King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

10
THE KING AT NEWMARKET

NEWMARKET was Fairfax's headquarters. The appearance of the King in the midst of the army had transformed the whole political situation, and deprived the Westminster bosses of the only trump card they possessed. It had also the effect of forcing matters to a crisis. The army was already seething with agitation, and now it had shown itself capable of taking matters into its own hands, and defying Parliament itself with perfect impunity. For to all outward appearance it was the soldiers themselves who had snatched the King out of the control of the Parliamentary Commissioners and had brought him off in triumph to the headquarters of their own commander-in-chief. Joyce had been merely their agent, and to suspect that the Cornet himself was no more than the agent of the Lieutenant-General had probably occurred to none of them.

Certainly no one was more astounded, or more horrified, at this latest development than Fairfax himself. As soon as it was told him that the King had arrived at Sir John Cutts's house on the outskirts of Cambridge, he hastened to present himself. The King was already holding court there, for the news of his arrival had brought out leading members of the University and town to testify the passionate devotion that his people, wherever they got the opportunity, were now so eager to testify to him.

Fairfax had been forced into a situation over which he had no control, and that he had desperately striven to evade. For at the first news of Joyce's exploit he had dispatched a body of horse, which in his innocence he had entrusted to the command of Cromwell's cousin Whalley,* to get rid of Joyce and his following, and restore the King to the custody of the Commissioners at Holdenby. But the King was not in the least willing, and Whalley had sufficient reason for not being willing to press him. And now when Fairfax himself, after kissing His Majesty's hand and expressing his loyal desire to be of service, begged him to go back with the Commissioners, the King courteously, but firmly, declined.

____________________
*
Sir John Berkeley, who presumably got it from Cromwell himself, talks of Cromwell having sent Whalley with orders to use all means but force to persuade the King to return, which is just what Cromwell would have wanted Berkeley to believe. Apart from the fact that Fairfax explicitly alleges that he himself sent Whalley, it is difficult to see how Cromwell could have arrived from London in time to do so.

-189-

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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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