Saturday, January 30, 2021

A Leicestershire man led the prosecution of Charles I

Charles I was executed on 3o January 1649. His prosecution on charges of tyranny and treason was led by the solicitor general John Cook.

Cook was a Leicestershire man. His parents had a farm near Burbage and he was christened at All Saints, Husbands Bosworth.

After the restoration, Cook was prosecuted and publicly executed as a regicide. 

Shortly before his death he wrote to his wife Mary:

We fought for the public good and would have enfranchised the people and secured the welfare of the whole groaning creation, if the nation had not more delighted in servitude than in freedom.

The trouble was Charles I was that he would not or could not admit that he had been defeated. 

I suspect parliament would have been happy to see him live quietly as a country gentleman, but it was obvious that, as long as Charles was alive, he was going to scheme with any force, at home or overseas, that might bring about his return to the throne.

So Cromwell's "cruel necessity" was about right.

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