406 Engagements


In November 1647 at Corkbush field near Ware, Fairfax faced a dangerous threat to army unity – the work of the Leveller Agitators had incited some regiments to mutiny, in support of the Agreeent of the People. Meanwhile Charles had fled Hampton Court; he would find his new home even less to his liking. Until he had a strictly private discussion with the Scots…

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Ok, so last time we heard about one of the most remarkable events of the civil wars, the Putney Debates. And while we are on it – hie to The Things that made England Podcast to hear Luke and I argue back and forth forth and back about the Levellers movement and whether they should go into the bulging cabinet of the Things that made England. We heard that the response of Fairfax and Cromwell to incipient mutiny in their army was not to do as normally happens in such circumstances – carry out a quick and nasty repression and execution of anyone and everyone suspected of being ringleaders; they had instead organized and engaged in a debate. Because these soldiers were their brothers. And so we heard the voices of ordinary people discussing the possibilities, details, ways and forms of a constitution based on genuinely democratic principles. But we have seen how that debate and the activism of the Levellers was threatening to destroy something that had preserved the New Model for the last two years against the threats of military and political annihilation – their ironbound unity. Into this rising tide of conflict – a still Presbyterian parliament, Army Grandees, New Model Soldiers, Levellers, partisan and sectarian religious pulpit thumping going on all over the place, Charles, no doubt infuriated at not being centre of attention, decided that now would be the perfect time to panic. And he did a bunk.

As ever with Charles, no one is really sure what is smoke, what is mirrors and what is truth. So there’s a story Charles put about which is probably but not certainly tripe. Which I will come back to in a Mo. Before that, just as little context, Charles had been having a lovely time at Hampton court since he’d arrived on 24th August 1647. The Yorkshireman, Baronet, parliamentarian and traveler Sir Thomas Herbert would be at Charles side a lot, and remembered these days as ones made by the ancient mythical bird who could calm the roughest of waters and storms, the Halcyon, and so that right Herbert called them Charles’ ‘halcyon days’. He felt like a real little king again; nobles waited on him, he had his own Anglican chaplains, aldermen from London rode out to do a bit of light bottom licking and social climbing, his children Elizabeth and Henry came to see him which did his heart good, as a devoted family man. And even those damned rebels didn’t seem to be on him so hard. True enough parliament had presented him with a peace treaty, but it was just a rehash of the Newcastle Propositions; and after a conversation with Ireton and Cromwell, he’d rejected them in favour of the Heads of Proposals as a basis of further discussion. And then carefully avoided offering up any concessions that might make said Heads of Proposal work. Charles was in his happy place – playing one off against another while watching his country burn.

And it has to be said we do appear to be in limbo land. At this point I have a quote about the situation for you from the man who is fast becoming my favourite royalist, Edward Nicholas; remember him secretary of state? We had a lot of him as Charles’ right hand man before the balloons of war finally went up. The terms of the surrender of Oxford in 1646 had allowed him to leave blighty for clear winds of royalist France, and from there he wrote a summary of the situation so far, 1641 – 1647:

As the king at first called parliament he could not rule, and afterwards the parliament raised an army it could not rule, so the army have agitators they cannot rule[1]

Well, as my Granny would have said, I never did! Here have I been warbling on for millions and zillions of words and ins and outs and even ups and downs and yet there you have it. In two lines. Bravo Edward Nicholas. But hang it all with brevity like that you put all us podcaster out of a job. Stop it! But I mean – that is essentially it isn’t it? And as it all went on, no one had time to focus on the small matter of healing the nation.

Anyway, let us return to that probably but not certainly tripe story. And to kill two boirds with one stone, I also promised ages ago I’d mention Henry Lilburne, the youngest of the three Lilburne lads. Henry was just 29. Whereas the eldest, Robert, was a loyal colonel in the New Model Army, John was a demagogue, firebrand and warrior for the common man and sometimes even woman, Henry although in the New Model, was on his way to becoming a royalist. Now Charles was told that there was a plan to poison him. Henry Lilburne seems to be a likely candidate for the post of rumour mill. That’s it. That’s all I have to say about young Henry. He’ll be dead within a year anyway, but at least he has stood on the stage of the History of England, even if only in a brief cameo.

