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Dangerous TalkScandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England$
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David Cressy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564804.001.0001

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The Demeaning of Charles I: Hugh Pyne's Dangerous Words

The Demeaning of Charles I: Hugh Pyne's Dangerous Words

(p.115) 6 The Demeaning of Charles I: Hugh Pyne's Dangerous Words
Dangerous Talk

David Cressy

Oxford University Press

Few kings were so prickly about their honour, or more insistent on the dignity of kingship, than Charles I. Few monarchs had so extravagant a sense of their supremacy, yet such an unsure command of the love and respect of their subjects. King Charles endured a barrage of popular derision. From the beginning of his reign, dozens of Charles I's subjects spoke of him in ways that the authorities deemed dangerous, dishonourable, scandalous, disgraceful, disloyal, uncivil, seditious, or treasonous. Charles had not yet been crowned when the private words of Hugh Pyne, a Somerset magistrate and Lincoln's Inn lawyer, became matters of public consequence. This chapter presents a detailed case history from the 1620s in which Hugh Pyne, a lawyer, called Charles I ‘as unwise a king as ever was’. Pyne's case produced an important judgment on the law of treason by words.

Keywords:   Hugh Pyne, Charles I, law of treason, lawyer, treasonous

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