Cover image for Killers of the king : the men who dared to execute Charles I
Title:
Killers of the king : the men who dared to execute Charles I
Author:
Spencer, Charles Spencer, Earl, 1964- , author.
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2014.

©2014
Physical Description:
339 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Summary:
On August 18, 1648, with no relief from the siege in sight, the royalist garrison holding Colchester Castle surrendered and Oliver Cromwell's army firmly ended the rule of Charles I of England. To send a clear message to the fallen monarch, the rebels executed four of the senior officers captured at the castle. Yet still, the king refused to accept he had lost the war. As France and other allies mobilized in support of Charles, a tribunal was hastily gathered and a death sentence was passed. On January 30, 1649, the King of England was executed. This is the account of the fifty-nine regicides, the men who signed Charles I's death warrant.
Language:
English
Contents:
Man of blood -- A king on trial -- The republic -- A new monarchy -- The word of a king -- A bloody sacrifice -- Men of God -- A time to die -- Surrender or else... -- Strangers in a strange land -- A Swiss sanctuary -- Vengeance at least -- An ocean away -- Into the wilderness -- To the last man.
ISBN:
9781620409121
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library DA396.A22 S67 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Audubon Library DA396.A22 S67 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

On August 18, 1648, with no relief from the siege in sight, the royalist garrison holding Colchester Castle surrendered and Oliver Cromwell's army firmly ended the rule of Charles I of England. To send a clear message to the fallen monarch, the rebels executed four of the senior officers captured at the castle. Yet still, the king refused to accept he had lost the war. As France and other allies mobilized in support of Charles, a tribunal was hastily gathered and a death sentence was passed.On January 30, 1649, the King of England was executed. This is the account of the fifty-nine regicides, the men who signed Charles I's death warrant.

Recounting a little-known corner of British history, Charles Spencer explores what happened when the Restoration arrived. From George Downing, the chief plotter, to Richard Ingoldsby, who claimed he was forced to sign his name by his cousin Oliver Cromwell, and from those who returned to the monarchist cause and betrayed their fellow regicides to those that fled the country in an attempt to escape their punishment, Spencer examines the long-lasting, far-reaching consequences not only for those who signed the warrant, but also for those who were present at the trial and for England itself.

A powerful tale of revenge from the dark heart of England's past, and a unique contribution to seventeenth-century history, Killers of the King tells the incredible story of the men who dared to assassinate a monarch.


Author Notes

Charles Spencer was educated at Eton College and obtained his degree in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of four books, including the Sunday Times bestseller Blenheim: The Battle for Europe (shortlisted for the British National Book Awards History Book of the Year) and Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier . He lives in Northampton, England.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In January 1649, King Charles I of England was executed for treason. This was the culmination of seven years of civil war between the forces of the English parliament and forces supporting Charles and his royal prerogatives. Behind the facade of legality, Charles' fate was preordained as the so-called Rump Parliament, under the pressure of Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army, tried and condemned him. The monarchy was abolished, replaced by a protectorate under Cromwell. Yet just a decade later, Charles' son was invited back, and the Stuart dynasty was restored. So what was to become of those regicides who had signed off on the execution? Despite hopes that the restored Charles II would follow a path of reconciliation, those he deemed responsible for his father's martyrdom were pursued relentlessly. Spencer paints a sympathetic portrait of these men, most of whom believed they acted in the interests of their country. The lucky ones escaped into exile, while others were captured, tortured, and executed. This is a worthwhile examination of an often ignored aspect of English history.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

When Charles I fled England, his Scottish captors sold their disbelieving detainee to an angry English Parliament, which swiftly created a legal method to try and execute their sovereign. In this fun and fast, if bloody, account, Spencer (Blenheim: Battle for Europe) divides the story into three sections: the frantic last days of the Catholic monarch, the internal squabbles of Oliver Cromwell's morality-obsessed Commonwealth, and the mad scramble for self-preservation under the Restoration of Charles II. While Spencer refers to those who deposed the king with the loaded-but accurate-term "regicides" throughout, he slowly builds up the personalities of various regicides without letting their identities too heavily bleed into one another. The profiles of these men reveal the courage of some and the desperate attempts of others to escape Charles II's ire-notably with the aid of two regicides' wives, one of whom inadvertently handed over the damning evidence that convicted her husband and some of his co-conspirators. While many readers already know the story's end, Spencer purposefully builds anticipation over which men suffer excruciating death and which ones literally get away with murder. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Spencer (Blenheim) has taken a novel approach to the history of the English Civil War (1642-51) and the Restoration that began in 1660. Rather than focusing on battles or court intrigues, Spencer gives the accounts of the regicides: the men who signed the warrant to have Charles I (1600-49) executed. This is an ambitious project as 59 men in total signed the document. The author provides a brief background of the English Civil War as well as Charles's trial and doesn't skip the dramatic execution scene, which was later to incriminate so many men. Spencer is unable to follow all of the regicides' stories, sometimes because they were so successful in concealing themselves from the legal revenge of the Restoration court that they have disappeared from the historical record entirely. VERDICT This account is readable and entertaining but might have benefited from a slight reduction in scope. Tracking several individuals who scatter in various directions is a test not only of the author's narrative skill but of a reader's ability to recall names. However, Spencer's excellent popular history will appeal to fans of Alison Weir and those interested in British history. Hanna Clutterbuck, Harvard Univ. Lib., Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Prologuep. 1
1 Man of Bloodp. 3
2 A King on Trialp. 29
3 The Republicp. 57
4 A New Monarchyp. 81
5 The Word of a Kingp. 101
6 A Bloody Sacrificep. 129
7 Men of Godp. 149
8 A Time to Diep. 173
9 Surrender or Else...p. 189
10 Strangers in a Strange Landp. 205
11 A Swiss Sanctuaryp. 227
12 Vengeance at Lastp. 241
13 An Ocean Awayp. 259
14 Into the Wildernessp. 277
15 To the Last Manp. 297
Notesp. 303
Bibliographyp. 317
Acknowledgementsp. 321
Indexp. 323

Google Preview