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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

The Execution of Charles I
By the end of 1648 all was over. Cromwell was dictator. The Royalist had been crushed. The army needed payment.

Agreement with the King was not forthcoming in 1647 he had escaped to the Isle of Wight at Carisbrooke. In November 1648 the army went to Carisbrooke and brought the King back to the mainland. Seven days later a detachment led by Colonel Thomas Pride locked Parliament stopping all but about 60 members, radical Independents, sitting in the Commons.

In January 1649 Charles I was brought before a High Court to account for the blood he had shed and the mischief he had done against the Lord's cause. Charles refused to recognize the court. He refused to speak in his own defence but it would have made little difference.

It was snowing when Charles Stuart was beheaded in front of the Banqueting House which Inigo Jones had built.

Prince Rupert, Battle of Edgehill
Prince Rupert, Battle of Edgehill

  • James I's grandson
  • Fled to England on his father Frederick's loss of the Palatine Electorate
  • Became Royalist General of the Horse and then Commander-in-chief
  • Received the titles of Earl of Holderness and Duke of Cumberland 1644
  • He was quarrelsome and Charles I finally became disillusioned with him after the loss of Bristol in 1645
  • Took command of the Royalist part of the navy
  • After the restoration he commanded fleets against the Dutch

did you know?

Charles I is the only English king to lose the monarchy - others have lost their thrones some their heads.

The Ironsides got their name at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644 when the Royalist Prince Rupert called Oliver Cromwell Ironside.

Whereas Charles Stuart, King of England, is and standeth convicted, attained and condemned of High Treason and other high crimes; and sentence upon Saturday last was pronounced against him by this court, to be put to death by the severing of his head from his body; of which sentence execution yet remaineth to be done: These are therefore to will and require you to see the said Sentence executed, in the open street before Whitehall, upon the morrow, being the thirtieth day of this instant month of January, between the hours of ten in the morning and five in the afternoon, with full effect. And for so doing, this shall be your warrant.

Given under our hands and seals, John Bradshaw, Thomas Grey, Lord Groby, Oliver Cromwell.

Select historical period

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1625James I dies
Charles I becomes King of England
Charles I marries Henrietta Maria of France
1626Parliament meets, impeaches Buckingham, is dissolved by Charles I
1627Expedition to La Rochelle
1628Buckingham assassinated
1629Charles I dissolves Parliament - Eleven Year Tyranny begins
Peace is made with France
1630Peace is made with Spain
1633Laud becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
1639First Bishops' War ends - Treaty of Berwick
1640Parliament recalled - The Short Parliament
Second Bishops' War ends - Treaty of Ripon
Long Parliament meets (-1653)
Strafford is impeached
1645New Model Army is established
Laud is executed
Use of the prayer book is forbidden
1646Charles I surrenders to the Scots
Receives propositions of Newcastle
1647Scots hand Charles I over to the English
1649Charles I is tried and executed
The monarchy and the House of Lords are abolished
The Commonwealth is declared.
1658Oliver Cromwell dies
1660Charles II signs the Declaration of Breda
Charles II is restored to the throne
1662Charles II marries Catherine of Braganza

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