Cromwell (1970) Script

Is that him?



God be with you, Oliver. You too, John.

This is Henry Ireton, a friend.

Good day, sir. Mr. Ireton.

I've been taking a last look at my land.

We had heard you were leaving. We came from London directly.

You could have saved yourself the effort.

If we could discuss it, I'm sure... There is nothing to discuss.

Well, come back to my house. You've got a long journey back.

You must forgive the manner of our table, Mr. Pym.

Our best crockery is packed for the voyage.

Bridget, fetch the bread. Yes, Mother.

We'd hoped to persuade your husband... to change his mind about going to America.

I should have thought you'd know Oliver better than that, Mr. Pym.

It was not an easy decision, John.

This is my country, my land. God has been good to me here.

Then, sir, why are you leaving? I have a family, Mr. Ireton.

I owe it to my sons to make a better life for them.

England is no longer a country for a young man.

I recall you spoke out in Parliament for the rights... and privileges of common people.

That was a long time ago, Mr. Ireton.

I had a vision then.

A great nation.

Prosperous, God-fearing, good laws, strong... respected throughout the world.

That was the England I dreamed of.

Well, sir, you are a squire now, a man of property.

Perhaps you no longer care for the common people.

Perhaps I've been misinformed, sir.

I thought, as a Puritan, you would see it as your God-given duty... to do the Lord's work in this land, regardless of sacrifice.

Mr. Ireton, I was fighting for the liberty of the common people... when you were in knee breeches.

Then why are you leaving?

I am leaving because this country crawls with greed and corruption.

It is governed by profiteers... who think more of their pockets than their principles.

I am leaving because we have a king who taxes the rich beyond its means... and steals land from the poor to maintain... his lavish court and his Catholic wife.

When Parliament objected against these injustices... he closed his Parliament down.

And our man dare not speak his mind for fear of imprisonment.

Oh, yes.

All my life I believed it was God's work to fight against such tyranny.

But God has turned his back upon this nation, and we are leaving it.

And what if Parliament should be recalled, Mr. Cromwell?

And why should a king do that? He needs money, Oliver.

What? To build another palace? No.

To fight a war.

A war, John?

A war against whom?

The Scots have assembled on our border.

They may invade us at any moment.

The king needs money to raise an army.

By the king's own decree, Parliament has not sat these past 12 years.

And now the king needs money. Once Parliament has assembled... it will lie within our power to change... the whole structure of government in this country.

How many times did we sit in Parliament?

How many resolutions did we pass?

And how many times did this king overrule us?

The king can have his war with Scotland.

We will be in America. There will be a war... but it will not be with Scotland. Henry.

With whom, Mr. Ireton? We've argued this matter many times.

I am convinced.

A war against whom, Mr. Ireton? Against the king, sir.

The king?

You mean a civil war? In England?

You know not the ways of this nation. Such things do not happen here.

And, in my opinion, it is long overdue.

I will not have such talk in my house.

It is common enough talk these days, I fear.

Then it is treasonable talk! And I will not have it in my house!

I mark the time when you were against the king.

There is much in this king that offends me.

Yet I would not take up arms against him, and I'd oppose any move to do so.

In such a cause, our swords will be in God's hands.

Every man who wages war believes God is on his side.

I warrant God should often wonder who is on his. Good evening, sir.

If I gave you offense, I beg your pardon.

You're a young man. It's fitting a young man should want to change the world.

Not the world, sir. Only England.

With a civil war.

Good evening, Mrs. Cromwell. Good evening.

I'll get your cloak, Mr. Ireton.

I hope you'll forgive him.

Goodbye, John.

God be with you, Oliver.

You've no right to do this. Leave them animals be.

This is the common land.

Any man who raises a hand against the king's men will be arrested.

You have no right to do this. This land is ours.

Now it's the earl of Manchester's. By whose authority?

By the authority of the king. Then I say the king is a thief!

You're under arrest. Take him away!


Release that man!

Who are you? This man works for me.

I will take full responsibility.

He's spoken treason against the king. Will you take responsibility for that?

The rights to pasture belong to the common people.

By what authority do you take it away?

By the authority of His Majesty's commissioners... granting me full rights to this land for the purpose of improvement.

Such a contract cannot be legal. It is in violation of the law of this land.

As a magistrate, you should know the king is the law of this land.

On the contrary, Lord Manchester. It is the king's duty to maintain the law.

This is common land. It belongs to the people.

This is my land and you are trespassing.

It's only out of respect for your rank I don't have you arrested.

Captain Lundsford! See that no unauthorized person enters this area.

Yes, my lord. Remove these people.

Good morrow to you, squire. Good morrow, Mrs. Cromwell.

Have you news of my husband? It's in God's hands, Mrs. Carter.

And in the king's. Aye.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, look down upon this thy house and we, thy humble servants.

Grant us the spirit of thy grace through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Who has done this?

Answer me. Who has done this? An edict, squire... from the archbishop himself and by order of the king.

By order of the king.

Is the Church of England not a Protestant church?

Would the king turn the house of God into a Roman temple?

Mr. Cromwell, I beseech you. Does the king think that God... can be bought with gold, trinkets and gilded rubbish?

I know only that I have been instructed.

Has this king forgotten the Reformation?

Mr. Cromwell... Away with it.

Popish idolatry!

Did the Lord not say unto Moses:.

"Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image..."

Nor bow down to them"?

Has this king forgotten the Spanish inquisition?

Is the Roman Catholic Church to have a seat in Westminster?

Oh, my God.

My God. Oh, my God!

Goddamn this king.

King's guard, attention!

Here we are, my lord.

That'll do, damn it. I'm not a damned cripple.

Me sticks, where are me sticks? Come over here, boy.

Here they are, my lord. Give me the damned things.

And who the devil are you? Edward Hyde.

Let's in to His Majesty. Where is he?

He's at prayers, my lord. Aye.

He might do well to pray and all. We're gonna need some help.

First the Irish and now the Scots.

You doesn't turn your back on either of them.

Let us give thanks to God, that he has seen fit to bless this table... with the fruits of his bounty. In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, amen.

I did remark with some distress... that His Highness, Prince Charles, was absent from prayers this morning.

He was with me, my lord.

