Trial and execution: defectors and military justice

Andrew Hopper

in Turncoats and Renegadoes

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199575855
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744617 | DOI:
Trial and execution: defectors and military justice

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This chapter examines the manner in which recaptured defectors were tried and executed. It details the tribunals and charges they faced, before turning to their deportment in court and on the scaffold as they sought to fashion an attractive self‐image for posterity. It inserts the experience of the civil‐war side‐changer into the wider historiography of the agency, rhetoric, and purpose surrounding early modern public executions. It examines how the meaning of scaffold speeches, behaviour, and gesture was contested in print. While many side‐changers used the scaffold as an arena to defy the regime and bid to die as royalist heroes, they were thereafter largely written out of royalist martyrologies because of their former parliamentarianism, in favour of more straightforward candidates such as Capel, Lucas, and Lisle.

Keywords: loyalty; allegiance; sacrifice; religion; execution; gesture; speech; law; justice; side‐changing

Chapter.  13921 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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