1643: O England Looke Upon this Monstrous Thing

Pamphlet 1643Illustration from a royalist pamphlet, The Kingdomes Monster Uncloaked from Heaven: The Popish Conspirators, Maglignant Plotters, and cruel Irish, in one Body to destroy Kingdome, Religion and Lawes: But under colour to defend them, especially the Irish, who having destroyed the Protestants there, flye hither to defend the Protestant religion here (1643), written to defend King Charles I during the English Civil War. The accompanying text begins as follows:

O England looke upon this monstrous Thing,
That would our Kingdome unto ruine bring,
‘Tis framed and composed of three parts
Which are all joyned both in heads and hearts:
Doe not behold it with a carelesse eye,
This Monster brings this Land to misery:
This Monster following its forefathers hate,
Seeks to destroy the Kingdome and the State:
While Church and Kingdom should oppressed lie
Subjected to their blinded Popery:
Long time it walked muffled in a cloak
Till Straffords head was cut off, then it broke
Out of the cloud, but Heavens holy hands
Hath now uncloak’d it, so that now it stands
In a full figure as this Picture here
Doth make it lively to your view appeare
(Full text here)

Strafford was Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, who supported the king,  served in Parliament, and was made Lord Deputy of Ireland, where his authoritarian rule led to the Irish Rebellion of 1641. When he returned to England, he became an advisor to the King, serving until he was impeached and sentenced to death by Parliament. Charles signed the death warrant and Wentworth was beheaded. When Charles was himself beheaded at the culmination of the war in 1649, he expressed regret for his actions, saying that God had allowed his execution as punishment for Strafford’s death, “that unjust sentence which I suffered to take effect.”

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