CHARLES I. KING OF GREAT BRITAIN.
BEFORE THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE, AT WESTMINSTER, FOR TYRANNY, TREASON, AND MURDER, 20TH JANUARY, 1648.
We shall not enter upon a detail of this king's reign, the history of which is sufficiently known, but merely preface his trial with a brief account of what immediately led to it. After the battle of Naseby, June 14th, 1645, the king retired into Wales, with the body of horse which remained entire ; and Fairfax marching into the . relieved Taunton, took Bridgewater and Bath, and then laid siege to Bristol. Into this important city prince Rupert had thrown himself ; and from the strength of the garrison, and the reputation of the governor, an ob- !te resistance was expected. Matters, however, turned out quite the reverse. No sooner had the parlia- mentary army entered the lines by storm, than the prince
46 CHARLES THE FIRST,
capitulated, which so provoked his uncle, that he instantly recalled all his nephew's commissions, and sent him a pass to go beyond sea. In fact, though this prince seems to have possessed an impetuous courage, he wanted cool prudence ; and his precipitancy on more occasions than one hastened the ruin of the king's affairs.
On the side of the royalists, every thing now fell into decline. Charles himself escaping to Oxford, shut him- self up there with the broken remains of his army. The prince of Wales retired to France, where he joined his mother ; the west submitted to the arms of Fairfax and Cromwell ; and the defeat of Montrose at Philip- haugh, after a series of splendid actions, seemed to seal the final destiny of the king's party.
The presbyterians and independents, whom mutual danger had united, now began to quarrel with each other ; while the king, who hoped to receive some ad- vantage from these dissensions, was at a loss which it would be most for his interest to side with. He had, however, but a short time for decision. Fairfax, with a victorious army, was approaching to lay siege to Oxford, which must infallibly surrender. In this desperate ex- tremity Charles adopted an expedient, which had been suggested by Montreville, the French ambassador, of seeking protection from the Scottish army, which at that time lay before Newark.
Accompanied only by Dr. Hudson and Mr. Ashburn- ham, the king privately set out from Oxford in the guise of a servant, and passing through numerous cross roads, safely reached the Scottish camp. The generals and commissioners of that nation affected great surprise on the appearance of the king, and the English parliament hearing of his escape from Oxford, threatened instant death to whosoever should harbour or conceal him. The Scots, therefore, were obliged to justify themselves by declaring that they had entered into no private under- standing with his majesty ; and to the eternal disgrace of the agents in this shameful business, after keeping him some time a prisoner, they agreed to surrender him to the parliament for 400,000Z. half of which was to be paid instantly.
The infamy of this bargain had such an effect on the
FOR HIGH TREASON. 47
Scottish parliament, that they once voted the king should be protected, and his liberty insisted on : but these generous emotions wire stifled by the cries of the cove- nanters, whom Charles out of his love to episcopacy, could never be prevailed on to favor.
Charles received the final resolution of the Scots to surrender him, while he was playing at chess; and so little was he affected by the news, that he finished his game without the least appearance of discomposure. Being conveyed by commissioners sent for that purpose, to Holdenby Castle, in Northumberland, his ancient ser- vants were dismissed, and all communication with his friends or family was prohibited.
In opposition to the parliament at Westminster, a military parliament was formed : together with a council of the principal officers, on the model of the house of peers, representatives of the army were composed by the election of two private men or inferior officers, under the title-of agitators, from each troop or company.
This court voted the conduct of parliament unsatisfac- tory, and foreseeing that civil anarchy, from the very nature of things, must at last terminate in military des- potism, they took care to strike a blow which at once de- cided the victory in their favour.
A party of five hundred horse, under the command of cornet Joyce, who had once been a tailor, but was now an active agitator, appeared at Holdenby. Joyce rush- ing into the king's presence, armed with pistols, told him lie must go along with him. " Whither ? " said the king. * fo the army,* replied Joyce. " By what au- thority ? " asked the king. Joyce pointing to the soldiers, who were tall, handsome, and well-accoutred. Charles smiling said, " Your warrant is written in fair characters, legible without spelling."
Resistance of course was vain, and Charles stepping into his coach, was safely conducted to the army, which was hastening to its rendezvous at Triplo Heath, near Cambridge. Fairfax was ignorant of this manoeuvre, and it was not till the arrival of Cromwell, who had been to wait on parliament with his usual hypocrisy, that the intrigue was developed. On his appearance in the camp, he was received with loud acclamations, and was instantly invested with the supreme command.
48 CHARLES THE FIRST,
Sensible that the parliament,' though in great dismay at present, had many resources, Jie advanced upon them with his army, and m a few days reached St. Alban's. All was in confusion at Westminster, and the army, hoping by terror to effect all their purposes, halted at St. Alban's, and entered into negotiation with their masters.
The army, in their usurpations on the parliament, copied exactly the model which the parliament had set them, in their recent usurpations on the crown. Every day they rose in their demands, and one concession only paved the way to another still more exorbitant. At last seeing no danger of resistance, in order to save ap- pearances, they removed to a greater distance from London, and fixed their head quarters at Reading.
Charles, who was constantly carried with them, found his situation much more comfortable than at Holdenby, His friends and children were allowed access to him, and both Cromwell and the parliament paid court to him ; and so confident did he appear, that all parties would find it for their interest to have recourse to his lawful autho- rity, that on several occasions he observed, " You cannot be without me, you cannot settle the nation but by my assistance. 1 "'
Charles, however, though he wished to hold the balance between the opposite factions, placed his chief reliance on the army at this period ; and to bring it over to his interest, he made the most splendid offers to Cromwell and Ireton. The former seemed to listen to his proposals, but probably he had already conceived views of higher ambition than to be the first of subjects.
Cromwell systematically pursued his plan of humbling the parliament, and of being left in England without a competitor. A petition being presented by the appren- tices and seditious multitude, against some decrees of parliament, and the house being obliged to retract its votes, the army, under pretence of restoring both houses to liberty, advanced to Hounslow, where Manchester and Lethnal, the two speakers, having secretly retired, by collusion, presented themselves with all the ensigns of their dignity, and complained of the violence that had been put upon them.
The two speakers were gladly received, and being
FOR HIGH TREASON. 49
conducted to Westminster by a military force, every act which had patted in their absence was annulled ; and the party which espoused the interests of the army became completely triumphant.
The generals having now established their dominion over the city and parliament, ventured to bring the king to Hampton Court ; but, finding his prospects daily be- come worse, from the insolence of the agitators, which in proportion to their success, and despairing of bringing Cromwell over to his views, he adopted the sudden and impolitic resolution of withdrawing, attended only by sir John Berkeley, Ashburnham, and Legge. Next day he reached Titchfield, but, sensible that he could not long remain concealed there, he imprudently committed himself into the hands of Hammond, governor of the Isle of Wight, a mere creature of Cromwell's, by whom he was carried to Carisbrooke Castle, and con- fined a prisoner, though treated with the externals of duty ancl respect.
Cromwell, now free from all anxiety in regard to the custody of the king's person, and awed by no authority, applied himself seriously to quell the disorders of the army, which himself had so diligently raised. He issued orders for the discontinuing the meetings of the agitators ; but these levellers as they were called, making a shew of resistance, Cromwell, in the moment of a review, seized the ringleaders before their companions, caused one mutineer to be shot instantly, and struck such terror into the rest, that they quietly returned to discipline and obedience.
( Yum well, who paid great deference to the counsels of 11, a man who had grafted the soldier on the lawyer, and the statesman on the saint, by his suggestion called a council of officers at Windsor, where was first opened the daring design of bringing their sovereign to condign punishment for mal-administration. But the time for earning this into execution was not yet arrived, though it was hastened by the intemperance of parliament, whose motions Cromwell directed.
That assembly, in their transactions with Charles, no
longer paid any regard to reason or equity. They
i nit ted him four proposals, to which he was to give
before they would deign to treat. The
50 CHARLES THE FIRST,
first was, that he should invest parliament with the mili- tary power for twenty years ; the second, that he should recall all his proclamations and declarations against the parliament, and acknowledge that they had taken up arms in their just and necessary defence ; the third, that he should annul all the acts, and void all the patents of peerage which had passed the great seal since the com- mencement of the civil wars ; and the fourth was, that he should give the two houses liberty to adjourn as they thought proper.
Charles, though a prisoner, regarded these demands as exorbitant, especially as there was no security that these concessions should lead to any final settlement. The republicans took fire at this remark ; and Cromwell, after expatiating on the valour and godliness of the army, added, " Teach them not, by your neglecting your own safety and that of the kingdom, to imagine themselves betrayed, and their interests abandoned to the rage and malice of an irreconcileable enemy, whom, for your sake, they have dared to provoke. Beware (and at these words he laid his hand on his sword), beware lest despair cause them to seek safety by some other means than by adhering to you, who know not how to consult your own safety.'"
Ninety-one members, however, had still the virtue and the courage to oppose this military threat ; but the majority decided, that no more addresses were to be made to the king, and that it should be high-treason for any person to correspond with him without a licence from parliament.
By this vote the king was actually dethroned ; but the parliament and the army enjoyed not in tranquillity that power which, with so much injustice and violence, they had obtained.
The Scots, alarmed at the subjection of parliament to the army, and the confinement of the king, had resolved to arm 40,000 men in support of their native prince, and secretly entered into correspondence with the English royalists, who excited insurrections in several parts of the kingdom. At the same time, seventeen ships lying at the mouth of the river, declared for the king, and setting their admiral ashore, sailed to Holland, where the prince of Wales took the command of them.
FOR HIGH TREASON. 51
in well and his military council, however, prepared themselves with vigour and conduct for defence ; and, during this interval, parliament having regained some share of liberty, repealed the vote for non-addressing, and five peers and ten commoners were sent to Newport in the Isle of Wight, as commissioners to treat with Charles.
From the time that the king had been a prisoner, he had totally neglected his person : his beard was suffered to grow long, and his hair, either from the decline of P8j or the load of sorrow with which he was oppressed, was turned quite grey. But the vigour of his mind was still unbroken ; and alone and unsupported for two months, he maintained an argument against fifteen men of the greatest parts and capacity in both houses, with- out suffering any advantage to be taken of him. He offered to recall all his proclamations, and to acknow- ledge that parliament had taken arms in their own defence ; he agreed that assembly should retain for twenty years the power over the militia and the army, and of levying what money they pleased, with the liberty to fill all the great offices of state ; but two demands he I ively resisted. He would neither give up his friends to punishment, nor agree to abolish episcopacy, though be wbm willing to temper it.
The council of general officers demanded the dissolu- tion of the present parliament, and a more equal repre- sentation in future. At the same time they advanced the troops to Windsor, and ordered the king to be removed to Hurst Castle, in Hampshire. Parliament, however, had the courage to set aside the remonstrance of the army, and to issue orders to forbid its nearer approach to London. But the generals were not to be intimidated by a vote or a decree. They advanced their troops to the metropolis, and surrounded the parliament with their hostile preparations.
In this dilemma, the parliament had the resolution to attempt to close their treaty with the king ; and, after a violent debate of three days, it was carried by a majority of one hundred and twenty-nine, against eighty- three, in the house of commons, that the king's conces- sion- were a foundation for the houses to proceed upon in the settlement of the kingdom.
