 'I am here, Sir Governor, because the cry of an oppressed people hath disturbed me in my secret place; and beseeching this favor earnestly of the Lord, it was vouchsafed me to appear once again on earth, in the good old cause of his Saints. And what speak ye of James? There is no longer a popish [pope-ish] tyrant on the throne of England, and by to-morrow noon, his name shall be a by-word in this very street, where ye would make it a word of terror. Back, thou that wast a Governor, back! With this night, thy power is ended--to-morrow, the prison!--back, lest I foretell the scaffold!'" 
                        James as described as "popish" because he was Catholic. The people are inspired to confront the authorities, and Andros orders the soldiers to retreat.
                        The story ends with these paragraphs, questioning where The Gray Champion went and what was his identity. 
                          "But where was the Gray Champion? Some reported, that when the troops had gone from King-street, and the people were thronging tumultuously in their rear, Bradstreet, the aged Governor, was seen to embrace a form more aged than his own. Others soberly affirmed, that while they marvelled at the venerable grandeur of his aspect, the old man had faded from their eyes, melting slowly into the hues of twilight, till, where he stood, there was an empty space. But all agreed, that the hoary shape was gone. The men of that generation watched for his re-appearance, in sunshine and in twilight, but never saw him more, nor knew when his funeral passed, nor where his grave-stone was." 
                          "And who was the Gray Champion? Perhaps his name might be found in the records of that stern Court of Justice, which passed a sentence, too mighty for the age, but glorious in all after times, for its humbling lesson to the monarch and its high example to the subject. I have heard, that, whenever the descendants of the Puritans are to show the spirit of their sires, the old man appears again. When eighty years had passed, he walked once more in King-street. Five years later, in the twilight of an April morning, he stood on the green, beside the meeting-house, at Lexington, where now the obelisk of granite, with a slab of slate inlaid, commemorates the first fallen of the Revolution. And when our fathers were toiling at the breast-work on Bunker's Hill, all through that night, the old warrior walked his rounds. Long, long may it be, ere he comes again! His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invader's step pollute our soil, still may the Gray Champion come; for he is the type of New-England's hereditary spirit; and his shadowy march, on the eve of danger, must ever be the pledge, that New-England's sons will vindicate their ancestry."
                        Interestingly enough, this sign in downtown New Haven accurately reflects the historical account because William Goffe traveled from England to Massachusetts and Connecticut with his father-in-law Edward Whalley.

                        King Charles I: His Trial and Execution

                        The following books focus on the trial and execution of Charles I. Since online previews are not available, I do not know what specifics they have regarding the regicides who flew to New Haven.
                          • The Regicides and the Execution of Charles I, is a collection of essays about the trial of Charles I. The 306-page book is edited by Jason Peacey, research fellow, the History of Parliament, and published in 2001 by Palgrave Macmillan, London. With a $129 price tag, this is probably not the starting point for the casual reader. 
                          • The Regicides by Alfred Lestie Rowe was published in 1994 by Gerald Duckworth and Company, London. With a $66 price tag, this is also an expensive book. 
                          • A King Condemned: The Trial and Execution of Charles I by C.V. Wedgewood, published in 2011 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks, was first published in 1964. This can be purchased for $14 or less.
                          • The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold by British attorney Geoffrey Roberston, published in 2007 by Anchor, focuses on John Cooke, a Puritan attorney who acted as prosecutor in the case against Charles I. This book can be purchased online inexpensively, and receives generally favorable reviews.
                          • The Trials of Charles the First and Some of the RegicidesWith Biographies of Bradshaw, Ireton, Harrison, and Others, published in 1832 by John Murray, London. Free Google books download at The seventh edition was published in 1861 by William Tegg of London and has clearer print. Free Google books download at This book focuses on the events in English, including the trial and execution of Charles I and the subsequent events that led to the capture and execution of some of the regicides. Edward Whalley and William Goffe are profiled on pages 244-249 of the book (pages 273-278 of the PDF), including a brief discussion of their lives in America. John Dixwell's name is listed on a few pages, but he is otherwise not mentioned.
                          In real life, the paths of Dixwell and Goffe intersected in England during the trial of King Charles I, and later when they met in Hadley, Mass., but otherwise diverged as they followed a separate course as they escaped capture by King Charles II.

