John Okey

John Okey

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John Okey

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John Okey (1606–1662) was an English soldier, member of Parliament, and one of the regicides of King Charles I.

Early life and military career

John Okey was born in 1606 as the sixth child to William Okey and his wife, Margaret Whetherly, of St Giles-in-the-Fields in London. Okey was baptized in St Giles-in-the-Fields on 24 August 1606. Okey came from a prominent family which had property in London as well as a coat of arms.

On 21 January 1630, John Okey married Susanna Pearson. Okey became a proprietor of a ships' chandler's business by 1640. Okey's first wife, Susanna, died and he later remarried to Mary Blackwell in 1658.

Before the start of the Civil War, Okey worked as a stoker at a brewery. When the Civil War began, he enlisted in the Parliamentary army of the Earl of Essex as a quartermaster, and became one of the "humble" men who advanced to positions of higher rank and position. Okey quickly advanced in rank becoming a captain of horse, and later became a Major in a regiment commanded by Arthur Hesilrige. When the New Model Army was formed in 1645, John Okey was appointed colonel of a regiment of Dragoons, a form of mounted infantry troopers capable of quickly advancing, attacking, and then withdrawing from an engagement. Okey's regiment gained lasting fame for their actions at the battle of Naseby, where his dragoons instigated the fighting by firing into the right wing of the Royalist horse from a concealed position...
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