The Reactions to the Regicide of Charles I, 1649-1715

Kerry, Cheryl (2023) The Reactions to the Regicide of Charles I, 1649-1715. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis explores the ways in which the regicide, the man who was condemned and those who condemned him were remembered in England between 1649-1715. Within the ‘memory turn’ that has taken hold of Civil Wars studies over the past decade, interest in the regicide has been episodic at best. This thesis seeks to redress this through the first detailed study of how people reacted to the regicide across the sixty-year period.

These findings contribute to the wider debates about how the Civil Wars were remembered and the nature of early modern memory. It presents a picture that the remembrance of the regicide went beyond the groan described by Philip Henry that has so often been quoted to symbolise it. By situating this study across sixty years it has been able to identify the short and long-term tactics of the government and their opponents, which has not been articulated through previous research. It reveals a distinct arc of emotions in the immediate aftermath of the regicide and then attempts by both royalists and parliamentarians to employ emotional governance, which ultimately found mixed results. Despite the perceived popularity of Charles through Eikon Basilike, the evidence presented here suggests a clear lack of interest in commemorating Charles across this period. However, the regicides and their families were able to celebrate their association to this seemingly horrible event openly.

The thesis considers attempts on how the regicide was presented and manipulated, both by governments and their opponents, and evidence of what ordinary people were remembering. It moves beyond just using the traditional printed material to use a muchvaried source base that includes court records, diaries, letters, commonplace books and funeral memorials. This approach reveals how the regicide, Charles I and the regicides were remembered and how political manipulation of events served (or undermined) the immediate interests of governments across the sixty years.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Kitty Laine
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2023 10:21
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2023 07:11

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