He did pray with you? In your chapel?

Yes, my lord. I am most displeased.

It is not fitting that a future king... should make his devotions in a Catholic chapel.

Your private beliefs are respected. But this is a Protestant country... and as head of church and state it is my duty to see that it so remains.

His Highness found the whole business so boring, my lord, that he fell asleep.

Didn't you, Charles? Yes, madam.

I believe you will find your church as solid as ever, my lord.

Nevertheless, you will kindly see that it does not happen again.

Yes, my lord.

Your Majesty? The earl of Strafford awaits your pleasure.

My good Lord Strafford, welcome back to England.

Thank you, my lord.

Your Majesty. Your Royal Highness.

Most noble sovereign.

A chair for his lordship. Thank you, my lord.

I'm sorry to see you in pain.

It is the agues from the bogs of ireland, my lord. Godforsaken place.

Saving your presence, my lord bishop.

We would not have summoned you had the situation... not been of great urgency.

You've heard that the Scottish rebels are marching on Newcastle?

You will whip these barbarians to their senses.

But what of ireland, my lord? We'll deal with ireland in good time.

You'll march an army on Scotland. Army. What army?

Most of your army lies rotting beneath the bogs of ireland.

And what's left of it is hard-pressed to keep law and order.

Then we will raise a second army.

I fear Your Majesty may find that easier said than done.

What? I guarantee I could raise 3000 men under arms inside a month!

But could you guarantee their loyalty?

Is there an Englishman who wouldn't draw a sword... against his king's enemies? Many Englishmen... who would more readily draw swords against the king.

My God, who is this jackanapes that mouths such treason in your presence?

You've been away a long time, Strafford.

Much here has changed.

Aye, I can see it has.

I fear Sir Edward but speaks the truth.

To put an effective army in the field will cost almost a million pounds.

The Crown does not have a million pounds.

Are we just going to sit here then and do nothing?

Then I will summon Parliament and instruct them to provide money.


The king of England go cap in hand to the common people, like a...

A beggar. Aye! A beggar.

I have no choice. I say take the money.

You, my lord, are absolved before God and before man from any such action.

For in extreme necessity, the king is acquitted from all rule of government... and can do all that his power permits.

Power? Where is the power of a king without an army?

I'll warrant you, I'll raise an army.

We'll reduce this kingdom to submission in one summer!

Do you mean, sir, that I should declare war on my own people?


Before they declare war on you.

Well, sons. There it is.

Parliament House.

Upon that place rests all the hopes of this nation... for a settlement of its ills in peace.

Do you think it could come to war, Father?

Well, Oliver, when men run out of words... they reach for their swords.

Let's hope we can keep them talking.

The king demands money to raise an army.

This House demands redress for grievances.

Grievances which the past 12 years have laid heavy upon the nation.

Might I be heard? I say this House is resolved that we'll vote...

Welcome back to Parliament.

No money for the king!

Order! Order!

Neither will we take up arms against our Scottish brethren, unless...

Unless this Parliament is allowed to function... as the true voice of the people of England.

And not as a gathering of lackeys to the king.

Sir Edward Hyde, Your Majesty.

Well, Sir Edward? Your Majesty.

I believe the House will grant a loan to the Crown.

But only on certain conditions.

Conditions? What do you mean, conditions?

What are these conditions, Sir Edward?

In essence, sire... that the Crown relinquishes all authority over Parliament.

And who put forward this proposal?

John Pym, Henry Ireton, John Hampden.

The Puritans.

They were well supported, my lord. And they call themselves Englishmen?

My God, it's enough to make a man deny his birthright.

Yet, withal, they still be Englishmen.

They make a mockery of the Crown!

They abuse the privilege of free speech with sedition and treason.

You're too loud, Lord Strafford. It is most unpleasant to the ear.

So it has come to this, my lord.

That you now bargain for your crown. What would you have me do?

Arrest every man who opposes me? Hang them?

Would you rather make a gift of the Crown of England... to the rabble in the street?

It lies beyond my power to arrest a citizen without proper charges.

Charges are immaterial.

Such an act would subvert the fundamental laws of this land, madam.

Such an act might save the Crown of England, my lord.

I've governed this country justly and fairly these 12 years... without reference to any Parliament.

You may be assured, I do not intend now to be schooled in my high office... by illiterate farm hands, cobblers... and basket weavers.

My Lord Strafford, you will rid us of these troublemakers:.

Pym, Ireton, all of them.

I'll arrest every one of them, my lord. As you will.

I shall need a warrant. That is imperative.

And what will the charges be, my lord?

You're an experienced officer of the Crown, Strafford.

You do not need to be instructed by me.

Mr. Speaker.

May I have permission to address the House?

By all means, sir. Gentlemen.

A matter has come to my notice, which is of deep concern to me... and will, I am sure, be to every single member of this House.

The earl of Strafford has, this day, put his hand to a warrant... for the arrest and impeachment of myself... and four other honorable members of this House.

Upon a charge of high treason.

Though Strafford's hand be upon this warrant...

I see in this business, not the hand of Strafford, but that of the king.

My lord!

I beseech you, do not condemn this king too hastily.

For I am persuaded he has been ill-advised upon this course.

Is not a king to be judged by those from whom he seeks counsel?

He is not!

It is not the function of this House to sit in judgement upon this king.

The fault lies with those people from whom the king has sought counsel.

I therefore move that this House demands... the arrest and impeachment of the earl of Strafford... upon a charge of high treason against the people of this nation.

Silence! Order!

The motion has been proposed. Let it be put now to the question.

Is the motion agreed? No!

In favor of the motion?

Aye! Aye! Aye!

The ayes have it.

I think my Lord Strafford's condition... will soon be far happier than mine.

Do you see, madam?

Do you see now what you've made me do?

Gentlemen, His Majesty.

Pray be seated.

Your coming is nothing if not timely.

My Lord Strafford's head has but barely fallen.

Gentlemen, it is for you to speak.

Your Majesty, you see here the leaders of all parties of the House.

And though we be divided on many issues, we are of one accord.

In that we place above all else, our allegiance and loyalty... to our most gracious sovereign.

For which reason we are deeply anxious... for a settlement of our differences.

