This letter was sent to France where Charles II was in exile at the palace of the Louvre in Paris.
… I would send you the Gazette [official journal or newspaper] but it will only tell you how the King [Charles II] danced, how his guard of 100 gentlemen liked the blue livery, and where the Queen [Henrietta Maria, his mother] said her Ave Marias [Catholic Latin prayers] The news from England is of plots and treasons, year of gunpowder treasons, that would have sent the Protector to heaven in a fiery chariot. Five of his guards are imprisoned as actors in the intended tragedy, but the prime plotter, they say, was Lambert, who was within an inch of execution. This news is in a letter from young De Bourdeaux to his father.
I suppose you have heard of the difference between the King and the Duke of York [Charles’s brother James] about Sir John Berkley, the King preferring to leave his brother than part with such a servant. I hear the business is composed, and the Duke returned to Bruges, where the levies go on slowly enough. The Irish expected out of the French army pay their duty in excuses; their answer—especially young Muskerry’s— being that they know not how to dispense with their engagement to the French.« Return to Christmas is cancelled!
Extract from letter with news from Charles II in exile, January 1657
- What do you think the writer meant by the phrase “that would have sent the Protector to heaven in a fiery chariot”.
- What might have been the causes of these plots and treasons in Cromwell’s England?