52 CHARLES THE FIRST,
Next day, however, when the commons were about to meet, Colonel Pride, formerly a dray-man, having sur- rounded the house with two regiments, forty-one mem- bers of the presbyterian party were seized, and above one hundred and sixty more were excluded. In short, none but the most determined of the independents were allowed to enter, and these did not exceed the number of fifty or sixty. This invasion of the parliament commonly passed under the name of Colonel Pride's purge. The independents instantly reversed the former vote, which might yet have saved the king and constitution, and declared the concessions of Charles unsatisfactory : they renewed their vote of non-addresses ; and committed some of the leading presbyterian members to prison.
A scheme was now taken into consideration, by the generals, called, " The agreement of the people," which laid the basis of a republic ; and that they might confirm all their former iniquity and fanatical extravagance, they urged on the remaining shadow of a parliament, to prepare and bring in a specific charge against their sove- reign. A vote was accordingly passed, declaring it treason in a king to levy war against his parliament, and appointing a high court of justice to try Charles, for this new-invented treason.
The house of peers, which had in a manner been deserted, was called upon in the usual way for their sanc- tion to this vote; but of sixteen members who were present, not one would agree to such an infamous plan ; and, therefore, having instantly rejected the vote of the lower house, they adjourned for ten days, in hopes, by this delay, to retard the furious career of the commons.
This obstacle, however, was easily surmounted by that body. Having assumed as a principle, " That the people are the origin of all just power," they declared that the commons represented the people, and that their decrees had the force of laws. The ordinance for the trial of Charles Stewart was then read, and unanimously agreed to. It was as follows : â€”
" Whereas it is notorious, That Charles Stewart, now king of Eng- land, not content with those many encroachments, which his prede- cessors had made upon the people in their rights and freedoms, hath had a wicked design totally to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of this nation, and in their stead to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government; and that, besides all other evil
I HIGH TREASON. 55
Ways and means to bring this design to pass, he hath prosecuted with fire and sword, levied and maintained a cruel war in the land against the parliament and kingdom, whereby the country has been miser- (I, the public treasure exhausted, trade decayed, thousands â€¢pie murdered, and infinite other mischiefs committed; for all which wicked and treasonable offences, the said Charles Stewart might long since have been brought to exemplary and condign punishment: whereas also the parliament, well hoping that the re- straint and imprisonment of his person, after it had pleased God to deliver him into their hands, would have quieted the distempers of the kingdom, did forbear to proceed judicially against him ; but found by sad experience, that such their remissness served only to encourage him and his accomplices in the continuance of their evil practices, and in raising of new commotions, rebellions, and inva- sions. For prevention thereof of the like or greater inconveniences, and to the end no chief officer or magistrate whatsoever may here- after presume traitorously and maliciously to imagine or contrive the inslaving or destroying of the English nation, and so expect im- punity for so doing: be it ordained and enacted by the Commons in parliament, and it is hereby enacted by the authority thereof: That Thomas Lord Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, esqrs.; Sir Hardress Waller, knight; Philip Skippon, Valentine Walton, Thomas Harrison, Edward Whaley, Thomas Pride, Isaac Ewer, Richard Ingoldsby, Henry Mildmay, esqs. ; Sir Thomas Honywood, Thomas, Lord Gray of Groby; Philip, Lord Lisle; William, Lord Mounson ; Sir John Danvers, Sir Thomas Malverer, bart., Sir John Bourchier, Sir James Harrington, Sir William Alanson, Sir Henry Mildmay, Sir Thomas Wroth, knights : Sir William Masham, Sir John Barrington, Sir William Brereton, baronets; Robert Wallop, William Hevingham, esqrs.; Isaac Pennington, Thomas Atkins, Rowland Wilson, Aldermen of the City of London ; Sir Peter Wentworth, Knight of the Bath; Henry Martin, William Purfoy, Godfrey Rosvile, John Trenchard, Herbert Morley, John Barkstead, Matthew Thomlinson, John Blackiston, Gilbert Millington, esqrs. ; Sir William Constable, bart. ; Edmund Ludlow, John Lambert, John Hutchinson, esqrs. ; Sir Arthur Haslerig, Sir Michael Livesey, harts. ; Richard Salway, Humphrey Salway, Robert Titchburn, Owen Roe, Robert Manwaring, Robert Lilburn, Adrian Scroop, Richard Dean, John Okey, Robert Overton, John Huson, John Desborough, William Goffe, Robert Duckenfield, Cornelius Holland, John Carew, esqrs. ; Sir William Armin, bart. ; John Jones, Miles Corbett, Fran- cis Allen, Thomas Lister, Benjamin Weston, Peregrine Pelham, John Gourdcn, esqrs.; Francis Thorp, Serjeant-at-Law; John Nut, Thomas Chaloner, Algernon Sidney, John Anlaby, John More, Richard Darlev, William Say, John Alured, John Fagg, James Nel- thorp, es |rs. ; Sir William Roberts, knt. ; Francis Lassels, Alexan- der Rigby, Henry Smith, Edmund Wild, James Chaloner, Josias Berner>, Dennis Bond, Humphrey Edwards, Gregory Clement, John Fry, Thomas Wogan, esqrs.; Sir Gregory Norton, hart.; John Brad- ihaw, Serjeant-at-Law : Edmond Harvey, John Dove, John Ven, esqrs. ; John Fowls, Alderman of the City of London ; Thomas Scot, esq. ; Thomas Andrews, Alderman of the City of London ;
CHARLES THE FIRST,
William Cawley, Abraham Burrel, Anthony Stapeley, Roger Grat* wick, John Peters, Thomas Horton, Thomas Hammond, George Fenwick, esqrs. ; Robert Nicholas, Serjeant-at-Law ; Robert Rey- nolds, John Lisle, Nicholas Love, Vincent Potter, esqrs. ; Sir Ed- ward Bainton, John Corbet, Thomas Blunt, Thomas Boone, Augus- tine Garland, Augustine Skinner, John Dixwell, George Fleetwood, Simon Mayne, James Temple, Peter Temple, Daniel Blagrave, esqrs. ; Sir Peter Temple, knight and baronet ; Thomas Wayte, John Brown, John Lowry, esqrs. ; shall, and are hereby appointed and required to be commissioners for the hearing, trying, and ad- judging of the said Charles Stewart: and the said commissioners, or any twenty or more of them, shall be and are hereby authorised and constituted a High Court of Justice, to meet and sit at such conve- nient time and place, as by the said commissioners, or the major part of twenty or more of them, under their hands and seals, shall be appointed and notified by public proclamation in the great Hall or Palace-yard at Westminster, and to adjourn from time to time^ and from place to place, as the said High Court, or the major part thereof meeting, shall hold fit ; and to take order for the charging him the said Charles SteVart with the crimes and treasons above- mentioned, and for receiving of his personal answer thereunto, and for the examination of witnesses upon oath, which the court hath hereby authority to administer, or otherwise; and taken any other evidence concerning the same, and thereupon, or in default of such answer, to proceed to final sentence, according to justice and the merit of the cause : and such final sentence to execute, or cause to be executed speedily and impartially. And the said court is hereby authorized and required to appoint and direct all such officers, attendants, and other circumstances, as they, or the major part of them, shall in any sort judge necessary or useful for the orderly and good managing of the premises. And Thomas, Lord Fairfax, the general, and all officers and soldiers under his command, and all officers of Justice, and other well-affected persons, are hereby authorized and required to be aiding and assisting unto the said court in the due execution of the trust hereby committed : Provided, that this act, and the authority hereby granted, do continue in force for the space of one month from the making hereof, and no longer."
The Commons in pursuance to this act, ordering the commissioners to meet on the 8th in the Painted-Ch am- ber, the act was there openly read, and the court called.
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT. Thomas Lord Fairfax Oliver Cromwell, Esq. Henry Ireton, Esq. Sir Hardress Waller Valen. Walton, Esq. Edward Whaley Thomas Pride
Sir G. Norton, Bart,
Peter Temple, Esq.
John Ven, Esq. Henry Martin, Esq. John Berkstead, Esq. Gilb. Millington, Esq. Richard Dean, Esq. Corn. Holland, Esq. John Jones, Esq.
John Alured, Esq. Henry Smyth, Esq. John Lisle, Esq,
James Temple, Esq. Adrian Scroop, Esq. Edmond Ludlow, f sq. John Huson, Esq. Thos. Harrison, Esq. Nicholas Love, Esq. T. Lord Grey of Groby Sir John Danvers Sir T. Maleverer,Bart. Sir John Bourchier
FOft HIGH TREASON. 55
John Downs, Esq. John Brown, Esq. J. Hutchinson, Esq. Miles Corbet, Esq. H. Edwards, Esq. Edmond Harvey, Esq. William Goff, Esq.
Sir Henry Mildmay f Wm. Purefoy, Esq. I Challoner, Esq. John Blackiston, Esq.
- v ClcmentjEsq. 1 Wm. Lord Mounson
John Fry, Esq. John Okey, Esq.
August. Garland, Esq. John Garew, Esq. Daniel Blagrave, Esq.' Per. Pelham, Esq. Rob. Titchbourn, EsqJ Francis Lassels, Esq. W. Heveningham,Esq.|
These commissioners having appointed the court to be held on the 90th, Edward Dendy, Sergeant at Arms, authorized by precept to make proclamation thereof in those words : â€”
" By virtue of an act of the Commons of England, assembled in parliament, for erecting a High Court of Justice, for trying and judg- ing Charles Stewart, king of England : we whose names are under- written, being commissioners amongst others nominated in that act, do hereby appoint, that the High Court of Justice mentioned in the said act, shall be held in the Palace of Westminster, on Wednesday the 20th instant January, by one of the clock in the afternoon; and this we do appoint to be notified by public proclaiming thereof in the Great Hall at Westminster, to-morrow, being the ninth, betwixt the hours of nine and eleven in the forenoon. In testimony whereof, we have set our hands and seals, this 8th of Jan. Anno 1648."
The first order they made was, that in case the pri- soner should in language or carriage towards the court, be insolent, outrageous, or contemptuous, that it should be left to the president to reprehend him for it, and ad- monish him of his duty, as also to command the taking away of the prisoner, and if he saw cause, to withdraw or adjourn the court ; but as to the prisoner's putting off his hat, the court would not insist upon it for that day, and that if the king desired time to answer, the president was to give him time. Then Lisle and Say, upon the president's desire and motion being ordered to be his assistants, and to sit near him in the court â€” the itor presented the charge against the king ingrossed on parchment, which was read, and being signed by the -oiieitor, was returned to him, to be exhibited against his majesty, in his presence in open court; and there- upon the court adjourned forthwith to Westminster- Hall.
This was Saturday the 20th of January, 1648, O. S. when the president of the High Court of Justice, his two assistants, and the rest of the commissioners came to the bench or place prepared for their sitting in the halj at the west end of it, divers officers of the court, on e
CHARLES THE FIRST,
and twenty partizans, and a sword and mace marching before them into the court, where the president in a crimson velvet chair fixed in the midst of the court, placed himself, having a desk, with a crimson velvet cushion before him ; the rest of the members placing themselves on each side of him, upon several seats or benches, hung with scarlet for that purpose; the pre- sident's two assistants sitting next on each side of him 7 and the two clerks of the court placed at a table some- what lower, and covered with a Turkey carpet ; upon which table was also laid the sword and mace ; the said guard of partizans dividing themselves on each side of the court before them. Then three proclamations being made for all persons that were adjourned over thither, to draw near, and silence enjoined, the great gate of the hall was set open, to the intent, as they said, that all persons, without exception, desirous to see or hear, might come into it, upon which the hall was presently filled, and silence again ordered and commanded.
Then the act of the Commons for erecting a High Court of Justice, for trying and judging Charles Stewart, King of England, being openly read by one of the clerks of the court, the court was called over, every commissioner present, thereupon rising to his name : they were sixty-five in number, and must not be omitted in this place.
