Front Matter Early Times The Druids The Britons Caesar in Britain Queen Boadicea The Great Walls The Great Irish Saint The Anglo-Saxons Brave King Arthur The Laws of the Saxons The Story of St Augustine Three Great Men The Danish Pirates King Alfred and the Cakes Alfred conquers the Danes A King's Narrow Escape The King and the Outlaw The Monasteries An Unlucky Couple St Dunstan King Canute and the Waves A Saxon Nobleman Lady Godiva's Ride The Battle of Hastings The Conquest Lords and Vassals Death of William The Brothers' Quarrels Arms and Armour The "White Ship" Matilda's Narrow Escapes Story of Fair Rosamond Thomas a Becket Murder of Thomas a Becket Richard's Adventures Richard and the Saracens The Faithful Minstrel Death of Richard The Murder of Arthur The Great Charter The Rule of Henry III A Race Persecution of the Jews The Conquest of Wales A Quarrel with France The Coronation Stone The Insolent Favourite Bruce and the Spider Death of Edward II The Murderers punished The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Age of Chivalry The Battle of Poitiers The Peasants' Revolt Richard's Presence of Mind A Tiny Queen Henry's Troubles Madcap Harry A Glorious Reign The Maid of Orleans The War of the Roses The Queen and the Brigand The Triumph of the Yorks The Princes in the Tower Richard's Punishment Two Pretenders A Grasping King Field of the Cloth of Gold The New Opinions Death of Wolsey Henry's Wives The King and the Painter A Boy King Lady Jane Grey The Death of Cranmer A Clever Queen Elizabeth's Lovers Mary, Queen of Scots Captivity of Mary Stuart Wreck of the Spanish Armada The Elizabethan Age Death of Elizabeth A Scotch King The Gunpowder Plot Sir Walter Raleigh King and Parliament Cavaliers and Roundheads "Remember" The Royal Oak The Commonwealth The Restoration Plague and Fire The Merry Monarch James driven out of England A Terrible Massacre William's Wars The Duke of Marlborough The Taking of Gibraltar The South Sea Bubble Bonny Prince Charlie Black Hole of Calcutta Loss of the Colonies The Battle of the Nile Nelson's Last Signal The Battle of Waterloo First Gentleman of Europe Childhood of Queen Victoria The Queen's Marriage Wars in Victoria's Reign The Jubilee

Story of the English - Helene Guerber


At first Charles was treated with great respect, although closely guarded; but before it was decided what to do next, a quarrel arose between Parliament, which was mostly Puritan, and the army, which was composed of a very strict set of Roundheads, called the Independents.

The army was very determined to have things its own way, and, seeing that Parliament showed signs of coming to terms with the king, Cromwell sent his captain Joyce to seize Charles. The king, surprised, asked to see Joyce's warrant; but when the captain silently pointed to the men who formed his escort, he said: "Your warrant is indeed drawn up in fair characters and legible."

It was useless to resist, so Charles, who all through his trials behaved with great dignity and gentleness, quietly allowed himself to be taken to Hampton Court. Then, seeing that Parliament was inclined to forgive the king, Cromwell placed soldiers at the door to prevent any but Independent members from going in. It was thus that the Rump Parliament, so called because it was only a small part of the state body, voted that the government should be placed in its hands, and that Charles should be tried as a traitor for taking up arms against the law.

The king was therefore brought before his judges, who addressed him as Charles Stuart. But he refused to answer their questions, saying they had no right to try him. When they accused him of treachery, in the name of the people of England, a voice in the audience boldly cried out: "No; not a tenth part of them."

But although many were still ready to defend the king, although the French and the Scotch protested against his arrest, and although Prince Charles, the king's eldest son, promised to do anything Parliament wished if it would only spare his father, Charles was condemned to death.

The Children of Charles I.


The king heard his sentence calmly, and asked only that he might take leave of two of his children, who were still in England. This wish was granted; and when Charles had his little son on his knee, he kissed him and said: "Mark, my child, what I say: they will cut off my head, and will want to make thee king; but thou must not be king so long as thy brothers Charles and James are alive. Therefore I charge thee not to be made king by them."

Little Prince Henry, who was too young to understand what was going on, was, however, so impressed by what his father said, that he looked up into Charles's face and solemnly said: "I will be torn in pieces first!"

This parting over, Charles got ready to die, with the help of his chaplain Juxon. He slept peacefully the last night, and, hearing that it was cold out of doors, he put on two shirts, lest the wind should make him shiver on the scaffold and the people should think he was afraid to die.

The scaffold had been erected just outside of Whitehall, so the king was led out to it through one of the windows of the banquet room. There was a great throng present, but the people were kept at a distance, and drums were beaten when the king began his last speech. But even on the scaffold Charles behaved in the same gentle way, and after saying that he had always done what he considered right, and that his only crime was to have consented to Strafford's execution, he prepared to die. The last word the king uttered was, "Remember," which he addressed to Juxon. A few moments later the executioner held up the king's head, saying, "This is the head of a traitor," and all the people burst into tears.

No one has ever known exactly to what the mysterious word "remember" referred, because Juxon would never tell; but it is generally supposed that Charles reminded his chaplain to be sure to tell his son never to avenge his death, but to forgive the men who had condemned him.

As most of the king's family were abroad, they suffered no harm. But the two children who had seen their father just before his death were sent to learn a trade. One of them, the little princess, died of grief for her father, but Cromwell finally took pity upon little Prince Henry and sent him over to his mother in France.