Henry Vane

1613-1662. Statesman and Puritan. Educated at Oxford and abroad, he was early converted to Puritanism. In search of religious liberty he went to New England in 1635, and in the following year became governor of Massachusetts. He became involved in doctrinal controversies, however, and returned to England in 1637. Through the influence of his father, Sir Henry Vane, he entered public life and in 1640 became a member of Parliament and was knighted. Although showing a religious tolerance not always evident in the Puritans he briefly lost the confidence of Charles I* for opposing episcopacy, and was a strong critic of William Laud.* He was one of the English representatives in drawing up the Solemn League and Covenant* with the Scots (1643), though he had some misgivings about Presbyterian attitudes. Vane did not approve of the execution of the king and took no part in the trial. He held office under Cromwell, but in 1653 differed from him and was later imprisoned for criticizing his regime. Imprisoned after the Restoration (1660), he was tried for treason and executed on Tower Hill.