After the execution of King Charles I on 30th January, the newly purged House of Commons remodelled the English constitution to eradicate all hereditary privilege. They abolished the monarchy and House of Lords, and replaced the former's executive function with a new Council of State. This was to be a sizeable body, of 41 members. The original group included 34 MPs, five peers (although they could no longer sit in the House of Lords, it having been abolished), and two magistrates. The first chairman was John Bradshaw, but it was understood from the outset that this was not to be a static group, but one with yearly elections.
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