King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

immediately after the breakdown of the Uxbridge negotiations, of sending the heir to the throne away from Oxford to the fortified port of Bristol, where the lad was to have his own court and council, with the ablest of all the ministers, Hyde, as chief adviser. As the King confided--presumably to Hyde himself, who records it--he came to this resolution "that the enemy might not upon any success find us together, which, he said, would be ruin to them both; whereas though he should fall into their hands while his son was at liberty, they would not dare to do him harm". It is plain from this that Charles had begun to envisage his own capture as an imminent possibility, and that he was under no illusions about his own person being sacrosanct in that event. For the men who had just imbrued their hands in the blood of the Primate were not likely to stop short of regicide if and when it suited their convenience. But with the heir to the throne out of their clutches, the effect of liquidating its occupant would not be to destroy the King, who by law never dies, but merely to dissolve the otherwise Perpetual Parliament according to the then immemorial practice of the Constitution.

Charles little realized the nature of the men with whom, in such a case, he would have to deal, if he expected them to have a greater regard for the law than for the person of the sovereign. Nevertheless he had taken the surest way of rendering even their success in the long run sterile.


8
THE NEW MODEL TAKES THE FIELD

THE Cavalier staff, now under Rupert's vigorous command, found itself faced with an almost hopeless problem in devising its plans for the new campaign. It had less than ever a fixed point round which to manœuvre; the loss not only of Reading but of Abingdon had made a fatal breach in the outer defences of Oxford, and an attempt to surprise Abingdon had resulted in a bloody repulse and the loss of one of the ablest officers in the King's service, Colonel Gage. For the King to stop in Oxford would be to risk being shut up in it; for him to leave it would mean that at any moment he might have to hurry back to its relief.

-97-

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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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