King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

attempt to organize a rescue, causing a drum to be beaten in the streets of Newport, and making a wild appeal to a few casual listeners, mostly women and boys, to come up to the Castle with him and bring His Majesty off. Nobody--except apparently one man with a musket--showed the least disposition to take the idea seriously; even Jack Ashburnham, who had found his way to the town after his expulsion, did his best to calm them down, and it was not long before the Mayor had had Burley peacefully taken into custody.

But instead of dismissing the poor fellow with a caution not to make a fool of himself, Governor Hammond determined to make it a case of high treason. He accordingly had the Captain sent to Winchester to be tried on the shameless charge of levying war against the King. (!). Being convicted in due course by a packed jury, he was condemned by a notoriously partisan judge* to be hanged, drawn and quartered, the sentence being carried out, with no mitigation of barbarity, to the last letter.


23
HATCHING REGICIDE

IF ever words carried conviction of their own authenticity, they are those that open the last chapter of Eikon Basilike, purporting to be set down After the Votes of Non Addresses and His Majesty's closer imprisonment in Carisbrooke Castle:

"As I have leisure enough, so I have cause more than enough, to meditate upon and prepare for my death: for I know there are but few steps between the prisons and graves of Princes.

"It is God's indulgence which gives me the space, but man's cruelty that gives me the sad occasions for these thoughts."

For it had indeed come to this. The end was clearly ahead; only its timing remained uncertain. If it were yet to be avoided it could only be by action from without. There was nothing that the King could do to avert or retard it. He had ceased to be master of anything but his own soul. Into that "castle within" he must now retire, and possess it in such patience as conscience and religion

____________________
*
Sergeant Wilde, of whom Anthony Wood records, "It was all one to him whether he hung or hung not, so that he got the beloved pelf". A notable example of the new spirit the Long Parliament terror had imparted to the judicial bench.

-247-

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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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