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The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 by David Masson

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They were repulsed and slain,
At Endor quite cut off, and rolled
As dung upon the plain."

Or perhaps, with closer personal reference, such lines as these (Psalm

"The Lord shall write it in a scroll
That ne'er shall be outworn,
When He the nations doth enroll,
That this man there was born:
Both they who sing and they who dance
With sacred songs are there;
In thee fresh brooks and soft streams glance,
And all my fountains clear."


While these translations were being written, there was the ominous rumour
of the Engagement between the Scots and the King in the Isle of Wight,
terrifying all men's minds with the prospect of a Second Civil War. We
have seen what effects this prospect had on the English Parliament--how
the resolute mood of the winter of 1647-8 was changed into a mood of
timidity; how negotiations with the King were again talked of; how the
Presbyterians recovered from their temporary submission to the
Independents, and began to turn on them rather than on the King; how, in
order to repudiate the Republican sentiments appearing in the Army and
elsewhere, the Commons pledged themselves to a continuance of Royalty and
the House of Lords, and, in order to please the English Presbyterians and
the Scots, the two Houses passed at length the tremendous Ordinance
against Heresies and Blasphemies, making the least of them punishable
with imprisonment and the graver punishable with death. This last
Ordinance, passed May 2, 1648, the very day before the meeting of the
Third Provincial Synod of London in Sion College, must have given great
satisfaction to that body, but may well have spread alarm through general
society. Beyond a doubt, most of those persons who had been denounced as
notorious heretics and blasphemers in the Sion College manifesto of the
preceding December were, by this Ordinance, liable to death if they did
not recant. With due zeal on the part of the prosecution, nothing could
have saved from the scaffold such of Milton's co-heretics as Biddle, Paul
Best, the anonymous Mortalist R. 0. (Richard Overton, or Clement
Wrighter?), or even perhaps John Goodwin. Milton's particular heresy not
being specifically named in the Ordinance, it would have been more
difficult to apply it to him; but, if the terrible Presbyterian
discipline which the Ordinance favoured were once imposed upon London,
there would have been ingenuity enough to include Milton somehow among
those worthy of minor punishment.

The comfort was that, before the Ordinance could come into real effect,
before the terrible Presbyterian discipline it promised could be set up,
the SECOND CIVIL WAR had to be fought through. How would that war end?
Would it end in a triumph of Presbyterianism in hypocritical
reconciliation with Royalty; or, despite the ugly mustering of forces in
all parts of England to aid Duke Hamilton and his Scottish invasion,
would it end, after all, in the triumph of that little English Army of
Independents and Sectaries which had always beaten before, and might now,
though distrusted and discountenanced by its own masters, prove once more
its matchless mettle? With what anxiety, through May, June, July, and
August 1648, must Milton, with myriads of other Englishmen, have revolved
these questions! With what anxiety must he have watched Fairfax's
movements round London, his preliminary smashings of the Royalist
Insurrection in Kent and Essex, and then the concentration of his efforts
(June 12) on the siege of Colchester! With what anxiety must he have
followed Cromwell into Wales, heard of his doings against the insurgents
there, and then of his rapid march into the north (Aug. 3--10), to meet
the invading Scottish Army under Duke Hamilton! But O the relief at last!
O the news upon news of that glorious month of August 1648! Hamilton and
the Scots utterly routed by Cromwell in the three days' battle of Preston
(Aug. 17-19); Colchester at last surrendered to Fairfax (Aug 28); the
Prince of Wales a fugitive back to Holland with his useless fleet (Aug.
28); the little English Army of Independents and Sectaries were more
everywhere the victor, and the Parliament and the Presbytery-besotted
Londoners ruefully accepting the victory when they would have been nearly
as glad of a defeat! No fear now of any very violent execution of the
Ordinance against Heresies and Blasphemies, or of a Presbyterian
discipline of absolutely intolerable stringency! The Army and the
Independents were once more supreme.

The sole piece of Milton's verse that has come down to us from the time
of the Second Civil War is an expression of his joy at its happy
conclusion. It is in the form of a Sonnet to Fairfax. The Sonnet is
generally printed with the mere heading "_To the Lord General
Fairfax_;" but in the original in Milton's own hand among the
Cambridge MSS. one reads this heading through a line of erasure; "_On
ye Lord Gen. Fairfax at ye seige of Colchester_." This assigns the
Sonnet to the end of August, or to September, 10-48.

"Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
And fills all mouths with envy or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze,
And rumours loud that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Their Hydra-heads, and the false North displays
Her broken League to imp their serpent wings:
O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,
For what can War but endless war still breed,
Till Truth and Right from Violence be freed,
And public Faith cleared from the shameful brand
Of public Fraud! In vain doth Valour bleed,
While Avarice and Rapine share the land."
[Footnote: For obvious reason, Milton could not print this Sonnet in the
Second or 1673 Edition of his Minor Poems. It was first printed by
Phillips at the end of his Memoir of Milton prefixed to the English
translation of Milton's State Letters in 1688; and Toland inserted it in
his Life of Milton in 1698.]

Through the later months of 1648 Milton's heart must have been wholly
with Fairfax and the other Army-chiefs, as he saw them driving things,
cautiously at first, but more and more boldly by degrees, into the exact
course marked out by this Sonnet. Their very professions were that,
having finished the war and crushed the Hydra-heads of the new
rebellions, they must and would proceed to the yet nobler task of
preventing future wars, by freeing Truth and Right once for all from
Violence, and clearing the public Faith of England from the brand of
public Fraud. Hence, from September to December, the adoption by the Army
of that peculiarly intrepid policy which has been described in our last
chapter. Though the Parliament began their new Treaty with the King in
the Isle of Wight, there were significant signs from the first that the
Army regarded the Treaty with utter disdain; as the Treaty proceeded,
regiment after regiment spoke out, each with its manifesto calling for
justice on the King, and otherwise more or less democratic; and so till
the Army rose at last collectively, issued its great Remonstrance and
programme of a Democratic Constitution (Nov. 16), dragged the King from
his unfinished Treaty at Newport to safer keeping in Hurst Castle (Dec.
1), and itself marched into London to superintend the sequel (Dec. 2).
Nominally in the centre of all this was the Lord General Fairfax, with
Ireton as his chief adviser. Cromwell had not yet returned from his work
in the north.


In the very midst of these thrilling public events there inserts itself a
little domestic incident of Milton's life in Holborn. Oct. 25, 1648, his
second child was born, two years and three months after the first. This
also was a daughter, and they called her Mary after her mother. From that
date on to our limit of time in the present volume we have no distinct
incident of the Holborn household to record, unless it be the receipt of
another letter from Carlo Dati. Although the amiable young Italian had
received no answer to his last, of Nov. 1647, there had meantime readied
him, by some slow conveyance, those copies of the Latin portion of
Milton's published volume of Poems which had been promised him as long
ago as April of the same year. This occasioned the following letter:--

_Illmo. Sig. e Pron Osso_ [literally, "Most Illustrious Sir and Most
Honoured Master," but the phrase is merely one of custom].

As far back as the end of last year I replied to your very courteous and
elegant letter, thanking you affectionately for the kind remembrance you
are pleased to entertain of me. I wrote, as I do now, in Italian, knowing
my language to be so dear and familiar to you that in your mouth it
scarcely appears like a foreign tongue. Since then I have received two
copies of your most erudite Poems, and there could not have reached me a
more welcome gift; for, though small, it is of infinite value, as being a
gem from the treasure of Signor John Milton. And, in the words of

[Greek: h megala chariz
eoro xiyn holigo, panta de gimanta ta par' philon.]

"Great grace may be
In a slight gift: all from a friend is precious."

I return you therefore my very best thanks, and pray Heaven to put it in
my power to show my devoted appreciation of your merit. There are some
pieces of news which I will not keep from you, because I am sure, from
your kindness, they will be agreeable to you. The most Serene Grand Duke
my master has been pleased to appoint me to the Chair and Lectureship of
Humanity in the Florentine Academy, vacant by the death of the very
learned Signor Giovanni Doni of Florence. This is a most honourable
office, and has always been held by gentlemen and scholars of this
country, as by Poliziano, the two Vettori, and the two Adriani,
luminaries in the world of letters. Last week, on the death of the Most
Serene Prince Lorenzo of Tuscany, uncle of the reigning Grand Duke, I
made the funeral oration; when it is published, it shall be my care to
send you a copy. I have on hand several works, such as, please God, may
lead to a better opinion of me among my learned and kind friends. Signor
Valerio Chimentelli has been appointed by his Highness to be Professor of
Greek Literature in Pisa, and there are great expectations from him.
Signors Frescobaldi, Coltellini, Francini, Galilei, and many others unite
in sending you affectionate salutations; and I, as under more obligation
to you than any of the others, remain ever yours to command. [No
signature, but addressed on the outside, _All Illmo. Signor e Pron
Osso, Il Signor Giovanni Miltoni, Londra._] [Footnote: The Italian
of this letter is printed in the Appendix to Mr. Mitford's Life of Milton
prefixed to Pickering's edition of Milton's Works, and was communicated,
I believe, by the late Mr. Watts of the British Museum from the original
in that collection. It is doubtless the copy which Milton received. Of
the Doni mentioned in the letter, as Dati's predecessor in the chair of
Belles Lettres at Florence, we had a glimpse Vol. I. p. 746. He died, Mr.
Watts says, in Dec. 1647, and left to Dati the charge of publishing his
works. Frescobaldi, Coltellini, and Francini are already known (Vol. I.
725-9); the Galilei mentioned is not the great Galileo, who had died in
1642, but his natural son Vincenzo Galilei, also a man of talent.--As we
take leave of Dati at this point, for some time at least, I may quote an
interesting sentence, respecting one of his intentions in later life,
from the notices of him in Salvini's _Fasti Consolari dell' Accademia
Fiorentina_ (1717): "He had particularly in view the publication of
the letters which he had received from various literary men, such as John
Milton, Isaac Vossius, Paganino Gaudenzio, Giovanni Rodio, Valerio
Chimentelli, and Nicolas Heinsius: from the last he had a very large
number." When he died, Jan. 11, 1675, a few months after Milton, he had
not fulfilled this intention; but it is likely, as we have seen
(_ant_, p.655), that there has survived from among his papers only
the one letter of Milton to him which Milton himself published. ]
Florence, Dec. 4, 1648.

While this letter was on its way to Milton, and possibly before it could
have reached him, there had enacted itself, close within his view in High
Holborn, that final catastrophe of a great political drama the boom of
which was not to stop within the British Islands, but was to be heard in
Italy itself and all the foreign world.



In taking the King out of the Isle of Wight, and lodging him for a time
in the solitary keep of Hurst Castle on the Hampshire coast, the Army had
proclaimed their intention of bringing him to public justice, and it was
that they might compel this result that they had marched into London with
Fairfax at their head. As they desired that the proceedings should be
regular, they had resolved that the two Houses of Parliament, or at least
one of them, should conduct the business.


