A Perfect Narrative of the Whole Proceedings of the High Court of Justice in the Tryall of the King in Westminster Hall


Following his defeat in the English Civil Wars, King Charles I was placed on trial by Parliament in January 1649 for levying war against his own people. This publication, which originally came out in instalments during the trial, is one of the best contemporary accounts of the proceedings. Charles had refused to acknowledge the authority of what he regarded as a revolutionary tribunal, and he called repeatedly for an adjournment. In contrast, the Lord President of the Court, John Bradshaw (1602–1659), cited the ‘good words in the great old Charter of England’ against what he claimed were the king’s attempts to delay justice. ‘There must be no delay’, proclaimed Bradshaw, ‘but the truth is Sir, and so every man here observes it, that you have much delayed the judges in your contempt and default’. Charles was sentenced to death and beheaded at Whitehall on 30 January 1649.

Full title:
King Charls his Case: or, an Appeal to all rational men concerning his tryal at the High Court of Justice: being for the most part that which was intended to have been delivered at the bar, if the King had pleaded to the charge ... With an additional opinion concerning the death of King James, the loss of Rochel, and, the blood of Ireland.
1649, London
John Cook
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Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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