Charles I. in 1646: Letters of King Charles the First to Queen Henrietta Maria

Charles I. in 1646: Letters of King Charles the First to Queen Henrietta Maria

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Charles I. in 1646: Letters of King Charles the First to Queen Henrietta Maria

Charles I. in 1646: Letters of King Charles the First to Queen Henrietta Maria

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Sixteen hundred and forty-six, to which the following letters relate, was a year of peculiar moment to Charles I. It was the turning period of his personal fate.

Cromwell's charge at Naseby determined the Civil War. When the grim Ironsides rode down the more splendid cavalry that mustered under the royal standard, they destroyed Charles's last chance of keeping the open field. Thencefbrth, all he could do was to move about amongst his strongholds, the reduction of which was the only work that remained to be accomplished by the, victorious army of the parliament. One after another, some by storm and some by famine, garrisoned cities, towns, and fortified mansions fell into the hands of Fairfax and Cromwell, and as the year 1645 approached its termination, the parliamentary forces began to hem in the king's last place of retreat, the loyal and beautiful Oxford, the capital of the Cavaliers. The Roundheads were first discerned from the old tower of Oxford Castle, crowning the heights at a distance from the city. They soon approached nearer, commanding every road, and seizing every defensible point; but it was not until Fairfax had cleared the West, and had driven the Prince of Wales to Scilly, that he returned northward with the main body of his troops, and prepared to invest Oxford in due form.

The question then arose:--What was the king to do? His friends, even the most sanguine, deemed his cause irretrievably lost. Without . . .

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