Here was their difficulty. On Dec. 2, 1648, when the Army took possession
of London, there were nineteen Peers present in their places in the House
of Lords: viz. the Earl of Manchester, as Speaker; the Earls of Pembroke,
Rutland, Salisbury, Suffolk, Lincoln, Mulgrave, Middlesex, Stamford,
Northumberland, and Nottingham; Viscount Save and Sele; and Lords Howard,
Maynard, Dacres, Montague, North, Hunsdon, and Berkeley. From such a body
the Army could not hope much. Three or four of them might be reckoned on
as thorough-going; but to most a crisis had come which was too terrible.
Ah! had they foreseen it six years before, had they then foreseen that
their own order and all the pleasantness of their aristocratic lives
would go down in the contest to which they were lending themselves, would
their choice between the two sides have been the same? To have sat on
through those six years, a mere residuary rag of the English Peerage, at
variance with the King and the vast majority of their own order; to have
figured through the struggle as nominally the superior House, but really
the mere ciphers of the Commons; to have had to throw all their
aristocratic dignity and all their permissible conservatism at last into
the miserable form of partisanship with a despotic Presbyterianism and
zeal for the suppression of Sects, Heresies, and Independency:--here was
a retrospect for men of rank, men of ambition, men of pride in their
pedigrees! And now to have an Army of these Independents, Sectaries, and
Heretics, holding them by the throat, and prepared to dictate to them the
alternative of their own annihilation or their assent to a deed of
horror!--Such being the position of the Lords, how was it with the
Commons? In that House about 260 members were still giving attendance, or
were at hand to attend when wanted. On the 2nd of December there were 232
in the House. A staunch minority of these were Independents in league
with the Army; but the decided majority were men of the Presbyterian
party, full of regrets at the failure of the Treaty of Newport, but ready
to resume negotiations with the King on the basis of the terms offered
him in that Treaty, or indeed now on any other basis on which there could
be agreement. Detestation of the Army was, therefore, the ruling feeling
in this House too: but the detestation was mingled with dread. With
regiments at their doors, with regiments posted here and there on the
skirts of the City, all alert against any symptom of a rising of the
Presbyterian Londoners, they could not hope now for any chance of seeing
the Army overmastered for them by the only means left-popular tumult and
a carnage in the streets. All that the Commons could do, therefore, was
to be sullen, and offer a passive resistance. [Footnote: Lords and
Commons Journals of Dec. 2, 1648; and Records of Divisions in Commons
Journals through the previous month. There were thirteen divisions in
that month, showing an attendance ranging from 80 to 261.]

It was on Monday the 4th and Tuesday the 5th of December that the
attitude which the two Houses meant to take towards the Army was
definitely ascertained. On the first of these days, the news of the
King's removal to Hurst Castle having meanwhile arrived, there was a
fierce debate in the Commons over that act of the Army, the Presbyterians
protesting against its "insolency," and at length carrying, by a majority
of 136 votes to 102, a Resolution that it had been done "without the
knowledge or consent" of the House. On the same day the House proceeded
to a debate, continued all through the night, and till nine o'clock next
morning, on the results of the Treaty of Newport. The Presbyterian
speakers, such as Sir Robert Harley, Sir Benjamin Rudyard, Harbottle
Grimstone, Sir Simonds D'Ewes, and Clement Walker, contended that the
King's concessions were satisfactory; the negative was maintained by a
succession of speakers, among whom were the two Vanes. The Presbyterians,
having originally put the question in this form, "Whether the King's
Answers to the Propositions of both Houses be satisfactory," did not risk
a division on so wide an issue, but thought it more prudent to divide on
the previous question, "Whether this question shall now be put." Having
carried this in the negative by 144 to 93, they were enabled to shape the
question in this likelier form, "That the Answers of the King to the
Propositions of both Houses are a ground for the House to proceed upon
for the Settlement of the Peace of the Kingdom;" and it was on the
question in this form that the debate was protracted through the night of
the 4th and into the 5th. The most extraordinary incident of the debate
on the 5th was the appearance made by Prynne. He had been a member of the
House only a month, having taken his seat for Newport in Cornwall on the
7th of November; and he now came forward, the poor indomitable man, with
a speech of vast length and most elaborate composition, in favour of that
sovereign whose reign had been to him of all men ruinous and horrible.
With his face muffled to hide the scars of his old mutilations by the
hangman's knife, he stood up, and, after a touching recitation of all
that he had suffered, denounced the Army and its outrages on
Parliamentary freedom, expounded his views of Presbyterianism and right
constitutional government, and pleaded earnestly for a reconciliation
with Charles. His speech, if it was actually delivered as it is printed,
must have occupied four or five hours in the delivery; but one must
suppose he gave only part of it and reserved the rest for the press. He
was heard, he says, with great attention, and had the satisfaction not
only of pleasing his own party, but also of making converts. At one time
or another during the debate there had been, he says, as many as 340
members present; but many of these had been wearied out by the long
night-sitting. Accordingly in the final vote on Tuesday morning there
were 129 for the affirmative in the question, and only 83 for the
negative: _i.e._ in a House of 212 there were three-fifths for a
reconciliation with the King, and two-fifths for complying with the Army
and bringing the King to justice. The concurrence of the Lords with the
majority in the Commons was a matter of course. It was given the same
day, _nem. con._, Manchester being in the chair, and only fourteen
other Peers present. By way of tempering the whole result as much as
possible, a Committee was appointed by the Commons to wait on Fairfax and
his officers that afternoon, with a view to "the keeping and preserving a
good correspondence" between Parliament and the Army. [Footnote: Commons
and Lords Journals of the days named; Clement Walker's Hist, of Indep.
Part. II. pp. 28, 29; and Parl. Hist. III. 1147-1239. Of these 92 closely
printed columns of the Parl. Hist. 86 are taken up with a reprint of
Prynne's speech, as published by himself in the end of Jan. 1648-9. The
editor remarks on the fact that, with the exception of Clement Walker,
none of the contemporary writers mention Prynne's speech at all. This
confirms the supposition that it cannot have been so large in delivery as
it is in print. Yet that it must have been very large appears not only
from Prynne's own account, but also from who says: "This he held on the
affirmative with so many strong and solid reasons, arguments, and
precedents both out of Divinity, Law, History, and policy, and with so
clear a confutation of the opposite argument, that no man took up the
bucklers against him."]

The Army had their own plan for bringing about a "good correspondence,"
and they put it in operation on the two following days, Dec. 6 and 7. Not
troubling themselves with the Lords--who met for mere form on each of
these days (only seven present on the first and eight on the other)--they
applied their plan to the Commons. It consisted in what was called
PRIDE'S PURGE, the style of which was as follows:--On the morning of the
6th, when the members were going into the House, they found all the
entrances blocked by two or three regiments of soldiers, under the
command of Colonels Pride, Hewson, and Sir Hardress Waller. Every member,
as he came up, was scrutinized by these armed critics, and especially by
Colonel Pride, who had a list of names in his hand, and some people about
him to point out members he did not know. If a member passed this
scrutiny, they let him in; if not, they begged him not to think of taking
his place in the House, and, if he persisted, hauled him back, and locked
him up in one of the empty law-courts conveniently near. Mr. Prynne, who
made a conspicuous resistance, was locked up in this way; Sir Robert
Harley, Sir William Waller, Sir Samuel Luke, Sir Robert Pye, General
Massey, Clement Walker, Sir Simonds D'Ewes, Sir Benjamin Rudyard, and
others and others, including even Nathaniel Fiennes, who had shown
momentary weakness, were similarly disposed of; till at length the
members who had presented themselves were sifted into two divisions--a
goodly band regularly within the House, and forty-one fuming outside as
prisoners in the law-courts. Messages passed and repassed between the two
divisions, and the House made some faint show of protest and of anxiety
for the release of the arrested. Any decided motion to this effect,
however, was prevented by a communication to the House from Fairfax and
his General Council of Officers. Colonel Axtell and some other officers,
being admitted, announced the message verbally, and it was subsequently
presented in writing by Colonel Whalley. Under the name of "Humble
Proposals and Desires," this paper reminded the House of their former
votes for expelling and disabling Denzil Holles, General Massey, and the
rest of the Presbyterian Eleven impeached by the Army in 1647, and
demanded that these members, irregularly and scandalously re-admitted to
their places, should be again excluded and held to trial. It farther
demanded that about 90 members, alleged to have been more or less in
complicity with the Scots in their late invasion of England, should be
disabled; it prayed for an immediate repeal of the Votes on which the
Treaty of Newport had proceeded, and of the Vote of the previous day for
reliance on that Treaty; and it begged all truly patriotic members to
form themselves visibly into a phalanx, apart from the others, that they
might be counted and known. In fact, the message not only adopted Pride's
rough measure of that day as authorized by the whole Army, but
represented it as only a friendly interposition, doing for the House in
part what the House must be anxious to do more fully for itself. So the
afternoon passed, the forty-one, still remaining in durance, visited by
various persons who had Fairfax's or Pride's permission, and especially
by Hugh Peters. He took a list of their names, discoursed with them,
released Rudyard and Fiennes, and promised the rest that they should be
removed to fit quarters for the night in Wallingford House. As night came
on, however, and Wallingford House was not available, they were taken,
under guard, to a common victualling-house near, jocularly called
_Hell_; and here, some of them walking about, and others stretched
on benches and chairs, or on the floor, in two upper rooms, they spent
the night "reading and singing psalms to God." Next day there were again
requests from the House to Fairfax for their release. It could not be
granted; but they were marched through the streets to better
accommodation in two inns in the Strand, called the Swan and the King's
Head. Meanwhile Pride's watch at the doors of the House had been
effectively continued. There were several new arrests on the 7th; many
members, not arrested, were forcibly turned back; and many more, among
whom was Denzil Holies, kept prudently out of the way. Altogether, the
number of the arrested was 47, and that of the excluded 96. It was a
purgation quite sufficient for the Army's purpose. This was proved by a
vote actually taken in the House on the 7th, after the purgation was
complete. "The question being propounded, That the House proceed with the
Proposals of the Army," it was carried by 50 to 28 that the question
should be put and the Proposals proceeded with. As most of the minority
in this division withdrew in consequence, the House was reduced from that
moment to just such a tight little Parliamentary body as the Army
desired. [Footnote: Lords and Commons Journals of days named; Rushw. VII.
1353-1356; Parl. Hist. III. 1240-1249 (a careful compilation of
contemporary accounts).]

Cromwell was again among them. He had returned to town on the evening of
the 6th, and he was in his place in the Commons on the 7th, receiving the
thanks of the House, through the Speaker, for his "very great and
eminently faithful services" in Wales, Scotland, and the North of
England. He had not been concerned in the design of Pride's Purge, and
the business was half over before his arrival in town; but he quite
approved of what had been done, and said he would maintain it. The
younger Vane, on the other hand, had been so staggered by the proceeding
that he had withdrawn from the scene, to avoid further responsibility.
[Footnote: Commons Journals, Dec. 7; Parl. Hist. III. 1246; and Godwin,
III. 31.]