                          The Judges in Historical Fiction

                          Margaret Sydney wrote a historical romance in 1900 called The Judges' Cave: Being a Romance of the New Haven Colony in the Days of the Regicides, 1661. Keep in mind that this book is FICTION, not history, although it is based on actual events. Free download at:
                          Margaret Sydney was the pen name of New Haven, Conn.-born Harriett Mulford Stone Lothrop (1844-1924). She was the wife of Daniel Lothrop, who founded the D. Lothrop Company of Boston, Mass., which published her books under her pseudonym. Sydney is best known for the Five Little Peppers series of children's books, which concerns five children and their poor widowed mother who are befriended and supported by a rich man. Having read this book, it must be reviewed in light of the fact that the woman who wrote it owned and operated the publishing company (after the death of her husband). One cannot help but wonder if an editor had any meaningful input in this book. Sydney used the history she learned from Ezra Stiles's A History of the Three Judges of King Charles I as her source document for the historical backdrop. Briefly stated, the Sydney book is a soap opera using the story of Whalley and Goffe as a backdrop. However, they are not the lead characters nor the focus of this book. The story is actually a small town drama with bickering and backbiting among various colorful characters who are seen reacting to the presence of the judges in this midst. Some seek to protect the judges, while others try to capture them. The main character is Marcia Sabine, a young woman of marriageable age, who gets wrapped up in this drama in trying to protect the judges, as she pretends she is actually a loyalist to the king. There is much drama with bickering and backbiting with two other young women. Whalley is described as an old, feeble man who hinders the escape of the younger, strong Goffe. They are out of the book more than they are in it, and Dixwell is scarcely mentioned. Most of the book takes place against the backdrop of spring 1661 when the two arrive in Guilford from Boston and then head to New Haven. Near the end, the book jumps ahead 15 years to the Indian attack on Hadley and credits Goffe as an angel who rises up to repel the attack and save the Colonists from death. I would have much preferred a straightforward historical fiction story in which the author recreated situations and dialogues based on the historical record, bringing life to the history through these scenes. In “The First Word,” in which the author describes her inspiration for writing the story, she said she grew up in a home bordering the old New Haven Green where she played above the ancient stones marked E.W. and W.G. in the rear of Center Church. She said the stones are believed to mark the resting place of Whalley and Goffe. Historical evidence suggests otherwise. 

                          • Another historical fiction story with a romantic focus is Tales of the Puritans — The Regicides — The Fair Pilgrim — Castine, written by Delia Salter Bacon, published in 1831 by A.H. Maltby, New Haven. Download for free from Google books at At the end of this fiction story is an Appendix with a historical accounting of the regicides on pages 275-295 (pages 274-294 of the PDF), including a retelling of "The Angel of Hadley" legend, directly from the Ezra Stiles book. The book has an interesting dedication "We dig no land for tyrants, but their graves."
                          • Yet another historical fiction story with a romantic twist is The Regicides: A Tale of Early Colonial Times by Frederick Hull Cogswell, published in 1896 by The Baker and Taylor Company, New York. Free Google books download at
                          • Molly and the Regicides, written by Myra Clarke Crandell and published in 1968 by Simon and Schuster, is a historical fiction book with a child as the central character. The description from a website says, "When two of the Englishmen accused of regicide for their part in the condemnation of Charles I appear in New Haven Colony, a young tomboy finds herself able to do much to aid them in their fight." This out-of-print book must be purchased and has limited availability. Myra Clarke was married to Bradshaw Crandell, an artist and illustrator. She wrote only one other book, a children's historical novel called Enoch and the Brave Un, about a Colonial boy in Guilford who wants to keep a puppy. 