This was the reason Charles would give for his bunk; was it true? No, in answer to your question, probably not. Charles had decided to put wings to his feet and become a royal Hermes by 5th November before he knew he had anything to fear from the army; Henry Lilburne didn’t write his note until 9th. The real reason is probably that Charles was finding it difficult to agree a deal with the Scots as to how to double cross parliament with all those soldiers looking over his shoulders; and so set out to find some freedom to do so and a more friendly gate keeper who might make it easier.

Charles’ escape attempt was almost comical. Last time he’d pressed the bunking button from Oxford it wasn’t clear he knew where he was going; this time he had absolutely no idea. He was in the nice but dim hands of Jack Ashburnham, and John Berkely. Going north to Berwick was one suggestion, which seemed logical since the Scots were up near there. It was decided instead to mooch secretly in the south because Jack said they’d got boats to take them over to the continent. After riding a few miles from Hampton court on the night of the escape, Charles thought to ask Jack about this. Turns out Jack had done no such thing but had wanted to make himself look good.

So they kept riding, and then got lost in Windsor forest, then Berkely suggested the west country but Ashburnham said no no, let’s go to the Isle of Wight because the governor Robert Hammond really likes you. So, even though Ashburnham appears to be a bit of a brainiache, that’s what they do. Ashburnham and Berkely sail over to the Isle of Wight and tip up unannounced at Carisbroke Castle and tell Hammond the plan. Now, though fair do’s Hammond was increasingly unhappy with the Army’s political role; but had no intention of breaking his loyalty to it.  So Hammond laid some eggs, and then told Ashburnham he had no intention of switching to the king’s team. A good time for Jack to gracefully withdraw you’d think. But no. Instead he said well, why don’t you come and see him anyway? Come on Jack – seriously?

So off they went together, arrived at Charles’ hideout, Jack left Hammond downstairs and nipped up tell Charles. Hey king, he said there’s good news and bad news. Good news – we’ve brought the Governor. Bad news – he’s not on your side. But look he has promised to talk to you with – what were his words – oh yes, ‘honour and honesty’.

Oh I am undone!

Exclaimed Charles. Jack, poor Jack, burst into tears. He suggested he go downstairs and kill Hammond. Charles thought about that, paced up and down, hum and hawed, but eventually decided that

The world would not excuse me

And gave himself up. The next day he was on his way to imprisonment at Carisbroke castle on the Isle of Wight. I believe there was a young lady of Weight, who travelled faster than light. She set off one day in a relative way – and returned the previous night.

By which time Hammond had dashed off a letter to Cromwell, and set a close guard around the King – and Charles had simply switched one sumptuous prison for a grim and down market one on an island. Up the island creek without a ship or paddle.

So, that’s what’s going on with the king; we’ll come back to the lad before the end of the episode. For the moment you and I, and Fairfax and Cromwell of course, we have other fish to fry. So come on good lookin’, let’s get cookin’.

An old Gas Board advert I think.

Just to remind you that at the end of the Putney Debates om 8th November, the Agitators had been sent back to their regiments where the outcomes of the debates would be read to the whole army; despite the demands of the Leveler Agitators  that they meet in one big mass, Fairfax was too canny for that – he ordered three separate musters. John Lilburne and the others were livid; they had wanted to incite a massive mutiny from the soldiers in favour of the original Agreement of the People, rather than any compromise document. And the last act of the Committee was to draw up that document, as a Remonstrance, which could reconcile all three public documents already published – the Solemn Engagement of the Army from June, the Case of the Army Truly Stated and the Agreement of the people. Essentially, a new Engagement, a new promise to the Army.

