(1632 - 1673)


One month short of his 30th birthday, Lord Cornwallis was by far the youngest official at the trial.  He was born at Culford, Suffolk, the first of four children born to Sir Frederick Cornwallis and his first wife Elizabeth Ashburnham, being baptised there on 19th April 1632.  His father was a staunch Royalist and Equerry to Charles I;  his mother was a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen.  The parents spent much of their time in London as part of Court and young Charles Cornwallis, together with his three siblings was brought up at Culford Hall by their grandmother, Lady Jane  who after the death of her first husband in 1611 had married Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Brome, a relative of Sir Edmund Bacon the Magistrate who had sent Rose Cullender and Amy Denny to trial.  Culford had had been built by Sir Nicholas Bacon, Premier Baronet of England and the great-grandfather of Sir Edmund Bacon, and it was through Lady Jane's marriage to Nathaniel Bacon that the Hall and estate eventually passed into the hands of the Cornwallis family.

Sir Frederick Cornwallis (he was created a Baronet in 1627) served the King faithfully throughout the Civil War and after the King's execution followed Charles II into exile on the Continent where  he shared for eight years.

Upon the King's return from exile in 1660, Sir Frederick was created Baron Cornwallis of Eye and appointed Treasurer of His Majesty's Household. By this time his mother had died and the Culford Hall estates passed into his hands. In January 1662 he died of "apolexy" and his son Charles inherited the Baroncey and Culford.  So when he appeared at the trial Charles, Lord Cornwallis, had only held the title for a matter of weeks.

Very little is known about the 2nd Lord Cornwallis and by all accounts he was "a quiet, retiring man".  At the age of 19 he married Margaret Playsted of Arlington and they had eleven children, the first of whom was baptised at Culford in July 1652.

Upon the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1661 he was made a Knight of the Bath and, as stated above, he became Lord Cornwallis the following year and was later made a Privy Counsellor. His wife died in 1668 and Sir Charles died at Culford in April 1673 at the age of 43.  Both he and his wife are buried in St. Mary's Church, Culford.