King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

victory. This man, who among other foibles was notoriously insubordinate, decided for reasons of his own to abandon the post precipitately on the approach of the enemy, and without even notifying the King or his commander-in-chief, Lord Forth, of his intention. It was in vain that Charles, the moment he got word of it, sent a galloper post haste with orders to Wilmot to hold his ground till His Majesty could come in person. Before the messenger could return to report, Wilmot's forces had begun to trail into Oxford. It was no wonder that before the summer was out even the King's patience with Wilmot and his ways had become exhausted, and he had him summarily and ignominiously arrested in front of his own men on a charge of treason.

Waller, for his part, signalized his occupation of the ancient monastic town by piously demolishing its two-pillared medieval cross which must have been one of the most beautiful in England; "an act so barbarous," says the Cavalier, Sir Edward Walker, "no people that ever served a God (but such a one as they have fancied to themselves) would ever have done."

Waller, no doubt, would have replied that he was merely interpreting with Puritan consistency the mandate of an Old Testament Jehovah equated with God Almighty.


7
A NIGHT MARCH

GREAT was the consternation at Oxford--which up to now had been the setting of so gay and carefree a court lift--when it was realized that the fall of Abingdon had brought the enemy within striking distance of the city, and that two armies between them mustering at least three times the number that the King could put into the field against them were now hovering on the outskirts. Had Essex and Waller been capable of co-operating, there was nothing to prevent them from forming the siege at once and starving the King into surrender before Rupert, even if he succeeded in relieving York, could get back to his aid.

Luckily for the King, the two Roundhead commanders proved incapable of either vigorous or combined action. No sooner were their forces joined in the neighbourhood of Abingdon, than they

-25-

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King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I - The Clinch 1
  • I - The Court at Oxford 3
  • 3 - Newark and Cheriton 7
  • 4 - A Desperate Situation 11
  • 5 - Adieu! 16
  • 6 - The King's Strategy 19
  • 7 - A Night March 21
  • 8 - Rupert's Flank March Through Lancashire 25
  • 9 - The Relief of York and Cropredy Bridge 30
  • 10 - Marston Moor--The Challenge 33
  • II - Marston Moor--The Decision 36
  • 12 - The Escape of the Queen 50
  • 14 - Second Newbury and the Cavalier Recovery 54
  • 15 - Artist as General 58
  • II - Defeat 71
  • I - Tertium Quid 73
  • 3 - "Three Things I Will Not Part With" 76
  • 4 - The Liquidation of the Primate 81
  • 5 - A Foredoomed Negotiation 88
  • 6 - An Irish Imbroglio 92
  • 9 - Prelude to Naseby 97
  • 10 - Naseby 102
  • 12 - The King's Cabinet Rifled 112
  • 13 - The King Takes His Stand 116
  • 15 - Meeting and Reconciliation 124
  • 16 - Last Days at Oxford 130
  • 17 - Hobson's Choice 141
  • III - Captivity 149
  • I - Confidence Trick 151
  • 2 - Third Degree at Newcastle 155
  • 4 - "Barbarously Baited" 159
  • 5 - Foreshadowing Martyrdom 162
  • 6 - A King for Cash 168
  • 7 - Holdenby Backwater 171
  • 8 - The Mutiny of the New Model 173
  • 9 - The Commission of Cornet Joyce 178
  • 10 - The King at Newmarket 189
  • 15 - The Fall of London 203
  • 16 - Cromwell on the Turn 208
  • 17 - A Darkening Prospect 219
  • 18 - Escape from Prison 224
  • 21 - The Engagement with the Scots 232
  • 22 - The Trap Shuts 244
  • 24 - Escape Barred 247
  • 26 - Jane Whorwood 256
  • IV - Martyrdom 285
  • I - The Train is Laid 287
  • 3 - Hurst Castle and Pride's Purge 295
  • 4 - Journey to Windsor 299
  • 6 - Conspiracy to Murder 301
  • 7 - High Court of Justice 308
  • 8 - By What Authority? 313
  • 13 - Cromwell Takes Charge 344
  • 14 - Preparation for Death 348
  • 16 - "Cruel Necessity" 354
  • Appendices 369
  • Index 381
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