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against this trial. The nobility likewise offer themselves pledges on the King's behalf; and the people universally seem greatly troubled and astonished. Notwithstanding all which the House of Commons and the army went desperately on, and a new illegal tribunal, called An High Court of Justice, was erected; the commissioners whereof met in the Painted Chamber, to consult what course to take about the trial of the King.
Friday, January 19, 1648, the King was brought with a strong guard of horse from Windsor to St. James's, and the next day Serjeant Bradshaw, President of the pretended High Court of Justice, with about seventy of the members of the said Court, having Colonel Fox, and sixteen gentlemen with partizans, and a sword borne by Colonel Humphrey, and a mace by Serjeant Dandy, with their and other officers of the said Court marching before them, came to the place ordered to be
prepared for their sitting
at the west end of the
Great Hall, in Westmin
ster, where the LordPre.
sident, in a crimson vel
vet chair, fixed in the
midst of the Court placed
himself, having a desk
with a crimson velvet
cushion before him :
the rest of the members placing themselves on each side of him, upon the several seats or benches prepared and hung with scarlet for that purpose, and the partisans dividing themselves on each side of the Court before them. : The Court being thus set, and silence made, the great gate of the said Hall was set open, to the end, that all persons, without exception, desirous to see, or hear, might come into it; upon which the Hall was presently filled, and silence again ordered.
This done, Colonel Thomlinson, who had the charge of the King, as a prisoner, was commanded to bring him to the Court, who within a quarter of an hour's space brought him, attended with about twenty officers, with partizans marching before him; there being Col. Hacker and other gentlemen, to whose care and custody he was likewise committed, marching in his rear.
Being thus brought up within the face of the Court, the Serjeant at Arms, with his mace, receives and conducts him strait to the bar,
where a crimson velvet chair was set for the King. After a stern look ing upon
the Court and the people in the galleries on each side of him, he places himself, not at all moving his hat, or otherwise shewing the least respect to the Court, but presently rises up again, and turns about looking downwards upon the guards placed on the left side, and on the multitude of spectators on the right side of the said great hall. After silence made among the people, the Act of Purliament for the trying of Charles Stuart, King of England, was read over by the Clerk of the Court; who sat on one side of the table covered with a rich Turkey carpet, and placed at the feet of the said Lord President; upon which table was also laid the sword and mace.
After reading the said Act, the several names of the Commissioners were called over, every one who was present, rising up, and answering to his call.
The King having again placed bimself in his chair, with his face towards the Court, silence being again ordered, the Lord President stood up and said :
President. Charles Stuart, King of England; the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, being deeply sensible of the calami. ties that have been brought upon this nation (which is fixed upon you, as the principal author of them), have resolved to make inquisition for blood, and according to that debt and duty they owe to justice, to God, the kingdom, and themselves, and according to the fundamental power that rests in themselves, they have resolved to bring you to trial and judgment; and for that purpose have constituted this High Court of Justice, before which you are now brought.
This said, Mr. Cook, Solicitor-General for the Common-wealth (standing within a bar on the right hand of the King), offered to speak; but the King having a staff in his hand, held it up, and laid it upon the said Mr. Cook's shoulder two or three times, bidding him hold. Nevertheless, the Lord President ordering him to go on, he said :
Cook. My Lord, I am commanded to charge Charles Stuart, King of England, in the name of the Commons of England, with treason and high misdemeanours ; I desire the said charge may be read.
The said charge being delivered to the Clerk of the Court, the Lord President ordered it should be read; but the King bid him hold. Nevertheless, being commanded by the Lord President to read it, the Clerk begun.
The Charge of the Commons of England, against Charles Stuart, King of England, of High Treason, and other High Crimes, exhibited to the High Court of Justice.
(That the said Charles Stuart being admitted King of England, and therein trusted with a limited power, to govern by, and according to the laws of the land, and not otherwise : and by his trust, oath, and office, being obliged to use the power committed to him, for the good and benefit of the people, and for the preservation of their rights and liberties; yet nevertheless, out of a wicked design, to erect, and uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power, to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people : yea, to take away, and make void the foundations thereof, and of all redress and remedy of misgovernment, which by the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom were reserved on the people's behalf, in the right and power of frequent and successive parliaments, or national meetings in councel. He, the said Charles Stuart, for accomplishment of such his designs, and for the protecting of himself and his adherents, in his and their wicked practices to the same end, bath traiterously and maliciously levied war against the present Parliament, and the people therein represented.