As you’ll see, most of the juice in the Agreement of the People will be squeezed out of the Remonstrance, and Lilburne, Wildman et al were not idiots, they knew that would happen. But while we are on that very final meeting there is an interesting moment, with one Major General Thomas Harrison. You have met Harrison already actually – singing psalms at the battle of Langport as he broke the royalist lines. He’s the son of a butcher, and a very good example therefore of the kind of oik royalists despised for having risen so far above his station, to command an army that should be commanded by posh people.

Anyway, more significantly here maybe, Thomas Harrison will become a Fifth Monarchist, a very radical religious sect indeed. There will be a time and a place for that. This is not that time; the point for now is that Thomas Harrison was one of the small but growing cadre of soldiers who were inclined to agree with Captain Bishop that Charles was little more than a man of blood. Harrison at the meeting of the 9th November had a suggestion to make. He started with

lay upon his spiritt … that the king was a man of bloud’

Harrison’s contribution to the suggestion box was that Charles should stand trial for his crimes.

In response, Cromwell turned to the bible, which was according to his idiom, and gave a number of examples as to why this was a bad idea, and ended with the line that the suggestion would only be suitable

If it be an absolute and indisputable duty for us to do it

Which is pretty evasive but hey – the idea was out of the box marked unthinkable and was now floating around trying to look as thinkable as posible.

Anyway, back to the Levelers. They were, as I said, absolutely hopping mad at Fairfax’s cunning, and nothing daunted they were determined that the army would be radicalized, and tear itself loose from the anchor of the army commanders that dragged on the cause of justice. So they did what radicals and revolutionaries do; they met in pubs and cooked the meat of planning, basted with the sauce of outrage, and accompanied by the condiments of insults hurled at the king. There were meetings, inevitably in Coleman Street; and at the Mouth tavern at Aldersgate. Nedham at Mercurius Pragmaticus was working overtime, and would call the Mouth Tavern ‘the new houses of parlimament’. It seems that Henry Marten was also involved. They would raise a storm at the first rendez vous to be held at Ware, north of London at Corkbush Field. Once those regiments had thrown off the heavy hand of obedience the following two musters would be sure to follow.

They also did was Activists do – the activated. They flooded the streets with a printed declaration,  A Call to all Soldiers of the Army, telling the soldiers not to trust their officers who were up to now good. Copies of the Agreement of the People were spread among the regiments by the so inclined Agitators.  Lilburne set off for Ware, to be ready nearby; he would keep a low profile because this was to be a rebellion by the soldiers of army, for the soldiers of the Army. But once the field was theirs’, he would join them.

Both the Levellers and Fairfax knew that matters were already dangerously close to mutinous revolution. Robert Lilburne’s regiment had been on their way to the posting at Newcastle. But on 13th November they were met by agitators who implored the soldiers to halt and return to the rendez vous at Ware – remember the Solemn Engagement they said, remember we all swore never to be divided until our demands were met. Robert Lilburne and his officers, including young Henry Lilburne, tried to stop them; but in this they were opposed by at least one of their number, Captain William Bray; there was a fracas, two soldiers were killed and a lieutenant had a hand slashed off. The officers were taken prisoner by the soldiers, the column turned around – and under the command now of William Bray, marched back towards Ware,Corkbush Field, and to destiny and a Brave New World. Or so they hoped.

