New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Gazette >

Marching for the King


BERWICK-UPON-TWEED is a town rightly conscious of its history. Thirteen times it changed hands between Scotland and England. Though English now, and in the Newcastle diocese, much about it is Scottish.

Its unusual church is famed for having no tower or spire: it was built in plain Cromwellian times shortly after the execution of the King. The Civil War features largely in Berwick's history, for it was captured by the Royalists in 1648.

The English Civil War Society recently attended a 17th-century service at the parish church conducted by the Vicar of Berwick, the Revd Alan Hughes ( centre). In return, they invited him to the King's Army Parade in London to mark the anniversary of the execution of Charles I in 1649.

Mr Hughes tells me that about 500 members of the English Civil War Society, with muskets, pikes, horses, baggage carts, and gun carriages, set off from St James's Palace along the Mall, marching to a muffled drumbeat, and following the route that Charles took to the scaffold outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

The society is the only civil body permitted to march through the streets with fully functioning weaponry, he says. They went to Trafalgar Square to lay a wreath at Charles's statue, and carried on to stop beneath the window of the Banqueting House through which the King stepped on to the scaffold. There Mr Hughes, wearing a black-and-silver 17th-century cope, read the service of commemoration from his original 1751 Book of Common Prayer.

Top feature

Keeping the Bard cool

Keeping the Bard cool

One of our greatest Shakespearean actors, Judi Dench, took time out from the 400th-anniversary celebrations to talk to Sarah Meyrick  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Is it right to try to avoid paying tax?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Use what power you have to help the poor

Christians can take a lead to promote practical action for those suffering in the housing crisis, says Phil Hemsley  Read More

Tue 3 May 16 @ 9:53
RT @Sadgrovem"God will say to us: 'My lovely world - why didn't you enjoy it more?' We will wonder why we didn't." Ronald Blythe @ChurchTimes #Rogation

Mon 2 May 16 @ 12:10
Protestant Churches are nearer to RCs than Anglicans are, argues Alexander Faludy https://t.co/T48xhKdlal