By the summer of 1647, after six years of fighting, it was clear that King Charles I and his Royalist army had lost the Civil War. Although the King’s son had made a daring escape to France, Charles I had lost control of his army. He was captured by his Parliamentarian enemies, and moved to Hampton Court Palace.
A very posh prison
Although the King was now a prisoner he was treated very well by his captors. He was allowed to have his own servants, the palace furnishings were improved for him, and paintings were brought down from Whitehall for his pleasure.
He lived in the suite of royal rooms overlooking the Privy Garden; the rooms themselves were later rebuilt by King William III.
Do not disturb
However, the Parliamentarians later regretted their generously lax regime. Colonel Edward Whalley was in charge of security. On the evening of 11th November, he arrived at the King’s bedchamber at five o’clock to accompany the royal prisoner to the chapel as usual. The King was writing letters, he was told, and could not be disturbed. The same thing happened at six o’clock. By seven, Whalley was worried.