I share your sentiment, Sir Edward.

The issue be this, my lord.

Parliament is persuaded that without the right to govern this nation... by the will of the people and with God's guidance... we be not a Parliament at all.

And that unless some constitutional reformation be brought about... we would as well go back to our homes and our farms as pursue this... mockery of a government one more day.

In short, Mr. Pym, you're asking me... to relinquish my sovereign power over Parliament.

It does amount to that, Your Majesty.

I swear that I hold this England and its laws... dearer to my heart than any here.

But gentlemen, if you were to reduce me to a figurehead, a puppet king... manipulated by Parliament, how then would I serve my country?

What manner of king would I be?

I am persuaded, Your Majesty... that England must move forward to a more enlightened form of government... based upon a true representation of a free people.

Such an institution is known as democracy, sir.

Democracy, Mr...? Cromwell, sir.

Democracy, Mr. Cromwell, was a Greek drollery... based on the foolish notion that there are extraordinary possibilities... in very ordinary people.

It is the ordinary people who would most readily lay down their lives... in defense of your realm.

It is simply that being ordinary... they would prefer to be asked and not told.

You know, as I do, that the Scots rebels are invading this land and not an...

English sword is raised against them. I beg you, therefore, let us bury... our differences in defense of both our church and kingdom.

The Scots invade our land and all is urgency and alarm.

In the past 12 months our Irish colonists have been slaughtered... our churches desecrated, our clergy persecuted.

The Crown has been reluctant... to defend our church and kingdom over there, sir.

By my guard, I would as soon take up arms against Rome... than against the Scots.

Would you have me declare war... on the entire Catholic world, Mr. Cromwell?

It is your duty to defend our church, sir.

We are speaking now of a matter of international policy.

Is Your Majesty sure that it's not a matter of domestic expediency?

I would remind you that you are addressing your king.

Mr. Cromwell, you are impertinent.

Such issues are beyond good manners, sir.

Catholicism is more than a religion, it is a political power.

Therefore, I am led to believe there will be no peace in ireland... until the Catholic Church is crushed.

Your Majesty.

These gentlemen are from the Parliament.

Your Majesty, Parliament has drawn up this document... in which are set out our main grievances.

It is our belief that the demands made here... are only those that are just and lawful... and in the best interests of both crown and kingdom.

I shall examine these proposals most carefully, Mr. Pym.


It is not too late, my lord.

You have the power still.

And with God's help, the strength to use that power.

Oh, my dearest Charles.

I married you as a king and as a man.

I beseech you, do not disappoint me in either aspect.

"This House has time and again... expressed its wholehearted loyalty to the Crown.

Yet... doth Parliament await in vain for a gesture..."

The king is coming to arrest you, John Hampden, Henry Ireton...

Sir Arthur Haselrig and Oliver Cromwell for high treason.

I suggest you leave.

"That if the issues that divide the king from his country... be not soon resolved, then these issues may soon divide the nation."

The king is coming with a warrant for our arrest.

What? We must leave at once.

Oliver, your name is on it.


My lords! My lords!

Gentlemen! The king comes. He comes with 100 men-at-arms.

The doors! The doors! Bolt the doors!

Stand aside, gentlemen, if you please. Halt!

Open in the name of the king!

Mr. Speaker.

Gentlemen, you must pardon this infringement of your privilege... but I will not detain you long.

Mr. Speaker, I must make bold with your chair.

I have here a warrant for the arrest of five members of this House.

John Pym, Henry Ireton, John Hampden...

Oliver Cromwell and Sir Arthur Haselrig... upon a charge of treason.

I see that the birds have flown.

Mr. Speaker, where are these gentlemen?

May it please Your Majesty...

I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak... except as this House gives me leave.

Well, sir, I have eyes. I see that one of them is here.


Take him!

Any action against a member of this House is a breach of privilege.

I move this House declares as public enemies... any who lay hands upon its members.

And I further move...

I move that action against this House... be considered a crime against the people.

And treason against this nation.

So be it.

Mr. Speaker, you will inform the members of this House... that their presence is no longer required by the nation.

This Parliament is, by my authority, terminated. Dissolved.

Your Majesty!

Are you aware that by your action in this House... you may have pushed this nation to the brink of civil war?

Now do we see... in what contempt this king holds this House and this nation.

It be either your king or your Parliament.

Honorable members, the decision is yours.

But I beseech you, in the name of God, think well on it.



I move that this House demand the control of the militia.

And that this country be put in an immediate posture of defense.

Mr. Speaker.

My lords.

Honorable members. This nation is now in a state of civil war.

And let us pray that God in his mercy will give us strength... in this terrible and most unhappy hour.

Morning, William.

Give you good day. Why the coffin?

If it be God's will I die, I would have a decent Christian burial.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, William. I need you at the farm.

Hello, Father. Morning.

Where's your sword, Richard? I have no sword.

You must get one and wear it. It's a mark of rank, captain.

Yes. God bless thee!

Hallelujah, hallelujah, brethren. It is the Lord's work we do this day!

The Lord's work... This is no place for you, Hugh... though you be welcome. I've consulted God on this matter.

I asked him, "Lord, whose side are you on?"

And he answered me, saying, "On the side of truth and justice."

So here I am.

Company, forward!

Lift up your heads ye gates of brass Ye bars of iron yield And let the king of glory Pass the crosses in the field That banner brighter Than the star that leaves a trail of light

Greetings, Uncle.

'Tis a fair day for a fight. Where be the enemy?

My lords, I present my nephew.

His Highness, Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine.

My lords, I give you greetings. Your Highness.

And good Cousin Charles, most noble Prince of Wales.

How fare you, young sir? I'm well, thank you, cousin.

So, let us to action. For I do swear by this sword... within a week we'll have severed every round head from its shoulders!

Well said, Your Highness. Let the standard be raised.

Get those guns moving!

Thou shalt proclaim his life Though granted...



Where the devil are we? Edgehill, my lord, over there.

Morning, Robert. Morning, Edward.

Damn me, they've got a lot of fellows there.

Where's Cromwell? Approaching now, my lord.

Morning, Cromwell. Morning, my lord.

Your men fit, colonel? My men are ready, my lord.

You seem eager to get into this business, Cromwell.