For a fortnight after Pride's Purge, the two Houses, reduced now to such
dimensions as might suit the Army's purpose, went on transacting various
business. The attendance in the Lords had dwindled to five, four, and
even to three, raised on one occasion to seven. In the Commons the
attendance does not seem to have ever exceeded 50 or 60. It is in the
proceedings of this House, of course, that one sees the steady direction
of affairs towards the end prescribed by the Army. There were all kinds
of items of employment during the fortnight, including orders about the
Navy, orders in mercantile matters, discharges of some of the secluded
and imprisoned members, votes condemning those who continued contumacious
and had ventured on protests in print, receptions of petitions and
addresses of confidence from various public bodies, and attendance by
such as chose on a special Fast-day Sermon preached by Hugh Peters. But
through these miscellaneous proceedings one notes the main track in such
votes as these:--Dec. 12, Vote for repealing all former votes and acts
condoning the faults of Denzil Holles and the rest of the impeached
Presbyterian leaders, and on the same day a Vote declaring the re-opening
of a Treaty with the King in the Isle of Wight to have been dishonourable
and apparently destructive to the good of the kingdom; Dec. 13, A farther
Vote, in compliance with the Army's Proposals, disowning entirely the
Treaty in the Isle of Wight, and repealing the Vote of the previous week
for proceeding to a settlement on the grounds supplied by the King's
Answers in that Treaty; Dec. 23, Resolution, "That it be referred to a
Committee to consider how to proceed in a way of justice against the King
and other capital offenders, and that the said Committee do present their
opinions thereupon to the House with all convenient speed." The Committee
so appointed consisted of 38 members of the House, among whom were St.
John, Whitlocke, Skippon, Lord Grey, Lord Lisle, Sir Henry Mildmay,
Pennington, and Henry Marten. [Footnote: Lords and Commons Journals from
Dec. 8 to Dec. 23; Parl. Hist. III. 1247-1253; Whitlocke, Dec. 23.]
Cromwell was not of the Committee, and some of those put upon it were not
likely to attend. Indeed, though the Resolution passed without a
division, the reluctance of some who were present had appeared in the
course of the debate. They argued that there was no precedent in History
for the judicial trial of a King, and that, if the Army were determined
that Charles should be punished capitally, the business should be left to
the Army itself as an exceptional and irregular power.


Some days before the Resolution of Dec. 23 was adopted by the Commons,
the Army had taken steps for bringing the King nearer to London, to abide
the issue. He had been in Hurst Castle for about a fortnight, rather
poorly lodged in the old apartments of the keep, and complaining of the
fogs that rose from the salt-water marshes around, with their beds of
ooze and sea-kelp. His amusement had been in the sight of the passing
ships, in his daily walk along the narrow neck of shingle connecting the
castle with the mainland, and in the companionship of his select
attendants in the evenings, when the drawbridge was up, the guard set,
the woodfires blazing indoors, and the candles lit. He had brought with
him from Newport fourteen personal attendants in all, including his two
gentlemen of the bedchamber, Mr. James Harrington (afterwards known as
the author of _Oceana_) and Mr. Thomas Herbert. Both these
gentlemen, though their principles and connexions were originally
Parliamentarian, had, in the course of their long attendance on the royal
captive, contracted a respectful affection for him. Harrington, indeed,
had been speaking out so openly in praise of his Majesty's conduct in the
Newport Treaty, and of the talent he had shown in his debates with the
Presbyterian divines, that those who were in charge had thought it unsafe
to let him remain in the service. He had therefore been dismissed, and
the duty of immediate waiting on the King had been left entirely to Mr.

It was at midnight on the 16th or 17th of December that this gentleman,
asleep in the little room he occupied next to the King's chamber, was
roused by hearing the drawbridge outside let down, and some horsemen
enter the Castle. Next morning he found that the King had heard the noise
too, and was curious to know the cause. Mr. Herbert went out to inquire,
and came back with the information that Major Harrison had arrived in the
night. Nothing more was said at the moment, and the King went to prayers;
but later in the day the King seemed very much discomposed, and told
Herbert that Harrison was the very man against whom he had most
frequently received private warnings. He had never, to his knowledge,
seen the Major, but he had heard much of the wild enthusiasm of his
character; and, if assassination were intended, and this man were to be
the agent, what likelier place than the lonely sea-keep where they then
were? To relieve his Majesty's mind if possible, Mr. Herbert went out to
make farther inquiries. He soon returned with the intelligence that the
purpose of Harrison's visit was to arrange for his Majesty's removal to
Windsor Castle. Nothing could be more agreeable to the King than the
prospect of "leaving the worst to enjoy the best Castle in England;" and
all fear vanished.

After two nights, Major Harrison left the Castle mysteriously as he had
come, and without having seen the King or spoken to any of his
attendants. He had made the necessary arrangements, and the actual
removal of the King was to be superintended by the same Colonel Cobbet
who had managed his abduction from the Isle of Wight. This officer,
arriving two days afterwards, formally announced his business; and, his
Majesty being very willing, there was no delay. Passing along the spit of
land from Hurst Castle to Milford, they found a body of horse there
waiting; and, under this convoy, they rode inland through Hampshire,
gradually leaving the sea behind. By a route through the New Forest and
past Romsey, they reached Winchester, where they made some stay, the
Mayor, Aldermen, and Clergymen of the City, and many of the gentry round,
coming in dutifully to pay their respects. Thence to New Alresford, and
so to Farnham in Surrey. It was on the road between these two towns that
they passed another troop of horse drawn up in good order, which
immediately closed up in the rear and went on with them. The King was
particularly struck with the appearance of the commander of this troop, a
man gallantly mounted, with a velvet montero on his head, a new buff-
coat, and a crimson silk scarf round his waist, who, as the King passed
at an easy pace, saluted him splendidly "_alia soldado_" and
received a gracious bow in return. Inquiring of Mr. Herbert who he was,
the King was greatly surprised to learn he was the dreadful Major
Harrison. He looked a real soldier, the King said, and, if there might be
trust in men's faces, was not the man to be an assassin. On arriving at
Farnham, where they spent the night in a private house, the King took
care to pay considerable attention to Harrison. Standing by the fire
before supper, in a large wainscoted room full of people, he singled out
Harrison at the other end, beckoned him to come up, took him by the arm,
and led him to a window-recess, where they conversed for half an hour.
Apparently Harrison's words were not so satisfactory as his looks. He
disowned indignantly any such design against the King as had been imputed
to him, but added something to the effect that great and small alike must
be subject to Law, and that Justice could pay no respect to persons. The
King, who had never yet brought himself to imagine the possibility of his
public trial in any form, saw no particular significance in Harrison's
words, but thought them "affectedly spoken," and broke off the
conversation. He was very cheerful at supper, greatly to the delight of
his suite. Next day, taking Bagshot on the way and dining at Lord
Newburgh's house there, they arrived at Windsor, and were received by
Colonel Whichcot, the officer in command. It was the very day, Saturday
Dec. 23, on which the Commons had appointed their Committee for
considering the means of bringing the King to justice, and the Committee
were holding their first meeting in Westminster that afternoon. The news
had probably not yet reached Windsor, or it remained unknown to the King.
He took up his abode in his royal apartments in the Castle; and the next
day, as he paused in his Sunday walk round the exterior, he looked with
no especial anxiety Londonwards, but rejoiced once more in the view of
the Thames flowing by Eton, and the far expanse of lull and valley,
villages and fair houses, noble even in its wintry leaflessness and the
dull gloom of the December air. [Footnote: Herbert's Memoirs, 126-145;
Rushworth VII. 1371; Parl. Hist. III. l26.]

Christmas-week having passed, and the Committee for justice on the King
having had several meetings, the Commons, on the 1st of January 1648-9,
passed a Resolution and an Ordinance. The Resolution was "That, by the
fundamental laws of this kingdom, it is Treason in the King of England
for the time being to levy war against the Parliament and Kingdom of
England;" the Ordinance was one beginning "Whereas it is notorious that
Charles Stuart, the now King of England," and ending with the appointment
of a High Court of Justice for the Trial of the King, to consist of about
150 persons named as Commissioners and Judges expressly for the purpose.
Five Peers were named first on this Commission; then Chief Justices Rolle
and St. John and Chief Baron Wylde; then Fairfax, Cromwell, Ireton, and
many more members of the Commons and Army Officers; but a considerable
proportion of those named were Lawyers, Aldermen, and Citizens, not
members of the House. Any twenty of the Commissioners were to be a
quorum.--On the following day (Jan. 2), the Resolution and Ordinance
having been sent up to the Lords for their concurrence, there was a scene
of agony in that House. As many as twelve Peers had mustered for the
occasion, including four of the five whom the Commons had named first in
the dreadful Commission. Unanimously and passionately all the Peers
present rejected both Resolution and Ordinance, the Earl of Denbigh
declaring he "would be torn in pieces rather than have any share in so
infamous a business," and the Earl of Pembroke, who came nearest to
neutrality, saying he "loved not businesses of life and death." Having
hurled this defiance at the Commons, the Lords were powerless for more,
and adjourned for a week.