• Particularly, upon or about the thirtieth day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred forty and two, at Beverly, in the county of York; and upon, or about the thirtieth day of July, in the year aforesaid, in the county of the city of York; and upon, or about the twenty-fourth day of August, in the same year, at the county of the town of Nottingham (when, and where he set up his standard of war), and upon, or about the twenty-third day of October, in the same year, at Edge-bill, and Kenton-field, in the county of Warwick; and upon, or about the thirtieth day of November, in the same year, at Brainford, in the county of Middlesex; and upon, or about the thirtieth day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred forty and three, at Cavesham-bridge, near Reading, in the county of Berks; and upon, or about the thirtieth day of October, in the year last mentioned, at, or near the city of Gloucester; and upon, or about the thirtieth day of November, in the last year mentioned, at Newberry, in the county of Berks; and upon, or about the one and thirtieth day of July, in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred forty and four, at Cropredy-bridge, in the county of Oxon; and upon, or about the thirtieth day of September, in the last year mentioned, at Bodmin, and other places near adjacent, in the county of Cornwall; and upon,
or about the thirtieth day of November, in the last year mentioned, at Newberry aforesaid ; and upon, or about the eighth of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred forty and five, at the town of Leicester ; and also upon the fourteenth day of the same month, in the same year, at Naseby-field, in the county of Northampton; at which several times and places, or most of them, and at many other places in this land, at several other times, within the years aforementioned. And in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred forty and six, he, the said Charles Stuart, hath caused and procured many thousands of free people of the nation to be slain; and by divisions, parties, and insurrections, within this land, by invasions from foreign parts, endeavoured and procured by him, and by many other evil ways and means, he, the said Charles Stuart, hath not only maintained and carried on the said war, both by land and sea, during the years before mentioned; but also hath renewed, or caused to be renewed, the said war against the Parliament, and good people of this nation, in this present year, one thousand six hundred forty and eight, in the counties of Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, and many other counties and places in England and Wales, and also by sea; and particularly, he, the said Charles Stuart, hath for that purpose, given commission to his son, the Prince and others, whereby, besides multitudes of other persons, many such, as were by the Parliament entrusted and employed for the safety of the nation, being by him, or his agents, corrupted, to the betraying of their trust, and revolting from the Parliament, have had entertainment and commission, for the continuance and the renew. ing of war and hostility, against the said Parliament and people, as aforesaid. By which cruel and unnatural wars by him, the said Charles Stuart, levyed, continued, and renewed, as aforesaid, much innocent blood of the free people of this nation have been spilt, many families have been undone, the public treasury wasted and exhausted, trade obstructed, and miserably decayed; vast expence, and damage to the nation incurred, and many parts of the land spoiled, some of them even to desolation.
• And for farther prosecution of his said evil designs, he, the said Charles Stuart, doth still continue his commissions to the said Prince, and other rebels and revolters, both English and foreigners, and to the Earl of Ormond, and to the Irish rebels and revolters associated with him: from whom further invasions upon this land are threatened, upon the procurement and on the behalf of the said Charles Stuart.
• All which wicked designs, wars, and evil practices of him, the said Charles Stuart, have been, and are carried on, for the advancing and
upholding of the personal interest of will and power, and pretended prerogative to himself and family, against the public interest, common right, liberty, justice, and peace of the people of this nation, by, and for whom be was entrusted, as aforesaid.
• By all which it appeareth, that he, the said Charles Stuart, hath been, and is the occasioner, author, and contriver of the said unnatural, cruel, and bloody wars, and therein guilty of all the treasons, murder, rapines, burnings, spoils, desolations, damage and mischief to this nation, acted or committed in the said wars, or occasioned thereby.
And the said John Cook, by protestation (saving on the behalf of the people of England, the liberty of exhibiting at any time hereafter any other charge against the said Charles Stuart, and also of replying to the answers which the said Charles Stuart shall make to the premises, or any of them, or any other charge that shall be so exhibited) doth for the said treasons and crimes, on the behalf of the said people of England, impeach the said Charles Stuart as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and a public and implacable enemy to the Commonwealth of England : and pray, that the said Charles Stuart, King of England, may be put to answer all, and every the premises ; that such proceedings, examinations, trials, sentence, and judgment niay be thereupon had, as shall be agreeable to justice.
[it is observed, that the time the charge was reading, the King sat down in his chair, looking sometimes on the Court, sometimes up to the galleries ; and having risen again, and turned about to behold the guards and spectators, sat down, looking very sternly, with a countenauce not at all moved, till these words, viz. Charles Stuart (to be a tyrant and traitor, &c.) were read, at which he laughed, as he sat in the face of the Court.]
Charge being read, the Lord President replied :
President. "Sir, you have now heard your charge read, containing such matters as appear in it; you find, that in the close of it, it is prayed to the Court, in the behalf of the Commons of England, that you answer to your charge. The Court expects your answer.
King. I would know by what power I am called hither? I was not long ago, in the Isle of Wight, how I came there, is a longer story than I think is fit at this time for me to speak of; but there I entered into a treaty with both Houses of Parliament, with as much public faith as ’tis possible to be had of any people in the world. I treated there with a number of Honourable Lords and Gentlemen, and treated honestly and uprightly; I cannot say but they did very nobly with me, we were upon a conclusion of the treaty. Now I would know by what