Goffe, William (gôf) [key], d. c.1679, English soldier and regicide. A personal adherent of Oliver Cromwell, he fought in the English civil war, signed the death warrant of Charles I, and became an administrative major general during the Protectorate. He was excepted from the Act of Indemnity (at the Restoration) and fled with his father-in-law, Edward Whalley, to America. After short periods in Cambridge (Mass.), New Haven, and Milford (Conn.) he lived in seclusion at Hadley (Mass.). The tradition that he headed the citizens of Hadley in repelling an attack by Native Americans was used by Sir Walter Scott in his Peveril of the Peak and by James Fenimore Cooper in his Wept of Wish-ton-Wish.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.