So it was with more than a flutter of nerves that Fairfax undertook his toilet on the morning of 15th November 1647, and set off towards the first muster comprising seven regiments. But you have to finish your toilet very early in the morning to get the jump on your dedicated activist, and a group of officers were already hard at work, raising mutiny. Colonel William Eyre and Major Thomas Scott were preaching up the Agreement of the People, others were busily collecting signatures for the petition. Thomas Rainsborough was there, and of course he really had no right to be, he wasn’t in the army now But he was radicalized now; and as a senior officer, he was there to ambush Fairfax with a petition urging the army to adopt the full fat Agreement of the People

Fairfax meanwhile was armed with his very own declaration, being the Remonstrance of the Army, composed at the end of General Council at Putney. In it he urged the soldiers to reject the discord of the Agitators – and indeed threatened to resign unless unity was fully restored. In it he committed himself to their causes – pay, indemnity, provision for the injured – all the army grievances of the Solemn Engagement of June. And there was general and positive reform. Nothing to the extent of the Agreement of the People, but something. A fresh election for parliament must be held within a year, Parliament must sit for fixed periods, elections were to be free and with re-designed and improved constituencies. If the men would swear to this, Fairfax promised to ‘live and die with his men’. Who says Fairfax couldn’t raise himself to a grand phrase or two.

Fairfax was also armed with a history of a campaigning life spent with these men, and their respect and even love. But the Agitators and Levelers were armed with two mutinous regiments now – Robert Lilburne’s was on the way back, but first to arrive was a different mutinous regiment – Thomas Harrison’s. Thomas Harrison himself was probably at that moment looking at a lot of empty tents and wondering where on earth everyone had got to. Possibly he was experiencing some FOMO, I know I would have been.

Harrison’s regiment dramatically appeared on the field, unasked, unlooked for. To general shock – because this was not their place of muster. Their presence only was mutiny. But more to the point, in their hats was the white of printed paper, all of them folded so as to show the words ‘England’s Freedom and Soldiers Rights’. These men were here to demand that the Agreement of the People was implemented in England at the point of a sword. Or musket. Or serpentine. Or whatever, you get the point, imposed with righteous fury! By this time, many in the New Model Army felt themselves to be the true representatives of the people.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’d probably have legged it, but then that’s why I’ll never rise to be head of state. Fairfax and his officers were made of iron. They demanded the papers be removed. Cromwell, amongst other officers re-inforced this urgent request by riding in and about the regiment, snatching papers from hats and throwing them to the floor. The mutinous soldiers looked across the field. Where the seven other regiments stood motionless. No a man stirred in support. Cowed, the soldiers sullenly removed the papers from their hats, stood in line; but the game was not yet played out, for now Captain William Bray led Lilburne’s rebellious regiment onto the field. They also proudly and defiantly wore the petitions in their hats. Again, they were angrily ordered to remove them. Whipped on by Bray they refused. With a flash of swords, Cromwell and the officers swept outnumbered into their ranks, nothing daunted, carried along by easy authority and righteous fury, snatching the papers from the hats of the soldiers. Instead of mutiny and defiance, they met surrender; hats were hurriedly doffed, papers thrown aside, feet shuffled, apologies muttered.

Meanwhile the seven regiments – those who actually had invitations to be there, still had stirred not one muscle in support of their mutinous comrades. Instead all the rebellious regiments heard was their cheering as, one by one, they accepted and acclaimed Fairfax’s Remonstrance of the Army. Unity and the Grandees had won. As John Wildman ruefully recalled, many regiments cried

For the king and Sir Thomas, for the king and Sir Thomas!

John Lilburne checked out of his inn, in the town of Ware, used the speeches he’d prepared in his toilet, and went home, with the chance to appear and preach a new world lost, and for the moment his hopes dashed. But Lilburne was no quitter. He’d be back.

At both the remaining two musters there was no sign of trouble; Fairfax and unity had won, order and authority was restored. The Remonstrance of the Army would be presented to parliament by Cromwell, but the full fat Agreement of the People had apparently been cast aside – though in fact it had not been forgotten by Fairfax, Ireton or indeed Cromwell. It would have another day.

For the moment it was time for retribution and punishment. Captain William Bray and Colonel William Eyre were arrested and sent for court martial. Nine ringleaders from among the men were court martialed on the spot and condemned to death. Rainsborough’s case was referred to parliament, who would strip him of his navy command.