                          Whalley and Goffe are believed to have hidden out in the cellar of Lt. Gov. William Leete in Guilford. The house still exists and is located on River Street, two houses north of Broad Street. The outside of the house has a plaque marking the event. Please respect the privacy of the homeowners by reading the plaque from the sidewalk.

                          Molly and the Regicides tells the story of the Regicides from their arrival in Guilford to their departure from Judges Cave. The story is told from the point of view of Molly, a girl of about 12 years of age, who is described in this fictional story as a niece to Gov. William Leete of the New Haven Colony. The story focuses on her interactions with William Goffe and Edward Whalley. Molly becomes fascinated with the Regicides and works to help them hide from capture. In the book, she is credited with hiding them in Leete's cellar in Guilford, bringing them food while they are at Judges Cave, and tricking loyalists seeking their capture. She develops a crush on Goffe. The book mostly talks about Goffe, with Whalley almost a peripheral character. The Regicides are portrayed in a sympathetic light with the Colonial Puritans viewing it as their duty to protect these Puritan leaders who opposed Charles I, described in the book as the "Tyrant King." This is a good story to introduce children ages 9-12 to the story of the Regicides. For Connecticut residents, this is a historical fiction book with a local focus. This is also a suitable read for adults. It is unfortunate the book is no longer in print and not in most Connecticut libraries. From a fact-checking standpoint, the book mentions the 50 judges who condemned Charles I to death, when there were actually 59 judges to sign the death warrant. From Judges Cave, Molly talks about seeing Center Church on the New Haven Green. In reality, there is no possible way to see the Church from the cave; it would be difficult to pick out from the edge of the ridge at the South Overlook. Molly is credited with bringing food to the regicides, when that was actually done by the son of Richard Sperry. This last item falls into the category of the literary license necessary to tell the story.

                          Only Dixwell is named in an exit on the Wilbur Cross Parkway. Whalley Avenue does extend to Exit 59, but the signs have markers for Routes 63 and 69.

                          Judges Cave

                              • Connecticut: A Guide to Its Roads, Lore and People is a 700-page book written in 1938 by authors of the Federal Writer's Project for the Works Progress Administration, as part of the American Guide Series. This book has many features, including acting as a tourist guide to sites in 1938. West Rock rates two paragraphs on pages 251-251 of the book (pages 347-348 of the PDF file), mostly writing about the Regicides. This link is to a free download for the book. The file is large, so be patient while it downloads. Google books charges to download this title. This is also available at the Milford Public Library and may be available in other libraries as well.
                              • Judges Cave is mentioned as a stop along this bicycle tour of New Haven and its various historical sites entitled "New Haven : 1779 Invasion." The tour was prepared by Central Connecticut State University Associate Professor, a professional travel writer, and and Sal Lilienthal, the director and owner of the Kent-based Bicycle Tour Company.The Judges Cave reference with pictures may be found on the second to last page of this document:
                              • While I am loathe to promote anything involving smoking, it's hard to ignore the fact that this event prompted the name of Judges Cave Cigars,, manufactured by F.D. Grave and Son, an appropriate name for a product that causes cancer!

                              A historic photo of Judges Cave in 1900, taken from the Library of Congress website at the link listed above.

