To Catch a King by Charles Spencer
By William Collins
In January 1649, King Charles I was beheaded in London outside his palace of Whitehall and Britain became a republic. When his eldest son, Charles, returned in 1651 to fight for his throne, he was crushed by the might of Cromwell’s armies at the battle of Worcester. With 3,000 of his supporters lying dead and 10,000 taken prisoner, it seemed as if his dreams of power had been dashed. Surely it was a foregone conclusion that he would now be caught and follow his father to the block? At six foot two inches tall, the prince towered over his contemporaries and with dark skin inherited from his French-Italian mother, he stood out in a crowd. How would he fare on the run with Cromwell’s soldiers on his tail and a vast price on his head? In this gripping, action-packed, true adventure story, based on extensive archive material, Charles Spencer, bestselling author of 'Killers of the King', uses Pepys’ account and many others to retell this epic story. With bloodied feet and facing certain death if caught, Charles relied upon a patchwork of hiding places that had evolved to hide Catholics from lethal persecution. Now, in the 1650s, they saved the life of a king.