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A history of the trial of king charles i

The trial of Charles I Updated Sunday 7th January 2001 That he refused to accept the validity of the court gave a skew to the trial of Charles I The trial of Charles I was like putting a man on the moon. All the old views of divine right and kingship were thrown away.

  • Charles' jury was 135 Parliamentary Commissioners;
  • And only one could win.

The world had now been turned 180 degrees upside down. Ideas about monarchy, government, Parliament - all of it would never be the same again. A new world was opening up. The trial was chaired by a little-known lawyer called Bradshaw who was the only person the Army could find willing to take on the charge.

The trial of Charles I

Charles' jury was 135 Parliamentary Commissioners. By levying war against Parliament and the Kingdom of England, suggested the Court.

  1. All the old views of divine right and kingship were thrown away. The King was separate from the Kingdom, and Parliament now saw itself, not the King, as representing the will of the English people.
  2. And only one could win. He ordered the clerk to read the charge and then removed Charles from the Court.
  3. Ideas about monarchy, government, Parliament - all of it would never be the same again. He refused to plead or remove his hat to signal any recognition of the Court's legality.

The King was separate from the Kingdom, and Parliament now saw itself, not the King, as representing the will of the English people. But for Charles, given that rex was lex, the King was law, the King was the embodiment of the nation and the very notion of the Parliament trying a monarch was absurd. Then there was the terrible sacrilege of prosecuting a King who ruled by divine right.

  • The King, he was told, was answerable to Parliament as 'the sovereign and highest court of justice;;
  • Time and again, Bradshaw asked Charles's response to the charge of treason and every time Charles disputed the authority of the Court;
  • Charles's contempt for the Court was glorious yet hopeless;
  • By levying war against Parliament and the Kingdom of England, suggested the Court.

It was a clash of ideas: It was a clash of two opposing religious and social visions. And only one could win. Charles's contempt for the Court was glorious yet hopeless. Seated on a dais in the middle of the floor, he was dressed majestically in a large black cloak embroidered ostentatiously with the emblem of the Order of the Garter.

He refused to plead or remove his hat to signal any recognition of the Court's legality. Charles rose to the challenge of the Court with all his majesty; his stammer seemed to fall away as he answered the charge of treason with contempt: The King, he was told, was answerable to Parliament as 'the sovereign and highest court of justice.

I will not betray that trust to answer to a new unlawful authority. Time and again, Bradshaw asked Charles's response to the charge of treason and every time Charles disputed the authority of the Court. I must justly stand for their liberties', he protested to the Court. He ordered the clerk to read the charge and then removed Charles from the Court.