                              Timeline of the Judges in the Colonies

                              This is timeline of the Judges or Regicides Edward Whalley, William Goffe, and John Dixwell, as excerpted from A History of the Three Judges of King Charles I by Ezra Stiles. I have included first names and details about individuals when I could find them. Stiles does not always include this information, or include it in a clear manner. As is customary for the time, spelling of names may vary from modern spelling.
                              July 27, 1660
                              Whalley and Goffe arrive in Boston. Massachusetts Governor Endicott, a noted Royalist, “received them very courageously.” The judges choose to reside in Cambridge. Stiles spells Endicott with both one and two t’s.
                              Feb. 22, 1661
                              Gov. Endicott summons a Court of Assistants to consult about securing Whalley and Goffe, but the court did not agree to it.
                              Feb. 26, 1661
                              Finding it unsafe to remain in Cambridge, Whalley and Goffe leave for New Haven.
                              March 7, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe arrive in New Haven, appear publicly, and are welcomed by Connecticut colony Gov. John Winthrop the Younger and New Haven colony Gov. William Leet. The modern spelling is Leete.
                              Note that Leete was New Haven colony deputy governor from 1658-1661, New Haven colony governor from 1661-1664, and Connecticut colony governor from 1676 to 1683.
                              March 27, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe go to Milford, pretending to be heading for New York, but return in the night and are hidden at the Mr. John Davenport’s (one of the judges of the New Haven Court) until April 30 and at Mr. William Jones’ until May 11.
                              Uncertain date, late April 1661
                              News arrives in Boston that ten of the judges were executed and Gov. Endicott receives a royal mandate dated March 5, 1661 to cause Whalley and Goffe to be secured. The Massachusetts court was in earnest to apprehend them and to avoid all suspicion, gave commission and instruction to two young merchants from England, Thomas Kellond and Thomas Kirk, zealous royalists, to go through the colonies in search of them.
                              May 11, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe move from Mr. Jones’ to the Mills, two miles from town. Kellond and Kirk arrive at Gov. Leet’s with a copy of the warrant.
                              Whalley and Goffe leave Jones’ for the woods, and appear at the bridge and at Mrs. Eyer’s.
                              May 12, 1661
                              Kellond and Kirk leave Guilford.
                              May 13, 1661
                              Kellond and Kirk arrive in New Haven. The governor and magistrates convene and refuse Kellond and Kirk’s request for a warrant. “On this day it is supposed” that the marshals attempted to take the Judges near the bridge, and partly afterwards at Mrs. Eyers’. The judges went to Hatchet Harbor and then to the cave prepared by Sperry, conducted by Jones and Burral.
                              May 15, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe arrive at the cave, and sometimes stay in the cave, and in very tempestuous weather, in a house near it. They called the area Providence Hill.
                              May 17, 1661
                              The assembly convened and the Gov. Leet issued a warrant, having received the king’s real order. Gov. Leet caused a search to be made.
                              June 11, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe left the cave and went to the Gov. Leet to surrender. He lodged them several nights in his stone cellar and send them food. Here and at Mr. Roffeter’s, they stay until June 20. Their friends decided not to surrender them.
                              June 20, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe appeared publicly in New Haven.
                              June 24, 1661
                              Whalley and Goffe retired to the cave and stayed concealed. They wandered about, shifting their harbors, sometimes at Hatchet Harbor, sometimes at Totoket, some times at Paugassett, and at three different places or lodgment behind West Rock until Aug. 19, 1661, when they removed and settled in secrecy at Milford for two years. In Milford, they stayed in the house of Tomkins, near the Milford meeting house.
                              July 4, 1661
                              The governor and magistrate of the Massachusetts colony wrote a letter to New Haven, upon which Gov. Leet convened the General Assembly.
                              Aug. 1, 1661
                              The General Court met in New Haven and wrote an answer to Boston.
                              Sept. 5, 1661