We all enter this reluctantly, but the die is cast.

Is that not so, Lord Essex? You are right.

Well, to your position. Let no man move except upon my signal.

May God look kindly upon us this day. Amen to that.

Missed my breakfast. Damned tricky things, stomachs.

God be with you, men. God bless you.

God be with you. Take care of yourself, William.

The Lord'll take care of me. Have faith, John.

I have, squire. Come on, lads. Look to your muskets.

Have your muskets at the ready. Come on, now.

Father. May God take care of you, Richard.

And be with you, Oliver. And with you too, Father.

"O Lord, defend our cause against the face of the enemy.

Save us from the violence of the enemy. O Lord of hope... fight for us that we may glorify thee."

O Lord, God of mercy.

Put thy strength in our hands this day.

Give not the battle to the strong, but to the righteous.

And be thou, O merciful God, our saviour and mighty deliverer.

Defend me from them that rise up against me.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Amen. Amen.

Father, look. It's Lord Essex.

Come, cousin.

Let's take a good look at these Roundheads. Your Majesty.

God's teeth, have we not parleyed enough these past months?

Well, Essex, are you prepared? We are. Shall we begin at 10?

Make it 9, my lord. I'm positively starving.

Then in God's name, let's to it.

It's agreed then, 9:.00. And by my faith, which I have not...

I swear that within the hour, this field will be strewn with English dead.

If this be so, they will have been killed by Englishmen.

For we have not seen fit to import foreign mercenaries into our ranks.

I will mark you well for that insult, sir. Be on your guard!

Colors to the rear!

Colors to the rear!

The Lord is our strength. Praise the Lord!

What in the name of God are we waiting for?


I thought we came here to do battle. We're waiting for the appointed time.

The appointed time?

Colonel Hampden, commence firing! Fire!

What the devil is that fool doing?

Artillery, commence firing!


O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day.

If I forget thee, do not thou forget me.



You'd better send Fairfax in.

Bugler, sound the charge.

Troop at the gallop.


Signal Astley to advance. Bugler, sound the advance.

The sport begins.


Troops rear left. At a gallop, charge!

Give fire!




Advance pike!

Charge pike!

Fire! Second rank forward!

At the gallop!

It's getting too damned close for my liking.

Sound general retreat. Sound general retreat.

Why in the name of Christ did you sound the retreat?

You've countermined my orders once today. You'll do as you're told, sir.

Hold your ground, in the name of God!

Hold your ground!

Well, Uncle, did you ever see a quarry so swiftly put to flight?

The king will forever keep this field and this day's service... in grateful remembrance.

Come nightfall, we shall bury our dead.

And then, by God, we shall bury this army.

With pitiful men in our ranks, it were better this war were never fought.

Not a drop of English blood soiled this land.

It's a bad officer who blames his men, Cromwell.

I blame them not, my lord, for they are simple men.

But what match are farmer's boys against gentlemen's sons?

The battle is not yet lost, Cromwell.

This battle were lost before it began.

And in like manner, so will this war.

In the morning, I'm returning to Cambridge.

If you desert the field, I'll have you arrested.

This war will not be won with untrained ploughmen... apprentices, old, decaying serving men.

We need men with fire in their bowels who fear the Lord, but not the enemy!

As God is my witness, I am resolved that this battle will be won.

Therefore, it's my intention to return to Cambridge... and handpick an army... the like of which this nation has never seen!

With or without your permission, my Lord Manchester.

Bristol will not be permitted to fall. It's our only seaport in the west.

If General Goring's incapable of holding it...

I'll dispatch someone who can.

I've a mind to see Bristol, my lord. 'Tis a fair city, I hear.

Then I place Bristol in your command, nephew. Should our forces...

Your Majesty. Yes?

News of Cromwell's army, Your Majesty.

Come forward. At last, Old Ironsides ventures forth.

Well, speak, man. They're six miles away, Your Majesty.

Just south of Naseby.

By my reckoning, there be about 1000 horse and 2000 afoot.

And what news of Manchester's army? I saw no other army, Your Majesty.

Was not Cromwell to join Manchester's forces at Naseby?

That was our intelligence. Manchester's still in Lincoln.

So Cromwell comes with his army of 3000 to our 7000.

By your leave, Uncle. Your Highness. General Astley, sound the alert.

I want every man in full battle order at once.

By God, we have him!


Where in the name of Christ is he?

Know you not we are at war?

In God's name I do swear we fight this war single-handed.


What bloody treachery is this?

We came to meet Manchester and instead we find the king's army.

Well, I shall take on the king.

And after that if needs must, I'll take on Manchester as well!

Before you stands the enemy, his three to every one of us.

And where, in God's name, is Manchester?

My Lord Manchester will rue the day he has not joined us here.

And now to your positions.

These tactics we have practiced these past six months... now let us put them to the test.

For upon this field of Naseby, we'll turn the tide of this unhappy war.

God be with you all.

Is this wise, Oliver? We're heavily outnumbered.

Was not Gideon outnumbered by the Amalekites?

It is not numbers that count, but speed and surprise.

Let no man move, except upon the word of his commander!

Though we be outnumbered, we shall win this battle!

I promise you!

So now put your faith in God and keep your powder dry.


Attack order. Double line abreast.

Forward. Forward!

The man must be mad.

Prepare to attack.

Prepare to attack!

Our swords are in God's hand.

And our faith is in the Lord.





Regroup! Regroup!

After them!


To the rear!


Come on, lads!

At the gallop!

Your Majesty, may I suggest that we withdraw?


Who goes there?

Captain Cromwell, 3rd Cavalry.


Thanks be to God.

Where is Oliver?

The outrageous incompetence and inefficiency... of the high command have tried my patience... and that of my hard-pressed army long enough.

By my faith, I swear it would be better that those gallant generals...

Essex and Manchester, took up swords with the king.

For then might we be assured of victory.

For by their reluctance to pursue this war with the intensity it demands... they have proved treacherous both to our cause and to this nation.

Hear, hear.

If we beat the king 99 times... he will still be our king and we his subjects.

If he beats us but once, we shall all be hanged.

