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Why did Britain become a republic?

Case study 1: Death of Charles I - Source 4

Simplified transcript

Extract from a report of the trial of Charles I, January 1649

(Catalogue ref: SP 16/517)

[Extra explanations in square brackets.]

Then the Clerk reads:

Charles Stuart, King of England, you are accused, on behalf of the people of England, of high crimes and treasons. The charges have been read to you. The court now requires you to give your final and clear answer - either confess or deny the charge.

King Sir, I say again, if I can satisfy the people of England of the clearness of my actions, to satisfy them that I have done nothing against the trust that has been given to me, I will do it, but not by answering [to this court]. To accept a new court, against all the basic laws of the kingdom, Sir, you must excuse me.

Lord President Bradshaw
This is the third time that you have publicly rejected this court and insulted it. Your actions have shown how far you have preserved the basic laws and freedoms, for truly, Sir, men's intentions are shown by their actions. You have written your meaning in bloody letters throughout the whole kingdom. But, Sir, the court understands your meaning. Clerk, record the default [lack of an answer to the charge]. Gentlemen, you that brought the prisoner, take him back again.

I have to speak to you, but if it were only my choice I would not.

Lord President
Sir, you have heard the will of the court. You are, though you will not understand it, to find that you are before a court of justice.

Well, Sir, I find I am before a power.

He went away. These words he spoke with a low voice as he was going away.