30th January 1647. King Charles Surrendered To Parliament.

The turning point for Parliament in the First Civil War, was  at Marston Moor, a battle fought on 2nd July 1644 which lasted three hours. It was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and a disaster for the Royalists as 4,150 were killed and 1500 taken prisoner.

In 1649 England became a republic when the Monarchy, House of Lords and the Anglican Church, were all abolished. It was also the year when Cromwell showed his true colours when he executed three Levellers at Burford, after a mutiny in Salisbury: so much for democracy!

After his defeat at Naseby in 1645 and his surrender at Newark the following year, it was Today in 1647 that King Charles Stuart was handed over to the Round-head Parliament. So ended the first phase of the English Civil-War.

The next month he was taken to Holdenby House by the Scots, into the care of the English Long Parliament where he remained a prisoner until June.

Then Cornet George Joyce removed him to Newmarket, Suffolk, in the name of the New Model Army (NMA), when it was agreed on June 7th the King would be held there under guard of two Regiments of Ironsides.

Antagonisms now arose between the (NMA), and Parliament who were seeking to curb the powers of the Army, which they proposed disbanding in March 1647.

The army in a bid to democratize with The Levellers came to an agreement with Cromwell in the Solemn Engagement which was adopted by General Council of Army Commissioners by its leader Thomas Fairfax at Newmarket on May 29th 1647.

The Engagement was in effect an ultimatum to Parliament to stop negotiations with the King. The agreement was assented to by all officers and soldiers of the army that met at Kentford Heath near Newmarket starting on Friday 4th June.

So that the Army and Parliament could discuss matters without the King, Fairfax moved the rendezvous to Triploe Heath (1) at 9.0 am on Thursday 10th June, the earliest day practicable. However the Army weren’t pacified as they saw that parliament and the City of London were attempting to set up a rival army, but ignoring pay arrears for the NMA.

Matters weren’t helped as on July 21st many prominent people signed an agreement at Skinners’ Hall, London, calling for the restoration of the King’s powers. So the Commissioners’ offer was rejected. Now the army moved on London.

In July Army leaders drew up the ‘Heads of Proposals’ calling for radical reform of Parliament, with biennial elections and the abolition of ‘Pocket Boroughs’.(2) The ‘Levellers’ now saw that their Utopian ideals wouldn’t be realized and that status quo ante, would be maintained.

There was an Army mutiny at Salisbury and The Levellers were chased to Burford, Oxfordshire where they were rounded up in the church; three were executed in May 1649, pour encourager les autres. The bullet holes are still there.

The defeat at Preston of a faction of Royalist Scots’ invaders in August 1648, marked the end of the second phase of the War.

Meanwhile the King awaited his execution in 1649.

(1) Now called Thriplow and is eight miles from Cambridge.

(2) The reforms had to await until 1832 Reform Act.

Ref: bilderberg.org. levellers_vindicated.

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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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