If that is so, then why in the bowels of Christ... did we take up arms against him in the first place?


honest men have served us faithfully... and many have died... that this House may sit in freedom and this nation live in liberty.

In the name of God, I beseech you... do not desert them now.

Unless Parliament supports this war to the full...

I am bound to say, in all conscience, that I will lay down my sword... and let this House make its peace with the king... be that peace ever so base.

Then, it is for this House to decide.

I move that this House demands... the immediate resignation of the high command... on the grounds that they be no longer competent... to command the armed forces of this Parliament.

Order. Order. Order!

The motion has been proposed. Let it now be put to question.

Those against Cromwell's motion. No!

Those in favor of the motion. Aye!

The ayes have it. The motion be carried.

I move...

I move that Colonel Cromwell be appointed... commander in chief of the army.


Bristol. We must dispatch aid to Bristol with all possible speed... for as long as Rupert holds Bristol, this war be not lost.

General Digby, if you can detach your forces in this area... and approach Bristol from the east...

To do that, my lord, would be to expose this city to immediate attack.

Then we move the Marquis of Huntly's army south.

The marquis, my lord, surrendered to Cromwell's forces yesterday.

Cromwell. I hear nothing but Cromwell, Cromwell.

My lord, it is but a game we play here... a game with wooden armies and paper flags.

'Tis but a block of wood you hold in your hand.

My lords, all I ask for is a little time. Time, my lord, costs us heavily.

If we can hold on here in Oxford for six weeks... the Scots have promised an army of 20,000 men.

Her Majesty is in communication with my cousin, the king of France... and I have good reason to hope for support from ireland.

An army from ireland, Your Majesty?

I would as soon join forces with Cromwell himself... as take up arms with the Catholics!

I am the king and defender of my people... and I maintain the right to seek relief from no matter what quarter.

As king, it is your duty to defend the faith of this nation.

I do what I think to be right.

Catholics as allies! It is unthinkable!

My God, if it has come to this... let us rather sue for an honorable peace than fight a dishonorable war.

I will not countenance defeat.

Rather than abandon my kingdom to Parliament...

I would come to terms with the devil himself.

Since you came to the throne, Your Majesty... your armies have persistently persecuted our Church in ireland.

And yet, now that your need is great, you turn to us for help.

The king's actions in ireland, Your Excellency... will seem as nothing should these Puritans come to power.

It is not only the Crown of England that is in peril, Excellency... all institutions of established order... throughout the countries of Europe are threatened.

An Irish army of 20,000 men, even 15,000... would forestall such a threat... and bring this wretched war to a speedy end.

I am instructed to say that His Holiness... would permit an Irish force to take up arms in this country.

But there are certain conditions.

First, the Catholic Church in ireland must be completely restored... and permitted to practice freely without interference or oppression.

Secondly, all Protestant churches in ireland must be closed... and all Protestant bishops and ministers removed from office.

Oh, there are one or two other minor conditions of little consequence.

What you demand, Excellency, would be a betrayal... of my coronation oath as head of the English Church.

You have a duty, Charles, to the Crown.

For without that, you will be head of nothing!

May I tell His Holiness that you will agree to these conditions?

You have something to say, Sir Edward?

His Highness Prince Rupert attends in the council chamber.

Rupert? Here in Oxford? Yes, my lord.

I fear Bristol has fallen.

Your Excellency will excuse me. Your Majesty.

My lords, His Majesty.

Do you not rise, sir, when your king approaches?

Rise, sir! Or to your knees in shame.

You did give me your most solemn promise... that you would hold Bristol for four months.

You have not held it for four weeks!

You promised mountains, yet you perform molehills.

You make a knave of your king.

My lord... we were besieged on all sides.

Our men were foot-weary from battle, ailing with plague and sickness.

Yet you contrived to escape with your life.

I have brought you an army, my lord.

An army 2000 strong, ready and willing to fight on for their king!

In exchange for all the corn and stores you held in Bristol and 200 cannon.

That was the price of your freedom. I did what I considered to be right!

You deserted your command, sir.

I made a military decision.

A decision that may have cost us this war.

Your action in this matter is of such affliction to me, sir... that it is the greatest trial that has yet befallen me.

My conclusion is... to desire you to seek subsistence elsewhere, not in my kingdom.

Most gracious lord...

I do not crave forgiveness, for by all I hold most dear...

I do solemnly swear that I acted in good faith!

The matter is at an end. I will hear no more.

My lord!

My lord, I beseech you.

In God's name, allow that I may die with honor. Condemn me not to live.

Captain Lundsford.

Do not put upon these shoulders the terrible shame of exile and dishonor.

I beg you, take my life, most noble lord.

Good Uncle... for pity's sake!

His Highness is to be kept under close guard... until such time as he is deported.

Very well, Your Majesty.

Father, Mother says I'm to go with her tonight to France.

Is that your wish, Father? Yes.

My duty is to stay here with you and fight beside you.

Your place now is at your mother's side, Charles.

You will help her raise money, perhaps an army.

Should I meet death, and you are safely in France... then England will still have, in you, a lawful king.

You will go with your mother.

I love this land... and when this great responsibility becomes yours... then I pray that with God's help... you will reign more happily than I have done.

Now go, with God's speed and your father's blessing.

Oh, Charles.

I love you.

Your Majesty, it is my most solemn duty to place you under arrest.

By whose command, sir? By the command of Parliament, sir.

I know of no authority in England above that of the king.

It is upon that issue that this war was fought.

Whither am I to be taken? To London, sir.

You must grant me a little time to... We leave for London at once.

And my children, what of them? We will take care of your children.

His Majesty will have all the time he requires.

As for your children, sir, you may take them with you.

I thank you, sir.

Him serve with fear His praise foretell Come ye before him And rejoice The Lord ye know Is God indeed Without our aid He did us make We are his flock General, John Pym is dead.

And for his sheep He doth us take

When did it happen? This morning.

What is it? John Pym is dead.

Parliament is discussing peace terms with the king.

Does the army have no say in this?

The army has been ordered to disband.

In God's name, did we fight this war... that the politicians should take over behind our backs?!

If Parliament has decided the army will disband... then the army will disband.

I say we march on Parliament. The sword will not rule this land.

We fought to institute a parliamentary system... and overthrow the very tyranny which you now propose.

