King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

5
A FOREDOOMED NEGOTIATION

AFTER this defiantly flaunted abomination, it would have been too much even for Charles to have entertained any but the faintest hope of success from the forthcoming peace conference. Before it had assembled he had written to the Queen bidding her warn the French court of "the improbability that the present treaty should produce a peace, considering the great, strange difference ... between the Rebels' propositions and mine".

And no wonder, since the Parliamentary Commissioners had been instructed to negotiate on the basis of the demands already presented at Oxford which were so drafted as to deprive the King of his sovereignty, his honour, his Church, his friends, and even the rights enjoyed by the humblest of his subjects, for his children were to be taken out of his control and educated by whomever his masters saw fit to appoint, his daughters made wards of Parliament in the sense that they were not to be allowed to marry without the consent of its controllers--the sons being merely restricted to certified Protestant brides. The Parliamentary bosses were to have the absolute right of appointing the King's ministers, and the control of his forces on land and sea. The Church was to be swept away, and the Presbyterian yoke imposed on the country--every citizen from the King downwards being forced to take the Covenant. The King himself was expected to cooperate in the proscription and plunder of all who had presumed to be true to him. Nothing was forgotten that could deepen his shame or add to his humiliation. The titles he had granted were to be cancelled, the truce he had arranged in Ireland repudiated. Such items were thrown in as an Act for the "due observance of the Lord's Day"--the conversion, that is, of the Christian Sunday into a Jewish Sabbath--and one for "the suppressing of interludes and stage plays, this Act to be perpetual."

That Charles, with his armies still in the field, should have been mad or base enough to subscribe to terms that even as a helpless captive he would repudiate with scorn, was not to be thought of. But he allowed not the faintest sign of what must have been his real feelings to escape him. He drafted his own counter-proposals in terms of studied moderation. He merely stipulated that such of

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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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