JOHN BRADSHAW, SERJEANT AT LAW, LORD PRESIDENT.
Oliver Cromwell Henry Ireton Sir Hardress Waller Valentine Walton Thomas Harrison Edward Whaley Thomas Pride Isaac Ewer Lord Grey of Groby Wm. Lord Mounson Sir John Danvers Sir John Malverer Sir John Bourchier Isaac Pennington Henry Martin William Purefoy John Berksted John Blackistone
Gilbert Millington Sir William Constable Edmond Ludlow John Hutchinson Sir Michael Livesay Robert Tichbourn Owen Roe Robert Lilbourn Adrian Scroope Thomas Norton Thomas Hammond John Lisle Nicholas Love Vincent Potter Augustine Garland Richard Dean John Okey John Huson
William Goff Cornelius Holland John Carew John Jones Thomas Lister Peregrine Pelham Francis Allen Thomas Chalione? John Moor William Say John Allured Franeis Lassells Humphry Edwards Gregory Clement John Fry
Sir Gregory Norton Edmond Harvey John Vena u
FOR H10.Il TREASON.
Thomas Scot John Dixwell Peter Temple
William Cawley Simon Meyne Daniel Blagrave
Anthony Harley James Temple John Brown. John Downs
This done, the court commanded the serjeant at arms ,ul for the prisoner, and thereupon Colonel Tom- 11, who had the charge of him, in a quarter of an hour's time brought him, attended by Colonel Hacker, and two and thirty officers with partizans, guarding him irt, and his own servants immediately attending him : being thus brought up in the face of the court, the serjeant with his mace received him, and conducted him straight to the bar, having a crimson velvet chair set before him : his majesty, after he had looked sternly . the court, and the people in the galleries on each side of him, placed himself in the chair, not at all moving his hat, or otherwise shewing the least regard to that novel judicature; but presently rising again, he turned about, looking downwards upon the guards placed on the left side, and the multitude of the spec- is on the right of the hall; the guard that attended him, in the meantime dividing themselves on each side the court, and his own servants following him to the bar, stood on the left hand of their royal master.
His majesty having replaced, himself in his chair, with his face towards the court, then Bradshaw said to the king â€”
" Charles Stewart, King of England, the Commons of England
- bled in Parliament, being sensible of the great calamities
brought upon this nation, and of the innocent bloodshed, by you and your accomplices, according to that duty which they owe to God, the nation, and themselves, according to that power and fun- ntal trust reposed in them by the people, have constituted this . Court of Justice, before which you are now brought, and you > hear your charge upon which the court will proceed to jus- tice."
icitor Cook. My Lord, in behalf of the Commons of Eng- , and of all the people thereof, I do accuse Charles Stewart here present of high-treason and misdemeanors; and I do in the name of the Commons of England desire the charge may be read unto him. The King. Hold a little.
Bradshaw. Sir, the court commands the charge to be read, after- ward you may be heard.
The ch:r read, containing in general : â€”
" That the said Charles Stewart, being admitted King of England, and trusted with a limited power to govern according to the laws of
58 CHAKLES THE FIRST,
the land, and not otherwise, and by his trust, oath and office, being obliged to use the power committed to him for the good and benefit of the people, and for the preservation of their rights and liberties ; yet nevertheless out of a wicked design, to erect and uphold in him- self an unlimited and tyrannical power, to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people, yea, to take away, and make void, the foundations thereof, and of all redress and remedy of misgovernment, which by the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom, were reserved on the people's behalf, in the right and power of frequent and successive parliaments, or national meetings in council. He, the said Charles Stewart, for accomplishing such designs, and for the protecting of himself, and his adherents, in his and their wicked practices, to the same ends, hath traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present parliament, and the people therein represented, particularly upon, or about the 30th day of June, in the year 1642, at Beverley, in the county of York, and upon or about the 30th day of July, the same year, in the county and city of York, and upon or about the 24th of August, the year aforesaid, at the county, and in the town of Nottingham, where and when he set up his standard of war ; and also on or about the 22d of October, the same year, at Edge-hill and Keinton-field, in the county of Warwick, the said Charles Stewart, caused and procured many thousands of the free people of this nation to be slain, and by divi- sions, parties and insurrections in this land, and invasion from foreign parts endeavoured and procured by him, and by many other evil ways and means, hath not only maintained and carried on the said war by sea and land ; but also hath lenewed, or caused to be renew- ed, the said war against the parliament, and good people of this- nation, in this present year 1648, in the counties of Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, and many other counties and places in England and Wales, and also by sea : and particularly he the said Charles Stewart, hath for that purpose given commissions to his son the prince, and others, whereby besides multitudes of other persons, many such as were by the parliament entrusted and employed for the safety of the nation, (being by him, or his agents, corrupted, for the betraying of their trust, and revolting from the parliament) have had entertainment and commission for the continuing and renewing of war and hostility against the said parliament and people aforesaid i by which cruel and unnatural wars, by him the said Charles Stewart, levied, continued, and renewed as aforesaid, much innocent blood hath been spilt, many families have been undone, the public treasure exhausted, trade obstructed, and miserably decayed, vast expence and damage to the nation incurred, and many parts of the land spoil- ed, some of them even to desolation.
" And for further prosecution of his said evil designs, he the said Charles Stewart doth still continue his commissions to the Prince of Wales, and other rebels and revolters both English and foreigners : to the Earl of Ormond, and to the Irish rebels and revolters associ- ated with him, from whom farther invasions upon this land are threatened, upon the procurement, and on the behalf of the said Charles Stewart. All which wicked designs of war, and evil prac- tices, are carried on for the advancing and upholding the personal
VDR II1CH TKKASON. 59
interest of will and power, and pretended prerogative to himself, and his family, against the public interest, common right, liberty, inuico, and peace of the people of this nation, by, and for whom he was intrusted as aforesaid. By all which it appeareth,
" That he the said Charles Stewart hath been, and is the occa- sioned author, and contriver of the said unnatural, cruel and bloody wars, and therein guilty of all the treasons, murders, rapines, burn- ings, spoils, desolations, damages, and mischiefs to this nation, acted or committed in the said wars, or occasioned thereby. And the said John Cook by protestation, saving the liberty of exhibiting at any time hereafter, any other charge against the said Charles Stewart, and also of replying to the answers which he the said Charles Stewart shall make to the premises, or any of them, or any other charge shall be so exhibited, doth for the said treasons and crimes, on the behalf of the said people of England, impeach the said Charles Stewart, as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and a public and implacable enemy to the commonwealth of England, and pray that the said Charles Stewart, King of England, may be put to answer all and every the premises, that such proceedings, examinations, trials, sen- tences, and judgment, may be thereupon had, as shall be agreeable to justice."
The king while the charge was reading, sat in his chair, looking sometimes on the court, sometimes up to the galleries, and then rising up turned about to behold the guards and spectators ; then he sat down with a majestic and unmoved countenance, and sometimes smiled, especially at those words, tyrant, traitor and murderer, and public enemy to the common- wealth.
About this time it was, that the silver head of his majesty's cane fell off. Sir Philip Warwick, a royalist, says in his memoirs, that the king himself confessed to the Bishop of London afterwards, that this accident made a great impression upon him, and to this hour, he added, I know not possibly how it should happen. Whether it was a silver, or a gold head, according to Sir Philip, is not very material : it is generally allowed, that the king seeing nobody would take it up, stooped for it himself, though Lilly, in his history of his life and times, says, he saw the head fall off, and that Mr. Rush- worth took it up.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you have heard vour charge, and you find in the close of it, that the court is prayed, in behalf of the Commons of England, that you answer to your charge, which the court now ex- pects.
The King. â€” I would know by what power I am called hither : I was not long ago in the Isle of Wight ; how I came hither is a longer story than I think fit at this time to relate. There I entered into r\
60 CHARLES THE FIRST,
treaty with both houses of parliament, with as much faith as is possi- ble to be had of any people in the world : I treated there with a num- ber of honourable Lords and Gentlemen, and treated honestly and uprightly : I cannot say but they did nobly with me : we were upon the conclusion of the treaty. Now I would know by what lawful authority (there are many unlawful authorities, such as thieves and robbers on the high-way) I was brought from thence, and carried from place to jplace, and I know not what, and when I know by what authority, I shall answer. Remember I am your king, your lawful king, and beware lest you bring sin upon your own heads, and the judgment of God upon this land: think well upon it, I say, before you go on from one sin to a greater, therefore let me know by what lawful authority I am seated here, and I shall not be unwilling to answer. In the meantime I shall not betray my trust: I have a trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent, and I will not betray it, to answer to a new unlawful authority.
Bradshaw. â€” If you had been pleased to observe what was hinted to you by the court at your first coming hither, you would have known by what authority : which authority requires you in the name of the people of England, of whom you are elected king, to answer them.
King. â€” I deny that.
Bradshaw. â€” If you acknowledge not the authority of the court, they must proceed.
King. â€” I do tell them so, England was never an elective king- dom; but an hereditary kingdom for near these thousand years; therefore let me know by what lawful authority I am ealled hither ; I do stand more for the liberty of my people than any here that come to be my pretended judges, and therefore let me know by what law- ful authority, and I will answer, otherwise I will not answer.
Bradshaw. â€” How you have managed your trust, is known ; your way of answer is to interrogate the court, which becomes you not in this condition, you have been told of it twice or thrice.
King. â€” Here is Lieutenant-Colonel Corbet, ask him, if he did not bring me from the Isle of Wight by force, I do not come here as sub- mitting to the court ; I will stand as much for the privilege of the House of Commons, rightly understood, as any man here whatso- ever. I see no House of Lords that may constitute a parliament, and the king too, it should have been. Is this the bringing the king to his parliament ? Is this the putting an end to the treaty on the public faith ? Let me see a lawful authority, warranted by the word of God, the Scriptures, or by the Constitution of the kingdom. I will not betray my trust, or the liberty of my people. I am sworn to keep the peace by that duty I owe to God and my country, and I will do it to the last breath in my body. As it is a sin to withstand lawful authority, so it is to submit to a tyrannical, or any otherwise unlawful authority.
Bradshaw. â€” The court expects your final answer, and will adjourn till Monday next : we are satisfied with our authority, who are your judges, and it is upon God's authority, and the kingdom's ; and that peace you speak of will be kept in doing justice, and that's our pre- sent work.
King. â€” For answer, let me tell you, I have seen no authority to satisfy any reasonable man.
VOlt HIGH THI
Bradshaw. â€” That is in your apprehension ; we are satisfied, that
Kin^.â€” Tis not my apprehension, nor yours neither, that ought lo decide it.
Bradshaw. â€” The court has heard you, and you are to be disposed of as they have commanded.
i ordering the guards to take him away, his majesty only replied, Well, Sir, and at his going down, pointing
i his staff to the charge that lay on the table, he said, I doift fear that: for it is a direct mistake, that his pointing was to the axe, for there was none there: as he went down the stairs, some people in the hall cried, God the King, though others called for Justice, Justice. On Monday. January 22d, the court first sat private IB the Painted Chamber, where sixty-one were present,
JOHN BRADS HAW, SERJEANT AT LAW, LORD PRESIDENT.