And who is talking to the king? Parliament?

I doubt it. I warrant I know who is doing all the talking.

I have these past three days been in consultation with His Majesty the king.

And I am pleased to inform the House... that the king is now prepared to discuss peace terms... provided that the army stand down.

I have given this House's assurance that his wishes will be complied with.

Further, in recognition of the very great debt... this House owes its commander, General Cromwell... it is proposed to award him a pension of 3000 pounds a year... together with certain estates in the county of Cambridge.

It is further proposed that the sum of 2000 pounds...

Such low treachery is not worthy even of you, my Lord Manchester.

Am I to believe my ears?

Did this nation win a bloody civil war... in order the king should dictate the terms of peace?

I have discussed the matter at great length with His Majesty...

You have discussed it? It is a matter for this House to discuss.

Hear, hear!

The king will not come to terms, sir, until the army stand down.

Hear, hear.

And the army will not stand down until the king comes to terms.

So if the king will not talk to this House... then let the king talk to the army.

Out of the question. The king would never agree.

Parliament is behind us, sir, and on this occasion, we have the majority.

Sir Thomas Fairfax.

He's bringing in the army! Order! Order!

Order, I say!

Order! Silence!




I believe, my Lord Manchester, that now I have the majority.

This is dictatorship. It will mean a new civil war.


Honorable members...

I swear before my God that you give me no alternative.

When those liberties for which this army and this nation... have fought so hard are most solemnly guaranteed... then this army will stand down.

And upon that, you have my most sacred promise.

And who have we here? It is I, my lord.

You were supposed to have run, not let me catch you.

I'm afraid I'm getting a little too old for such games, my lord.

Cromwell is here to see you.

You must play on your own now, children.

Your father has other games to play.

Prince Henry, you will be good enough to give me back my hat.


Gentlemen, His Majesty.

We came to present our terms, my lord.

If Your Majesty will be so kind as to study these proposals.

Has Parliament approved this treaty? Parliament no longer truly... represents the people of this nation, Sir Edward.

And you, Mr. Cromwell... do you truly represent the people of this nation?

I represent the army, sir... and the army is the heart and conscience of the people.

So having failed to come to terms with Parliament... you would now negotiate with the king.

I am not bound to negotiate with anyone.

With 50,000 men under my command...

I could impose a government on this nation overnight.

One is given to wondering, Mr. Cromwell, why you do not do that.

I am convinced, my lord, it be the duty of Parliament... to frame a constitutional government, and not the army.

Then I do not see that you have any need of me at all.

On the contrary, sir.

An England without a king is unthinkable.

But withal, a king that can command respect... a monarch who governs, not from fear... but by the affection of a free people.

Such a king could reunite this great nation of ours... and make the name of England the noblest in all Christendom.

Should you adorn that inheritance, my lord... all Englishmen would be proud to call you king.

Mr. Cromwell, I do confess that I did greatly misjudge you... for I did mark you as an ambitious man.

To these ends, my lord, I am ambitious.

Then you have my respect, sir.

Thank you, my lord.

We shall return in the morning, sir.

I shall require a little longer to study... this document. Perhaps a week.

As Your Majesty pleases.

I sincerely hope that our future relations may be equally amiable, sir.

That is my hope also, my lord.

A cunning fellow.

I believe him to be a sincere man. Indeed.

If these proposals be acceptable... there never was a crown so nearly lost, so easily recovered.

Whatever these proposals may be, Sir Edward... they are not acceptable to the king.

Cromwell has betrayed us! Aye!

We have given our blood and our lives in this war to put down this king!

If Cromwell comes to terms with him now... what price our freedom then?

Get back, will you?!

I have served General Cromwell faithfully all my life... and I reckoned him to be a man who feared God and did honor his word!

But in this business he has shown himself to be a man of no honor!


We fought this war to remove this king... not to put him back on the throne!

Aye! I say, let us march on London... let us take Parliament... and then let the king try to negotiate with us!

Make way for Cromwell.

Traitors! Mutineers!

I don't have to tell you, any of you, you could all be hanged for this.

We are not serfs, general, nor mercenaries.

We fought for the Lord in our cause, and now we have a right to speak.

You have no rights to preach revolt and mutiny.

As for you, John Carter, I did expect a greater degree of loyalty from you.

I am still loyal to what I fought for. Can the same be said of you?

I have not betrayed my God, country, Parliament or my conscience.

Where was your conscience this day, when you parleyed with the king?

I tell you, all of you...

I do most honestly believe that we have taught this king a lesson.

And he will prove most honorable. Upon that I would stake my life.

Traitor! Traitor!

This is a military camp, sir, not a debating chamber.

Under military law, any man inciting mutiny can be hanged.

Colonel Harrison? General.

These three men will draw lots. One of them will be hanged.

Captain Lancing, get a length of rope. Yes, sir.

You, man, pick up some straws. Yes, sir

General, there is a Sir Edward Hyde to see you.

Sir Edward, has the king considered our terms?

The king, sir, has not even read your terms.

Nor, will I venture, has he any intention of so doing.

He has drawn up a secret treaty with Manchester and Essex... to raise a Scottish army against the Parliamentary forces.

He has already consented to a Catholic army from ireland.

While you negotiate a settlement with him... he is planning a second civil war.

I do confess that I have these many years given my allegiance to a man... not worthy of the title, king of England.

Colonel Harrison!

I will have this king's head... aye, and the crown upon it.

This obstinate king, this man of blood... whose heart God has hardened, can no longer be trusted... for in prodigious treason, he has revealed himself to be a traitor.

A man of no honor.

A man unfitted to bear the title, king of England.

Hear, hear.

I demand, therefore, in the name of the army... and the people of this nation that Charles I, king of England... be brought hence to stand trial for his life on a charge of treason.

Oyez, oyez, oyez.

All manner of persons... having anything to do with this court... come forward and give your attendance.

Every man to keep silence upon pain of imprisonment.

God save the king.

Let the prisoner be brought in.

The clerk of arraigns will read the charges.

Charles Stuart, king of England... you stand before this court charged with high treason.

In that being admitted king of England, and therein trusted with power... to govern according to the laws, you did out of wickedness and design... erect and uphold in yourself an unlimited and tyrannical power.

