The Englishman at An Englishman’s Castle reminds us that yesterday was the Red Letter Day of King Charles the Martyr, marking the 358th anniversary of his execution.
Charles’s statements at his “trial” from The Society of King Charles the Martyr.
“Remember, I am your King, your lawful King, and what sins you bring upon your heads, and the judgement of God upon this land. Think well upon it, I say, think well upon it, before you go further from one sin to a greater … I have a trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent, I will not betray it, to answer a new unlawful authority; therefore resolve me that, and you shall hear more of me.
“I do stand more for the liberty of my people, than any here that come to be my pretended judges … I do not come here as submitting to the Court … Let me see a legal authority warranted by the Word of God, the Scriptures, or warranted by the constitutions of the Kingdom, and I will answer.
“It is not a slight thing you are about. I am sworn to keep the peace, by that duty I owe to God and my country; and I will do it to the last breath of my body. And therefore ye shall do well to satisfy, first, God, and then the country, by what authority you do it. If you do it by an usurped authority, you cannot answer it; there is a God in Heaven, that will call you, and all that give you power, to account.
“If it were only my own particular case, I would have satisfied myself with the protestation I made the last time I was here, against the legality of the Court, … it is the freedom and the liberty of the people of England; and do you pretend what you will, I stand more for their liberties. For if power without law, may make laws, may alter the fundamental laws of the Kingdom, I do not know what subject he is in England that can be sure of his life, or any thing that he calls his own.
“… It was the liberty, freedom, and laws of the subject that ever I took – defended myself with arms. I never took up arms against the people, but for the laws …
“For the charge, I value it not a rush. It is the liberty of the people of England that I stand for. For me to acknowledge a new Court that I never heard of before, I that am your King, that should be an example to all the people of England, for to uphold justice, to maintain the old laws, indeed I do not know how to do it.”
No, Charles was not talking about the European Court of Justice, but I can see where one might get confused.
Edit: In an interesting piece of trivia, the Virginia Colony, now the Commonwealth of Virginia, was given its nickname of “The Old Dominion” by Charles II because it had remained loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War. And, anyone who has read David Hackett Fischer’s wonderful book, Albion’s Seed, would not find it surprising that Virginia remained Royalist.