Our Regicide Past

I was very pleased to see, over at Labour MP Tom Watson’s blog, the death warrant for Charles I, which he has posted in order to publicise the parliamentary contribution to Archives Awareness Month, which, apparently, is this month, so there’s not too much of it left.

I’ve said it before, and, no doubt, I’ll say it again: People in this country aren’t nearly as aware of our regicide past as we ought to be, except for the loons over at the Society of King Charles the Martyr (patron, Lord St John of Fawsley, no surprise there). Long before the Jacobins executed Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, or the Bolsheviks gunned down the Tsar and his family, the political authorities in London in January 1649 organised the trial and execution of the man of blood, Charles Stuart. It was a great moment in these islands’ story.

Things didn’t work out terribly well for the regicides in the long run, but it’s certainly high time we had another go at republican self-government. Who knows? It might be more durable this time around.

There’s some thoughtful revisionism by my friend Ted Vallance, now at Liverpool University, over here, which was written to mark last year’s wretched jubilee. He seems to think that if we are going to get rid of Brenda, lopping off her head probably isn’t the best way forward, and not just because killing people is wrong.

UPDATE [22.9.03]: Roll on the Jamaican Republic!

0 thoughts on “Our Regicide Past”

  1. I agree with you that as a country, England is not aware enough of its regicide past. But what about Ireland? Given Cromwell’s ‘performance’ over there in the ’40s and ’50s, wouldn’t they have good reason to join in with the ‘loons’ of the Charles the Martyr bunch? I confess to raising my glass on Jan 30 each year to remind myself of the bloody gap between political theories and their imposition on the real world. Can’t we look to the various suffrage acts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries instead for our Republican touchstones?

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