King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

13
CROMWELL TAKES CHARGE

THE King had no fear of the death that he had courted and foreseen. But as he listened to these shameful and--as it must have seemed to him--shameless imputations, a horror of worse than death would seem to have fallen upon him. Perhaps he had never realized till then the lengths to which these men were prepared to go, who now held his country and his people in a grip of steel. We to-day, who have experienced the Totalitarian phenomenon, can understand something of the feelings of civilized--let alone of Christian men--on discovering themselves in the presence of a power that is as impervious as a machine to justice or human feelings. Those who listened to that memorable broadcast on the 3rd of September, 1939, and marked the horror-struck dis- illusionment in the voice of the peace-loving statesman who was leading his country into war:

"It is evil things that we shall be fighting against, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression, persecution. ..."

Such of them at least as had banked, like him, to the last on the hope of reason and decency prevailing, can understand something of the feelings of King Charles as the significance of Bradshaw's words penetrated his brain.

"Will you hear me a word, Sir?" was his first instinctive reaction.

This was luxury indeed to Bradshaw. He must have felt all the pride of a Tamburlaine, whip in hand, with a king harnessed to his chariot. He had his Sovereign at his mercy now, and at least by his own reckoning, the law on his side. With brusque insolence he informed Charles that he was not to be heard after sentence, and to an incredulous exclamation of protest retorted with an order to the guard to remove their prisoner. For a moment horror and indignation got the better even of the dignity that the King had hitherto maintained: he gasped out some broken sentences of protest as Axtell's guards closed on him. Then, recovering himself, he turned to leave the court, but not before he had spoken his last word on the trial:

"I am not suffered to speak! Expect what justice other people will have."

He had need of all his constancy now, for he was in the hands of

-344-

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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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