Why was Charles I executed?


Why was Charles I executed?
By Keir Martland 

I am what might be jokingly termed a ‘crypto-Anglican.’ Often, I attend some of the more ‘High Church’ services in the Church of England, principally at my College Chapel when ‘on duty’ as a Warden, alongside my regular attendance of Roman Catholic services. This is partly out of a spirit of ecumenism and partly out of an aesthetic appreciation of Choral Evensong and Anglican High Mass according to the Book of Common Prayer. Indeed, there is much to recommend this kind of Anglicanism to the aesthete. Firstly, the Church of England owns – or rather, is in possession of – all the old Catholic churches in this country, and these churches are invariably the prettiest in the country. Secondly, there is something charming, but also interesting on an academic level, about the Cranmerian English of the Prayer Book, such as in the archaic and foreign-sounding “spare thou them.” Thirdly, the Anglican choral tradition is hard to compete with, and Choral Evensong – at least, at my College Chapel – is a delight for those who enjoy early Stuart and Restoration Era “Mag & Nuncs” and anthems (the works of Orlando Gibbons and Pelham Humphrey are particular favourites of mine). It is this rich tradition that the Personal Ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI seek to preserve.

And yet I digress already, for it is in a spirit of ecumenism (an entirely benign effect of Vatican II) and not aestheticism that I write today. Today is the 368th anniversary of the execution of the Anglican Martyr King Charles I. 368 years ago, Charles I was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall following two Civil Wars, also known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Charles had lost both Civil Wars and had failed to reach a settlement with the Scots, Parliament, or the Army, and eventually the latter took the initiative to break the deadlock, put him on “trial” following a royalist defeat in the Second Civil War, and murdered him. But why did this happen? Continue reading

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Try This on for Anti-Semitism


By ilana mercer

Paul Gottfried’s essay, “Are Bannon’s Critics For Real?”, dispenses with the no-brainer that Steve Bannon, “Breitbart executive and Donald Trump adviser,” is a white nationalist. After all, argues Gottfried, Bannon “comes from the world of Washington politics and journalism,” not exactly a hotbed of white identity politics. It’s “not at all clear to me that those who write for Bannon’s website publication, some of whom are Orthodox Jews, have much to do with white identitarians who also use the term ‘Altright,’” contends Gottfried.

As co-originator of the Alternative Right concept and phrase, Gottfried is in the know. Continue reading

Colonel Sibthorp: Reactionary Hero


WALDO SIBTHORP, Charles De Laet (1783-1855), of Canwick Hall, Lincs.

Family and Education

b. 14 Feb. 1783, 2nd s. of Humphrey Sibthorp† (afterwards Waldo Sibthorp) (d. 1815) of Canwick and Susannah, da. of Richard Ellison, banker, of Thorne, Yorks. and Sudbrooke Holme, Lincs.; bro. of Coningsby Waldo Waldo Sibthorp*. educ. Chiswick; Brasenose, Oxf. 1801. m. 21 Feb. 1812, Maria, da. and coh. of Ponsonby Tottenham† of Merrion Square, Dublin, 4s. suc. bro. 1822. d. 14 Dec. 1855. Continue reading

Further Thoughts on Theresa May


Further Thoughs on Theresa May
by Sean Gabb
(7th October 2016)

I delivered my interim report on Theresa May at the weekend. On Wednesday, I watched her main speech to the Conservative Party Conference. It was a very accomplished speech, perhaps the most accomplished speech of its kind since James Callaghan delivered his sermon on economic reality to the Labour Party Conference in 1976. I also noted one quotation from Vergil (“Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos”), and another from Horace (Carpe diem). Mrs May is no Demosthenes or Burke, but she appears to have good taste in speechwriters. Beyond that, I had nothing to add to what I had already said. Continue reading

On Left and Right, Libertarianism, and The Donald


On Left and Right, Libertarianism, and The Donald
By Keir Martland
20th September 2016

Permit me a long and rambling introduction. I spent much of August reading, and in some cases re-reading, the works of the distributists, particularly Hilaire Belloc [see my short essay on The Servile State]. The way distributism is often presented is as a “third way” between socialism and the current economic order. I say “the current economic order” because we don’t have laissez-faire capitalism and we are far from it. Rather, what we have is a dirty mixture somewhere between state control and state-privileged corporate control of the means of production and much else, which some call crony capitalism or corporatism. Continue reading

PATRIOTISM AND FREEDOM: A libertarian defence of national sovereignty


Patriotism and Freedom:
A Libertarian Defence of National Sovereignty (Political Notes No. 202)
By Philip Vander Elst

PDF Version of the Essay

 

Philip Vander Elst is a freelance writer, lecturer and C.S. Lewis scholar, and a former editor of Freedom Today.  After graduating from Oxford in 1973, with a degree in politics and philosophy, he spent more than 30 years in politics and journalism, serving in free market think-tanks and writing for British and American papers on both sides of the Atlantic. His many publications include: C.S. Lewis: a short introduction (Continuum, 2005), From atheism to Christianity: a personal journey (bethinking.org, 2011), The Principles of British Foreign Policy (Bruges Group 2008), and Power Against People: a Christian critique of the State (Institute of Economic Affairs web publication, 2008), Vindicated by History; Statism’s 19th century critics (Cobden Centre, 2012) and God and Liberty: a libertarian challenge to secular liberalism (bethinking.org, 2014).

Three quarters of a century ago, when Britain was fighting for her life and the freedom of Europe, no important body of opinion would have questioned the value of patriotism or the importance of preserving and cherishing our nationhood as a focus of resistance to Nazi totalitarianism. Pride in our heritage, our sense of connection with the past and with the achievements of our forebears, were not only second nature to millions of people in the Britain of 1940, but were widely shared throughout the English-speaking world and helped to mobilise opinion against Hitler. Men and women in the United States and the British Dominions drew strength and inspiration in these years of crisis from their common historical and cultural roots, and these were celebrated in literature and song, on the screen and printed page, from one end of the world to the other. Penguin Books, to cite a typical example, published two anthologies during this period – Portrait of England and Forever Freedom – which are a treasure trove of prose and verse celebrating our Island story. They sing the praises of our countryside and institutions, our traditions and people, in the words of Shakespeare and Milton, Emerson and Whittier, Burke and Jefferson, and countless others. Continue reading

The Only Conference Worth Attending


The Only Conference Worth Attending: A Personal Account of the 11th Conference of the Property & Freedom Society
By Keir Martland
(10th September 2016)

In an age when most conference speeches are almost automatically uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube, why bother going to the conference in person? Surely, it is so much more enjoyable to watch the conference speeches in the comfort of your own living room from your laptop, one per night for about a week? Conferences are generally awful. The speakers can be dull. The room might be ugly. The chairs might be uncomfortable. The food – if there is any – might be inedible. There is never any entertainment. Why bother going?

This holds up pretty well for most conferences, but not for the annual conference of the Property & Freedom Society, hosted by Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Dr. Guelcin İmre Hoppe at the gorgeous Hotel Karia Princess in Bodrum, Turkey. As Dr İmre Hoppe put it last year in her own speech, the PFS is the Club Med of conferences. Continue reading