Once more though, moderation and conciliation triumphed – to a degree. Rainsborough would be re-instated, after he apologized for his behaviour. 6 of the nine soldier ringleaders were immediately pardoned. The remaining three were ordered to draw lots – one of them only would be shot. I say moderation and by many contemporary comparisons it was moderate indeed. But it was still a bit brutal. The man who drew the short straw would die. The two men who drew the long straws would not die, but they would need to shoot their companion. So, the three men drew lots, and Private Richard Arnold lost. His hope for a better, freer, more equal world was over. Shot in the head. For the moment the Leveller cause had been defeated, but it would carry on and grow in strength, and in Richard Arnold they now had a martyr for the cause.

The Corkbush Field mutiny was one of those moments when revolution could have happened; it could have been the Bastille Day. That it was not I think does say something about the divided nature of the army, which reflects the divided nature of England. There had been no expectation of a Leveler type social revolution at the outset, and I say again there was no century of Enlightenment thinking about the Rights of man and all that, no Treatises of Government on which to draw. The Levellers had taken religious ideas and turned them into the first democratic political programme, within a year or two. Most of England had not come round to or even knew their programme. They believed in the Divine right of the King, the Great Chain of Being, or the Ancient Constitution of King, Lords and Commons. It was similar even in the Army where they had been most active; many were still for the king, most trusted in their commanders Fairfax and Cromwell. Army unity was restored; by the end of December 1647 they would hold a three day prayer meeting at Windsor, where they prayed together on the theme of unity.

But the Levellers were far from finished. They returned to the attack in pamphlets and meetings. John Wildman published his Putney Projects on 30th December which claimed to

Unfold plainly the mystery of Cromwell’s and Ireton’s deceit

The Levellers were not finished. Not by a long chalk.

Ok, so let me whisk you back to the lovely Isle of Wight and the rather less lovely Carisbroke Castle. Now I need to tell you a bit about the Island and the estimable old curmudgeon Sir John Oglander. I need to do that for two reasons; firstly because my mate Pat of this parish has a venerable old book of the history and diary of the Oglanders, and secondly because it’s a hoot. I believe I might have mentioned this before, and so am getting deja Vue all over again. Apparently I am told that makes a clever joke, but I was not aware.

Anyway. The Oglanders were a leading family on the Island, and utterly convinced by the rights and preeminence of the king, and the social hierarchy his existence underpinned. Sir John had been a JP for 40 years. From his house at Nunwell, there was no worthy on the island as worthy as Sir John.  Broadly speaking, the other worthies among the Caulkheads of Isle of Wight didn’t take the Oglander view, and before you can say ‘The world turned upside down’, John Oglander had been called to London to pay fines, and turfed out of his comfy posts. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, this thing had appeared called the Island committee of Safety. And Sir John was taking orders from the kind of people he’d carefully and graciously patronized for the last 40 years. He wrote his feelings down, and let his words speak for every member of England’s gentry faced with the same insult to their dignity and their view of the wrongness of this new world order

We have this thing here called a committee which overruled Deputy Lieutenants and also Justices of the Peace. And in it we had brave men; Ringwood of Newport, the pedlar, Maynard the apothecary, Matthews the baker, Wavell and Legge, farmers. These men ruled the whole Island, and did whatsoever they thought good in their own eyes

Don’t tell me that isn’t priceless. I would love to fill the pages about Sir John; but won’t do too much because we must get on. But he’s another example of a family split; in this very year his brother George died; the war had divided them, to their regret. And now he wrote of George

…an honest man … but a most violent man for parliament’s cause. I lost a most loving brother but hope I shall not be long after

Because John was thoroughly miserable in the upside down world run by bakers, [edlars and farmers

This island was the paradise of England and now it is just like the other parts of the kingdom, a miserable, melancholy, dejected place.

So when Sir John heard a rumor that the King had appeared on the Island at Cowes, his spirits rose and he took himself to Newport, where Robert Hammond made an announcement of the king’s arrival to the assembled people against the background sound of egg laying.

