Speech Before the Execution of Charles I of England

This speech before the execution of Charles I reveals hope in an incorruptible crown.

King Charles I Prepares for His Execution on the Scaffold in Front of the Palace of Whitehall
King Charles I Prepares for His Execution on the Scaffold in Front of the Palace of WhitehallGiclee Print
Kronheim, Joseph
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Whether Charles I was wearing his famous pearl or not...he considered himself a martyr in this speech before his execution.

Speech before the execution of Charles I of England

Born: November 19, 1600 in Fife, Scotland

Acceded to throne: 1625

Married: 1625 Princess Henrietta Maria of France

Suspended Parliament: 1629 ruling alone for 11 years.

English Civil Wars begin: 1642

Charles accused of treason by the republican Parliamentarians and sentenced to death.

Executed: January 30, 1649

Speech before the execution of Charles I at the scaffold. There's speculation that a greedy hand tore the famous pearl from his ear as soon as the beheading of Charles I execution.

At least they let him make a speech...not so for King Louis during the French Revolution...there they drowned out his words with loud drum rolls.

The speech before the execution of Charles I:

I shall be very little heard of anybody here...Indeed I could hold my peace very well, if I did not think that holding my peace would make some men think that I did submit to the guilt, as well as to the punishment; but I think it is my duty to God first, and to my country, for to clear myself both as an honest man, and a good King and a good Christian.


An Eyewitness Representation of the Execution of King Charles I (1600-49) of England, 1649
An Eyewitness Representation of the Execution of King Charles I (1600-49) of England, 1649Giclee Print
Weesop
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I shall begin first with my innocence. In troth I think it not very needful for me to insist upon this, for all the world knows that I never did begin a war with the two Houses of Parliament, and I call God to witness, to whom I must shortly make an account, that I never did intend for to encroach upon their privileges, they began upon me, it is the militia they began upon, they confess that the militia was mine, but they thought it fit for to have it from me.

God forbid that I should be so ill a Christian, as not to say that God's judgments are just upon me: many times he does pay justice by an unjust sentence, that is ordinary: I will only say this, that an unjust sentence that I suffered to take effect, is punished now by an unjust sentence upon me, that is, so far I have said, to show you that I am an innocent man.

Charles I, King of England, at the Hunt
Charles I, King of England, at the HuntGiclee Print
Van Dyck, Sir...
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More of the speech before the execution of Charles I

Now for to show you that I am a good Christian: I hope there is a good man that will bear me witness, that I have forgiven all the world, and even those in particular that have been the chief causers of my death: who they are, God knows, I do not desire to know, I pray God forgive them.

But this is not all, my charity must go farther, I wish that they may repent, for indeed they have committed a great sin in that particular: I pray God with St. Stephen, that this be not laid to their charge, nay, not only so, but that they may take the right way to the peace of the kingdom, for my charity commands me not only to forgive particular men, but my charity commands me to endeavor to the last gasp the peace of the kingdom...

The Marriage, Wars, Suffering and Death of the Royal Martyr, King Charles the First
The Marriage, Wars, Suffering and Death of the Royal Martyr, King Charles the FirstGiclee Print
English School
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More of the speech before the execution of Charles I

...for the people and truly I desire their liberty and freedom as much as any body whomsoever, but I must tell you, that their liberty and their freedom consists in having of Government; those laws, by which their life and their goods may be most of their own.

It is not for having share in government (Sir) that is nothing pertaining to them; a subject and a sovereign are clean different things, and therefore until they do that, I mean, that you do put the people in that liberty as I say, certainly they will never enjoy themselves. Sirs, it was for this that now I am come here: if I would have given way to an arbitrary way, for to have all laws changed according to the power of the sword, I needed not to have come here, and therefore I tell you (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge) that I am a martyr of the people.

Emblem of the Royal Martyr King Charles I in His Sufferings, 1649
Emblem of the Royal Martyr King Charles I in His Sufferings, 1649Giclee Print
English School
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More of the speech before the execution of Charles I

In troth, Sirs, I shall not hold you much longer, for I will only say thus to you, that in truth I could have desired some little time longer, because I would have put then that I have said in a little more order, and a little better digested than I have done, and therefore I hope you will excuse me.

I have delivered my conscience, I pray God that you do take those courses that are best for the good of the kingdom, and your own salvation.

...In troth Sirs, my conscience in religion I think is very well known to all the world, and therefore I declare before you all, that I die a Christian, according to the profession of the Church of England, as I found it left me by my father, and this honest man I think will witness it.

Last words of the speech before the execution of Charles I

...I have a good cause, and a gracious God on my side...I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown; where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world.

Hopefully, he received the incorruptible crown he longed for in his speech before the execution of Charles I.

See this king's famous pearl after Speech Before the Execution of Charles I.

Now after reading the speech before the execution of Charles I, you may enjoy reading prayers both for and by him.

Read prayers both by and for this king of England.


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