Reaction from the King of France to the execution of Charles I, 1649
(Catalogue ref: SP 116/292)
[Extra explanations in square brackets.]
A declaration of the most Christian King, Louis the XIII, King of France, and Navarre.
At length, with kisses and greetings beginning their betrayal, they invited his Majesty to a personal treaty. To show his passionate desire for peace, he bent over backwards, going beyond all former rulers in generous concessions [giving in and making promises]. Yet even when he had given in beyond their hope and expectation, and surrendered his most unquestionable rights and privileges into their hands, with hate as relentless as the grave, deep and bottomless as hell, they abruptly broke off. By force of arms they dragged him to court. Subordinates took it upon themselves to judge their king. They called him to an account, he who owed an account to none but God alone. They disrespectfully criticised him with the unjust shame of tyrant [harsh and absolute ruler], traitor and murderer. Having behaved with scorn and contempt, after a short time, in triumph they took him to the scaffold. Making his sorrow worse, they had prepared the scaffold at the entrance to his royal palace. In the sight of his subjects they committed a most brutal murder upon his sacred person, by severing his royal head from his body, by the hands of the common hangman.