William Say John Downs Edward Whaley Francis Allen Sir Thos. Maleverer Valentine Walton Peter Temple John Fry Thomas Scot Henry Smith Thomas Pride
Garland John Venn Sir John Bourchier William Purefoy
"m. Constable I. Pennington, Alder. Thomas Harrison Edward Harvey John Hutchinson Oliver Cromwell
Lord Grey of Groby Sir Gregory Norton Robert Wallap James Temple Owen Roe Hichard Dean William Goff Francis Lassells Edmond Ludlow William Cawley Gilbert Millington Sir Hardress Waller Anthony Stapley John Jones Nicholas Love John Carew Thomas Andrews, Al derman of London Isaac Ewers John Huson
Cornelius Holland Humphrey Edwards Vincent Potter John Okey John Blackison Thomas Hammond Daniel Biagrave Win. Haveningham Sir Mich. Livesay John Berkstead P. Pelham Adrian Scroop John Dixwell John Moor Robert Tichbourne James Challoner Gregory Clement W. Lord Mounson Henry Martin Thomas Challoner.
After Colonel Harvey had signified to the court in behalf of Mr. John Corbet, a member, that his abs was not from any disaffection to their proceedings, but upon the account of other special employment he had in the service of the state, they proceeded to con the kings behaviour, and perceiving he struck at their diction, tluv peremptorily resolved he should not be in question what he aimed at, and
CHARLES THE FIRST,
ordered that if he should again fall into that discourse, the president should tell him, that they had taken his demands into consideration, and that he ought to rest satisfied with this answer ; that the Commons of Eng- land assembled in Parliament have constituted this court, whose power might not, nor should not be permitted to be disputed by him, and that they were resolved he should answer to his charge : that if he did it with a jralvo to his pretended prerogative, the president in the court's name should reject his protests, and require his positive answer ; that if he should require a copy of the charge, upon declaring his intention to answer, it should be granted him. That if he still persisted in his con- tempt, as they called it, the president should command the clerk to demand of him in the name of the court, in these words following, viz.
Charles Stewart, King of England, you are accused in the name of the people of England, of divers high crimes and treasons, which charge nas been read unto you ; the court requires you to give a po- sitive answer, whether you confess or deny the charge, having deter- mined that you ought to answer the same.
Then they adjourned to Westminster Hall, where these sixty-nine members were present.
JOHN BRADSHAW, PRESIDENT.
Sir Hardress Waller
Thos. Lord Grey of
Groby Will. Lord Mounson Sir John Danvers Sir Thos. Maleverer Sir John Bourchier Edmund Ludlow John Huson William Goff Cornelius Holland John Carew Robert Milbourne
John Jones Francis Allen Peregrine Pelham Thomas Challoner John Moor John Aluret- Francis Lassells Henry Smyth James Challoner Gregory Clement John Fry Thomas Wogan Peter Temple Robert Wallop Will. Heveningham Isaac Pennington, Al- derman of London Henry Martin William Purefoy John Berksted William Tomiison John Blackistone
Sir Wm. Constable, Bart.
Sir Mich. Livesay Bart.
Sir Gregory Norton, Bart.
Thomas Andrews, Al- derman of London
Wm. Cawley, Alder- man
I- ,H n;r.Aso\\
Thomas Norton Thomas Hammond Nicholas Love Vincent Potter
Sir Gilbert Pickering,
Bart. Augustine Garland John Dixwell
James Temple Daniel Blagrave Humphrey Edwards
The royal prisoner being brought before this tri- bunal.
Solicitor Cook. â€” I did at the last court in behalf of the people of England, exhibit, and give into the court a charge of high treason, and other crimes against the prisoner at the bar, whereof I do ac- cuse him in the name of the people of England, and the charge was read unto him, and his answer required. My Lord, he was not then pleased to give an answer ; but instead of answering, did dispute the authority of this high-court ; my humble motion to this high-court, in behalf of the kingdom, is, that the prisoner may be directed to make a positive answer, either by way of confession or negation, which if he shall refuse to do, that the matter of charge may be taken pro confesso, and the court may proceed according to justice.
Bradshaw to the King. â€” Sir, you may remember at the last court, you were told the occasion of your being brought hither, and you heard the charge read against you, &c. You heard likewise what was prayed on behalf of the people, that you should give an .answer to that charge : you were then pleased to make some scruples concerning the authority of this court, and said, you knew not by what authority you was brought hither : you did divers times
Eropound your questions, and were as often answered, that it was y the authority of the Commons of England, assembled in parlia- ment, that did think fit to call you to an account, for those high and capital misdemeanors, wherewith you then were charged, since that the court hath taken into consideration what you then said : they are fully satisfied with their own authority, and they hold it fit you should stand satisfied therewith too ; and they do require, that you give a positive and particular answer to their charge exhibited against you, they expect you should either confess or deny. If you denv, it is offered on the behalf of the kingdom to be made good against you : their authority they avow to the whole world, and the whole kingdom are to rest satisfied in it, and therefore you are to lose no more time, but to give a positive answer thereunto.
King. â€” When I was here last, it is true, I made that question, and truly, if it were only my particular case, I would have satisfied my- self with a protestation I made here the last time, against the legal- ity of this court, and that a king cannot be tried by any superior jurisdiction upon earth ; but it is not my case alone, it is the freedom and liberties of the people of England ; and do you pretend what you will, I stand more for their liberties than you; for if power without laws may make laws, and may alter the fundamental laws of the kingdom, I do not know what subject he is in England that can be sure of his life, or any thing that he calls his own : therefore, when I came hither, I did expect particular reasons to know by what law, by what authority, you proceed against me here, and therefore I am a little to seek what I am to say to you in this particular, be- cause the affirmative is to be proved ; the negative is often very
(J4? CHARLES THE FIRST,
hard to do. I shall tell you my reasons as short as I can. All pro- ceedings against any man whatsoever-*-
Here Bradshaw interrupted the king, saying, Sir, I must interrupt you, what you do is not agreeable to the proceedings of any court of justice. You are about to enter into arguments and dispute concerning the authority of this court, before whom you appear as a prisoner, and are charged as an high delin- quent : you may not dispute the authority of this court, nor will any court give way unto it, you are to submit to it, you are to give a punctual and direct answer ; whether you will answer your charge or no, and what your answer is.
King. â€” Sir by your favour, although I do not know the forms of law, I do know law and reason ; I know as much law as any gentle- man in England, and therefore, under favour, I do plead for the liberty of the people of England more than you do, and therefore, if I should impose a belief on any man without reasons given, it is un- reasonable. But I must tell you, that by the reason that I have, as thus informed, I cannot yield unto it.
Here Bradshaw interrupted him again.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, I must interrupt you. You may not be permit- ted ; you speak of law and reason, and these are both against you. Sir, the vote of the Commons of England, assembled in parliament, is the reason of the kingdom, and they are those that have given you that law, according to which you should have ruled and reigned.. Sir, you are not to dispute our authority ; you are told it again by the court, Sir, it will be taken notice of that you stand in contempt of the court, and your contempt will be recorded accordingly.
King. â€” I do not know how a king can be a delinquent : but by all the laws that ever I heard of, all men, delinquents or what you will, may put in demurrers against any proceedings, as illegal ; and I do demand that, and demand to be heard with my reasons. If you deny that, you deny reason.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you have offered something to the court; I shall speak something to you of the sense of the court : Sir, neither you, nor any man, are permitted to dispute that point, you are con- cluded, you may not demur to the jurisdiction of the court : if you do I must let you know they overrule your demurrer. They sit here by the authority of the commons of England, and all your prede- cessors and you are responsible to them.
King. â€” I deny that : shew me one precedent.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you are not to interrupt while the court is speak- ing to you ; this point is not to be debated by you, neither will the court permit you to do it. If you offer it by way of demurrer to the jurisdiction of the court, they have considered of their jurisdiction; they do affirm their own jurisdiction.
King. â€” Sir, I say, by your favour, that the commons of England were never a court of judicature : I would fain know how they came to be so.
Bradshaw.â€” Sir, you are not to be permitted to go on in that speech, and these discourses.
} OR HIGH THE A SON. 65
Then the clerk of the court read as follows :
Charles Stewart, King of England, you have been accused, in the behalf of the people of England of high treason, and other high crimes ; the court hath determined that you ought to answer the same.
King. â€” I will answer the same, as soon as I know by what autho- rity you do this.
Bradshaw.â€” If this be all you say, then, gentlemen, you that brought the prisoner hither take charge of him back again.
King. â€” I do require that I may give my reasons why I do not answer, and give me time for that.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, it is not for prisoners to require.
King. â€” Prisoner ! Sir, I am not an ordinary prisoner.
Bradshaw. â€” The court have already affirmed their own jurisdic- tion : if you will not answer, we shall give order to record your default.
King. â€” You never heard my reasons yet.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, your reasons are not to be heard against the jurisdiction of the court.
King. â€” Shew me that jurisdiction where reason is not to be heard.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, we shew it you here : the Commons of England. And the next time you are brought, you will know more of the pleasure of the court, and, it may be their final determination.
King. â€” Shew me where ever the house of commons was a court of judicature of this kind.
Bradshaw. â€” Serjeant take away the prisoner.
King. â€” Well, Sir, remember that the king is not suffered to give i n his reasons, for the liberty and freedom of all his subjects.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you are not to have liberty to use this language; how great a friend you have been to the laws and liberty of the people, let all England and the world judge.
King. â€” Under favour, Sir, it was the liberty, freedom, and laws of the subject that ever I took; I defended myself with arms; I never took up arms against the people, but for the laws.
Bradshaw. â€” The command of the court must be obeyed; no answer will be given to the charge.
So the king was guarded out to Sir Robert Cotton's house.
The court adjourned, at the same time, to the Painted Chamber, where were sixty-three of the judges,
JOHN BRADSHAW, PRESIDENT.
John I Willian Sir James Harrington,
Knt, Francis Allen Henry Martin Thomas Scott Sir Hardress Waller
Edward Whaley John Venn Richard Dean John Huson Thomas Lord Grey of
Groby William Purefoy Daniel Blagrave
Isaac Pennington, Al- derman Thomas Harrison Adrian Scroop Robert Lilbourn Sir Gregory Norton Cornelius Holland William Cowley
CHARLES THE FIRST,
Augustine Garland Nicholas Love Thomas Hammond John Moor Edmond Harvey John Huson Henry Smyth Thomas Challoners Miles Corbet John Okey Sir Wm. Constable,
Bart. Gilbert Millington Humphry Edwards Antony Stapley Robert Titchbourne
Sir John Danvers Simon Meyne Vincent Potter Oliver Cromwell Edmond Ludlow John Blackistone Sir Henry Mildmay John Hutchinson Peter Temple Henry Ireton Sir Michael Livesay,
Bart. John Jones James Temple Isaac Ever Sir John Bourchier
Sir Thos. Maleverer, Bart.
Thomas Andrews, Al- derman of London
Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bart.
Here they ordered their president to acquaint the king, that in case he continued contumacious, he was to expect no farther time, and therefore the president, in the courts name, was to demand his positive and final answer, and that if he should persist in his refusal, he was to command the clerk to read as follows : â€”
Charles Stewart, King of England, you are accused, on the behalf of the people of England, of divers high crimes and treasons : the court now require your final and positive answer, by way of confes- sion or denial of the charge.
That nevertheless, if his majesty should agree to answer, and desire a copy of the charge, it might be granted him by the presi- dent : who yet was to let him know, that the court might in justice proceed forthwith to judgment for his former contumacy, and failure of answer, and that he should be required to give his answer to the said charge the next day, at one in the afternoon :
They then adjourned to Westminster Hall, where there appeared sixty-nine : viz.
