King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649

By Esmé Wingfield-Stratford | Go to book overview

wonder that the words, "falling so unexpectedly from one so young, made the King rejoice exceedingly."

While this was taking place at St James's, the space in front of Whitehall was a scene of intensive activity, sounds of which must have been almost audible at the neighbouring palace. A space was being railed off in the angle formed by the Banqueting House and the part of the palace jutting out westward to Holbein's Gate. And within this space a wooden structure had arisen against the wall of Banqueting House, as high as to the bottom of the lower windows. Here planks were nailed horizontally to make a platform, and round this a railing was constructed, about waist high. This was next covered over with some black material, so that a watcher from the street below could only see the heads and upper parts of those who might be standing or walking on the platform. A man kneeling or lying would be out of sight. Darkness descended and silence; the space in front of Whitehall was deserted. It was as bitter a night as any man could remember. The Thames was ice-bound and there was rime of frost on the hangings and woodwork of the unfamiliar structure, whose form could only just be distinguished from that of the huge building that towered behind it, and of which it seemed to form a shadowy excrescence.


15
TO WHITEHALL

THAT last night of his on earth, the King slept soundly and peaceably. It was some hours before dawn when he awoke, and proceeded to wake Herbert, whom he perceived to be tossing restlessly, and whom, with his habitual considerateness, he asked what it was troubled him. Herbert had had a typical anxiety dream, in which Archbishop Laud had visited the King, and had talked to him by the window, the King being very pensive and the Archbishop sighing. The dream had concluded with Laud, as he retired, falling prostrate to the ground in endeavouring to make his obeisance. To a modern psychologist the symbolism of this would be transparent--the ideas of death and beheading, both associated with Laud and transferred to Charles. The King was as interested as he would have been at any other time, it was, he

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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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