It was a week of rapid action and counter-defiance by the Commons. Not a
few of the feebler spirits, indeed, had taken leave of absence.
Whitlocke, for one, had gone into the country. The Clerk of the House,
Mr. Elsyng, had feigned ill-health and resigned. Nevertheless, with a
temporary substitute to do Mr. Elsyng's duty, the House pushed on. Jan.
3, they sent two of their number to inspect the Journals of the Lords and
ascertain formally the proceedings of that House on the preceding day.
When these were reported, some were for impeaching the twelve Peers as
co-Delinquents with the King. To the majority, however, such a course
appeared quite unnecessary; it was enough to declare that, as the Lords
would not concur, the Commons would act without their concurrence. Jan.
4, after a debate with locked doors, this momentous Resolution was
passed: "That the Commons of England in Parliament assembled do declare,
That the People are, under God, the original of all just power; and do
also declare, That the Commons of England in Parliament assembled, being
chosen by and representing the People, have the supreme power in this
nation; and do also declare, That whatsoever is enacted, or declared for
law, by the Commons in Parliament assembled hath the force of a law, and
all the People of this nation are concluded thereby, although the consent
and concurrence of the King, or House of Peers, be not had thereunto."
The Ordinance for a High Court of Justice for the King's trial had
meanwhile been re-introduced, with the omission of the five Peers, the
three Judges, and some other reluctant persons named in the original
Ordinance, and with the addition of two eminent lawyers not there named;
so that Fairfax, Cromwell, and Treton now stood at the top of a total
list of 135 judicial Commissioners. Hurried through the proper three
stages, this Bill became law by the authority of the Commons alone, Jan.
6,--On the 9th of January, when the Peers re-assembled after their
adjournment, seven being present, they made a faint attempt to recover
influence. They sketched out an Ordinance to the effect that whatsoever
King of England should _in future_ levy war against the Parliament
and the Kingdom should be guilty of High Treason, and they appointed a
Committee to prepare such an Ordinance. At the same time, ignoring the
virtual abolition of their House by the Commons, they endeavoured to
renew communications between the two Houses in the usual manner, by
sending a message about various matters of mere ordinary business that
had been pending between the two. This led to a curious proof that even
in the thoroughgoing body that now constituted the Commons there was
still a difference between most thoroughgoing and moderately
thoroughgoing. There was first a division on the question whether the
messengers from the Lords should he received at all; and, while 31 voted
for admitting them, a minority of 18, with Henry Marten and Ludlow for
their tellers, voted _No_. Then, after the messengers had been
received and had delivered their message, it was debated whether they
should be dismissed with the customary answer that the House would reply
in due course by messengers of their own. Out of 52 present, 19 voted
_No_ (Ireton one of the tellers), and 33 voted for keeping up the
usual courtesy. But, though a majority were thus for treating the Lords
as still extant, practically the whole House was in the same ultra-
democratic temper. That very day, for example, on the report of a
Committee, orders were given for the engraving of a new Great Seal, with
instructions that on one side there should be a map of England and
Ireland, with the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, also the English and
Irish arms, and the words "The Great Seal of England: 1648," and on the
reverse a representation of the House of Commons sitting, and the motto
"In the First Year of Freedom by God's blessing restored: 1648." The
deviser of these emblems was the Republican Henry Marten. [Footnote:
Lords and Commons Journals of days named; Rushworth, VII. 1379 _et
seq._; Parl. Hist. III. 1253-1258; Whitlocke under dates given.]

Not even yet did Charles realize the extent of his danger. Well-treated
at Windsor, and allowed the liberty of walking on the terrace and in the
grounds, he had kept up his spirits wonderfully, and had been heard to
say he "doubted not but within six months to see peace in England, and,
in case of not restoring, to be righted from Ireland, Denmark, and other
places." Even after information of the proceedings of the Commons and
their rupture with the Lords had reached him, he scouted the idea of the
public trial which was threatened. They dared not do such a thing! At the
utmost, he expected that the Commons might venture to depose him, confine
him in the Tower or elsewhere, and call upon the Prince of Wales, or
perhaps the Duke of York or the Duke of Gloucester, to assume the
succession! [Footnote: Herbert's Memoirs, 145-156; Whitlocke, II. 488.]

Meanwhile the Court appointed to try the King had met to constitute
itself. Formal proclamation of its authority and of its business had been
made in various public places in London; and, in a series of meeting held
in the Painted Chamber in Westminster, preliminaries had been arranged.
Not so many as half of the Commissioners appointed by the Ordinance seem
to have attended at any of these meetings. Fairfax, who was present at
the first (Jan. 8), recoiled then and there, and never went back.
[Footnote: In Notes and Queries for July 6, 1872, Mr. William J. Thorns
gave a carefully prepared list of the 135 persons named King's Judges by
the Second Ordinance for the Trial, so printed as to show which of them
really took part in the business thus assigned them, and to what extent,
and which of them abstained wholly or withdrew before the close of the
proceedings.] For President of the Court, with the title "Lord High
President," there was chosen John Bradshaw, one of the lawyers added in
the second form of the Ordinance, to make up for the omission there of
the three Judges from the regular Law-Courts who had been appointed in
the first Ordinance, but had been excused. He was over sixty years of
age; had been eminent for some time in his profession; and had recently
been one of a group of lawyers raised to the serjeantcy, with a view to
their promotion to the Bench. As counsel for the prosecution, four
lawyers, not on the Commission, were appointed, one of them John Cook,
and another the learned Dutchman Dr. Dorislaus. Although these
arrangements had been made before the 12th of January, another week
elapsed before the Court was quite ready. The vaults under the Painted
Chamber, which was to be the ordinary place of meeting of the Court, when
not sitting in Westminster Hall for the open trial, had to be searched
and secured against any attempt of the Guy Fawkes kind; a bullet-proof
hat, it is said, had to be made for Bradshaw: the Mace and Sword of State
had to be brought from their usual repositories; &c. The two Houses of
Parliament meanwhile met from day to day, four or five Peers still
keeping up the pretence of their corporate existence, and about 50
Commoners transacting this or that business as it happened, without the
least reference to the Peers. Prynne, from his confinement in the King's
Head Tavern in the Strand, had issued a defence of the King in the form
of _A Brief Memento to the Present Unparliamentary Juncto_; and a
good deal of the time of the Commons was taken up with notices of this
pamphlet and votes for the prosecution of its author. [Footnote:
Rushworth, VII, 1389-1394; Lords and Commons Journals; and Godwin's Hist.
of the Commonwealth, II. 621 and 664-668.]


On Friday, Jan. 19, Charles was brought from Windsor in a coach, guarded
by a body of horse under Harrison's command, and conveyed through
Brentford and Hammersmith to St. James's Palace. That same night he was
removed to Whitehall; and, on the afternoon of Saturday the 20th, he was
taken thence to Cotton House, adjoining Westminster Hall. This great
hall, used for Strafford's trial, had now been fitted up for the King's,
and the High Court of Justice were already assembled in it, waiting their
prisoner. Bradshaw was in the chair, and sixty-six more of the
Commissioners were present. Among them were Cromwell, Ireton, Henry
Marten, Edmund Ludlow, General Hammond, Lord Grey of Groby, several
Baronets and Knights, Colonels Ewer, Hawson, Robert Lilburne, Okey,
Pride, Hutchinson, Purefoy, Sir Hardress Waller, and Whalley, with Major
Harrison, Alderman Pennington of London, and three barristers. The hall
was crowded with spectators, both on the floor and in the galleries; and
order was kept by a guard of red-coats under Colonel Axtell. As the Court
was forming itself, there had been a rather startling interruption by a
woman's voice from one of the galleries. It was that of Lady Fairfax, who
had gone in indignant curiosity, and, on hearing her husband's name read
in the Commission, called out loudly to this effect, "He is not here, and
will never be; you do him wrong to name him." This interruption was over,
and the Court composed, when Charles was brought in by Colonel Hacker,
and a select guard of officers armed with halberts. The Serjeant-at-Arms
receiving him, and preceding him with the mace, he was conducted to the
bar, where a chair of crimson velvet had been set for him. Some of his
own servants followed him and stood round him. He looked sternly at the
Court and at the people in the galleries; then sat down, keeping on his
hat; then stood up, and turned round to look at the soldiers and the
multitude; then sat down again, still with his hat on. He was now face to
face with his judges. He looked at them carefully, and recognised about
eight as personally known to him. [Footnote: Rushworth, VII. 1394-1399,
and Herbert, 150-161. It is strange to find some points of contradiction
between these two trustworthy accounts. Herbert, after apparently
implying that the King had been brought from Windsor to St James's
_before_ the 19th, makes his removal from St. James's to Whitehall
occur on that day. Rushworth brings him to St. James's exactly on the
19th, and removes him to Whitehall next morning. Again, Herbert makes the
King conveyed from Whitehall to Cotton House "in a sedan or close chair,"
and describes the walk through the posted guards, along King Street and
Palace Yard, adding that only he himself was allowed to go with the King
that way; whereas Rushworth says that the King was brought to Cotton
House from Whitehall by water, "guarded by musketeers in boats."
Rushworth's accounts, written at the moment, ought to be more accurate in
such particulars, and especially in dates, than Herbert's, written from
recollection; but Herbert can hardly have been wrong in the matter of the
sedan chair. Perhaps, while the King went in such a chair, Herbert
accompanying him, most of the King's servants went by water. For the
names of all the sixty-seven King's Judges present on the first day of
the Trial see Mr. Thomb's list in _Notes and Queries_, July 6, 1872.
The figure 20 there appended to a name intimates presence that day.--
Among those of the 135 appointed Judges who did not attend on that day or
on any subsequent one, and therefore must be supposed to have agreed with
Fairfax in disowning the entire business, we may note Skippon, Sir Arthur
Haselrig, Sir William Brereton, Desborough, Lambert, Overton, Lord Lisle,
and Algernon Sidney.]

The proceedings of the Trial will be best exhibited in the following
condensed account of the particulars of each day:--

_Saturday, Jan. 20_:--The President, in a brief address to the King,
informed him of the business on which the Court had met, and called on
him to hear the Charge against him. Solicitor Cook, standing within the
bar, on the King's right, then began to state the Charge, but was
interrupted by the King, who held out a stick which he had in his hand,
and laid it softly twice or thrice on the Solicitor's shoulder, bidding
him stop. Bradshaw having interfered, the Solicitor continued his
statement, and delivered in his Charge in writing, which Bradshaw called
on the Clerk of the Court to read. Charles again interrupted, and
continued to interrupt; but, Bradshaw telling him that he would be heard
afterwards if he had anything to say, the document was at length read. It
accused Charles Stuart, King of England, of having "traitorously and
maliciously levied war against the present Parliament and the People
therein represented;" and it supported the Charge by a recitation of
specific acts of the King done in the First Civil War from June 1642 to
1646, and again more generally of acts done in 1648 before and during the
Second Civil War. Charles had smiled often as the Charge was read; and,
when the President at the close asked what answer he had to give, begged
to know by what authority he had been brought thither. He had been in
treaty with Parliament in the Isle of Wight; he had been forcibly taken
thence; he saw no Lords present; the crown of England was hereditary and
not elective; in whose name was this Court held? "In that of the Commons
of England," Bradshaw replied; and there ensued a skirmish between him
and the King on the question of authority, which Bradshaw ended by
adjourning the Court till Monday at ten o'clock.

_Monday, Jan. 22_:-After a consultation in the Painted Chamber, the
Court met in Westminster Hall, _seventy_ members present, and
answering to their names. The skirmish between Bradshaw and the King was
renewed: Bradshaw requiring the King's Answer to the Charge "either by
confessing or denying," and the King refusing the Court's jurisdiction,
not for his own sake alone, he said, but "for the freedom and liberty of
the people of England," imperilled by the assumption of the Court's
legality. "Sir, I must interrupt you," said Bradshaw; "which I would not
do, but that what you do is not agreeable to the proceedings of any Court
of Justice." No Court, he said, could permit its own authority to be
questioned; the King must not go out into such wide discourses; he must
give a punctual and direct answer. No such answer would the King give; he
would have law and reason for his being in that place at all. "Sir, you
are not to dispute our authority," again interrupted Bradshaw; "you are
told it again by the Court: Sir, it will be taken notice of you that you
stand in contempt of the Court, and your contempt will be recorded
accordingly." The King "did not know how a King might be a delinquent by
any law he ever heard of;" but any Delinquent might put in a demurrer.
And so on and on for a considerable time, the Clerk of the Court reading
out the Resolution of the Court that the King should give his answer, and
the King still insisting on giving reasons why he would not. "Serjeant,
take away the prisoner," said the Lord President at last; and the King,
still talking, was removed to Cotton House.----He left in writing, for
subsequent publication, the reasons he wanted to state to the Court that
day. The chief of them was that no earthly power could justly call a King
to account. He quoted, as Scripture authority, Eccles. viii. 4: "Where
the word of a King is, there is power; and who may say unto him, What
dost thou?" But he appealed also to the Law and Custom of England.

