Army Seizes Charles I

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Army Seizes Charles I

Northampton, Northamptonshire The 3rd of June 1647 AD

Of course we have the benefit of hindsight, but after the Battle of Naseby in June 1645 an air of doomed inevitability hangs about Charles I’s cause; other military milestones like the Royalist defeats at Rowton Heath in September 1645 and Great Torrington in February 1646 followed, and in June that year the king lost his makeshift capital and last great stronghold with the surrender of Oxford . He sought sanctuary with the Scottish army in Newark , but the latter were paid off by Parliament and handed their regal captive over in January 1647.
Parliament held the king in Holdenby House (sometimes Holmby House) near Althorp in Northamptonshire, vacillating about the next move, negotiating with their monarch who continued plotting against them in secret. Charles played on Parliament’s fears about the growing power of the Army.
On June 3 1647, however, the Army in the form of Cornet George Joyce backed by 500 cavalrymen, arrived to take the king, fresh from ensuring Parliament could not move the greater part of the New Model Army’s artillery from Oxford to London . The dividing lines between the parties were becoming more obvious.
Joyce claimed authority from Cromwell ; but Fairfax , to whose camp at Thriplow near Cambridge the king was transferred, wanted him tried for his actions.
Charles was moved to Oatlands in Surrey ; then to Hampton Court , where negotiations with the army proved as inconclusive as those with Parliament. Charles stubbornly hoped to reverse his declining fortunes. He failed.

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