Off with their heads
At a time when that Prince 'All is good in the Empire' Harry continues to try to inspire more young people in Britain facing economic uncertainty, shit jobs and low wages to go and fight and die for the profits of gigantic multinational oil companies and arms manufacturers in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is worth remembering the radical popular traditions of revolutionary democracy that have existed in the past - and continue to express themselves on anti-war demonstrations and the like up to the present day. The following conference organised by the London Socialist Historians Group should therefore be very timely indeed, and should be attended by all those who feel it is not those racists like Prince Harry deem 'ragheads' that are in particular need of a 'civilising mission' but rather the likes of Prince Harry and the British ruling class...
1649 and the Execution of King Charles
30 January 1649 is the day when King Charles 1st was beheaded and the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell, the foundation of modern Parliamentary democracy, came into effective being. It was a revolutionary moment and it brought onto the historical stage people, ideas and movements that went well beyond anything that Cromwell and the senior leadership of the New Model Army had in mind. Brian Manning in his seminal book on 1649 notes that this was a year when popular mobilisations did not happen. There was no popular uprising to mark the Commonwealth, and no popular protest at the execution of the King. There was however an Army revolt at Burford, also celebrating its anniversary this year, which was brutally put down by Cromwell. 1649 was also the year when Cromwell landed in Dublin to initiate brutal episodes in Ireland. This conference will look at the liberties and democratic practices
ushered in by 1649 and at those who wanted to take them further.
1649 and the execution of King Charles
Saturday 7 February 2009
Venue: Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London.
9.30 – Registration (Wolfson Room)
10.00-11.15 Welcome and Keynote addresses (Wolfson Room)
Chair: Keith Flett, LSHG
Geoffrey Robertson, author of The Tyrannicide Brief
John Rees, author of A Rebel's Guide to Milton, forthcoming
11.30-12.30 PANEL ONE: Cromwell's coalition and its critics (Wolfson Room)
Chair: David Renton, LSHG
Martyn Everett, 'The Agitators – between Rebellion and Reaction'
Dr. Ariel Hessayon, Goldsmiths College, 'Early modern Communism: the
Diggers and community of goods'
11.30-12.30 PANEL TWO: 1649 in contemporary eyes (Pollard Room)
Chair: Tobas Abse, LSHG
Claudia Guli, University of Melbourne, 'Historical Precedent in
Contemporary Justifications of the Trial of Charles I'
Ángel Alloza, CSIC (Spain), '"An Outrageous Incident": the execution
of Kings Charles seen from Abroad'
1.30-2.30 PANEL THREE: The regicide, terror and Restoration (Pollard Room)
Chair: David Renton, LSHG
Jerome de Groot, University of Manchester, '"Original Villany":
Alan Marshall, Bath Spa University, 'The Trials of Thomas Harrison, regicide'
1.30-2.30 PANEL FOUR: The Republic and something more (Wolfson Room)
Chair: Paul Burnham, LSHG
Alejandro Doering De Rio, Queen's College Cambridge, 'James Harrington
as a theorist of political of equality'
Dr John Seed, Roehampton University, 'The politics of remembering: the
execution of Charles in C18 England'
2.45-4.00 Closing Plenary (Wolfson Room)
Chair: Keith Flett
Norah Carlin, author of The Causes of the English Civil War
Geoff Kennedy, author of Diggers, Levellers and Agrarian Capitalism
£10 waged, £5 unwaged. Order from Keith Flett firstname.lastname@example.org