_Tuesday, Jan. 23_:-The Court again met in Westminster Hall, 63
Commissioners present. Solicitor Cook moved that, the King having refused
to plead either Guilty _or_ Not Guilty, the rule for such cases of
contumacy should be applied to him, his refusal taken _pro confesso_, and
judgment pronounced. The Lord President, calling the King's attention to
this motion, offered him another opportunity of pleading, which he used
only to return to the discourses of the two previous days. "Clerk, do
your duty!" said Bradshaw at last. "Duty, Sir!" exclaimed the King; and,
the Clerk having again read out a paper requiring the King's positive
answer to the Charge, and the King still refusing, "Clerk, record "the
default," said Bradshaw, "and, gentlemen, you that took "charge of the
prisoner, take him back again." That night, like the preceding, was spent
in Cotton House.

_Wednesday, Jan. 24, and Thursday, Jan. 25_:--No public meetings of
the Court in Westminster Hall on these days; but more private sessions in
the Painted Chamber for the purpose of receiving the depositions of
witnesses,--the Court having determined that, though not obliged to that
course, they would adopt it for their own satisfaction. Accordingly there
were examined more than thirty witnesses from various parts of England--
"W. C., of Patrington in Holderness, in the county of York, gentleman,
aged 42;" "W. B., of Wixhall, in the county of Salop, gentleman;" "H. H.,
of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire;" "R. L., of Cotton in
Nottinghamshire, tiler;" "J. W., of Ross in Herefordshire, shoemaker;"
"S. L., of Nottingham, maltster, aged 30 years;" "A. Y., citizen and
barber-surgeon of London, aged 29;" "H. G., of Gray's Inn, in the county
of Middlesex, gentleman;" &c. &c. They deposed to various acts of the
King seen by themselves, from the setting up of his standard at
Nottingham onwards. Papers in the King's own hand, or by his authority,
were also produced and read. Finally, the Court, "taking into
consideration the whole matter," resolved to proceed to sentence on the
King as "a tyrant, traitor, and murderer," and as "a public enemy to the
Commonwealth of England."

_Friday, Jan. 26_:--A private sitting of the Court in the Painted
Chamber, in which the Sentence was drafted, agreed to, and ordered to be

_Saturday, Jan. 27_:--First another private meeting in the Painted
Chamber to settle the procedure of the Court for the day, and give
President Bradshaw instructions for his behaviour in any contingency that
might arise, one of them being that he "should hear the King say what he
would before the sentence, and not after." Then, about one o'clock, an
adjournment to full state in Westminster Hall. The Lord President was now
robed in scarlet, and there were 67 Commissioners present. The Court
having been opened, Charles, whose presence had not been required on the
three preceding days, was brought in. As he went to his place, the
soldiers in the Hall called out "Justice," "Justice," and "Execution!"
till the Court commanded silence. The King, in his usual posture, with
his hat on, immediately began to speak. The President told him he would
have liberty to do so, but must hear the Court first. After some farther
attempts to speak then, the King submitted; and Bradshaw, reminding him
of what had passed in the first three meetings of the Court, related the
subsequent action of the Court, and their conclusion on the whole matter,
and called upon him to say anything he pleased in bar of judgment,
provided it were in his own defence, and not in renewed challenge of the
Court's jurisdiction. With difficulty keeping off the forbidden topic,
Charles dwelt on the dangers of a hasty sentence, and urged a special
request which he had reserved for the occasion. It was that, before
sentence was read, he should be permitted to have a conference with the
Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber. Bradshaw, though he gave it as
his opinion that the request only tended to delay, and was in fact a
farther declining of the jurisdiction of the Court, yet announced that
the Court would withdraw to consider it. There was therefore a private
consultation for half an hour in the Court of Wards, the King meanwhile
being removed from the Great Hall. When the Court had returned thither,
and the King had been brought back, Bradshaw intimated that the
consultation had been _pro forma_ only, that the request could not
be granted, that the Court must proceed to sentence. There was another
painful altercation, the King pressing his request for delay, and seeming
to hint he had some important proposal to make to the Lords and Commons
(abdication in favour of the Prince of Wales, it was afterwards guessed);
and Bradshaw trying to stop him. At length, the King ceasing to
interrupt, Bradshaw's words took continuous form for a minute or two in
that kind of address which a Judge makes to a capital criminal before
passing sentence. "Make an _O yes,_" he said in conclusion to the
officers, "and command silence while the Sentence is read." The Clerk
then read out the sentence as it had been engressed on parchment, as
follows:--"_Whereas the Commons of England in Parliament, &c._ [a
statement of the purpose of the Court, an insertion of the Charge against
Charles, and a record of his refusal to plead and the consequent
proceedings of the Court], _ this Court doth adjudge that the said
Charles Stuart, as a Tyrant, Traitor, Murderer, and a Public Enemy, shall
be put to death by the severing of his head from his body._ "The
President then said, "The sentence now read and published is the act,
sentence, judgement, and resolution of the whole Court;" whereupon all
the Commissioners stood up to express their assent. "His Majesty then
said, Will you hear me a word, Sir? _President_: Sir, you are not to be
heard after the sentence. _King_: No, Sir? _President_: No, Sir, by your
favour. Sir. Guard, withdraw your prisoner. _King_: I _may_ speak after
sentence, by your favour, Sir; I _may_ speak after sentence, ever. By
your favour, hold [the guard, one must suppose, now hustling around
Charles]. The sentence, Sir--I say Sir, I do--I am not suffered to speak;
Expect what justice other people will have." As he passed out with the
guard, there were again cries from the soldiers of "Justice," "Justice,"
and some brutes among them puffed their tobacco-smoke in front of him,
and threw their pipes in his way. He was taken to Whitehall and thence to
St. James's. [Footnote: Abridged mainly from Rushworth's collection of
accounts in 30 folio pages (VII. 1395-1425). The _sixty-seven_ of the
King's judges who were present in Westminster Hall on the 27th, when the
sentence was pronounced, are to be regarded as the men most resolute in
the business, the committed Regicides. Two of these (George Fleetwood and
Thomas Wayte) came in at the last moment, not having attended any of the
previous meetings of the Court from the beginning of the Trial on the
20th. On the other hand, some nine or ten who had been present on one,
two, or even all of the three previous public days of the Trial (the
20th, 22nd, and 23rd), had dropped off before the sentence; among them
whome I note Alderman Isaac Pennington. He had been present all the three
previous days; but could not reconcile himself to the conclusion. Of the
sixty-seven who did reconcile themselves to it, _fifty-one_, as I reckon,
are conspicuous for their unswerving steadiness throughout the
proceedings, never having missed a day in their attendance from the 20th
to the 27th inclusively. Among these are Bradshaw, Cromwell, Ireton,
Marten, General Hammond, Ludlow, Lord Grey of Groby, Sir John Danvers,
Pride, Purefoy, Hewson, Hutchinson, Robert Lilburne, Okey, Sir Hardress
Waller, Whalley, Harrison, Sir M. Livesy, and Thomas Scott. Several of
those, however, who had missed one or even two of the days of the Trial
had done so accidentally, or for some reason of business, and not from
flinching. Finally, of the sixty-seven who were present at the sentence,
and stood up when it was pronounced to signify their concurrence, several
were either reluctant at the time, or at all events afterwards wished
people to believe that they were.]


The last two days and three nights of Charles's life were spent by him in
the utmost possible privacy. From the first day of his trial, by an order
of the Commons, procured by the intercession of Hugh Peters, he had been
allowed to have Dr. Juxon, ex-Bishop of London, constantly in attendance
upon him; and there was a fresh order continuing this favour after the
sentence. Except Juxon and the faithful gentleman of the bedchamber,
Thomas Herbert, the King did not desire company; and it was a relief to
him when, on the remonstrances of these two with Hacker, that officer
desisted from his intention of placing two musketeers on guard in his
chamber. [Footnote: Commons Journals of the 20th and the 27th, and
Herbert, 182-3.]

On the evening of the 27th, the day of the sentence, the King's nephew,
the Prince Elector, who had special permission to see him, came for the
purpose, accompanied by the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hertford,
the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, and some other noblemen. They had
to be content with a message of thanks through Herbert, and went
sorrowfully away. The same evening there also arrived Mr. Henry Seymour,
with a letter from the Prince of Wales, dated from the Hague a few days
before. This messenger, having been admitted by Colonel Hacker, did see
the King, and knelt passionately at his feet, while he read the letter,
and returned some verbal answer. There then remained only Herbert and
Juxon with the King; but, as the night came on, Herbert was sent out on a
message. He was to take a ring which the King gave him, an emerald
between two diamonds, and deliver it to a lady living in Channel Row, who
would know what it meant. The night was very dark; but Herbert, having
got the pass-word from Colonel Tomlinson, who was in command outside,
made his way through the sentries to the house indicated. He saw the
lady, and, on delivering the ring, received from her a sealed cabinet. It
was a box of diamonds and other jewels, chiefly broken Georges and
Garters, which had been deposited with the lady, who was the King's
laundress and wife of Sir William Wheeler. Returning with it to St.
James's, Herbert found Juxon just gone to his lodging near, and the King
alone. Herbert slept that night in the King's chamber, as he had done
since the beginning of the trial, a pallet-bed having been brought in for
the purpose by the King's order, and placed near his own bed. As always,
the wax-light in the silver basin was kept faintly burning. [Footnote:
Herbert, 170-178; and Wood's Ath. IV. 28-31. Wood's account was derived
from Herbert himself, and substantially is the same as Herbert's own in
his published _Memoirs_, but with additional particulars, of which
some are peculiarly interesting.]

Of the next day, Sunday the 28th, there is nothing to record, save that
in the morning the King opened the cabinet of jewels, and that the rest
of the day was passed in hearing a sermon from Juxon on Romans ii. 16,
and in private readings and devotions. Clement Walker, indeed, foists
into this day a myth he had heard about a certain "paper-book" tendered
to the King by "some of the grandees of the Army and Parliament,"
offering him his "life and some shadow of regality" on conditions of such
a portentous character, so "destructive to the fundamental Government,
Religion, Laws, Liberties, and Properties of the People," that his
Majesty firmly refused them. The air was full of such myths. [Footnote:
Clement Walker's Hist. of Independency, Part II, 109, 110.]