                              The Commissioners of the United Colonies issued a declaration, saying the search had been made throughout the Colonies without success “and enjoining and ordering further search and apprehension. This very much ended the business and the Judges left at rest, at least no further molested.”
                              The commissioners of King Charles arrived in Boston. When Whalley and Goffe heard the news, they returned to the cave where they stayed eight or 10 days. Soon after, some Indians while hunting, discovered the cave and the report was spread abroad, so it was not safe to remain near it.
                              On Oct. 13, 1664, they moved to Hadley nearly 100 miles away, traveling only by night. In Hadley, the Rev. John Russell, the minister of the Church of Christ, had previously agreed to receive them, concealing them for 15 or 16 years.
                              Feb. 10, 1665
                              Dixwell meets Whalley and Goffe in Hadley. Where he came from and where he landed in America is not recorded.
                              Nov. 3, 1673
                              Dixwell marries Joanna Ling in New Haven, under the name of James Davids. She dies within a month.
                              Whalley dies in Hadley.
                              June 12, 1676
                              Hadley is attacked by Indians during King Philip’s War.
                              Aug. 1676
                              Within two months of the battle, the Rev. Samuel Nowell helps Goffe relocate to Hartford where he is taken in by the Bull family. He calls himself T. Duffell.
                              Nearly four years after Joanna Ling dies, Dixwell marries Bathsheba Howe, and has three children: Mary in 1679, John in 1680 and Elizabeth in 1682. Elizabeth dies young.
                              April 2, 1679
                              Goffe’s last known letter is dated April 2, 1679. Whalley had been dead some time before. Tradition is that they were buried in the minister’s cellar.
                              May 18, 1680
                              Sir Edmund Andros, governor of New York, writes a letter to Conn. Gov. Leete, telling Leete that Joseph Bull and his sons are hiding Goffe.  Leete had met with John London, a soldier from Connecticut who had previously been imprisoned by Leete for leaving the army without permission and slandering officers. Leete saw Goffe at Bull’s house in Hartford.
                              June 10, 1680
                              Leete receives the letter and writes a warrant for the search and arrest of Goffe. By this time, Goffe was likely not in Hartford, and believed to have moved back to Hadley.
                              March 18, 1689
                              Dixwell dies in New Haven at age 82 and is buried behind Center Church on the New Haven Green. He had been married in New Haven under the name James Davids and had several children. He was not discovered until he died.
                              Judges Street Names Date Back Almost 200 Years
                              In the Greater New Haven area, the names Whalley, Dixwell, and to a lesser extent, Goffe are famous as street names, but the roads that bear the names of these historical judges once had different monikers.
                              Edward Whalley, William Goffe, and John Dixwell played their role in history by being one of 59 judges in England to condemn King Charles I to death on a charge of high treason in 1649. When Charles II came to power in 1660, Parliament placed a death sentence on the heads of all living judges, prompting these three to flee to the Colonies in search of refuge. Whalley and Goffe are memorialized on a plaque at Judges Cave, a rock formation at West Rock Ridge, located about one mile north of the southern end of the ridge. With active help from local Puritans, they hid there from June to August 1661, and briefly again in October 1664 before seeking refuge in Hadley, Mass. Meanwhile, Dixwell quietly moved to New Haven around 1665 and lived under the assumed name of James Davids, getting married and having children.
                              More than 100 years later, the colonies went to war to free themselves from British rule, succeeding in 1783, although the new nation found itself at war again with the British from 1812-1814. From its origins in 1640 as a town designed using a nine-square plan, over time streets radiated out from the center like spokes on a wheel.
                              Standing at the northwest corner of Broadway in 1824, a traveler would have a choice of heading west-northwest on Litchfield Turnpike Road, northwest on Old Road to Hamden and Cheshire, and north on New Hamden Road. Returning to that same spot in 1830, this same traveler would instead have a choice of Whalley Avenue, Goffe Street, or Dixwell Street. The map dated May 28, 1824 shows the former names, and the  map dated Sept. 6, 1830 shows the new names.
                              I found New Haven maps from 1806 to 1896 on the Yale University Library website at for those who wish to take a look themselves. The maps through 1849 are focused on the downtown area and do not show much on the western side beyond the Broadway area. Starting with the 1852 map, the view becomes progressively wider, and by 1876 extends all the way to the southern portion of West Rock and reveals these details. 