JOHN BRADSHAW, PRESIDENT
Oliver Cromwell Henry Ireton Sir Hardress Waller Valentine Walton Thomas Harrison Edward Whaley Thomas Pride Isaac Ewer Henry Martin William Purefoy John Berkstead John Blackiston
Gilbert Millington Sir W.Constable, Bart. Edmund Ludlow John Hutchinson Sir M. Livesay, Bar. Robert Titchbourne Owen Roe Robert Lilboume Adrian Scroope Richard Dean John Okey John Huson
William Goff Cornelius Holland John Carew John Jones Miles Corbet * Francis Allen Peregrine Pelham Thomas Challoner John Moor William Say John Dixwell SirH. Mildmay, Kt.
FOR HIGH TREASON.
Lord Grey of Oorby I Daniel Blagrave William Lord Manson Humphry Edwards
Sir John Danvers GregoryClement
SirT. Malevrrer. Bart John Fry
Sir J. Bourchier. KtJ Thomas Wogan
Sir J. Harrington, KtJ Sir Gregory Norton
Robert Wallop Edward Harvey
W. llt-veningham John Venn
Isaac Pennington, Al- Thomas Scott
derman of London Thomas Andrews, Al-
Hcnrv Smyth James Temple.
derman of London William Cawley
Anthony Stapley "] John Downs Thomas Horton Thomas Hammond John Lisle Nicholas Love Vincent Potter Sir. Gilbert Pickering,
Bart. Augustine Garland Simon Meyne.
Solicitor Cook began thus:
May it please you my Lord President, this is now the third time, that by the great grace and favour of this high court, the prisoner has been brought to the bar ; before any issue joined in the cause, my Lord, I did at the first court exhibit a charge against him, con- taining the highest treason that ever was wrought upon the theatre of England ; that a king of England, entrusted to keep the law, that had taken an oath so to do, that had tribute paid for him for that end, should be guilty of a wicked design to subvert and destroy our laws, and introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government, and in defiance of the parliament, and their authority, set up his standard for war against the parliament and people, and I did humbly pray in the behalf of the people of England, that he might be speedily made to answer to the charge.
But, my Lord, instead of making an answer, he did then dispute the authority of this high court. Your Lordship was pleased to give him a farther day to consider, which being yesterday, I humbly moved, he might be required to give a direct and positive answer, either by denving or confessing it : but, my Lord, he was then pleased to decline the jurisdiction of the court, which the court over- ruled, and commanded him to give a direct and positive answer.
My Lord, besides this great delay of justice, I shall humbly move your Lordship for speedy justice against him ; my Lord, I might your Lordship upon the whole, that according to the known rules of the law of the land, if a prisoner stands as contumacious in contempt, and shall not put in an issuable plea, guilty or not guilty, of the charge given against him, whereby he may come to a fair trial, that as by an implicit confession it may be taken pro confesso, as it has been done to those who deserved more favour than the prisoner at the bar has done; but, besides, my Lord, I shall humbly press your Lordship upon the whole fact, the House of Commons, the supreme authority and jurisdiction of the kingdom, they have declared, that, it is notorious that the matter of the charge is true ; as it is in truth, my Lord, as clear as the sun at noon-day, which, if your Lordship, and the court, be not satisfied in, I have notwith- standing on the people of England's behalf, several witnesses to produce. And therefore I do humbly pray, and yet I must con 'tis not so much I, as the innocent blood that has been shed, the cry whereof is very great, for justice and judgment, and therefore I do
68 CHARLES THE FIRST,
humbly pray, that speedy judgment be pronounced against the prisoner at the bar.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you have heard what has been moved by the counsel in behalf of the kingdom against you. Sir, you may well remember, and if you do not, the court cannot forget what dilatory dealings it has found at your hands. You were pleased to propose some questions; you have had their resolutions upon them. You were told over and over again, that the court did affirm their own jurisdiction, that it was not for you, nor for any other man to dispute the jurisdiction of the supremest and highest authority in England, from which there is no appeal, and touching which, there must be no dispute ; yet you did persist in such carriage, you gave no manner of obedience, nor did you acknowledge any authority in them, nor the high court that constituted this court of justice.
Sir, I must let you know from the court, that they are very sensible of these delays of yours, and that they ought not, being thus au- thorised by the supreme court of England, to be thus trifled with, and that they might in justice, if they pleased, and according to the rules of Justice, take advantage of these delays, and proceed to pronouncejudgment against you; yet nevertheless they are pleased to give direction, and on their behalf I do require you, that you make a positive answer to this charge that is against you. Sir, in plain terms (for justice is no respecter oT persons) you are to give our positive and final answer in plain English, whether you be guilty or not guilty of these treasons laid to your charge.
The king after a little pause, said :
When I was here yesterday, I did desire to speak for the liberties of the people of England, I was interrupted, I desire to know yet whether I may speek freely or not ?
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you have had the resolutions of the court upon the like question the last day, that having such a charge of so high a nature against you, your work was, that you ought to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court, and to answer to your charge, which the court gives you now leave to do, though they might have taken the advantage of your contempt, yet if you be able to answer to your charge, when you have once answered, you shall be heard at large, make the best defence you can. But, sir, I must let you know from the court, as their commands, that you are not to be permitted to issue out into any other discourses, till such time as you have given a positive answer concerning the matter that is charged upon you.
King. â€” For the charge I value it not a rush ; it is the liberty of the people of England that I stand for. For me to acknowledge a new court that I never heard of before, I that am your king, that should be an example to all the people of England, for to uphold justice, to maintain the old laws, indeed I know not how to do it. You spoke well the first day I came here, of the obligation that was laid on me by God to maintain the liberties of my people ; the same obligation you spoke of, I do acknowledge to God and my people, to defend as much as in me lies, the ancient laws of the kingdom. Therefore, till I know that is not against the fundamental laws of the kingdom, I can put in no particular answer. If you will give me time, I will
FOR HIGH TREASON. ()!)
shew you my reasons, and this â€” [here the king was interrupted i, but recovering himself, went on, saying,] by your favour, you ought not to interrupt me. How I came hither I know not, there is nq law to make your king your prisoner. I was in a treaty* on the public faith of the kingdom, made to me by the two houses of parliament, that was the representative of the kingdom, and I had almost made an end of the treaty, when I was hurried away, and brought hither, and thereforeâ€”
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you must know the pleasure of the court.
King.â€” By your favour sirâ€” [here Bradshaw interrupted him.]
Bradshaw. Nay, sir, by your favour, you may not be permitted to fall into those discourses, you appear as a delinquent, you have ac- knowledged the authority of the court, the court craves it not of you, but once more they command you to give your positive answer. Clerk, do your duty.
King. â€” Duty, Sir !
Then the clerk read : â€”
Charles Stewart, king of England, you are accused in behalf of the Commons of England, of divers high crimes and treasons which charge has been read unto you. The court now requires you to give your positive and final answer, by way of confession or denial of the charge.
King. â€” I say again to you, so that I may give satisfaction to the people of England of the clearness of my proceedings, not by way of answer, but to satisfy them, that I have done nothing against that trust that hath been committed to me, I would do it, but to acknow- ledge a new court against their privileges, to alter the fundamental laws of the kingdom, Sir, you must excuse me. ~ Bradshaw. â€” Sir, this is the third time that you have publicly disa- vowed this court, and put an affront upon it ; how far you have pre- served the privileges of the people, your actions have spoken, but truly, Sir, men's intentions snould be known by their actions, you have written your meaning in bloody characters throughout the whole kingdom ; but, sir, you understand the pleasure of the court. Clerk, record the default ; you that took charge of the prisoner, take him back again.
King. â€” I will only say this one word more to you ; if it were my own particular I would not say any more, nor interrupt you.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you have heard the pleasure of the court, and you are (notwithstanding you will not understand it) to find that you are before a court of justice.
So the king went forth with his guards, and the court adjourned to the Painted Chamber, the crier, as at other , said, God bless the Kingdom of England.
They took into consideration the manner how the witnesses should be examined; and since the king had not pleaded to issue, and that this examination was ex uhundanti, only for the further satisfaction of themselves,
70 CHARLES THE FIRST,
as they termed it ; they resolved the witnesses should be examined in the Painted Chamber before the court there ; and that Millington and Challoner should forth- with repair to John Brown, Esq. ; clerk of the House of Peers, for such papers as were in his custody, which were eonducible to the business and service of that court, vand Mr. Brown was required to send the said papers accordingly.
Then they appointed the Colonels Horton Dean, Okey, Huson, Roe, Titchbourne, Whaley, Tomlinson, Goff, Ewers and Scroope, as also Love, Scot, Milling- ton, Challoner and Danvers, or any three of them to be a committee to take the examinations of the witnesses ; while the court sat in private in the Painted Chamber, where there appeared no more than thirty-two of them, having nothing of moment before them, and so we shall not give their names.
The first witness that was examined was John Cuth- berd, of Padrington in Holderness, aged forty-two.
r. He deposed, that living at Hull-Bridge near Beverley, in July 1642, he did then hear what forces were raised, about three thou- sand foot for the king's guard, under Sir Robert Strickland ; and further said, that about the 2d of July, 1642, he saw a troop of horse come to Beverley, about four or five in the afternoon, called the Prince's troop, Mr. James Nelthorp being then mayor of the town ; that he did see that afternoon the said troop march out from Bever- ley into Holderness, where they received ammunition brought up to them by the Humber ; that the same night there came about three hundred foot, said to be Sir Robert Strickland's regiment, the same Sunday at night, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dun- combe and called the king's guard, to this deponent's house, called Hull-Bridge, near Beverley, about midnight, broke open, entered and possessed themselves of the said house ; and that the Earls of Newport and Carnarvon, with divers others, came that night thither to the said forces ; and that the same night, as the deponent was then informed, Sir Thomas Gower, then high-sheriff of the said county, came thither, and left there a warrant for stopping all pro- vision from going to Hull, to Sir John Hotham, which warrant was delivered there to this deponent, being constable, by Lieutenant- Colonel Duncombe. That he was by the said forces put out of his house, and with his family went to Beverley, and that the Thursday following, to his best remembrance, he saw the king come to Bever- ley, to the Lady Gee's house, where he often saw him with Prince Charles, and the Duke of York, and that the trained bands were then raised in Holderness, as generally reported, by the king's com- mand.
Farther, that the night before the said forces possessed themselves
FOR HIGH TREASON'. 71
of this deponent's house, Colonel Legard's house was plundered by their. ; that after the said troops had left Hull-Bridge, where they had continued about ten days, Colonel Wyvell, with about sevca hundred foot came to quarter at Hull-Bridge, and that the warrant he then produced to the court, was the original warrant: lastly, that the general's name of the said forces was the Earl of Lindsey; and that this deponent was brought before him, the said general, for holding intelligence with Sir John Hotham, then governor of Hull ; and because that that general had been informed the deponent had corn to send into Ireland, he was forbid, without the king's direction, to send it thither, or any where else.
The next witness was John Bennet, of Harwood in Yorkshire, glover, who swore,
He was a Boldier under the king, when he set up his standard at Nottingham, and that he saw the king there in the castle ; that the regiment wherein he was had their colours given them; that the Earl of Lindsey was then proclaimed general, and that proclama- tion was made at the head of every regiment, that they should fight against all that opposed the king, and his followers, particularly against the Earl of Essex, and Lord Brook, who with divers others were then proclaimed traitors.