On Monday, the 29th, the two royal children then in England, the Princess
Elizabeth, thirteen years old, and the Duke of Gloucester, a boy of
eight, came to St. James's to bid their father farewell. The Princess, as
the elder, and the more sensible of her father's condition, was weeping
excessively; the younger boy, seeing his sister weep, took the like
impression, and sobbed in sympathy and fright. He sat with them for some
time at a window, taking them on his knees and kissing them, and talking
with them of their duty to their mother, and to their eldest brother the
Prince of Wales, who should be rightful King of England in long future
years, when they would hardly remember their dead father. He distributed
to them most of the jewels from the recovered casket; and at last, when
the time allotted for the interview was over, and the door was opened
from without, he rose hastily, again kissed them and blessed them, and
then turned about to hide his own tears, while they departed crying
miserably. [Footnote: Herbert, 178-180. In one particular there is a
discrepancy between Herbert's account of the two days immediately
succeeding Charles's sentence and the account found in Rushworth and
others. Herbert says that on Saturday, after the sentence, Charles was
taken from Westminster Hall back to Whitehall, "whence after two hours'
space he was removed to St. James's." Accordingly it is at St. James's,
as in the text, that Herbert represents Charles as passing the Saturday
night and the Sunday and Monday. In Rushworth, on the other hand, the
King remains at Whitehall through Saturday night and Sunday; and it is
not till Monday that he is removed to St. James's, where he sees his
children. Herbert's surely is the better authority in this matter.]

And what of surrounding London, what of England, what of the three
kingdoms, and the world beyond the seas? A King condemned as a Traitor
and a Murderer by a fraction of his subjects; his children taking
farewell of him; his time on earth now measured by hours, and the hours
by the ticks of a clock; the hum close at hand of carpenters at work in
hideous, unnameable preparations! Was there then to be no arrest, might
there be no delay? Would not the very stones of London rise and mutiny;
might not the land around, even if led but by popular fury, surge in to
the rescue; from beyond the seas might there not come execration
sufficient, and some foreign voice to stop?

Nearly eight weeks, it is to be remembered, had elapsed since the Army
had assumed the absolute political mastery by Pride's Purge of the
Commons; and somewhat more than three weeks since the small stump of the
Commons which they had fitted for their purpose had voted the Peers a
farce, declared all power to reside in itself, and appointed the High
Court of Justice for the Trial of the King. If there was to be
interposition for Charles, from within Great Britain or from abroad,
there had therefore been time for it before his Trial actually began, or
at least before his Sentence. What had been the appearances? Among
foreign powers and potentates a mere curious amazement, a feeling that
the strange Islanders had gone mad, too mad to be meddled with: in France
perhaps, where Mazarin had his own notions, even a pleasure in the sense
of being unable to interfere and a willingness to see the English fury
burn itself out in its own way. The French Ambassador in England had,
indeed, conveyed a letter from Queen Henrietta Maria, addressed to the
Speaker of the House of Commons; but the House had passed it by, and left
it unanswered. Then, among the English Royalists abroad! Among
_them,_ of course, a phrenzy unutterable,--passionate pacings of
rooms and courtyards in the foreign towns that quartered them; wild
clamours of grief wherever a few of them were gathered together; mingled
sobbings, curses, prayers, gnashings of teeth, at the thought of what was
passing in the home-island beyond their reach! But what within that
island itself? What of England and London? The population, as we know,
consisted of three sections--the numerous Independents and Sectaries; the
multitudinous Presbyterians; and the suppressed and all but silenced
Prelatists, or adherents of the old Church of England, What had been the
signs from these three sections? Well, while petitions had come in to the
Commons from the "well-affected," _i.e._ the Independents and
Sectaries, of various counties, praying for justice on Delinquents of
whatever rank, and therefore virtually adhering to the Army; while the
Independents of the City of London itself had bestirred themselves in the
same sense, and, in spite of the opposition of the Lord Mayor and most of
the Aldermen, had carried at a Guildhall meeting an Address from the
Common Council to the Commons, which the Commons received with great form
and much expression of thanks; while all this had been done in the Army's
interest, there had been much fainter counter-demonstrations, from either
the Prelatists or the Presbyterians, than might have been expected. The
Prelatists, believing their interference would do harm, had remained in
dumb horror: only Dr. John Gauden and Dr, Henry Hammond had ventured on
protestations in the King's behalf, addressed to Fairfax and the Army
Council. The Presbyterians, having more liberty in the way of speech, had
certainly not been silent. What indignation among them, what outcries,
during the last seven weeks, over the suppression of all legal authority,
and the monstrous usurpation of power by the Army-Grandees and their
heretical adherents! Among the Presbyterian multitudes of London there
had been no protester in this sense more brave than Prynne. Whatever
could be done with pen and ink, or by vehement verbal messages, in
addition to his published _Brief Memento_, from his durance in the
King's Head Tavern, he had done, and continued to do. Clement Walker was
hardly less active. From the Presbyterian Clergy of the City also,
notwithstanding the exertions of Hugh Peters and others, in private
conferences with them, to keep them from interfering, there did come
voices of remonstrance. The Westminster Assembly, or what of the body
then remained sitting, had signified their unanimous desire for the
King's release; and forty-seven ministers, meeting at Sion College, had
drawn up and signed a document, addressed to Fairfax, in which they
protested most earnestly, in the name of Religion and general morality,
and also of the Solemn League and Covenant, against the usurpation of
power by the Army and the violence intended to the King's person. There
had been manifestations to the same effect from Presbyterian ministers in
various parts of the country, in which, it appears, even some of the
Independent ministers had joined. Finally, there was all Presbyterian
Scotland. What of it? The Scottish Parliament had met in Edinburgh on the
4th of January, and had been greatly agitated by the news, received from
the Earl of Lothian, Sir John Chiesley, and William Glendinning, then
acting as Scottish Commissioners in London, "how that above 160 members
of the House of Commons were extrudit the House by the blasphemous Army,"
and how there was no doubt but the King's life was in peril. There had
been an express to London in consequence, with instructions to the
Commissioners to do their best, by every form of entreaty and
remonstrance, to avert the dreaded catastrophe. Both before and during
the Trial, accordingly, these Commissioners, aided by Mr. Blair and other
Commissioners of the Scottish Kirk, had been going to and fro in London,
reasoning, threatening, and imploring. Charles Stuart was King of
Scotland; the whole Scottish nation was loyal to Monarchy in him and in
his race; from all the pulpits in Scotland there were prayers for him,
and forgiveness of his past errors in pity of his present state; would
the English nation dare, in defiance of all this, and in outrage of the
League and Covenant, to put him to death? [Footnote: Commons Journals,
Jan. 15, 1648-9; Neal's Puritans, III. 490-6; Whitlocke Jan. 3; Walker's
History of Independency, Part II. 61-87; Balfour's Annals, III. 373 _et
seq._ Life of Robert Blair (Wodrow Society), pp. 213-215.]

All this before the King's trial had actually begun, or at least before
his sentence. And what now that the sentence had been pronounced, and
Charles in St. James's was making ready for his doom? The Trial had been
swift; hardly more than the expectation of it can have reached foreign
shores; of the actual sentence many parts of England were yet ignorant.
Only at the centre, only in London itself, could there be interference at
this last moment. To the last there were some efforts. After the sentence
the pleadings and protests of the Scottish Commissioners became nearly
frantic in their vehemence, the Presbyterianism of London too numb for
farther expression itself, but speaking through the Scots. All to no
effect. Nor was greater attention paid to the intercession of the only
foreign Power that then made an effort to save Charles. The States-
General of Holland had sent over a special embassy for the purpose; but,
though the Ambassadors were in London on the 29th and were received that
day with most ceremonious respect by the Commons as well as by the Lords,
they knew that they had come on a vain errand.

Why was all in vain? For one very simple and yet very sufficient reason.
At the centre of England was a will that had made itself adamant, by
express vow and deliberation beforehand, for the very hour which had now
arrived, and that, amid all entreaties and pleadings of men, women,
classes, corporations, and nations, would go through with the business
that had been begun. Relentings there were near the centre, but not at
the very centre. Fairfax had relented; Pennington had relented; others
who had taken part in the Trial had relented; Vane, St. John, Skippon,
Fiennes, leaders hitherto, had withdrawn from the work, and were looking
on moodily; there was an agony over what was coming among many that had
helped to bring it to pass. Only some fifty or sixty governing
Englishmen, with OLIVER CROMWELL in the midst of them, were prepared for
every responsibility, and stood inexorably to their task. _They_
were the will of England now, and they had the Army with them. What
proportion of England besides went with them it might be difficult to
estimate. One private Londoner, at all events, can be named, who approved
thoroughly of their policy, and was ready to testify the same. While the
sentenced King was at St. James's there were lying on Milton's writing-
table in his house in High Holborn at least the beginnings of a pamphlet
on which he had been engaged during the King's Trial, and in which, in
vehement answer to the outcry of the Presbyterians generally, but with
particular references also to the printed protests of Prynne, the appeals
of the Prelatists Hammond and Gauden, and the interferences of the Scots
and the Dutch, he was to defend all the recent acts of the Army, Pride's
Purge included, justify the existing government of the Army-chiefs and
the fragment of Parliament that assisted them, inculcate Republican
beliefs on his countrymen, and prove to them above all this proposition:
"_That it is lawful, and hath been held so through all ages, for any
who have the power, to call to account a Tyrant, or wicked King, and,
after due conviction, to depose and put him to death, if the ordinary
Magistrate have neglected or denied to do it!_" The pamphlet was not
to come out in time to bear practically on the deed which it justified;
but, while the King was yet alive, it was planned, sketched, and in part
written. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Jan, 22 and 29; Lords Journals,
Jan. 29; Rushworth, VII. 1426-7; Milton's _Tenure of Kings and
Magistrates_, and his _Def. Sec_.--That Milton's _Tenure of
Kings and Magistrates_, though not published till after the King's
death, had been on hand before, if not completed, might be inferred from
the pamphlet itself, the language and _tense_ of some parts of which
are scarcely explicable otherwise. But see his account of the composition
of the pamphlet in his _Def. Sec_. He there says that the book did
not come out till after the King's death, and consequently had no direct
influence in bringing about that fact; but this very statement, and the
sentences which precede it, confirm what is said in the text as to the
time when the pamphlet was schemed and begun.]

Actually on Monday, Jan. 29, while the Dutch Ambassadors were having
their audiences with the two Houses, the Death-Warrant was out, as

"At the High Court of Justice for the Trying and Judging of Charles
Stuart, King of England, January XXIXth, Anno Dom. 1648.

