King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

2
THIRD DEGREE AT NEWCASTLE

THE Scots lost no time in making it clear that there was to be no nonsense about honouring their conveniently unwritten bond with the King. Lord Lothian, who had been sent to fetch him in, was a peculiarly unfortunate choice, for Charles had caused him to be arrested three years previously and held in close confinement on suspicion of treacherous dealings on a mission to France. He had now the opportunity for evening up the score. He proceeded to order his Sovereign, in a strain of bullying arrogance, to sign the Covenant forthwith and assist in forcing England and Ireland under the Presbyterian yoke. Also to make Montrose--to whom with pointed insolence he referred as James Graham--lay down his arms. The King pricked his tormentor's bladder by reminding him that he who had made James Graham a Marquis had also created William Kerr Earl of Lothian--which is all the change Lothian got out of him; but it was a foretaste of the kind of treatment which, for the brief remainder of his life, he must accustom himself to expect.

Now that the jaws of the trap had closed behind him, the bait was withdrawn. Not the least pretence was made of according him his royal status or refusing to force his conscience, still less of restoring him to his own in England by Scottish aid. He was a prisoner under close arrest, with sentries posted round his lodging to cut off all communication with the outer world. And indeed he was subject to treatment from which in civilized countries prisoners, even in jail, are exempt, for they would not be satisfied till they had broken his will and rendered him body and soul their passive instrument. The process to which he was to be subjected was one for which our own age has coined a phrase--the third degree; one of unremitting pressure, with interludes of suavity alternating with threats and bullying. And if in the long run it should prove that the victim was unamenable to treatment, they would have no more use for him and would proceed to dispose of him as best suited their convenience.

The Scots themselves were playing a difficult, not to speak of a perilous game. That they should have the disposal of the King's person was highly unwelcome to their English partners, and there

-155-

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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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