Tag Archives: King Charles I

London prepares for Civil War (Giovanni Giustiniani, 1642)

November 7th –  On this day in 1642, Giovanni Giustiniani, the Venetian ambassador to the court of Charles I, wrote in a letter to the Doge and Senate of Venice:

“They do not cease to provide with energy for the defence of London … .  They have sent a number of parliamentarians to the surrounding provinces with instructions to get together the largest numbers they can of their trained bands, with the intention of despatching these subsequently to where the remains of the parliamentary army are quartered.  They have brought a number of the companies of these trained bands … into this city.  All the troops are kept constantly at arms.  There is no street, however little frequented, that is not barricaded …, and every post is guarded … .  At the approaches to London, they are putting up trenches and small forts of earthwork, at which a great number of people are at work, including the women and … children.  They have issued a new manifesto to the people full of the usual representations against the … king, for the purpose of arousing their enthusiasm still more in the support of this cause”.

A plan of London's Civil War defences

A plan of London’s Civil War defences

The Civil War star fort at Vauxhall, as depicted in c. 1800

The Civil War star fort at Vauxhall, as depicted in c. 1800

On a related note, the sites of some of the City’s Civil war defences are visited on our  “Aldgate, Bishopsgate and beyond” and “Historic Southwark” standard walks, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” and “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

“Iniquities at Charing Cross” (John Evelyn, 1660)

October 17th–  On this day in 1660, John Evelyn  wrote in his diary:

“Scot, Scroop, Cook and Jones suffered for reward of their iniquities at Charing Cross, in sight of the place where they put to death their natural prince, and in the presence of the King his son … .  I saw not the execution, but met their quarters, mangled, and cut, and reeking, as they were brought from the gallows in baskets on the hurdle.  Oh, the miraculous providence of God!”.

Cook

Cook

Like Thomas Harrison (see October 13th posting), Thomas Scot, Adrian Scroop and John Jones were signatories to the death warrant of Charles I hunted down and executed by Charles II.  John Cook was the chief prosecutor at Charles I’s trial.  Shortly before his execution, he wrote:

“We fought for the public good and would have enfranchised the people and secured the welfare of the whole groaning creation if the nation had not more delighted in servitude than in freedom”.

The Banqueting House, where Charles I was executed,  is visited on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” and   “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

Civil War and Commonwealth

May 19thAccording to Peter de Loriol’s endlessly fascinating “The London Book of Days”, on this day in 1649,  at what was effectively the end of the Civil War, “the Rump Parliament passed an Act … which created all people of the realm and territories of England a Commonwealth and Free State where Parliament would constitute the officers and ministers of the people without any kings or lords”.

Civil War Lines of Communication plaque, Spital Square

Civil War Lines of Communication plaque, previously in Spital Square (current fate unknown)

Site of Civil War fort, Borough High Street

Site of Civil War fort, Borough High Street

Site of execution of Charles I, Banqueting House, Whitehall

Site of execution of Charles I, Banqueting House, Whitehall

St Charles King & Martyr banner, church of St Katharine Cree

St Charles King & Martyr banner, church of St Katharine Cree

Various sites associated with the Civil War and Commonwealth are visited on our “London Wall”, “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey”, “Aldgate, Bishopsgate and beyond” and “Historic Southwark” standard walks, and on our “Lost City Highlights”, “Tudor and Stuart London” and “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of our web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

The execution of Charles I (account by Philip Henry, 1649)

Site of execution of Charles I, Banqueting House, WhitehallJanuary 30thOn this day in 1649, Charles I was executed for treason outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall.  Philip Henry wrote of the event:

“At the later end of the year 1648 I had leave to goe to London to see my Father, & during my stay there at that time at Whitehal it was that I saw the Beheading of King Charles the first … .  On the day of his execution, … I stood amongst the crowd in the street before Whitehal gate, where the scaffold was erected, and saw what was done, but was not so near as to hear any thing.  The Blow I saw given, & can truly say with a sad heart; at the instant thereof, I remember well, there was such a Grone by the Thousands there present, as I never heard before & desire I may never hear again … ”.