He farther said, that he took up arms under the king for fear of being plundered ; Sir William Penyman giving out, that it were a good deed to fire that town, because they would not take service ; and that the deponent's father commanded him to take up arms, and so did divers others for fear of being plundered ; that he saw the king, in or about October, 1642, at Edge-Hill, on horseback, where he spoke to the colonel of every regiment as they marched by, to encourage the soldiers to fight against Essex, Brook, Waller, and Balfour; that he saw many slain at Edge-Hill, and a list brought to Oxford of the slain, who were reported to be six thousand five hundred and fifty-nine : that the November following, he saw the kin^ at the head of his army on Hounslow-Heath, and Prince Rupert standing by him, and did encourage several Welch regi- ments, who ran away at Edge-Hill, saying, that he did hope thev would regain their honour at Brentford, which they had lost atÂ£dge-Hill.
Another evidence was Henry Hartford, of Stratford- upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, who swore,
That about corn-harvest, in 1642, he saw the king at Nottingham while the standard was set up ; and that about November the same year he saw him at Brentford on horseback, on a Sunday morning ; when the night before many of the parliament's forces had been slain by those of the king's in the said town.
The next was Edward Roberts, of Bishops-Castle, ironmonger, who deposed much the same thing,
That he saw the king at the head of the army at Shrewsbury, upon the march towards Edge-Hill, likewise in the rear at Keynton-Field, and the Sunday morning at Brentford.
72 CHARLES THE FIRST,
The felt-maker, Samuel Morgan, of Wellington, in Shropshire, swore,
He saw the king in Keynton-Field, some hours before the battle, which happened on Sunday, 1642, and saw many men killed on both sides ; farther, that in 1 644, he saw the king in his army near Cro- pedy-Bridge, and draw them up in person.
Samuel Lawson,*the maltster, of Nottingham,
Swore to the setting up of the standard there, borne by divers gen- tlemen, who carried it up the hill with a herald before, and erected it with great acclamations, the king present : that the said town was then full of the king's soldiers, of which some quartered in his house ; that when they marched away, the town was forced to pay a great sum to his army, which, if they refused, they threatened to plunder it.
Arthur Young, was a barber-surgeon, of London, who swore,
He was at Hedge-Hill fight, saw the king's standard advance, which he took in battle from the king's forces, but it was afterwards taken from him by one Middleton, afterwards made a colonel.
Richard Blomfield, a London weaver,
Swore that at the defeat of Essex's army in Cornwall, in August or September, 1644, he was there, and saw the king on horseback at the head of his army near Foy, and divers of Essex's soldiers plun- dered, contrary to the articles near the king's person.
Humphry Brown, a Rutlandshire husbandman,
Swore that when Newark-Fort, in Leicestershire, was surrendered to the king, upon articles that the garrison should not be stripped nor plundered, it was no sooner done, but they were stripped, cut and wounded ; and when one of the king's officers rebuked the soldiers for abusing the garrison, he heard the king say, I do not care if they cut them three times more, for they are my enemies, or words to that effect.
Evans, a smith, of Abergavenny, in Monmouthshire,
Swore that in June, 1645, he saw the king march at the head of his army to the battle of Naseby.
Diogenes Edwards, a Salopian butcher,
Swore much the same thing, and that he saw many slain in the said battle.
George Seely, a London shoemaker,
Swore to the king's being at the siege of Gloucester, and at the first and second fights of Newberry, in 1643 and 1644, and to the slaughter of men on both sides.
The oath of John Moor of Cork, in Ireland,
Was to the king's being present at the last battle of Newbery in
roR men n;i \sox. 73
!644, unci to the slaughter made on both sides; that he also saw him ride into Leicester the day it was taken by his forces; at Cro- Bridge, before the fight of Leicester, in the midst of a regiment of hofte, and many slain at the same time; and lastly, at the head of a regiment of horse at Naseby, in 1645, where he saw abundance of men cut, shot, and slain.
Thomas Ives of Boy set, in Northamptonshire, hus- bandman,
Deposed to the king's being present at the first battle of New- bery, and to the slaughter of a great many persons there ; as also at the fight of Naseby, where he saw him come off with a party of horse after the rout, and that there were many slain on both sides.
Henry Gooch, a gentleman of GrayVInn,
Deposed, that he was in the Isle of Wight, and had access to the king by the means of the Marquess of Hertford and Commissary
- in; where he told him he had many friends; and that since
his Majesty was pleased to justify the parliament's first taking up arms, most of the Presbyterian party, both soldiers and others, would stick close to him ; to which the king answered thus ; that he would have all his old friends know, that for the present he was contented to give the parliament leave to call their own war what they pleased, yet that he neither did at that time, nor ever should decline the justice of his own cause ; that he told the king his business was much retarded, and that neither Colonel Thomas nor any other could # proceed to action, through want of commissions.
That the king answered, that he being upon a treaty, would not dishonour himself; but that if the deponent would take the pains to go over to the prince his son, who had still authority from him, he or any from him could receive what commissions they desired, and that he would appoint the Marquess of Hertford to write to his son in his name, and was pleased to express much joy and affection that his good subjects would engage themselves for his restoration.
Robert Williams, a Cornish husbandman,
Deposed, he saw the king march at the head of his army, about September, 1644, a mile from Lestwithiel in Cornwall, in armour, with a short coat over it unbuttoned ; after that at St. Austel- Downs, drawing up his army ; and lastly, with his army near Foy, and that the Earl of Essex and his forces lay within a mile and a half of the king's army.
The witnesses being thus examined, the court ad- join ied for an hour, and met a^ain in the afternoon.
The next witness was Richard Price of London, scrivener,
Who deposed, that upon occasion of some tampering by the king's agents with the independents in and about London, to draw them to the king's party, some having discovered this to several mem- bers of the committee of safety, they directed a carrying on of a
74 CHARLES THE FIRST,
seeming compliance with the king. The deponent went to Oxford in 1643, having a safe conduct from the king, under his hand and seal, which the king afterwards owned ; and after several meetings between him and the Earl of Bristol, the substance of whose dis- course the earl said he had communicated to the king, the earl brought him to the king, who declared he was very sensible the In- dependents had been the most active men in the kingdom for the parliament, against him ; and he persuaded the deponent to use all means to bring them over, promising on the word of a king, if they would come and be active for him against the parliament, as they had been against him, he would grant them what freedom they desired. And the king thereupon referring the deponent to the Earl of Bristol, the earl desired him to impart the same to the Inde- pendents. He added, that the king's affairs prospered well in Ire- land ; that the Irish had given the rebels (meaning the parliamenta- rians) a great defeat ; that the king had sent the Lord Byron with a small party towards Cheshire, and he was greatly multiplied, and had a considerable army, and was then before Nantwich, and would be reinforced with more soldiers from Ireland, which were to come and were expected daily.
Lastly, that upon the deponent's departure from Oxford, he had four safe conducts with blanks given him under the king's hand and seal, for inserting such names as he pleased ; and one Ogle was sent with him, to treat about the giving up of Aylesbury, then garrisoned by the parliament, to the king.
Then several papers >nd letters of the king's own writing, and under his hand, and other papers, were read openly ; after which the court sat private, and taking into consideration the whole matter of the charge against the king, passed these votes as prepa- ratory to his sentence, but yet not to be finally binding to conclude the court. That the court would proceed to sentence of condem- nation against Charles Stewart, King of England ; " that the con- demnation should be for a tyrant, traitor, and murderer ; that the condemnation should be likewise for being a public enemy to the commonwealth of England, and that this condemnation should extend to death."
The last mentioned commissioners were present at these votes ; after which a motion was made concerning the deposition and deprivation of the king in order that it might come before that part of the sentence which con- cerned his execution ; but the consideration thereof was deferred to some other time, and a draught of a sentence grounded upon the said votes was ordered to be prepared by Scot, Harrison, Martin, Lisle, Say, Ireton, and Love, or any three of them, with a blank for the manner of his death.
Then the absent members being ordered to be sum- moned to attend next day at one in the afternoon, the court adjourned to that time.
FOR HIGH TREASON.
Their nanus were called, and these following were present : â€”
JOHN BRADSHAW, PRESIDENT.
Oliver Cromwell Henry Ireton Sir Hardress Waller Valentine Walton Thomas Harrison Edward Whaley Thomas Pride Isaac Ewers Thomas Lord Grey of
Groby Sir John Danvers Sir Henry Mildmay William Hevening-
ham Henry Martin William Purefoy John Blackistone Gilbert Millington Sir William Constable Edmond Ludlow John Hutchinson Sir Michael Livesay
Robert Titchboum Owen Roe Adrian Scroop John Dixwell Simon Mayne Peter Temple Thomas Waite Cornelius Holland Thomas Scot Francis Allen Richard Dean Nicholas Love John Okey John Carew John Jones Miles Corbet William Goff Peregrine Pelham John Moor William Lord Moun- son
Humphrey Edwards Thomas Wogan Sir Gregory Norton John Dove John Venn William Cawley Anthony Stapley John Downs Thomas Horton Thomas Hammond John Lisle Nicholas Love Augustine Garland George Fleetwood James Temple Daniel Blagrave John Brown Henry Smyth John Berkstead Sir Thomas Maleverer Vincent Potter.
Here the court sat private, and the draught of the king's sentence being read before them, after several readings, debates, and amendments, they resolved to agree to it, ordered it to be engrossed, and that the king should next day be brought to Westminster to receive his sentence.
They met in the Painted Chamber, according to their
adjournment on the 27th, where were present sixty-eight
of them, of whom John Brownly and Thomas Challoner
two; the rest were the same that adjourned after-
dl into the hall, only Isaac Pennington was not
among the former. Having agreed that the sentence
should be read that (lav in Westminster-hall, it Mas
ordered that the president should address the king
according to his discretion, with the advice of his two
assistants, and that in case the king persisted to except
inst the court's jurisdiction, to let him know that the
court did still affirm their jurisdiction ; that in case he
1 submit to the jurisdiction of the court, and prav
!Â»v of the charge, that the court was to withdraw
76 CHARLES THE FIRST*
and advise ; that if the king should move any thing else worth the court's consideration, the president, upon advice of his assistants, should order the court's with- drawing to advise ; and that in case the king should not submit to answer, and there happened no such cause of withdrawing, the president should command the sen- tence to be read, but should hear the king say what he would before the sentence, and not after.
The president was left to his liberty as to the using any discourse or speeches to the king, as in the case of other prisoners to be condemned; and it was further directed, that after reading the sentence, the president should declare that the same was the sentence, judg- ment, and resolution of the whole court, and that the commissioners should thereupon signify their consent by standing up ; then they adjourned into Westminster-hali, and the judges there present were sixty-eight.
The king came into the court in his wonted posture, with his hat on.
King.â€” I desire a word, to be heard a little, and I hope I shall give no occasion of interruption.
Bradshaw. â€” You may answer in your time ; hear the court first.
King.â€” If it please you, Sir, I desire to be heard, and I shall not give any occasion of interruption, and it is only in a word. A sud- den judgment
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you shall be heard in due time, but you are to hear the court first.
King. -Sir, I desire it? it will be in order to what I believe the court will say j and therefore, Sir â€” A hasty judgment is not so soon recalled.
Bradshaw.â€” Sir, you shall be heard before the judgment is given j and in the meantime you must forbear.
King. â€” Well, Sir, shall I be heard before the judgment be given ?
