The monarchy, as Charles understood it, had disappeared for ever. The King’s head was held up to the crowd. On the contrary, Charles I was probably more popular at the moment of his execution than at any other time in the 1640s (and maybe even before that). On 20 January Charles was escorted under guard out of the back of his lodging next to the palace. It would have been convenient for parliament if Charles had been killed in battle as his ancestor James IV of Scots had been at Flodden in 1513. Early that winter’s morning, a large crowd of men, women and children assembled in the ‘open street before Whitehall’. In 1648, Charles was forced to appear before a high court controlled by his enemies, where he was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Royalist forces are defeated. 368 years ago, Charles I was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall following two Civil Wars, also known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. And the declaration continued with a new assertion: as the people’s representatives, the Commons MPs held this power in trust, and their acts alone had the force of law.  The clean cut on Charles' head and the fact the executioner held up Charles' head after the execution suggests the executioner was experienced in the use of an axe, though the fact the executioner did not call out "Behold the head of a traitor!" Those words echoed the phrase stitched on his standard at the outbreak of civil war: “Give Caesar His Due.” A “subject and a sovereign were clean different things”, he said. Lady Fairfax’s voice rang out from the gallery: “Not half, not a quarter of the people of England. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! “Hold,” he said. Charles I succeeded his father James I in 1625 as King of England and Scotland. The execution was the culmination of political and military conflicts between the royalists and the parliamentarians in England during the English Civil War, leading to the capture and trial of Charles I. Barry Coward grapples with a question which has become more difficult to answer as a result of recent scholarship. March – August 1648 The New Model Army is forced to fight a second civil war and a Scots invasion. Shortly after Charles' death, relics of Charles' execution were reported to perform miracles - with handkerchiefs of Charles' blood supposedly curing the King's Evil among peasants. Explore great art, groundbreaking architecture and royal history in the... At about ten o’clock, to the beat of military drums, the King was marched by soldiers across St James’s Park to the Palace of Whitehall. It is not for them to have a share in Government, that is nothing Sirs, appertaining unto them. The execution was the culmination of political and military conflicts between the royalists and the parliamentarians in England during the English Civil War, leading to the capture and trial of Charles I. Indeed, Cromwell was a member of the gentry and a Puritan and thus on the face of it his own rise to power may be seen as the result of his class and his religious views both being in the ascendant, but as pointed out above this is not necessarily the case. , Charles awoke early on the day of his execution.  The book presented Charles' supposed meditations on the events of his kingship and his justifications for his past actions, widely disseminating the view of Charles as the pious "martyr of the people" he had declared himself.  He had not seen his children for 15 months, so the parliamentarians allowed him to talk to his two youngest children, Elizabeth and Henry, for one last time. Thus the reason for Charles’ execution is to be found in the short-term. The Putney Debates demonstrate that there was a range of opinion in the Army, even following discussion of The Agreement of the People. This was a Catholic idea and something that the Puritan’s did not like. He also did not let anyone approach him with a razor. Charles entered Westminster Hall just after 2pm, through a doorway close to where the judges sat: a slight figure dressed in black silk and with a long, grey beard. “I see no House of Lords here that may constitute a parliament.” “That is in your apprehension,” Bradshawe snapped. As the first part of this article will show, recent research suggests that much that happened in Britain before 1649 makes the fact that Charles I was executed astonishing. [...], Immediately after the Death of the late King [Charles I], Don, This print contains some anachronisms. The monarchy was abolished, and Cromwell assumed control of the new English Commonwealth. Dozens of cities, towns, and military bases–including the U.S. embassy in Saigon–were attacked.  These publications had such an effect on the public perception that—despite the regicide going against nearly every conception of social order in the period—the regicides of Charles felt safe in their positions soon after.  Charles laid his neck out on the block and asked the executioner to wait for his signal to behead him. He was born into the House of Stuart as the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603 (as James I), he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life. Shortly after the execution Hulet received a prominent and swift promotion and he was not seen to be present on the day of Charles' execution. Charles believed that the heads of the church should be treated with deference. [...] The monarchy, as Charles understood it, had disappeared forever". Thus there clearly were some longer-term factors at work laying the foundations and creating a veritable tinderbox from the outset. Charles again asked what authority was he being tried by? " However, by the Victorian era, the view of the Whig historians had prevailed in British historiography and the public consciousness. Charles instead asked “that I may be heard in the Painted Chamber before the Lords and Commons?” The hour had come to negotiate – or so Charles hoped. After his defeat by Parliament in the Civil Wars, Charles I was imprisoned. In those intervening years, he was given plenty of room to manoeuvre, as it was generally assumed that the nation needed a king. To take the idea of the end of monarchy being inevitable because of long-term political strife first: The fact remains that while debate in the Commons was heated, it was never once suggested that the king should be executed. As such, “I am a martyr of the people”, he said. Thus the reason for Charles’ execution is to be found in the short-term.
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