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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The beheading of King Charles I was the most startling and symbolic act of the English revolution. This chapter considers how public discussion of the idea of regicide developed during the 1640s and how prominent opponents of the king’s execution unwittingly contributed to its ideological foundation. The pivotal role of the New Model Army in bringing Charles to the block is highlighted, but the chapter also engages with recent arguments that neither the army’s public demands nor even the trial itself need have led inexorably to his death, and that there was a vital multiple kingdoms context to the regicide. The chapter concludes by reviewing the structural impact of the abolition of the monarchy and raises the question of whether the process of civil war state-formation had created a non-regal state before the regicide.

Keywords: Charles I, execution, monarchy, New Model Army, regicide, state-formation, trial

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