                              A close-up of the 1824 map. The P is part of the title "Plan of New Haven." 
                              A close-up of the 1830 map. Part of the legend showing the locations of various buildings may be seen at the lower left.
                              On the 1852 map, Goffe Street ends at Blake Street, but by the 1876 map, it possibly ended at Osborn Street, labeled with the modern name of Osborn Avenue on the 1877 map. This junction is uncertain because the road forks at Osborn Street with one fork connecting to Blake Street and the other fork connecting to Osborn Street and neither fork is labeled. On the 1888 map, Goffe Street now ends at Osborne Avenue (now spelled with an “e”) and the fork to Blake Street no longer exists. The 1896 map shows the same details as the 1888 map, but Osborn Avenue has dropped the “e”. In modern times, west of Crescent Street, Goffe Street narrows and is labeled Goffe Terrace. No such name appears on any of the maps through 1896.
                              The 1868 map shows the name Dixwell Avenue north of Munson Street, and Dixwell Street south of this junction. The 1876 map shows the name Dixwell Avenue north of Munson Street, but the road is not labeled south of this intersection. On the 1877 map, the name Dixwell Avenue north of Munson Street is replaced by The Boulevard, but south of Munson Street it is labeled Dixwell Avenue. On the 1888 map, The Boulevard is gone, replaced by the name Dixwell Avenue. South of Munson Street, the road is labeled “N.H. & Centerville Horse R.R.” The 1896 map has a similar label except the word “Horse” is replaced by the word “Electric.”
                              On the 1870, 1876, 1877, 1888, and 1896 maps, Whalley Avenue becomes Main Street west of Fountain Street. Today, the name extends until the Woodbridge town line.
                              A portion of a map that the library gives an uncertain date of 1910 still does not show the name Goffe Terrace. However, it labels the name Whalley Avenue continuing past Fountain Street, and also includes the park road to the South Overlook. Dixwell Avenue is not shown on this particular map.
                              Looking to West Rock itself, on the 1876 map, Judges Cave is marked by a circle, and on the 1877 map, it is now labeled Judges’ Cave. The 1876 map has a road labeled “To Lake Wintergreen” and on the 1877 map it is labeled “Road to Wintergreen Lake.” The 1877 map, which is the most detailed of any of the maps with regard to West Rock, has a thin line leading to Wilmot Brook’s labeled “Judges Spring.” The 1877 map shows the South Overlook at West Rock labeled 400 feet, close to the 350 to 370 foot height on modern topographic maps. On the 1888 map, neither the cave, nor the spring is labeled. The 1896 map shows the park road from Wintergreen Avenue to Judges Cave (as it is labeled), but does not name the road.
                              Looking at maps over time reveals a continuous change of street names in New Haven. On the 1830 map, Chapel Street becomes Sherman Avenue west of York Street. On the 1849 map, the road is called West Chapel Street between York Street and Kensington Street, and Sherman Avenue beyond that. In modern times, the name Sherman Avenue has been applied to a different street 0.7 miles further west, a street that existed piecemeal (and unnamed) on the 1849 and 1863 maps and now intersects Chapel Street.
                              Through the 1863 map, Elm Street is named Maple Street, west of York Street. However, starting with the 1868 map, Elm Street extends all the way to Pendleton Street, two blocks short of where it now ends, and the name Maple Street has completely disappeared and is not used anywhere in New Haven. On the 1876 map, Chapel Street extends all the way to Edge Wood Road (now Forest Street). On this same 1876 map, Edgewood Avenue has displaced the former Martin Street, a street name no longer used in New Haven.
                              One map dated January 1806 is called “A Plan of the Town of New Haven with all the Buildings in 1748 Taken by the Hon. Gen. Wadsworth of Durham to which are added the names and professions of the Inhabitants at the period, also the Location of the Lots to many of the first Grantees.” At the right center square on the east side of the nine plan plot, on the northeast corner of Elm Street and State Street, a house is labeled “Jn. Thomson formerly Co. Dixwell’s.” This parcel is now occupied by an office building housing the studio for WTNH-TV.
                              All of the information in this article is taken from close examination of these historical maps. Although I have read many books and articles on the judges and New Haven history, I have not read an account of who decided to look back almost 200 years in time to name three roads after the judges and when exactly between 1824 and 1830 this naming took place. The search continues…

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