Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/174

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

They met again January the 23rd, and then the solicitor moved the court for judgment; whereupon the King was required to give his final answer; which was again a denial of their authority.

Lastly, they met again January the 27th, where the King desired to be heard before the Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber, and promising after that to abide the judgment of the court. The commissioners retired for half an hour to consider of it, and then returning caused the King to be brought again to the bar, and told him that what he proposed was but another denial of the court’s jurisdiction; and that if he had no more to say, they would proceed. Then the King answering that he had no more to say, the president began a long speech in justification of the Parliament’s proceedings, producing the examples of many kings killed or deposed by wicked Parliaments, ancient and modern, in England, Scotland, and other parts of the world. All which he endeavoured to justify from this only principle: that the people have the supreme power, and the Parliament is the people. This speech ended, the sentence of death was read; and the same upon Tuesday after, January 30th, executed at the gate of his own palace of Whitehall. He that can delight in reading how villainously he was used by the soldiers between the sentence and execution, may go to the chronicle itself; in which he shall see what courage, patience, wisdom, and goodness was in this prince, whom in their charge the members of that wicked Parliament styled tyrant, traitor, and murderer.

The King being dead, the same day they made an act of Parliament: that whereas several pretences might be made to the crown, &c., it is enacted by this present Parliament and by authority of the same, that no person presume to declare, proclaim, or publish, or any way promote Charles Stuart, son of Charles late King of England, commonly called Prince of Wales, or any other person, to be King of England or Ireland, &c.

B. Seeing the King was dead, and his successor barred; by what declared authority was the peace maintained?