"Whereas Charles Stuart, King of England, is and standeth convicted,
attainted, and condemned of High Treason and other high Crimes, and
sentence upon Saturday last was pronounced upon 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 Thirtieth day of this instant month
of January, between the hours of Ten in the morning and Five in the
afternoon of the said day, with full effect. And for so doing this shall
be your sufficient warrant. And these are to require all Officers and
Soldiers and other the good people of this Nation to be assisting unto
you in this service. Given under our hands and seals:--

"Jo. Bradshawe Ri. Deane Thos. Horton
Tho. Grey Robert Tichborne J. Jones
O. Cromwell H. Edwardes John Moore
Edw. Whalley Daniel Blagrave Gilb. Millington
M. Livesey Owen Rowe G. Fleetwood
John Okey William Perfoy J. Alured
J. Danvers Ad. Scrope Rob. Lilburne
Jo. Bourchier James Temple Will. Say
H. Ireton A. Garland Anth. Stapley
Tho. Mauleverer Edm. Ludlowe Gre. Norton
Har. Waller Henry Marten Tho. Challoner
John Blakiston Vint. Potter Thomas Wogan
J. Hutchinson Wm. Constable John Venn
Willi. Goffe Rich. Ingoldesby Gregory Clements
Tho. Pride Will. Cawley Jo. Downes
Pe. Temple J. Barkestead Tho. Wayte
T. Harrison Isaa. Ewer Tho. Scot
J. Hewson John Dixwell Jo. Carew
Hen. Smyth Valentine Wauton Miles Corbet.
Per. Pelham Simon Mayne

"To Colonel Francis Hacker, Colonel Huncks, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Phayre; and to every of them." [Footnote: The original of this Warrant, a
parchment eighteen inches wide and ten inches deep, is in the possession
of the House of Lords, having been produced before that body by Colonel
Hacker in 1660, and then retained. Mr. William J. Thorns, who has
minutely inspected it, made it the subject of a curious and interesting
inquiry in _Notes and Queries_, July 6 and July 13, 1872. He observes
that the date of the Warrant itself, and the words "upon Saturday last"
for the day of the sentence, are written over erasures and in a different
hand from the rest, and that the word "Thirtieth" for the day of
execution is inserted in a space too large for it; and, for this and
other reasons, he arrives at the conclusion that we see the document now
in its second state, and that a good number of the signatures were not
attached to it on the 29th, but had been attached to it on an earlier day
when it was in its first state. His conjecture, on the whole, is that it
had been expected, at the private meeting of the Court on Friday the
2eth, when the sentence was _agreed upon,_ that it might be _pronounced_
that same day, and _executed_ the next day (Saturday the 27th), and that
a warrant to that effect had then been drawn up and signed; but that,
this idea having been abandoned, for whatever reason, and the Sentence
not having been pronounced till Saturday, it was thought better, at the
meeting on Monday the 29th, still to use the first Warrant with its
signatures, only with the dates altered, and with additional signatures
then obtained, than to write out a fresh warrant and apply for second
signatures from absentees who had signed the first.--It is noteworthy
that, though sixty-seven of the Commissioners had, as we have seen,
virtually constituted themselves "the Regicides" by being present in
Westminster Hall on Saturday when the Sentence was pronounced, and then
standing up in assent to it, nine of these did not attach their names to
the Warrant. They were Francis Allen, Thomas Andrews, General Hammond,
Edmund Harvey, William Heveningham, Cornelius Holland, John Lisle,
Nicholas Love, and Colonel Matthew Tomlinson. Subtract these _nine_ from
the _sixty-seven,_ and the number of the signers to the Warrant ought to
be _fifty-eight._ But they are _fifty-nine_. Who, then, is the _fifty-
ninth_? Cromwell's young kinsman, Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, who, though
a member of the Court, had attended none of its meetings till precisely
that of the 29th, the date of the Warrant. Here comes in Clarendon's
famous story, a distortion of some convenient rigmarole of Ingoldsby's
own in later times. Ingoldsby, says Clarendon, "always abhorring the
action in his heart," had purposely kept away from every meeting of the
Court, till, chancing to look into the Painted Chamber on the fatal 29th,
he was clutched by Cromwell, dragged to the table on which the Warrant
lay, and compelled to sign it, Cromwell forcibly holding his hand and
tracing the letters for him, with loud laughter at the joke! More by
token, as Clarendon reports him, if his name on the Warrant "were
compared with what he had ever writ himself," the difference would be
seen! Unfortunately, Mr. Thoms, who has made this comparison, vouches
that no difference can be detected, and that the name "Rich. Ingoldsby"
in the Warrant "is as bold and free as signature can be," and could never
have been written by a hand held by another's. _Ex uno omnes_. In the
hard straits that were coming eleven years hence, there were to be others
of the signers of the Warrant, besides Ingoldsby, who were to aver that
they did it under compulsion, Cromwell and Henry Marten sitting beside
each other, smearing each other's faces with ink in their fun, and
overbearing the scrupulous with jeers or threats. The simple fact I
believe to be (and this I do believe) that Cromwell was anxious that the
Warrant should be well signed, and reasoned, or perhaps remonstrated,
with some waverers, as he had done with young Hammond of the Isle of
Wight in a similar case two months before. Cromwell was now in his
fiftieth year.]

In the King's last hours he had offers of the spiritual services of
Messrs. Calamy, Vines, Caryl, Dell, and other Presbyterian ministers, and
hardly had these gone when Mr. John Goodwin of Coleman Street came to St.
James's, all by himself, with the like offer. They were all dismissed
with thanks, the King intimating that he desired no other attendance than
that of Bishop Juxon. Late into the night of the 29th, accordingly, the
Bishop remained with the King in private. After he had gone, Charles
spent about two hours more in reading and praying, and then lay down to
sleep, Mr. Herbert lying on the pallet-bed close to his. For about four
hours he slept soundly; but very early in the morning, when it was still
dark, he awoke, opened the curtain of his bed, and called Mr. Herbert.
The call disturbed Herbert suddenly from a dreamy doze into which he had
fallen after a very restless night; and, when he got up and was assisting
the King to dress by the light of the wax-cake that had been kept burning
in the chamber as usual, the King observed a peculiarly scared look on
his face. Herbert, on being asked the cause, told his Majesty he had had
an extraordinary dream. The King desiring to know what it was, Herbert
related it. In his doze, he said, he had heard some one knock at the
chamber-door. Thinking it might be Colonel Hacker, and not willing to
disturb the King till he himself heard the knock, he had lain still. A
second time, however, the knock came; and this time, he thought, his
Majesty had heard the knock, and told him to open the door and see who it
was. He did go to the door, and, on opening it, was surprised to see a
figure standing there in pontifical habits whom he knew to be the late
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Laud. He knew him well, having often
seen him in his life. The figure said he had something to say to the
King, and desired to enter. Then, as Herbert thought, the King having
been told who it was, and having given permission, the Archbishop had
entered, making a profound obeisance to the King in the middle of the
room, a second on coming nearer, and at last falling on his knees as the
King gave him his hand to kiss. Then the King raised him, and the two
went to the window together, and discoursed there, Herbert keeping at a
distance, and not knowing of what they talked, save that he noticed the
King's face to be very pensive, and heard the Archbishop give a deep
sigh. After a little they ceased to talk, and the Archbishop, again
kissing the King's hand, retired slowly, with his face still to the King,
making three reverences as before. The third reverence was so low that,
as Herbert thought, the Archbishop had fallen prostrate on his face, and
he had been in the act of stepping to help him up when he had been
awakened by the King's call. The impression had been so lively that he
had still looked about the room as if all had been real.--Herbert having
thus told his dream, the King said it was remarkable, the rather because,
if Laud had been alive, and they had been talking together as in the
dream, it was very likely, albeit he loved the Archbishop well, he might
have said something to him that would have occasioned his sigh. There was
yet more conversation between the King and Herbert by themselves, the
King selecting with some care the dress he was to wear, and especially
requiring an extra under-garment because of the sharpness of the weather,
lest he should shake from cold, and people should attribute it to fear.
While they were still conversing, poor Herbert in such anguish as may be
imagined, Dr. Juxon arrived, at the precise hour the King had appointed
the night before.

An hour or two still had to elapse before the last scene. Charles
arranged with Herbert about the distribution of some of his favourite
books, with some trinkets. His Bible, with annotations in his own hand,
and some special accompanying instructions, was to be kept for the Prince
of Wales; a large silver ring-sundial of curious device was to go to the
Duke of York; a copy of King James's Works, with another book, was left
for the Duke of Gloucester; for the Princess Elizabeth Hooker's
Ecclesiastical Polity, Bishop Andrewes's Sermons, and some other things.
These arrangements made, the King was for an hour alone with Juxon,
during which time he received the Communion. Then, Herbert having been
re-admitted, the Bishop again went to prayer, and read the 27th chapter
of Matthew; which, by a coincidence in which the King found comfort,
chanced to be one of the lessons in the Rubric for that day. While they
were yet thus religiously engaged, there came Colonel Hacker's knock.
They allowed him to knock twice before admitting him; and then, entering
with some trepidation, he announced that it was time to go to Whitehall.
The King told him to go forth, and he would follow presently.

It was about ten o'clock in the morning (Tuesday, Jan. 30) when the
procession was formed, from St. James's, through the Park, to Whitehall.
With Bishop Juxon on his right hand, Colonel Tomlinson on his left,
Herbert following close, and a guard of halberdiers in front and behind,
the King walked, at his usual very fast pace, through the Park, soldiers
lining the whole way, with colours flying and drums beating, and such a
noise rising from the gathered crowd that it was hardly possible for any
two in the procession to hear each other speak. Herbert had been told to
bring with him the silver clock or watch that hung usually by the King's
bedside, and on their way through the Park the King asked what o'clock it
was and gave Herbert the watch to keep. A rude fellow from the mob kept
abreast with the King for some time, staring at his face as if in wonder,
till the Bishop had him turned away. There is a tradition that, when the
procession came to the end of the Park, near the present passage from
Spring Gardens, the King pointed to a tree, and said that tree had been
planted by his brother Henry. Arrived at last at the stairs leading into
Whitehall, he was taken, through the galleries of the Palace, to the bed-
chamber he had usually occupied while residing there; and here he had
some farther time allowed him for rest and devotion with Juxon alone.
Having sent Herbert for some bread and wine, he ate a mouthful of the
bread and drank a small glass of claret. Here Herbert broke down so
completely that he felt he could not accompany the King to the scaffold,
and Juxon had to take from him the white satin cap he had brought by the
King's orders to be put on at the fatal moment. At last, a little after
twelve o'clock, Hacker's signal was heard outside, and Juxon and Herbert
went on their knees, affectionately kissing the King's hands. Juxon being
old and feeble, the King helped him to rise, and then, commanding the
door to be opened, followed Hacker. With soldiers for his guard, he was
conveyed, along some of the galleries of the old Palace, now no longer
extant, to the New Banqueting Hall, which Inigo Jones had built, and
which still exists. Besides the soldiers, many men and women had crowded
into the Hall, from whom, as his Majesty passed on, there was heard a
general murmur of commiseration and prayer, the soldiers themselves not
objecting, but appearing grave and respectful.

