The Trial and Execution of King Charles the First
- Once the English civil war had ended and the Parliamentarians had claimed victory, Charles became a prisoner of their courts, despite still being king.
- He was then put on trial on the first of January 1649, accused of ‘subverting the fundamental laws and liberties of the nation and with maliciously making war on the Parliament and people of England’ (making war against his own subjects.)
- The House of Commons then declared themselves supreme authority of the land, and could make decisions without the consent of the king.
- During the trial, Charles was called a ‘tyrant, traitor, murderer and public enemy to the Commonwealth of England’. However the king refused to answer the charges against him.
- In the final session of the trial, Charles was not allowed to speak. Charles was declared guilty of all the charges, especially breaking the reciprocal bond between king and subject, he was then led off to await his punishment. Execution.
- Charles was sentenced to death by execution on the 27 January 1649. The King was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall on 30 January.
- The king’s execution shocked the whole of Europe. Charles the first was buried on the 9th of February at Windsor. He was going to be buried at Westminster abbey but it was feared that there would be a possibility of public disruption.
- Charles behaved with much dignity throughout the execution, winning much sympathy from the public.
- To this day, wreaths of remembrance are laid on the anniversary of King Charles' death at his statue, which faces down Whitehall to the site of his beheading.
- Once his head was severed, mourners gathered round it to dip their handkerchiefs into the blood as a keepsake.
After Charles was beheaded, and the parliament ruled without a monarch, Cromwell was appointed head of council, to rule England. Oliver Cromwell had been an army general of the Parliamentarians side during the civil war. Despite having no experience in military leading, he proved himself a strong and intelligent man. England under Cromwell was strict and unnecessary entertainment, like theatres and sports were banned, as were most dice games and music.
Do You think He should have been executed?