Clock above Horse Guards' Parade with hour of execution blacked out

Clock above Horse Guards’ Parade with hour of execution blacked out

Site of Charles I's execution in Whitehall

Site of Charles I’s execution in Whitehall

Hubert le Sueur's equestrian statue of Charles I at the end of Whitehall (1633)

Hubert le Sueur’s equestrian statue of Charles I at the end of Whitehall (1633)

The site is visited on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” and “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of the web-site.  Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” page, by email lostcityoflondon@sky.com, or by phone (020-8998-3051).

 

The  attempted arrest of the “five members” (John Rushworth, 1642)

A seventeenth-century portrait of John Hampden (Robert Walker)

A seventeenth-century portrait of John Hampden (Robert Walker)

4th January – On this day in 1642, King Charles I and his henchmen entered the Houses of Parliament and attempted to arrest five Members of Parliament, namely, John Hampden (c.1595–1643) (*), Arthur Haselrig (1601–1661), Denzil Holles (1599–1680), John Pym (1584–1643) and William Strode (1598–1645).  

It is said that when the King demanded to be told the whereabouts  of the MPs, the Speaker of the House, William Lenthall, retorted:

“May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here”.

A nineteenth-century painting in the Houses of Parliament of the attempted arrest of the five members (Charles West Cope)

A nineteenth-century painting in the Houses of Parliament of the attempted arrest of the five members (Charles West Cope)

 

The event was essentially the last in a series that eventually led to the Civil War between on the one hand the Royalists under Charles, and on the other the Parliamentarians under Cromwell (*).

It is ceremonially re-enacted each year during the State Opening of Parliament, when the Crown’s  representative, “Black Rod”, is despatched from the Lords to the Commons, there to have the doors slammed shut in his face.

*Hampden was Cromwell’s cousin, and one of his ablest military commanders during the early part of the war.  He died  of wounds sustained at the Battle of Chalgrove Field  in 1643.

“Pride’s purge” (1648)

December 6th On this day in 1648, the Parliamentarian Colonel Thomas Pride expelled over one hundred Presbyterian Royalist Members of Parliament from the Houses of Parliament, in what became known as “Pride’s Purge”.

Pride's purge

Pride’s purge

The remaining Members, constituting the “Rump Parliament”, then instigated the legal proceedings against the king, Charles I, that led to his trial for treason, and eventually to his execution.

The execution of Charles I

The execution of Charles I

London prepares for Civil War (Giovanni Giustiniani, 1642)

November 7th –  On this day in 1642, Giovanni Giustiniani, the Venetian ambassador to the court of Charles I, wrote in a letter to the Doge and Senate of Venice:

“They do not cease to provide with energy for the defence of London … .  They have sent a number of parliamentarians to the surrounding provinces with instructions to get together the largest numbers they can of their trained bands, with the intention of despatching these subsequently to where the remains of the parliamentary army are quartered.  They have brought a number of the companies of these trained bands … into this city.  All the troops are kept constantly at arms.  There is no street, however little frequented, that is not barricaded …, and every post is guarded … .  At the approaches to London, they are putting up trenches and small forts of earthwork, at which a great number of people are at work, including the women and … children.  They have issued a new manifesto to the people full of the usual representations against the … king, for the purpose of arousing their enthusiasm still more in the support of this cause”.

A plan of London's Civil War defences

A plan of London’s Civil War defences

The Civil War star fort at Vauxhall, as depicted in c. 1800

The Civil War star fort at Vauxhall, as depicted in c. 1800

On a related note, the sites of some of the City’s Civil war defences are visited on our  “Aldgate, Bishopsgate and beyond” and “Historic Southwark” standard walks, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” themed special.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).