King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

few who had known King Charles could have imagined him capable; and the unhappy poet, after hearing exactly what his Sovereign thought about him, was dismissed from the Presence and forbidden ever to come back. One hopes that Charles may have felt a little better after, for once, letting himself go.


5
FORESHADOWING MARTYRDOM

AT first it seemed that the Scots, even if they could not force the conscience of their King, were fully determined to keep possession of his person. But they were far from constituting a united body-- indeed Scottish politics presented a witch's cauldron of personal and tribal intrigues, with the terrible theocratic power of the Kirk always in the background. Among the magnates the two most powerful groupings were those centred round the persons, and families, of the Hamiltons and Argyll. What crafty and crooked designs were hatching in the brain of Argyll no one but himself could fathom, but they certainly boded no good to the King. Hamilton on the other hand, though as undependable as a weathercock, had a genuine streak of loyalty in him towards his royal cousin, and it was largely through his influence that the Scottish Parliament was, in December, induced to vote for requesting the English Parliament to allow the King to come to London in honour, safety, and freedom, and for engaging itself to support monarchical government in his person. But this lay Parliament had reckoned without the grim divines of the Kirk Assembly, who in less than twenty-four hours had produced a document of formidable length that they called a "solemn and reasonable admonition" and which amounted to a merciless wigging of the unfortunate Parliament, coupled with a peremptory order to it to mend its ways. No second admonition was needed. That august body, like any penitent on the gowk's stool, made haste to eat its own words and engage to do nothing whatever for the King, until he had both taken the Covenant and subscribed to the whole of the terms of the English Parliament. There can be little doubt that Argyll, though he had kept himself in the background, had had a finger in this humble pie.

-168-

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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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