Excerpt from Covenant General:
Chapter 9: To Kill a King
I now followed my Lord General Cromwell. I was accorded no special privileges and neither did I want any. I was content to follow the drum with my horse and armour as a simple russet coated trooper, much as I had done with General Åke Tott 18 years previously. Handsome is as handsome does, so I would win the respect of my fellow troopers through honest toil, bravery, hard work and loyalty.
This sat very well with the egalitarian ethos of the New Model Army. I was pleased to meet Black Tom in London and we reminisced about Marston Moor, he shared tales of his rôle at Naseby a year later and he was most cordial. His soft spot for us Scots would ultimately determine his refusal to lead the New Model against Scotland further down the line. In fact the whole atmosphere in London was one of positive determinism.
Captain Cambridge’s Troop
I was assigned to Captain Owen Cambridge’s Troop of Sir Philip Twisleton’s regiment of horse. A veteran unit of good standing within the New Model. Our cornet (flag) bore the Latin motto, Pro pace et veritate - For peace and truth, a sentiment I agreed wholeheartedly with and would have no trouble supporting. My own personal motto in this present life is, Ad lumen et veritatem - Towards light and truth,
which I designed for myself (and for the East Kent UFO Research Unit of which I was scientific consultant 1994 - 2001). It uses the light part as an acknowledgement to the various Baillie mottoes and the veritatem came spontaneously from out of the depths of my subconscious memory in 1995. I was puzzled at the time about the grammatical spelling of truth and I distinctly remember consulting the Reverend Richard Wood, our Latin master at school as to whether I had it right or not? He confirmed that it was sound as far as he knew and I now realise that this confusion came about because of the subconscious remembrance of the troop motto from 1648.
The name Cambridge, which I remember in association with Cromwell was not the place as I had assumed, but our troop commander, Captain Cambridge! Thus identifying which regiment I had joined in 1648 was not a problem. My fellow troopers although initially wary of me began to accept me as they saw my earnest endeavours on a daily basis.
Affairs in London were reaching fever pitch as the English Parliament debated on what to do with that man of blood Charles Stuart? We spent most of our time on policing duties protecting the members from the street mob and generally keeping order in the city. Civil war had broken out in Scotland in early September as the Kirk party seized Edinburgh and Stirling. The pro-royalist Engagers recaptured Stirling on the 12th, but due to the threatened intervention by Cromwell and the English Parliament both sides agreed to disband. Leaving the Kirk party in power as Cromwell favoured the side of the righteous! Cromwell was then welcomed into Edinburgh as a saviour.
In London I heard only fleeting rumours as to these affairs and concentrated on plain honest soldiering. It was during this time that I diverted myself by taking in several of Mr Shakespeare’s excellent plays.
The immortal bard had only passed away in 1616 when I was but a lad of 16 myself, but his plays lived on and were ever popular. I particularly
had a passion for Henry V, which stirred subconscious memories of serving in France during medieval times as an English archer. Matters came to a head at the end of the year, as it became clear that Parliament, at a loss for what to do would put the King on trial in January.
The matter was already decided the rumour was that he had to go and most of the New Model would say Amen to that. For he had caused more than his fair share of trouble for both his Kingdom and its people. The King’s famous refusal to acknowledge the courts authority did not save him.
The Scottish view of Kingship is far more Celtic in origin, the King being merely a first among equals and as such clearly held accountable even to the point of dismissal or otherwise. This misunder-standing would lead in due course to the English Parliament falling out with the Scottish Parliament in 1650. But for now the final nail in the King’s coffin was being presented. Letters asking for Catholic support, from Ireland of all places, to continue this unhappy civil war on his own people were laid before Parliament. This was enough, it was a fait accompli. The verdict was death by the headsman’s axe. Cromwell himself had to force many of the judges to sign the Death Warrant, his mind was resolute and unwavering.
A thought unthinkable just those seven years previous at the start of the conflict, for even the Covenanting Scots had marched under banners bearing the motto, Covenant for Religion, King and Kingdomes.
Now the English were to do the unthinkable and execute the anointed King! We were told to prepare for trouble as the day dawned for Charles to meet his executioner. Troopers patrolled and lined the streets everywhere. London was a city under martial law. On that fateful day January 30, 1649 Charles Stuart King of England, Scotland and Ireland was led to the scaffold in Whitehall, where he was unceremoniously put to death by the headsman’s axe.
A groan of disbelief rose up from the crowd as the head fell. There was no cheering just a stunned vacuum of silence. I had witnessed many violent acts in my career as a soldier, especially in the horrors of Germany, but this was something far, far different. A momentous act that would change history, the death of a monarch that had been at the centre of affairs for so long.
Not one to be put aside from his mission Cromwell determined that we should teach the Irish a lesson that they would never forget. God’s wrath with fire and sword would come down upon them and Oliver Cromwell would be God’s instrument of vengeance. It would be the 17th century equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon one blast so terrible as to settle things and prevent further bloodshed. I see parallels at present with the US led invasion of Iraq and the way excesses were carried out by the over zealous troops caught in the spirit of the moment. Driven on by a philosophy handed down from their superiors.
It was thus with the Irish expedition of 1649.
I had honestly hoped that I was not part of this, but my subconscious memories tell me otherwise. I was 12, when at school in an English précis lesson I was to read a passage about Cromwell in Ireland. The single word Drogheda leapt from the page and hit my conscious mind with such force as to make the whole incident memorable. I read the account of how even the potato crop was burnt, but of course the tubers survived underground. I can remember clearly as I condensed it to one third of its size in words. I was transfixed by the information. The subconscious memory jolt was so powerful that even after 40 years I can remember every word of the passage read that day.
William Baillie in Ireland, what a terrible thought! With the atrocities that happened there blocked off safely, until now with the raising of consciousness happening as we approach the Mayan end of 2012.....
Memories in Miniature
I have always tried to recreated miniature through the the medium of Art and Technology. One knows if conscious mind is accord with the subconscious mind because the finished object sits in harmony and bringing a sense of peace.
Helmet and Armour constructed in 1984 taking on Charlie 2007
54mm Figures on Britains Horses
Mould made from RTV31 and cast in white metal alloy (Tin 25% Lead 75%)
Britains Deetal Horses in plastic with a die-cast zinc alloy bases.