By Geoffrey Robertson
Charles I waged civil wars that fee one in ten Englishmen their lives. yet in 1649 parliament was once challenging placed to discover a attorney with the ability and bold to prosecute a King who used to be above the legislation: in any case the fellow they briefed used to be the novel barrister, John Cooke.
Cooke was once a plebeian, son of a negative farmer, yet he had the braveness to convey the King's trial to its dramatic end: the English republic. Cromwell appointed him as a reforming leader Justice in eire, yet in 1660 he used to be dragged again to the previous Bailey, attempted and brutally executed.
John Cooke used to be the bravest of barristers, who risked his personal existence to make tyranny against the law. He originated the correct to silence, the 'cab rank' rule of advocacy and the obligation to behave free-of-charge for the negative. He carried out the 1st trial of a Head of kingdom for waging conflict on his personal humans - a forerunner of the prosecutions of Pinochet, Miloševic and Saddam Hussein, and an enduring idea to the trendy international.
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Additional resources for The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man who sent Charles I to the Scaffold
Charles now known as his cupboard jointly for a council of struggle – with Scotland. Strafford used to be the war’s major proponent, urging a compelled mortgage from town of London to fund it. His feedback have been famous by way of previous Sir Henry Vane whose son, younger Henry, had again from Massachusetts to take a seat as an MP and disclosed the notes to Pym. They have been to the influence that having been enable down via Parliament, this used to be a case of necessity and necessity knew no legislation – the King used to be ‘loose and absolved from all principles of government’. Strafford acknowledged he had a military in eire that ‘you may well hire the following to minimize this kingdom’. Did he suggest Scotland, or through ‘this nation’ did he suggest England – arguably a treasonable proposition, although made to the King? It used to be an ambiguity that will quickly price Strafford his lifestyles. struggle with the Scots was once unpopular in London, the place it intended forcible urgent of younger males to be infantrymen, in addition to an enforced mortgage. This ‘Second Bishops’ conflict’ started, none the fewer, in August yet ended an analogous month – ignominiously for the King, while the Scots invaded England and routed his forces. Charles made peace, on phrases which once again he had no purpose of holding, even if he realised that to escape with breaking this contract he would want the help of the nice Puritan friends, who have been angrily petitioning for a brand new Parliament in order that ‘the authors and counsellors of significant grievances might be there dropped at such criminal trial and condign punishment because the nature of the various offences shall require’. forty-one Charles known as one other Parliament simply because defeat left him no replacement means of elevating funds to struggle the Scots, however the threatening language of the friends’ petition must have given him due caution. The ‘Long Parliament’ – it used to be to final for the subsequent 13 tumultuous years – first met in November 1640. Its preliminary act used to be to question the Earl of Strafford for top treason: the second one strongest guy within the nation used to be arrested and brought to the Tower. a couple of weeks later he used to be joined by means of the Archbishop of Canterbury, additionally accused of treason. The trifecta was once narrowly ignored: Finch used to be impeached after a number of of the ship-money judges confessed that he had improperly careworn them to offer judgment for the King, yet he escaped to exile in France. This used to be a heady time for the MPs and their supporters – the excitable ‘trained bands’ of London apprentices, the sober congregations of Puritan tradespeople, and the attorneys on the lodges of courtroom. Parliament stored flexing its muscle tissues: it declared send cash illegal and it ordered the discharge of the Puritan martyrs – Prynne, Burton and Bastwick – whose go back to London from their provincial prisons used to be triumphal: they have been observed by way of 100 coaches and thousand horsemen, and welcomed via a big crowd. It was once no longer lengthy sooner than a voice in Parliament demanded the discharge of John Lilburne. That voice, ‘sharp and untunable’, got here from an unknown MP. His undeniable textile go well with ‘seemed to were made via an unwell state tailor’.