However, delighted though John was to be close to his monarch, he was under no illusion but that Charles had made a terrible, terrible bloomer; John met Cornet George Joyce who fiercely told him the king should stand trial. John wrote to his beloved daughter Ann recounting this, and Ann obviously felt just like her dad

I can hardly sleep or wake without weeping to think that his majesty should be a prisoner especially in that place. But I hope, nay I verily believe…he will come forth as glorious conqueror

Sir John was right. Hammond was going to hold him with security as tight as a gnat’s bottom. However, Charles did have other friends among the locals; a woman in Newport plucked the last rose from her garden and gave it to him; and the gentry like Sir John put on their Sunday best and went immediately to the castle to see him and pay court. Charles pressed the flesh and Sir John was bowled over when the king asked his son’s name. Even better, two days later the King actually went to Sir John’s gaff at Nunwell. John was in heaven. He received the king in his best room, of course, with oak paneled walls hung with his finest tapestries. John had been forced to pay fines for his loyalty, none the less he went on bended knee and proffered his beloved king a purse of gold he could ill afford. Plus kneeling at the age of 63 isn’t a trivial affair as I can personally vouch for, History doesn’t record how gracefully he rose again,and whether or no Charles had to give him  sort of boost. Charles was very good as these sort of things, and the Oglanders have called the room the King’s room ever since, though I understand moths have had the tapestries.

Anyway, enough of this. Charles wrote to Fairfax and Cromwell asking for their good offices, as though he hadn’t just again proved his unreliability. And he now made a pitch in response to the Heads of Proposals – he wouldn’t abolish Bishops, or approve the alienation of their lands, but he would consider a trial period of Presbyterianism and grant a general pardon.

Who knows if he meant a word of it. But his latest bunk had finally swung things against him among the Grandees and parliament. In the general Council of the Army Cromwell was seemingly radicalized, and hos tone changed. Speaking angrily now against the king, and warming to the Radicals in the Army

If we cannot bring the Army to our sense, we must go to theirs

In parliament Colonel Edmund Ludlow had circulated a story of Charles at Carisbroke throwing a stick between two dogs, and laughing as they snarled and fought over it – a reasonably clear piece of symbolism. So Charles received no response from parliament. He wrote again by 6th December, but his stock was finally unsaleable on the open market. So, he heard nothing but the wind whistling through the  bars of his window. In London, the plan was for a surly ultimatum. Say and Sele and Warwick co-ordinated 4 parliamentary bills from the Lords, along with a set of proposals for matters of negotiation, such as the status of bishops. The idea was to demand royal assent to these bills before any further negotiation on the other points; if Charles signed them, that would then pass straight into law – job done. If he did not accept – well that would need thinking about.

The Four Bills then reached the Commons. They gave control of the military to parliament for 20 years, annulled all oaths against parliament, cancelled all peerages made since 1642, and empowered parliament to sit wherever it chose. Cromwell no longer thought Charles the most honest man in the kingdom as he had at Newmarket, but

So great a dissembler and so false a man that he was not to be trusted

The king’s bunk had also swung more MPs behind an uncompromising line; the four bills should therefore have passed easily but ironically the danger now came from the Commonwealthsmen as they were called – the radicals who thought even this was too generous; Thomas Wroth declared wrathfuly in debate

I desire any government rather than that of a king

Henry Marten led this group of republicans into the lobby, against making any offer at all. But the four bills passed. And so it was that on 24th December that Denbigh presented the king at Carisbroke with his Christmas stocking – Four Bills. He had four days to reply.

After those days had passed, Denbigh was presented with a sealed envelope. In it was Charles’ comprehensive rejection of all of them. If Denbigh had been looking carefully, he might have noticed Charles glancing nervously into the garden. Because in the garden was buried a document in a lead casket. A document which, Charles knew, meant his victory and ultimate triumph mow lay in his hands. His prevarication and dissembling had been crowned with success.