Bradshaw.â€” Gentlemen, it is well known to all here present, that the prisoner at the bar hath been several times convented, and brought before this court, to make answer to a charge of high trea- son, and other crimes exhibited against him in the name of the people of England ; to which charge being required to answer, he hath been so far from obeying the commands of the court, by sub- mitting to their justice, that he began to take upon him reasoning and debating upon the authority of the court appointed to try and judge him ; but being overruled in that, and required to make his answer, he still continued contumacious, and refused to submit to an answer. Hereupon the court, that they may not be wanting to themselves nor the trust reposed in them, nor that any man's wil- fulness prevent justice, have considered of the charge, and of the contumacy, and of that confession which in law doth arise on that eontumaey; they have also considered the notoriety of the fact
FOIl 1IK.H TKF.AMIS'. 77
ged upon this prisoner; and upon the whole matter, they are red, and have agreed upon a sentence to be pronounced again6t him; but in respect he doth desire to be heard before sentence be pronounced against him, the court doth resolve to hear him. Yet Sir, this I must tell you beforehand, which you have been minded of at other courts, if that which you have to say be to offer any debate concerning their jurisdiction, you are not to be heard in it. You have offered it formerly, and you have struck at the root, that is, the power and supreme authority of the Commons of England, which this court will not admit a debate of, and which, indeed, is an irrational thing in them to do, being a court that acts upon autho- rity derived from them. But, Sir, if you have any thing to say in defence of yourself concerning the matter charged, the court has commanded me to hear you.
King. â€” Since I see that vou will not hear any thing of debate, con- cerning that which I confess I thought most material for the peace of the kingdom and for the liberty of the subject, I shall waive it ; but only I must tell you, that this many a day all things have been taken away from me, but that I call dearer to me than my life, which is my conscience and my honour ; and if I had respect to my life more than the peace of the kingdom and the liberty of the sub- ject, certainly I should have made a particular defence for my life ; for by that at least I might have delayed an unpleasant sentence, which I believe will pass upon me ; therefore, certainly, Sir, as a man that hath some understanding, some knowledge of the world, if that true zeal to my country had not overborne the care that I have for my own preservation, I should have gone another way to work than that I have done. Now, Sir, I conceive that a hasty sentence once passed may sooner be repented of than recalled ; and truly the self same desire that I have for the peace of the kingdom and the liberty of the subject, more than my own particular ends, makes me now at last desire that I may say something that concerns both. I desire, that before sentence be given, that I may be heard in the Painted-Cliamber, before the lords and commons. This delay cannot be prejudicial to you, whatsoever I say; if that I say be no reason, those that hear must be judges. I cannot be judge of that which I have to say. If it be reason, and really for the welfare of the king- dom and the liberty of the subject, I am sure it is very well worth the hearing. Therefore I do conjure you, as you love that which you pretend, (I hope it is the liberty of the subject and peace of the kingdom) that you will grant me this hearing, before any sentence passeth ; but if I cannot get this liberty, I do protest that your fair shews of liberty and peace are pure shows, and that you will not hear your king.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you have spoken.
Kinr;. â€” Yes, Sir.
Bradshaw. â€” And this that you have said is a further declining the jurisdiction of the court, which was the thing wherein you were limited before.
King. â€” Pray excuse me, Sir, for my interruption, for you mistake me. It is not declining of it, you do judge me before you hear me Â«pcak ; though I cannot acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court,
78 CHARLES THE FIRST,
yet, Sir, in this give me leave to say, I would do it, though I did not acknowledge it. In this I do protest it is not the declining of it, since I say, if that I do say any thing but what is for the peace of the kingdom and the liberty of the subject, then the shame is mine.
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, this is not altogether new that you have moved to us ; though the first time in person you offered it to the court, Sir, you say you do not decline the jurisdiction of the court.
King. â€” Not in this that I have said.
Bradshaw. â€” I understand you well, Sir, but nevertheless that which you have offered seems to be contrary to that saying of yours ; for the court are ready to give sentence : it is not as you say, that they will not hear their king ; for they have been ready to hear you, they have patiently waited your pleasure, for three court days toge- ther, to hear what you would say to the people's charge against you : to which you nave not vouchsafed to give any answer at all. Sir, this tends to a further delay, truly, Sir, such delays as these, nei- ther magistrates nor justice will bear. You have had three several days to have offered in this kind what you would have pleased : this court is founded upon that authority of the Commons of England, in whom rests the supreme jurisdiction : that which you now tender is to have another jurisdiction, a co-ordinate jurisdiction. I know very well you express yourself, Sir, that notwithstanding what you would offer to the Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber, yet nevertheless you would proceed on here ; I did hear you say so. But, Sir, that which you would offer there, whatever it is, must needs be in delay of justice here ; and since this court has resolved and is prepared for the sentence, this that you offer they are not bound to grant. But, Sir, according to that which you seem to desire, and because you shall know the further pleasure of the court upon that which you have moved, the court will withdraw for a time.
King. â€” Shall I withdraw ?
Bradshaw. â€” You shall know the pleasure of the court presently.
The serjeant having taken his majesty away, the judges withdrew into the Court of Wards.
Being returned to the hall and the king sent for,
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you were pleased to make a motion here to the court, to offer a desire of yours, touching the proposing somewhat to the Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber for the peace of the kingdom : Sir, you did in effect receive an answer before the court adjourned. Truly, Sir, our withdrawing and adjournment was pro forma tantum, for it did not seem to them that there was any difficulty in the thing : they have considered of what you have moved, and have considered their own authority, which is founded, as has been often said, upon the supreme authority of the Commons of England, assembled in parliament : the court acts according to their commission. Sir, the return I have to you from the court is this, that they have been too much delayed by you already, and this that you now offer has occasioned some little further delay ; and they are judges appointed by the highest authority, and judges are
FOR HIGH TREASON. 79
no more to delay than they are to deny justice ; they are good words In the threat old charter of England, nulli negabimu*, nulli cetidcmus, nulli dcfcremus justiiiam : there must be no delay: but the truth is, Sir, and every man here observes it, that you have much delayed them in your contempt and default, for which they might long since have proceeded to judgment against you, and notwith- standing what you have offered, they are resolved to proceed to sentence and to judgment, and that is their unanimous resolution.
King. â€” Sir, I know it is in vain for me to dispute, I am no scep- tic to deny the power that you have, I know you have power enough ; but, I must confess, I think it would have been for the kingdom* a peace, if you would have taken the pains to have shewn the lawfulness of your power.
For this delay that I have desired, I confess it is a delay, but it is a delay very important for the peace of the kingdom, for it is not my person that I look at alone, it is the kingdom's welfare and the kingdom's peace.
It is an old sentence, that we should think on long before we resolve on great matters: therefore, Sir, I do say again, that I do put at your doors all the inconveniency of a hasty sentence. I confess I have been here now, I think, this week ; this day eight days was the day I came here first : but as the delay of a day or two farther, may give peace ; whereas a hasty judgment may bring on that trouble, and perpetual inconvenience to the kingdom, that the child that is unborn may repent it: and therefore again, out of the duty I own to God and to my country, I do desire I may be heard by the Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber, or any other chamber that you will appoint me.
Bradshaw. â€” You have been already answered to what you even now moved, being the same you moved before since the resolution and judgment of the court in it, and the court now requires to know whether you have any more to say for yourself than you have said, before they proceed to sentence.
King. â€” I say thus far, that if you hear me, that if you will give me this delay, I doubt not but I shall give some satisfaction to you all here, and to my people after that ; and therefore I require you, as you will answer it at the dreadful day of judgment, that you will consider it once again.
Bradshaw.â€” I have received direction from the court.
King.â€” Well, Sir.
Bradshaw. â€” If this must be reinforced, or any thing of this nature, your answer must be the same, they will proceed to sentence, if you have nothing more to say.
King. â€” I have nothing more to say, but I shall desire that this may be entered which I have said.
Bradshaw. â€” The court then, Sir, has something to say to you, which though I know it will be very unacceptable, yet they are willing, and resolved to discharge their duty.
King. â€” I desire only one word before you give sentence, and that is, that you would hear me concerning these great imputations that you have laid to my charge.
80 CHARLES THE FIRST,
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you must now give me leave to go on, for I am not far from your sentence and your time is now past.
King. â€” But I shall desire you will hear me a few words to you ; for truly whatever sentence you will pass upon me, in respect of those heavy imputations that I see by your speech you have put upon me ; Sir, it is very true that
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, I must put you in mind, â€” truly, Sir, I would not willingly at this time especially interrupt you in any thing that you have to say, that is proper for us to admit of; but, Sir, you have not owned us as a court, and you look upon us as a sort of people met together, and we know what language we receive from your party.
King. â€” I know nothing of that.
Bradshaw. â€” You disavow us as a court, and therefore for you to address yourself to us, not acknowledging us as a court to judge Â«f what you say, is not to be permitted ; and the truth is, all along from the first time, you were pleased to disavow and disown us, the court needed not to have heard you; for unless they be acknowledged a court, and engaged, it is not proper for you to speak; Sir, we have given you too much liberty already, and admitted of too much delay, and we may not admit of any further: were it proper for us to do so, we should hear you freely, and we should not have declined to have heard you at large, what you could have said and proved on your behalf; whe- ther for totally excusing, or for in part excusing those great and heinous charges, that in whole or in part are laid upon .you : but, Sir, I shall trouble you no longer, your sins are of so large a dimension, that if you do but seriously think of them, they will drive you to a sad consideration ; and they may improve in you a sad and serious repentance. And that the court does heartily wish, that you may be so penitent for what you have done amiss, that God may have mercy at least on your better part. Truly, Sir, for the other, it is our parts and duties to do that which the law prescribes : we are not here Jus Dare, but Jus JDicere ; we cannot be unmindful of what the Scripture tells us; " For to acquit the guilty is of equal abomination as to condemn the innocent :" we may not acquit the guilty, what sentence the law affirms to a tyrant, traitor, and mur- derer, and a public enemy to the country ; that sentence you are- now to hear read to you, and that is the sentence of the court.
Proclamation for silence being made, Broughton, the clerk, read the sentence drawn up on parchment.
Whereas the Commons of England, in parliament assembled, had appointed them a high court of Justice, for the trial of Charles Stewart, King of England, before whom he had been three times convented, and at the first time a charge of high treason, and other crimes and misdemeanors, was read in the behalf of the kingdom of England.
[Here the charge was repeated.]
Which charge being read to him as aforesaid, he the said Charles Stewart was required to give his answer, but he refused so to do. ',
i 01 it re ii tkkason. 81
[Expressing the sereral passages of his refusing in the formes proceedings.]
For all which treasons and crimes, this court doth adjudge, that lie the said Charles Stewart, as a tyrant, traitor, murtherer, and public enemy, shall be put to death by severing his head from his body.
After the sentence was read, Bradshaw said,
This sentence now read and published, is the act, sentence, judg- ment and resolution of the whole court, and then the whole court stood up, as assenting to what Bradshaw said.
King. â€” Will you hear me a word, Sir ?
Bradshaw. â€” Sir, you are not to be heard after the sentence.
Kine.â€” No, Sir!
Bradshaw. â€” No, Sir, by your favour, Sir. Guard, withdraw your prisoner.
King. â€” I may speak after sentence by your favour, Sir, I may speak after sentence ever.
By your favour hold. The sentence, Sir, I say, Sir, I do, I am not suffered to speak, expect what justice other people will have.
The court, after judgment given, went into the Painted-Chamber, and appointed Sir Hardress Waller. Ireton, Harrison, Dean and Okey, to consider of the time and place for the execution.
The king was taken by the guards to Sir Robert Cotton's house, and as he passed down stairs, the rude soldiers scoffed at him, blew the smoke of their tobacco in his face (a thing always very offensive to him) strewed pieces of pipes in his way, and one, more inso- lent than the rest, spit in his face, which his majesty patiently wiped off, taking no farther notice of it : and as he passed farther, hearing some of them cry out, Jus- tice, justice, and execution, he said, "Alas! poor souls, for a piece of money, they would do as much for their Commanders. 71 Afterwards the king hearing that his exe- cution was determined to be the next day, before his palace at Whitehall) he sent an officer in "the army to desire them, that he might see his children before his death, and that Dr. Juxon, Bishop of London, might, be permitted to assist him in his private devotions, and receiving the sacrament, both which were granted to him upon a motion to the parliament.
