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The Slingsbys

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The Slingsby Day (continued).

Charles now made for Chester which Parliament forces were besieging the City. He intended to raise the siege. Langdale was sent to drive the besiegers off but he himself was caught by approaching Parliamentry forces and suffered heavy losses. All was witnessed by the king. Henry writes;

"Here I wonder at the admirable temper of the King, whose constancy was such that no perills, never so unavoidable, could move him to astonishment, but that still he set the same face and settled countenance upon what adverse fortune soever befell him; and neither was exalted in prosperity nor dejected in adversity; which was the more admirable in him, seein he had no other to have recourse unto for council and assistance but must bear the whole burden apon his shoulders......"

Henry went home to Red House to get some money (no cashpoints then)

"whereof a long time I had great scarcity"

With £40 in gold Henry returned to Newark, having to disguise himself to avoid the Scottish Army on its way to attack it. By March 1646 Newark was surrounded by 16000 Parliamentarian and Scottish troops and Oxford where the King was was also under siege. After careful negotiations Newark was surrendered and the Garrison allowed to March out. The King surrendered to the Scots.

Henry had survived like his three cousins. Arthur, Robert and Walter. Arthur a Colonel of the Horse escaped to France as did Robert, after recovering from his wounds. Walter escaped to France after the fall of Pendennis Castle only to return to help to organise resistance in Cornwall. He was later captured and sent to the Tower of London.

Henry was now being threatened with the confiscation of his estates. He went home and lay low. Everyone who fought for the king was being forced to take two oaths,

"the one makes me renounce my alegiance and the other my religion"

One to renounce their allegance to the King and one a Covenant with the new Commonwealth and its fundemental protestant faith. He refused to do either. In order to avoid his estate being confiscated he sold it to relatives for £7000.

Plots against Parliament continued . In 1655 an uprising was planned again but it met with little success. It was disorganised and only about a tenth of the men expected responded to the call to arms. Arrests were made including the cousin Walter Slingsby who had only just been released from the Tower of London. After the failed uprising Parliament ordered the arrest of all the participants. Sir Henry was betrayed by Sir John Bourchier of Beningbrough, a neighbour. Arrested and sent for trial he was found guilty and sentenced to indefinite imprisonment in Hull. Sir Henry continued to be implicated in Royalist plots and was finally sent to London for trial for High Treason. He was found guilty and sentenced to be hung drawn and quartered.

The sentance was considered harsh and even Cromwell's (The Highness Lord Protector's) daughters pleaded for his and his co conspiritors lives, but Cromwell only granted them a stay of execution of 5 days (to prepare) and changed the sentence to a simple beheading.

Sentance was carried out on 8 June 1658. Sir Henry's headless body was buried in Knaresborough Parish Church.

[Source: Without Touch of Dishonour by Geoffrey Ridsdill Smith}

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