Throughout Charles’ castle-crawling visit to Wight, he had been allowed free access to the Scottish commissioners. I mean why wouldn’t he be – after all they were parliamentary allies weren’t they?  Well, it was led by John Maitland, the Earl of Lauderdale with Hamilton’s commission and new found powers. And there was a spirit of compromise in the air at last. Plus, a tinge of desperation, as Charles did his two dogs with one bone thing. So after 24th Charles met his Scottish suitors and well, the King met Lauderale and his colleagues wearing a furrowed brow and a seemingly heavy heart. I mean look, said their divinely appointed monarch, I have got these four bills you see. I mean you’ve only offering me one bill. So I think I’d better pay my bills now, pay my bills to the England and accept all four of my bills – after all in spirit of bistronomics, these bills look very appealing, really if you want my custom you’d better make me a better offer, and PQD.

Well, compromise was not in Argyll’s vocab, but it was in Hamilton and his supporters – let us call them the Engagers. And presented with the idea that Charles was about to cut a deal with the English, they caved. They caved and they engaged.  They Engaged to make a deal. And they engaged that Charles would be allowed not to swear to the Covenant; Presbyterianism would be tried in England but only for three years and then they’d look at it again. Plus Charles agreed to suppress any of those heretics both catholic, but of course – but also Protestant sectarians. The whole list of the nasty things – anabaptists, separatists, independents, people who put jam on scones before the cream, the whole sorry mess of them. The king agreed to put in place a complete union of England and Scotland, ensuring plenty of Scottish representation on a joint Privy Council. So that’s all good then. There’s something I’m forgetting though…hmmm…oh yes the Scots would provide a whopping great army and give the English a whopping and put King Charles back on his throne, so the Kin could enjoy his own again.

They signed an agreement. It will become known to history as the Engagement, and all that supported it shall be known as Engagers. They wrapped it in lead. And they buried it in the garden. Hopefully one of those doggies wouldn’t then think it was a bone and dig it up.

So, on 28th December, Charles presented Lord Denbigh with said envelope. Obviously he didn’t mention that he’d had a better offer. Goodie. Sometime, sometime soon, Charles would be able to make war on this own people again. Things were looking up.

And we will hear about the general looking up next time. Meanwhile do hop over to the Thongs that Made England podcast, to hear Luke and I talking about the Levelers, and doing our level best to recognise their contribution to England’s freedom and soldiers rights.

[1] Charlton, C: ‘Charles I: The Personal Monarch’, p318


4 thoughts on “406 Engagements

  1. The Gas Board could have been inspired by either or both of these two popular songs.

    Hey, Good Lookin’ / Hank Williams, 1951
    Say hey, good lookin’ – what ya got cookin’?
    How’s about cookin’ somethin’ up with me?

    Hey, Good Lookin’ / Cole Porter, 1942
    Hey, good-lookin’
    Say, what’s cookin’?
    Do you feel like bookin’
    Some fun tonight?

    – Paul Baldwin, Tucson, Arizona

    1. Yes, I’m sure they didn’t make the somng up! But they did bring it to my attention. Good to know the source after all these years, well played Hank!

  2. The dramatic readings just get better and better! And I am thoroughly fed up with Charles and his double dealing. Previously with my surface knowledge of events I has thought the treason charge against the King to be kind of trumped up, but I am beginning to see the rationale. Loving the deep dives, tho confess my cotton head sometimes takes two or even three listens to get it all. Bravo to you for all the work and detail!

    1. Hi Kathryn and yes! I am finding it increasingly hard to present Charles’ point of view,it’s a problem! In Scotlamnd at the time, I understand, they had a concept of treason against the state, as well as treason against the king. That’s essentially what the charge against Charles was; they just had to make it up.Glad you are enjoying it! I must probably, though, get away from quite so much detail after the king has gone

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