Through a passage broken in the wall of the Banqueting Hall, or more
probably through one of the windows dismantled for the purpose, Charles
emerged on the scaffold, in the open street, fronting the site of the
present Horse Guards. The scaffold was hung with black, and carpeted with
black, the block and the axe in the middle; a number of persons already
stood upon it, among whom were several men with black masks concealing
their faces; in the street in front, all round the scaffold, were
companies of foot and horse; and beyond these, as far as the eye could
reach, towards Charing Cross on the one side and Westminster Abbey on the
other, was a closely-packed multitude of spectators. The King, walking on
the scaffold, looked earnestly at the block, and said something to Hacker
as if he thought it were too low; after which, taking out a small piece
of paper, on which he had jotted some notes, he proceeded to address
those standing near him. What he said may have taken about ten minutes or
a quarter of an hour to deliver, and appears, from the short-hand report
of it which has been preserved, to have been rather incoherent. "Now,
Sirs," he said at one point, "I must show you both how you are out of the
way, and I will put you in the way. First, you are out of the way; for
certainly all the way you ever have had yet, as I could find by anything,
is in the way of conquest. Certainly this is an ill way; for conquest,
Sirs, in my opinion, is never just, except there be a good just cause,
either for matter of wrong, or just title; and then, if you go beyond it,
the first quarrel that you have to it, _that_ makes it unjust at the
end that was just at first." A little farther on, when he had begun a
sentence, "For the King indeed I will not," a gentleman chanced to touch
the axe. "Hurt not the axe," he interrupted; "_that_ may hurt me,"
and then resumed. "As for the King, the Laws of the Land will clearly
instruct you for that; therefore, because it concerns my own particular,
I only give you a touch of it. For the People: and truly I desire their
liberty and freedom as much as anybody whomsoever; but I must tell you
that their liberty and freedom consists in having of Government those
laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own. It is not
having _share_ in Government, Sirs; that is nothing pertaining to
them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things; and
therefore, until they do that--I mean, that you put the People in that
liberty, as I say--certainly they will never enjoy themselves." In
conclusion he said he would have liked to have a little more time, so as
to have put what he meant to say "in a little more order and a little
better digested," and gave the paper containing the heads of his speech
to Juxon. As he had said nothing specially about Religion, Juxon reminded
him of the omission. "I thank you very heartily, my Lord," said Charles,
"for that I had almost forgotten it. In truth, Sirs, my conscience in
Religion, I think it very well known to the world; and therefore I
declare before you all that I die a Christian, according to the
profession of the Church of England as I found it left me by my father;
and this honest man (the Bishop) I think will witness it." There were
some more words, addressed particularly to Hacker and the other officers;
and once more, seeing a gentleman go too near the axe, he called out,
"Take heed of the axe; pray, take heed of the axe." Then, taking the
white satin cap from Juxon, he put it on, and, with the assistance of
Juxon and the chief executioner, pushed his hair all within it. Some
final sentences of pious import then passed between the King and Juxon,
and the King, having taken off his cloak and George, and given the latter
to Juxon, with the word "Remember," knelt down, and put his neck on the
block. After a second or two he stretched out his hands, and the axe
descended, severing the head from the body at one blow. There was a vast
shudder through the mob, and then a universal groan. [Footnote: Herbert's
Memoirs, 183--194; Wood's Ath. (repeating Herbert), IV. 32--36;
Rushworth, VJI 1428-1431; Fuller's Church Hist. (ed. 1842) TTI. 500, 501;
Disraeli's Charts J. (ed. 1831) V. 449-50; Cunningham's London,
_Whitehall_. Herbert only mentions the fact of his dream in the body
of his Memoir; but the detailed account of it in his own words, written
in 1680, is given in the Appendix, 217-222, and in a note in Wood's Ath.
as above.--The coherance of Charles's last speech seems to have struck
Fuller, who says that, "though taken in shorthand by one eminent
therein," it is done defectively. I rather think it is punctually
literal. I find in the Stationers' Registers this entry, under date Jan.
31, 1648-9: "Peter Cole entered for his copy, under the hand of Mr.
Mabbott, King Charles his Speech upon the Scaffold, with the manner of
his Suffering, on Jan. 30, 1648." I suppose this is the Report afterwards
repeated by Rushworth, though objected to by Fuller. Was Rush worth the

Immediately after the execution Juxon and the sorrowing Herbert were
allowed to take charge of the corpse. Embalmed, coffined in wood and
lead, and covered with a velvet pall, it lay for some days in St. James's
Palace, where crowds came to see it. There was some difficulty about the
place of burial. Charles himself having left no directions on the
subject, Juxon and Herbert thought that the fittest place would be King
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, in Westminster Abbey, containing as it did
the tombs of his four immediate predecessors, and those of his
grandmother Mary, Queen of Scots, and his brother Prince Henry. The
authorities, however, considering that this place was too public and
would attract inconvenient crowds, Juxon and Herbert next proposed the
Royal Chapel in Windsor, where some of his earlier predecessors had been
buried, and among them Henry VIII. To this no objection was made, and on
the 7th of February the body was conveyed from St. James's to Windsor in
a hearse drawn by six horses, and followed by four mourning coaches.
Colonel Whichcot, the Governor of the Castle, having been shown the
order, allowed Herbert and those with him to select whatever spot they
chose. They thought first of what was called "the tomb-house," built by
Cardinal Wolsey, and intended by him as a splendid sepulchre for his
master, Henry VIII.; but they decided against it, partly because it was
not within the Royal Chapel, but only adjoining it, and partly because
they were uncertain whether Henry VIII. (of whose exact place of burial
the tradition had been lost) might not actually have been buried in the
"tomb-house," and they recollected that this particular predecessor of
Charles was not one of his favourites. He had been heard, in occasional
discourses, to express dislike of Henry's conduct in appropriating Church
revenues and demolishing religious edifices. They therefore fixed on the
vault where Edward IV. was interred, on the north side of the choir, near
the altar. The vault was opened for the purpose, and preparations for the
interment there were going on, when (Feb. 8) the Duke of Richmond, the
Marquis of Hertford, and the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, with Dr.
Juxon, arrived from London, specially authorized by the House of Commons
to attend the funeral, and the Duke empowered to arrange all wholly as he
thought fit. Herbert and those with him having then resigned the duty
into the hands of these great persons, there was a new inquiry as to the
best spot for the grave. The "tomb-house" was again looked at, and the
choir of the Chapel diligently re-investigated. At length, a spot in the
choir having been detected where the pavement sounded hollow when struck-
-"being about the middle of the choir, over against the eleventh seat on
the Sovereign's side"--the stones and earth were removed, and a vault was
disclosed; in which there were two leaden coffins close together, one
very large and the other small. From the velvet palls covering them, some
portions in their original purple colour, and others turned into fox-
tawny or coal-black by the damp, there was no doubt that they were the
coffins of Henry VIII. and his third wife, Lady Jane Seymour. As there
was just room for one coffin more in the vault, it was determined that
the fact of its being the vault of Henry VIII, now accidentally
discovered after so long a time, should be no bar to the burial of
Charles in the otherwise suitable vacancy. Accordingly, on Friday the 9th
of February, the body was brought from the royal bed-chamber, where it
had been meanwhile lying, to St. George's Hall, and thence, with slow and
solemn pace, to the Chapel. It was borne on the shoulders of some
gentlemen in mourning; the noblemen in mourning held up the pall; and
Colonel Whichcot, with several gentlemen, officers, and attendants,
followed. As they were moving from the Hall to the Chapel, the sky, which
had been previously clear, darkened with snow, which fell so fast that,
before they reached the Chapel, the black velvet pall was white with the
flakes. The coffin having been set down near the vault, ex-Bishop Juxon
would have read the burial-service over it according to the form of the
Book of Common Prayer; but, though permission to do so seemed to be
implied in the wording of the order granted to the Duke of Richmond by
the House of Commons, and though the noblemen present were desirous that
it should be done, Colonel Whichcot did not think himself entitled to
allow any service except that of the new Presbyterian Directory. Without
any service at all, therefore, save what may have been rendered by the
tears and muttered words of those who stood by, the coffin was deposited,
about three o'clock in the afternoon, in the vacant space in the vault. A
kind of scarf or scroll of lead, about five inches broad, had been
soldered to it, bearing this inscription in capital letters: "KING
CHARLES, 1648." At the time of his death, King Charles was forty-eight
years, two months, and eleven days old, and he had reigned twenty-three
years and ten months. [Footnote: Herbert's Memoirs, 194-216; Commons
Journals, Feb. 8; Fuller's, Church Hist,. III. 501-4.--In March 1813 some
workmen, employed in making a passage from under the choir of the Royal
Chapel at Windsor to a mausoleum erected by George III. in the "tomb-
house" described in the text, accidentally broke into the vault
containing the bodies of Charles I., Henry VIII., and Queen Jane Seymour.
The fact having been reported to the Prince Regent, a careful examination
was ordered. It was made April 1, 1813, in the presence of the Prince
Regent himself, the Duke of Cumberland, Count Munster, the Dean of
Windsor, Sir Henry Halford (Physician to the King and the Prince Regent),
and Mr. B. C. Stevenson. The coffin of Charles I. was examined with great
minuteness, and corresponded in every particular with the account given
by Herbert. When the black velvet pall had been removed, the coffin was
found to be of plain lead, with the leaden scroll encircling it, bearing
the inscription "KING CHARLES, 1648," in large legible characters. A
square opening was then cut in the upper lid, so that the contents might
be clearly seen. An internal wooden coffin was found to be very much
decayed, and the body was found to be carefully wrapped up in cerecloth,
into the folds of which there had been poured abundantly some unctuous
substance mixed with resin. With considerable difficulty the cerecloth
was removed from the face, and then, despite the discolouring and the
decay of some parts, the features of Charles I., as represented in coins
and busts, and especially in Vandyke's portraits of him, could be
distinctly recognised. There was the oval face, with the peaked beard.
When, by farther removal of the cerecloth, they had disengaged the entire
head, they found it to be loose from the body. On taking it out, they saw
that "the muscles of the neck had evidently retracted themselves
considerably, and the fourth cervical vertebra was found to be cut
through its substance transversely, leaving the surfaces of the divided
portions perfectly smooth and even--an appearance which could have been
produced only by a heavy blow indicted by a very sharp instrument." The
hair, which was thick at the back, looked nearly black; but, when a
portion of it was afterwards cleaned and dried, the colour was found to
be a beautiful dark brown,--that of the beard a redder brown. The body
was not examined below the neck; and, the head having been replaced, the
coffin was soldered up again and the vault closed. (See account by Sir
Henry Halford, quoted by Bliss in his edition of Wood's Ath. IV. 39-42.)]

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