King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

given them up there was no specific bar to their employment or re-employment in any capacity whatever. The door was thus left open, after the essential purge, for the even more essential promotion of the Member for Huntingdon to the Lieutenant- Generalship of the New Army, carrying with it the command of the vital cavalry arm.

It was as neat as a conjuring trick, and defensible in proportion as the war itself was defensible--since it was the quickest and surest way to win it.

All this was not to be accomplished without prolonged friction both within and between the two Houses, and it was not until the early spring that the new army began to take shape under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, who, though a redoubtable fighter, was better suited for the part of regimental officer than commander-in-chief, and as modestly neutral politically and religiously as it was possible for a servant of the Lord to be. There could have been no more ideal a superior for a subordinate of genius.


2
THE PURGING OF MERRY ENGLAND

IT must have been a sad and a lonely winter for King Charles. Though he presented to the world a mask of unruffled equanimity, he can hardly have failed to be weighed down by the hopelessness of his struggle against the fate that had been tightening its grip upon him ever since his irrecoverable false move of allowing Archbishop Laud, seven years ago, to impose an Anglican liturgy on the Scottish Kirk.

The wheel had come full circle now. It was the turn of the Kirk, through the agency of its allies at Westminster, to impose the Presbyterian yoke on all but those parts of England to which the King's power still extended. An assembly of Divines, overwhelmingly Presbyterian in sentiment, had been entrusted with the work of implementing the terms of this hard bargain, by which the lesser nation had sought to capture the soul of the greater. It had dragged on now for a year and a half in the most edifying elucidations of such problems as the number of hours that Adam had been created before he got his teeth into his first apple. But

-76-

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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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