King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

nation would have a chance to repair the broken continuity of its constitutional development, or whether a second revolution would engulf the first, and the Constitution cease to exist except by way of formal camouflage for the autocracy of a Caesar. Nor was it possible for any man, least of a for Charles himself, to be under the least illusion as to what was likely to be his own fate in this latter contingency, should he still be found within the walls of Carisbrooke, to be collected by the victors as soon as they had leisure to deal with him.


25
"MY GREY DISCROWNED HEAD"

THE train of events now set in motion was as much beyond the King's power to deflect or control as if he had been in the moon. He was out of the Second Civil War for the duration, at least, of his own imprisonment. Of his life during these weary months of isolation and inaction our records, though fragmentary, suggest that he must have tasted of what was, for him, worse than the bitterness of death. Hammond, almost beside himself with worry in his unsought-for responsibility, had now developed into as wearing a custodian as ever Sir Hudson Lowe was to prove in a remoter island, though Charles endured his pinpricks and rigours with a dignity far beyond the scope of Napoleon. Successive purges of his staff had gone far towards depriving him even of the solace of company. Sir Philip Warwick, who was in attendance on him during the abortive treaty negotiations in the late Autumn at Newport, tells how one day His Majesty, standing at a window, had beckoned to him, and pointed out "an old, little crumpling man" in the street below, and

"I show him to you," he had said, "because that was the best companion I had for three months together in Carisbrooke Castle, where he made my fires."

One pointer to the state to which the King was reduced was that he should even have relaxed that meticulous care of his own person that had always distinguished him. The exquisitely coiffured love-locks and pointed beard by which his image is familiar to us were unkempt and grizzled--his own barber had

-256-

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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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