Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Execution of Charles I

When Charles I lost the throne of England and was executed in 1649, the news reached Virginia.  The staunch royalist, Governor Berkeley quickly proclaimed Charles II as king and the Assembly declared it high treason to question his right to the colony of Virginia. Parliament decided to punish the colony by blockading it until Berkeley delivered a defiant address to the Assembly, which warmly supported Charles II.  Despite England's position against the colony, its blockade proved a failure, for Dutch traders sailed unmolested into Chesapeake Bay. A group of Virginia parliamentarians visited England and demanded that Berkeley be overthrown. The Council of State responded by sending out a fleet to subdue both Barbados and Virginia. Commissioners were also sent to Virginia to persuade the colony to submit peaceably. In the spring of 1652 when the fleet appeared in the James River, it found the governor prepared for resistance. The commissioners intervened, and by offering lenient terms, bloodshed was avoided. It was agreed that the colony should "voluntarily" acknowledge the authority of the Commonwealth, that the Virginians should have as free trade as the people of England, and that taxation was to be in the hands of the House of Burgess. Neither Berkeley nor his councilors were to be compelled to take the oath of allegiance for a year, and the use of the Book of Common Prayer was permitted for a similar length of time. Berkeley retired from the governorship but remained in the colony.

Find your Ancestors on Virginia Pioneers


Memberships has its benefits
Become a Member Click on Bundle and Save

Click on Subscribe

No comments:

Post a Comment