Eliot, Sir John

Eliot, Sir John, 1592–1632, English parliamentary leader. He was a staunch defender of parliamentary liberties. Eliot instituted (1626) the impeachment proceedings against Charles I's favorite, the 1st duke of Buckingham, and joined Sir Edward Coke and others in promoting the Petition of Right, which was presented to the king in 1628. In 1629 he read a protest in the House of Commons against arbitrary taxation and the advance of “popery,” while the speaker was held in the chair by force in defiance of the king's order of adjournment. Eliot was committed to the Tower of London where he died three years later.

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