To rule at your will and overthrow the rights and liberties of the people.

And that you did traitorously and maliciously levy a cruel war... against Parliament and the people.

And are therefore guilty of all the treasons, rapings, burnings, spoils... desolations, damages and mischiefs to the nation committed in the said war.

Thus, on behalf of the people of England... this court impeaches you as a tyrant... traitor, murderer and public enemy to the Commonwealth of England.

God save the king!


Sir, you have heard the charges against you.

The court expects an answer.

First, I would know by what authority, I mean lawful authority...

I am brought here and carried from place to place, and I know not what.

And by what authority you presume to sit in judgement on me.

Remember, I am your lawful king.

Think well upon it.

I have a trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent.

Therefore, let me know by what authority I am brought here... and I shall answer.

It is not for the prisoner to question the court.

I am no ordinary prisoner, sir.

An answer, sir, the court demands an answer.

Then I refuse an answer.

Sir, you are before a court of justice.

Well, sir...

I see that I am before a power.

The court will keep silent.

Mr. Solicitor General, are your witnesses prepared?

They are, my lord. Then let them be brought forth.

Call Sir Edward Hyde.

And you saw the king and his wife alone in their chambers... with this Catholic Archbishop Rinuccini?

I did.

And what did you assume was the purpose of this meeting?

You are obliged to answer, Sir Edward. To raise an irish army, my lord.

To fight against the Parliamentary forces?

And at this time, was the king in communication... with any other foreign power?

Yes. Yes, with the king of France and with the Dutch.

For the same purpose? Yes.

To raise a foreign army to invade this country... and to perpetuate the war against the people of this kingdom.

Sir Edward?


To the block with him!

Sir, throughout the three days of this hearing... this court has patiently awaited your pleasure... to hear what you have to say in answer to charges against you.

Yet you have declined to speak.

I am most willing, sir, to answer before Parliament... but not before this assembly... whose authority I refuse to acknowledge.

Sir, what answers you may offer the commons can be given here.

For this court does sit in the name of the House of Commons.

Sir, if, as you have said, you do love the liberty of the subject... you will grant me, your king, a hearing before Parliament... which is the lords and commons assembled.

Sir, I submit you seek only to delay the course of justice.

By your favor, sir, I seek only those rights... which, as your king, I would grant any one of my subjects.


Sir, this court requires to know if you have anything to say... before judgement is passed upon you.

I have nothing to say to you.

Then this court will retire to judgement.

What ails thee? Art thou mad?

Have we come thus far that you would betray us now?

There is nothing in the Constitution of this land that entitles us... to bring a king to trial. Is he answerable to his subjects?

The trial is clearly illegal, and I... Is not he answerable to his subjects?

The king, sir, is answerable only to God.

When he dies, he shall have much to answer for.

We have gone too far. This commission has no authority...

Our authority lies with the Parliament. Parliament is the law in this land.

If the charges against this king be not proven... what terrible retribution may he not bring down upon our heads?

In the name of God!

What are we all? Men?

Cowering and quivering like downtrodden serfs.

The king is not England, and England is not the king!

It is not the survival of the king that is at issue here.

It is the survival of England.

And this king, by his dishonesties, by his treasons... and by his secret treaties with foreign powers... has shown himself to be ill-fitted to govern this great nation!

As God is my witness, Oliver, I desire not the king's death... but the settlement of this nation in peace.

Do you think I don't desire that? Go back to my farm and my family?

Very well. Go again to this king.

Offer him once more our terms.

Though God knows, he should be well acquainted with them by now.

Tell him he may sit upon his throne... but that this country will be governed by Parliament... and Parliament will be elected by the people.

Now, Sir Thomas, if you can achieve this, where we have failed... this trial will end.

Here is a warrant demanding the king's death... upon the charge of high treason against this nation.

It will require all your signatures. Sir Thomas.

I have come thus far with you, Oliver, in our great cause... but I will not sign this warrant.

Oliver, I cannot. He is the king. Guilty or not?

Is he guilty? Yes.

Sign it.

Charles Stuart, king of England... you have been found guilty of high treason... against the good people of this nation... represented in Parliament by whose authority... this court sits in judgement upon you.

Upon this charge it is the sentence of this court... that you be taken hence to an...

Appointed place.

And put to death by the severing of the head from the body.

And that is the sentence of the whole court.

Remove the prisoner. Silence.

Will you hear me a word, sir? No, sir.

You're not to be heard after sentence. By your favor, sir.

I know as much law as any man here. I have the right to be heard.

No, sir. Guard! Remove your prisoner!

I demand to be heard! I am your lawful king!

Blood for the traitor!

General. Sir Thomas.

I have been this past night to the commissioners.

They have instructed me to lay before you... this warrant for 40,000 pounds... in return for the king's life.

How little you know me. That you think you can buy my principles.

You insult me with that cheap bribe.

Will you not think on it?

I have thought on it. And well.

By my God, I have thought on it.

"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall."

And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet robe.

And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head.

They bowed before him and mocked him...

"saying, 'Hail, king of the Jews!' and they spit..."

Your Majesty. Is it time?

No, Your Majesty. Her Royal Highness, the Princess Elizabeth... and his Royal Highness, Prince Henry.

Elizabeth, sweetheart.

Don't grieve for me. Henry.

Now, both of you...

mark what I say.

They will cut off thy father's head. There now.

Henry, pay careful attention to what I say.

You must not let them make you king.

Not while your brother Charles is still alive.

I would be torn to pieces first. That's my son.

Today, your brother will be king.

Elizabeth, now.

It's a glorious death to which I go.

Tell your mother...

that my love for her was the same to the last.

And remember me in your prayers.

The king's escort, Your Majesty. Thank you.

God bless you both.

What kind of morning is it, colonel?

Indeed it is somewhat chilly, Your Majesty.

Then I was wise to put on a second shirt.

For if I trembled with the cold, my enemies would say it was from fear.

I would not expose myself to such a reproach.

Please keep them. Oh, Your Majesty.

I do not fear death, Sir Thomas.

It is not at all terrible to me.

I thank my God I have prepared for it.

Are we to ride to Westminster, or walk?

