[DWJ] Charles I

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Jan 7 15:53:13 EST 2009

>2009/1/7 Roger Burton West <roger at firedrake.org> asked
>> Can someone pin down the origin of the quote describing Charles I as
>> "the man who attempted a coup d'etat in a country of which he was
>> already the ruler, and lost"?

and Farah mused

>Trevor Royle quotes Churchill frequently, and although this is not one of
>those quotes it has the same ring. At one point he cites Churchill as saying
>something along the lines of "the revolt involved Wales, the northern lords,
>the levellers, the Scots, all against the Army. The Army beat the lot."

sounds about right...

>> Actually, having read a bit about Charles before the war, I think that
>> he had the same problem as many poor managers I've encountered: he
>> didn't want to disappoint anyone, so he always agreed with whoever had
>> spoken to him most recently. Unfortunately, that was often his wife, or
>> Digby.
>He actually seems worse than that. Apparently he was admired for always
>being cheerful in the face of the death of friends, lost battles, etc. I
>find myself wondering if he regarded anyone else as real.

I have always wondered that!  He does seem to have been slightly
psychopathic, really.  At the very least, he seems to have swallowed the
Divine Right of Kings thing so thoroughly that he really did think he could
do no wrong.

Farah, find me the story about the right of way across Richmond Park?  I
have heard it from living on the gate at the end of Priory Lane -- that
there had been rights of way across the park since forever and then three
years, and Charles erected a wall all round it with high gates that were
closed at dusk.  The locals protested, and he agreed to put in ladders
beside the gates so that they could get home across the park instead of
having to walk round the outside, and he did it; only he put up ladders
whose rungs were three feet apart so that they were effectively useless.

It may be just a local legend, but it does sound like *exactly* the sort of
mean, stupid thing he *would* have done.  How to lose friends and influence
people against you.


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