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Chepstow Castle; Marten's Tower

Chepstow Castle; Marten's Tower

Photographer: Bedford, Francis (1816-1894)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1862

Shelfmark: C.44.d.7,8

Item number: 71

Length: 6.9

Width: 6.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

“And here…in the south-eastern extremity of the first court, you see the tower still called Henry Marten’s Tower, where Marten, one of the regicides, was confined. This was one of the most determined republicans of his time. He was the friend of Harrington, Sydney, Wildman, Neville, and other men who had imbibed all the republican ideas of ancient Greece and Rome. He it was who, walking between the Parliament House and Westminster with Mr. Hyde, afterwards the famous Lord Chancellor Clarendon, long before the civil war, startled him by saying, ‘I do not think one man wise enough to govern us all!’ He was the right-hand man of Cromwell, till Cromwell himself aimed at sovereign power. He it was who, when the high court of justice appointed to try Charles I. were puzzled on what authority they should try him, rose and said, ‘In the names of the commons and parliament assembled, and of all the good people of England.’ And when Charles himself demanded on what authority they presumed to try him, he was answered in those words. He would have been executed with the rest of the regicides, but for his latter opposition to Cromwell. On that account his punishment was commuted to perpetual imprisonment.”

Excerpt from “Chepstow Castle”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.

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