Next day being Sunday, he was attended by a guard to St. James's, where the bishop preached before him upon these words : ' In the day when God shall judge.
the secrets of all men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.'
The same clay that the warrant was signed for his exe- cution, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Eliza- beth, were brought to him, whom he received with great joy and satisfaction, and giving his blessing to the prin- cess, he bade her remember to tell her brother James, that he should no more look upon Charles as his elder brother only, but as his sovereign, and that they should love one another, and forgive their father's enemies. Then taking the Duke of Gloucester upon his knee, said. Sweet heart, now they will cut off thy father's head, (at which words the child looked very wishfully upon him), Mark, child, what I say ; they will cut off my head, and, perhaps, make thee a king : but mark what I say, you must not be a king so long as your brothers Charles and James are alive ; for they will cut off your brothers' heads, as soon as they can catch them, and cut thy head off too at last, and therefore I charge you, do not be made a king by them. At which the child sighing, said, " I will be torn in pieces first."
The warrant for his Majesty's execution was signed on the 29th, and ran thus : â€”
Whereas, Charles Stewart, king of England, is, and standeth convicted, attainted and condemned of high-treason, and other high crimes, and sentence, upon Saturday last, was pronounced against him by this court, to be put to death, by the severing of his head from his body ; of which sentence execution yet remaineth to be done : These are therefore to will and require you to see the said sentence executed in the open street, before Whitehall, upon the morrow, being the 30th day of January, between the hours of ten in the morning and five in the afternoon of the same day, with" full effect, and for so doing this shall be your sufficient warrant, and these are to require all officers, soldiers, and others the good people of this nation of England, to be assisting unto you in this service.
To Colonel Francis Hacker, Colonel Huncks and i Lieutenant- Colonel Phory, and to every of them.
Given under our hands and seals, sealed and subscribed by
John Bradshaw Thomas Grey Oliver Cromwell Edward Whaley Michael Livesay John Okey John Peters John Bourchier
Henry Ireton Tho. Maleverer John Blackiston John Hutchinson William Goffe Thomas Pride Peter Temple Thomas Harrison
John Huson Henry Smith Peregrine Pelham Simon Meyne Thomas Horton John Jones John More Hardress Waller
Cm*mÂ»t trMmlt Â»Sâ€”*Jr, .Mr XÂ»W
for high treason.
Gilbert Millington James Temple Valentine Walton
John Alured Augustine Garland Gregory Norton
Robert Lilburn Edmond Ludlow Thomas Challoner
William Say Henry Martin Thomas Wogan
Anthony Stapeley Vincent Potter John Ven
Richard Dean William Constable Gregory Clement
Robert Titchburn Richard Ingoldsby John Downs
Humphry Edwards William Cawley Thomas Temple
Daniel Blagrave John Barkstead Thomas Scot
Owen Roe Isaac Ewers John Carew
William Purefoy John Dixwell Miles Corbet. Adrian Scroope
On the next day, being the 30th of January, the Bishop of London read divine service in his presence, and the 527th of St. Matthew, the history of our Saviour's passion, being appointed by the church for that day, he gave the bishop thanks for his seasonable choice of the lesson ; but the bishop acquainting him that it was the service of the day, it comforted him exceedingly, and then he proceeded to receive the holy sacrament. His devotions being ended, he was brought from St. James's to Whitehall, by a regiment of foot, part before, and part behind, with a private guard of partisans about him, the Bishop of London on the one hand, and Colonel Tomlinson, who had the charge of him, on the other, bareheaded. The guards marched at a slow pace, the king bade them go faster, saying, that he now went be- fore them to strive for an heavenly crown, with less soli- citude than he had often encouraged his soldiers to fight for an earthly diadem. Being come to the end of the park, he went up the stairs leading to the long gallery in Whitehall, where formerly he used to lodge, and there finding an unexpected delay, the scaffold being not ready, he past most of the time in prayer. About twelve o'clock (his Majesty refusing to dine, only ate a bit of bread, and drank a glass of claret) Colonel Hacker, with other officers and soldiers, brought the king, with the bishop, and Colonel Tomlinson, through the banqueting- house, to the scaffold, a passage being made through a window. A strong guard of several regiments of horse and foot, were planted on all sides, which hindered the near approach of the people, and the king being upon the scaffold, chiefly directed his speech to the bishop and Colonel Tomlinson, to this purpose : â€” i I shall be very little heard of any body else ; I shall therefore speak
84} CHARLES THE FIRST,
a word to you here : Indeed, I could have held ray peace well, iff did not think that holding my peace would make some men think that I did submit to the guilt, as well as the punishment; but I think it is my duty to God first, and then to my country, to clear myself, both as an honest man, a good king, and a good Christian. I shall begin first with my innocency, and, in troth, I think it not very needful to insist long upon this ; for all the world knows, that I did never begin a war with the two houses of parliament, and I call God to witness, unto whom I must shortly make an account, that I did never intend to encroach upon their privileges ; they began upon, me. It is the militia they began upon ; they confessed the militia was mine, but they thought fit to have it from me : And, to be short, if any body will look to the dates of commissions, of their commis- sions and mine, and likewise to the declaration, he will see clearly, that they began these troubles, and not I. So as for the guilt of these enormous crimes that are laid against me, I hope that God will clear me. I will not, for I am in charity, and God forbid I should lay it upon the two houses of parliament, there is no necessity for either: I hope they are free of this guilt; but I believe, that ill in- struments between them and me, have been the cause of all this bloodshed; so that as I find myself clear of this, I hope, and pray God, that they may too : Yet, for all this, God forbid I should be so ill a Christian, as not to say God's judgments are just upon me. Many times he doth pay justice by an unjust sentence â€” that is ordi- nary. I will say this, that an unjust sentence that I suffered to take effect, is punished by an unjust sentence upon me : So far I have s aid, to shew you, that I am an innocent man.
Now, to shew that I am a good Christian, I hope there is a good man [pointing to the bishop] that will bear me witness, that I have forgiven all the world, and even those in particular that have been the cause of my death; who they are, God knows; I do not desire to know: I pray God forgive them. But this is not all, my charity must go farther; I wish that they may repent. Indeed, they have committed a great sin in that particular. I pray God, with St. Ste- phen, that it be not laid to their charge; and withal, that they may take the way to the peace of the kingdom ; for my charity commands me not only to forgive particular men, but to endeavour to the last gasp, the peace of the kingdom. So. Sirs, I do wish with all my soul (I see there are some here that will carry it farther) the peace of the kingdom. Sirs, I must shew you how you are out of the way, and put you in the way. First, \ ou are out of the way ; for cer- tainly all the ways you ever had yet, as far as ever I could find by any thing are wrong. If in the way of conquest, certainly this is an ill way; for conquest, in my opinion, is never just, except there be a good and just cause, either for matter or wrong, or a just title; and then if you go beyond the first quarrel, that makes that unjust at the end that was just at first; for if there be only matter of conquest, then it is a robbery, as a pirate said to Alexander, that he was a great robber, himself was but a petty robber. And so, Sirs, I think for the way that you are in, you are much out of the way. Now, Sirs, to put you in the way, believe it, you shall never go right, nor God will never prosper you, until you give God his due, the king hi*
FOR HIGH i : I 85
due (that is, my successor) and the people their due : I am as much for them .is any of you. You must give God his due, by regulating thr church (according to the Scripture) which is now out of order; and to let you iu a way particularly now, I cannot; but only tins, a national lynod freely called, freely debating among themselves, must Mttle this,' when every opinion 1s freely heard. For the king (then turning to a gentleman that touched the axe, he said, hurt not the axe that may hurt me.) Indeed, I will not â€” the laws of the land will clearly instruct you for that; therefore, because it concerns my own particular, I give you a touch of it. For the people, truly I desire their liberty and freedom as much as any body whosoever; but I must tell you, that their liberty and freedom consists in having government under those laws, by which their lives and their goods may be most their own. It is not in having a share in the govern- ment, that is nothing appertaining to them: A subject and a sove- reign are clear differing things, and therefore, until you do that, I mean, that you put the people into that liberty, as I say, they will never enjoy themselves.
Sirs, It was for this that now I am come hither, for if I would have given way to an arbitrary course, to have all laws changed, accord- ing to the power of the sword, I needed not to have come here ; and therefore I tell you, (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge) that I am the martyr of the people. In troth, Sirs, I shall not hold you any longer: I will only say this to you, that I could have desired a little time longer, because I would have a little better digested this I have said, and therefore I hope you will excuse me; I have deli- vered my conscience, I pray God you take those courses that are the best for the good of the kingdom and your own salvation.
Bishop. â€” Though your Majesty's affections may be very well known as to religion ; yet it may be expected that you should say something thereof for the world's satisfaction.
King. â€” I thank you heartily, my Lord, for I had almost forgotten it. In troth, Sirs, my conscience in religion, I think, is very well known to all the world, and therefore I declare before you all, that I die a Christian, according to the profession of the Church of Eng- land, as I found it left me by my father; and this honest man, I think, will wjtness it.
Then turning to the officers, he said, Sirs, excuse me for this same : I have a good cause, and I have a gracious God, I will say no more.
Then to Colonel Hacker, he said, take care that they do not put me to pain.
A gentleman coming near the axe, the King said, take heed of the axe, pray take heed of the axe.
Then speaking to the executioner, he said, I shall say but very short prayers, and when I thrust out my hands, let that be your sign.
He thin called to the bishop for his night-cap, and haying put it on, he said to trie executioner, does my hair trouble you ? who desired him to put it all under his cap, which the King did accordingly, with the help of i he executioner, and the bishop. Then turning to the
86 CHARLES THE FIRST, FOR HIGH TREASON.
executioner, he said, I have a good cause and a righte- ous God on my side.
Bishop. â€” There is but one stage more, this stage is turbulent and full of trouble ; it is a short one ; but you may consider, it will soon carry you from earth to heaven; and there you will find a great deal of cordial joy and happiness.
King. â€” I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world.
Bishop. â€” You are exchanged from a temporary to an eternal crown â€” a good exchange.
Then the King said, is my hair well ? and took off his cloak and his George, giving his George to the bishop, saying, " remember. 11 Then he put off his doublet, and being in his waistcoat, he put on his cloak again ; then looking upon the block, he said to the executioner, you must set it fast.
Executioner. â€” It is fast, Sir.
King. â€” When I put out my hands this way (stretch- ing them out) then do your work. After that having said two or three words to himself, as he stood with hands lift up to heaven, immediately stooping down, he laid his neck upon the block ; and then the executioner again putting his hair under his cap, the King, thinking he had been going to strike, said, stay for the sign.
Executioner. â€” Yes, I will, an't please your majesty.
Then, after a little pause, the king stretching forth his hands, the executioner, at one blow, severed his head from his body.
After the stroke was given, the body was presently coffined, and covered with a velvet pall, immediately upon which, the bishop, and Mr. Herbert, went with it to the back stairs to have it embalmed. After embalm- ing, his head was sewed on by two surgeons. This done, the royal corpse was wrapt up in lead, covered with a velvet pall, and then was removed to St. James's. The girdle, or circumscription of capital letters, of lead, put about the king's coffin, had only these words, KING CHARLES, 1648.