THE KING’S EXECUTION & THE REPUBLIC OF ENGLAND
||In 1649, King Charles 1st was beheaded in Whitehall. The Death Warrant was signed by (amongst others) the Lord President of the High Court of Justice, Judge John Bradshawe who came from Marple, Stockport. Bradshawe then served as the one and only President of the Council of State (English Republic) from March 1649 to April 1653. The monarchy, the House of Lords and the Anglican Church were all abolished. The Great Seal of England was replaced with a new one. Scotland was integrated, Ireland savaged and war declared on the Dutch. His baptism was entered in the Stockport Parish Register on the 10th December 1602. At some later date the word "Traitor" was added in a different hand (left).
After the Restoration of Charles II Bradshawe'sbody, with those of several others, was exhumed from Westminster Abbey by order of the Council of State and on the 30th January 1661, the anniversary of the execution of Charles I, the bodies of Cromwell, Ireton and Bradshawe were hung on the gallows at Tyburn. Their heads were afterwards cut off and set up in Westminster Hall and their bodies burned and thrown into a hole dug under the gallows. It is said that the heads of Cromwell and Bradshawe were still fixed on the spikes of Westminster in 1684, when that of another traitor was placed between them.
In 1651, Charles I’s son, the future Charles II, brought down an army from Scotland. It was routed by Cromwell at Worcester and the remnants straggled back to Scotland, some crossing the Mersey at the Northenden ford. A story still heard in golfing circles tells how 11 Scottish soldiers are buried on the second fairway south-east of Simon's bridge: it is said that the site, formerly marked by a stone, can still be traced by a cross-shaped mound, 'so low that it is almost invisible'.
An early attempt at the restoration of the monarchy, the Cheshire Rising of 1659, was led by Sir George Booth of Dunham Massey. The then constable of Northenden, William Whitelegg, raised four soldiers but had problems in also raising the leys or taxes to pay them. At the restoration in 1660 Robert Tatton was rewarded by Charles II with a silver snuff box. Two odd legacies are the Cromwell Room in the hall, at the top of the original staircase, and a Cromwell Cottage by the church, which dates only from the 18th century.
Edmund Shelmerdine, a local roundhead captain, did not accept the Restoration. He was arrested in 1662 for saying in a Northenden alehouse that '...there never was such great taxes laid upon the country as now there were, and that there would never be peace and quietness till they did as in Germany and that is to rise and cut the throats of all the gentry in England, wherein he said he will be as ready as any man . . .' Shelmerdine had fought hard to overturn the manorial system, but now he saw it re-established nearly as vigorously as before.
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