The Queen"s College.
In 1625, he entered Parliament as member for Somerset, and was knighted (KB) at the coronation of Charles I early the following year. He was High Sheriff of Somerset in 1628, and was elected once more to represent the county in the Long Parliament of 1640. On the outbreak of the Civil War he declared for the King and was consequently disabled from sitting in Parliament in August 1642.
Sir John raised five regiments at his own expense for the Royal army, serving under Hertford in his campaign through the West Country, and after the capture of Taunton, he was the appointed its governor.
He was imprisoned in the Tower of London and after many delays finally brought to trial in December 1650, but the High Court refused to sentence him and referred his case back to Parliament. His case was much discussed in Parliament but never settled, and he remained imprisoned for the entire Commonwealth period.
(Clarendon in his History of the Rebellion recorded that Stawell was "in the first form of those who had made themselves obnoxious to parliament" His estates were seized and sold to meet claims of damages against him, but the proceedings were entirely arbitrary and probably illegal even under the new regime"s own laws) Released at the Restoration, his estates were restored and he was once more elected Member of Parliament for Somerset in 1661, but died early the following year.
Cavalier Parliament; Useless Parliament.