94 INTRODUCTION. Knollyswas afterwards prosecuted at the sessions, and sent prisoner to London. Mr. Oates was tried for his life, but' acquitted. Mr. Biddle was cast into prison, where he remained seven years. The civil war having now continued several years, introduced dreadful confusion and distress into every part of the kingdom. Numerous were the sufferers on both sides. But the parliament's army proving every where triumphant, the king himself was taken prisoner. During these commotions, the rump parliament passed a decree to, establish a government without a king and house of lords, and so governed alone. They erected a high court of justice, brought the king to trial, condemned him, erected a scafibld before Whitehall, and there, before a large concourse of people, struck off his head, January 30, 1649. "Theking had a mistakenprinciple, that kinglygovernment in the state, could not stand without episcopal government in the church. Therefore, as the bishops flattered him by preaching up the sovereign prerogative, and inveighing against the puritans as factious an disloyal : so he pro- tected them in their pomp and pride, and insolent practices against all the godly and sober people in the land.' An immoderate desire of power, beyond what the constitution didallow of, was the rock on which he split."t SECT. V. From the Death of King Charles I. to the passing of the Act of Uniformity, in 1662. THE King being taken out of the way, CnolstwELL pro-- posed a Commonwealth, till he laid afoundation for his own advancement. The parliament drew upa form of ENGAGE- MENT, to be subscribed by all persons above eighteen years of age, in these words :-" I do promise to be true and faithful to the commonwealth as it is now established, without a king or house of lords." No man who refused this engagement could have the benefit of suing another at law, or hold any mastership in either university, or travel- . Memoirs,of Col. Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 129, 120. Welwood's Memoirs, p.87.-The puritan ministers of thepresbyterian denomination in London being charged with bringing the king to the block, published a " Vindication" of themselves, declaring the falsehood of the charge, and protesting their abhorrence of the fact, and their unshaken loyalty to his majesty's person and just government.-Calamy'sCostis. vol. ii. p. 737.