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Prides Purge 6th December 1648

In 1648, King Charles I was in captivity at Carisbrooke Castle and the first stage of the English Civil War was over. The Long Parliament issued a set of demands for the future government of the Kingdom and sent commissioners to negotiate with the King over the terms of the putative Treaty of Newport. The leaders of the New Model Army had previously tried to negotiate with the King themselves in 1647, shortly after the end of the first civil war in 1646. Its leaders, the “grandees”, were sorely disappointed when Charles stalled these negotiations by quite clearly attempting to play different factions in the Parliamentary alliance off against others. He eventually escaped captivity, leading to the second civil war that raged between 1647 and 1649. By the time Charles was recaptured, most of the army leaders were convinced that they could no longer trust him. So the army sent in a remonstrance on 20 November 1648, which was rejected by 125 votes to 58 in the House of Commons on 1 December. When the Commissioners returned with the King’s answers, which were far short of what was hoped, the House of Commons eventually declared them acceptable by 129 votes to 83 early in the morning of 5 December 1648 (though this was technically a vote on whether the vote should be called).

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