My orders are that we walk, Your Majesty.

Admirable. The morning air will do me good.

The king's coming.

He's coming now. The king's coming! Hey, you. Stop him!

Gentlemen, the king comes.

Traitor! Execute him!

Execute him!

And a true, urgent sword in our hand. God bless, Your Majesty.

God bless you.

Escort, halt!

Well, gentlemen, are you afraid to kill your king with an open face?

I will not delay you long, but will say only this to you:

As God is my witness, I have forgiven those that have brought me here.

And pray that my death be not laid to their charge.

For I do endeavor even to the last... to maintain the peace of my kingdom.

I go now... from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown.

To everlasting peace.

Will that suffice?

Permit me, sir, that I may pray a while before the blow is struck.

Then when I put out my hands so:

That will be the sign.

Lord, let thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou has prepared before all.

Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

Behold the head of a traitor!

We did not assassinate.

Nor was this done in a corner, it was done in the face of God... and of all men.

The office of king is now abolished. Long live Parliament.

Long live the Republic. Aye, long live the Republic.

Richard, I want to go back to Cambridge.

Will you come with me, son? If you wish, Father.

It will be peace and quiet there now.

God knows, my soul craves a little peace.

You must not think on it, Oliver.

'Tis over now. The war, everything.

'Tis over and done.

Oliver, you're home now.

There's nothing more to think on.

Save that we two may grow old together in peace.



Henry Ireton is at the house with some men from Parliament.

I'll be along shortly.




Well, you all seem solemn enough.

It is a solemn business that brings us here.

Well, speak of it.

The country needs a head of state. It must be governed.

Is it not governed by Parliament? There must be a figurehead.

It is our tradition. The country needs a king, Oliver.

God knows, you've said so many times yourself.

The country will be ruled by Parliament.

Now, in the name of Christ, how often must I say that?

And who will control Parliament? The people, the people, the people!

It's not practical. It won't work. It will work and it must work.

We are here, on behalf of Parliament, to offer you the crown.

To offer...

Me, king of England?

King Oliver I of England.

Elizabeth, tell me, do you see before you a king?

This tired, sickening man, this country oaf... crude in speech and manner?

This rough fellow... does he display the bearing of a king?

You are the one man who can govern. In the name of God... did we cut the head off this king only to steal his crown?

This hollow golden ring, this worthless trinket.

Give it to a whore, for the price of her bed!

If you would find a head to fit it, let it adorn some court jester... or some strolling player that he may play your king, but not I.

Power must be absolute, or it be no power at all.

It was not for power that we did this. Have you not understood that yet?

Now, Ireton, mark me, and mark me well.

That you be hard-set upon courses has not escaped me... and if you seek to use me towards such ends... though I love you like a brother, I swear, I will destroy you.

Every freeborn Englishman be he the lowest of the lowest... is entitled to a voice in the governing of this country.

But there is no vote for the poor, for the underprivileged... no vote for all those who took up arms... to put down the very autocracy that this Parliament now imposes upon us.

You did not vote this Parliament into office.

This gaggle of buffoons, these villains!

Much has been said in this House about the so-called inequity... of certain members being financially involved in national projects.

Members have ascribed to this state of affairs dark and sinister motives.

I say if we in Parliament cannot gain from ruling the country... there's really very little point in our being here at all.

No member of this House should be permitted to profit from office.

Hear! Hear!

If this House knew its duty, it would terminate... and let a new Parliament be elected.

Order! Gentlemen, I move that this House... be given power to remain in office a further three years without re-election.

A committee of inquiry should be set up to investigate... the financial involvement of certain members.


Mr. Speaker. May I have your permission to address this assembly?

By all means, sir.

My lords, honorable members...

I have always desired, above my life, a free Parliament... sitting by the authority of the good people of this nation.

A Parliament open and visible, to be seen by all men.

It is six years since I handed over to you this great responsibility... in the hope that you would make good and wholesome laws... which the people of this nation expected of you.

I must confess to some abatement of my hopes... for what has happened in my absence.

Instead of uniting the good people of this nation... with righteousness and peace... which would have been a glorious and Christian thing to have done... what do I find?

Anarchy, corruption... division and dissatisfaction.

I say that the enemies of this nation... have flourished under your protection.

You were from the beginning a provisional government... not truly representative of the people.

For have the people elected you?

Has this House gone once to the people it purports to represent?

No, it has not! And after six years of misgovernment, what do we find?

Sir Thomas Fairfax moves a bill to give this House a further lease... of its worthless and dishonorable life!

Gentlemen, an immovable Parliament is more obnoxious... than an immovable king!

You are drunkards, tricksters, villains, whoremasters... godless, self-seeking, ambitious tricksters.

You are no more capable of conducting the nation's affairs... than you are of running a brothel!

You are scum, sir. And not truly elected scum at that.

This is no Parliament. I shall put an end to it.

I hereby declare this Parliament dissolved!

Colonel Harrison! Yes, sir. Troops forward!


Remove them! Come on, get them out.

This is dictatorship, sir! Dictatorship!

Dictator! Dictatorship!

This is illegal! Come, sir.

I refuse to quit this chair. By your leave, sir.

Away with this bauble!

I seem to recall that we cut off a king's head... for such as this.

You are a traitor, sir. It is the likes of you who have turned my hand to this.

I have sought the Lord's guidance night and day in this matter.

It is not idly done, for this nation will be justly governed.

I will give this nation back its self-respect.

We will walk in this world with our heads held high.

I will liberate man's souls from the darkness of ignorance.

I will build schools and universities for all.

This will become the golden age of learning.

I will bring the law within the reach of every common man.

There'll be work and bread for all.

This nation will prosper because it is a godly nation... and because we walk hand in hand with the Lord.

I swear by the name of the living God... that I will see this nation... properly governed... if I have to do it myself.

Dear God, give me the strength to do it... alone.

Oliver Cromwell ruled the nation as lord protector for five years.

In that short time, he raised England to be a great power... feared and respected throughout the world.

Under his hand were laid the foundations... of a truly democratic nation.

In 1658, he died.

Three years later, Charles, prince of Wales, was crowned king... and a monarch sat once more upon the throne of England.

But an England never to be the same again.